Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving SEC teams. Some of these teams had a better start to the fall season than others. (Note: I remove sacks and sack yardage from rushes and rushing yardage when necessary to put stats in appropriate context.)
Auburn 17 vs Missouri 14 OT
Give a loss to both teams, they each deserve one. These teams spent almost the entire second half punting the ball back and forth before remembering that scoring points wins games. This game had one of the stupidest endings I’ve ever seen. Missouri missed a game-winning 26-yard field goal from dead center AND dropped the ball at the 1 with a chance to score the game-winning TD. Auburn had 2.9 yards per carry, gaining 117 yards on 41 carries. Auburn was down to their 3rd-string QB for this game (who went out with an injury in the second half for a few plays), but that doesn’t excuse this performance. Missouri was 4/13 on 3rd downs, so they still haven’t fixed that glaring issue. This was an affront to football. Auburn stays at home this weekend, hosting LSU at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Missouri has their SEC home opener Saturday, hosting Georgia at 6:30 p.m.
#1 Georgia 39 vs Kent State 22
What happened with this game? Kent State scored 22 points on Georgia. The last time a team not named Alabama scored at least 22 points on Georgia was November 21, 2020, when Mississippi State scored 24 in a 31-24 Georgia victory. Georgia, 45-point favorites, did not make this a three-possession game until 5:30 in the 4th quarter. TE Brock Bowers led Georgia in rushing with two carries for 77 yards and 2 TDs, which included a 75-yard TD run on the second play of the game. Perhaps this game was Georgia’s equivalent of the Alabama-Texas game. The Bulldogs return to SEC play with a trip to Missouri on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Mississippi State 45 vs Bowling Green 14
Mike Leach remembered that running the ball is pointless, apparently. Seriously, 9 carries for 62 yards (11 for 45 including sacks) is much more of what we’re used to with Mike Leach teams compared to the two 100-yard performances early in the season. Will Rogers was back to form, going 39/50 for 409 yards and 6 TDs, tying a school record. Bowling Green was coming off a shocking upset victory at Marshall (now on a two-game skid after the Notre Dame upset), but Mississippi State grounded the passing offense that put up 300 yards last week by holding them to a mere 172. The Bulldogs return to SEC play Saturday when they host Texas A&M at 3:00 p.m.
#11 Tennessee 38 vs Florida 33
This game proved that Tennessee is a top-10 team. However, Florida coming back to make the game close late is worrying. Anthony Richardson is not the guy everyone pegged him to be. He threw his first TD pass of the year in this game, which isn’t great. Worse is that he hasn’t looked great since the Utah game, he’s looked sloppy. The Gators pulled close late, but this is the Tennessee game where dumb luck is plentiful. Also, Napier getting that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was not a good look, I don’t get why he did that. Also, Hendon Hooker is magic, the end. Tennessee is on bye this week. Florida will host FCS Eastern Washington at 11:00 a.m. Sunday in a game moved due to Hurricane Ian.
#16 Ole Miss 35 vs Tulsa 27
How is this team ranked 14th with their current resume? This is a team that might’ve lost this game had Tulsa’s starter not gotten injured in the 2nd quarter. The Rebels didn’t score a point in the 2nd half, showing that I misjudged their efforts against an atrocious Georgia Tech squad. Give credit where credit is due, though. The defense stepped it up in the clutch and kept the Golden Hurricane from crossing midfield on their final three drives to secure the victory. The non-conference schedule is over for the Rebels, it’s time to see how they handle SEC play. Ole Miss opens conference play hosting Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. Saturday.
#23 Texas A&M 23 vs* #10 Arkansas 21 [Arlington]
Texas A&M won this game somehow. After falling behind 14-0 early, the Aggies rattled off 23 straight. 7 of these came on a fumble return TD resulting from K.J. Jefferson’s inexplicable decision to try a QB leap typically done at the 1-yard line from the 3. Demani Richardson knocked the ball in the air, Tyreek Chappell picked the ball from the air, Chappell got caught in RB Raheim Sanders’ grasp around the 20, Richardson called for the football, Chappell handed the ball off, and Richardson took the ball back for the score. Devon Achane had 19 carries for 159 yards and a TD, Arkansas doinked the potential game-winning field goal off the top of the right upright, and A&M made out like bandits. Texas A&M’s next game is at Mississippi State Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Arkansas returns home to face Alabama Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
#8 Kentucky 31 vs Northern Illinois 23
Kentucky let this game stay way too close. The Wildcats came in as 26-point favorites over an NIU squad without Rocky Lombardi, who got injured in the Vanderbilt game last week. The Huskies scored 9 late points in a failed comeback attempt, but they sacked Will Levis five times. Kentucky only mustered 124 rush yards on 30 carries, but the run game will get a boost next week when RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. returns from suspension. Kentucky travels to Oxford to face Ole Miss in their next game at 11:00 a.m. Saturday.
#2 Alabama 55 vs Vanderbilt 3
What a shocker, Alabama beat Vanderbilt by a bajillion points. Everyone is so totally shocked by the result of this game. Vanderbilt did nothing in the air and less on the ground. Seriously, the Commodores had 2.2 yards per carry EXCLUDING sacks (47 yards on 21 carries). At least Vandy won the turnover battle by forcing and recovering a Kool-Aid McKinstry fumble on a punt. My only major note is that I thought it was great that AJ Swann played the whole game. He’s a true freshman QB who needs to get experience, pulling him wasn’t going to help. Vanderbilt is on bye this week. Alabama continues SEC play at Arkansas Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
South Carolina 56 vs Charlotte 20
Charlotte is one of the worst FBS teams at this point, so it was interesting to see them only trail South Carolina 20-14 at the half. Then Charlotte swung their pickaxe into their own back. They opened the second half with a 3 and out, and then gave up a TD. The 49ers’ next three drives ended in picks, and South Carolina scored TDs after each. This was South Carolina sophomore RB MarShawn Lloyd’s breakout game. He had 15 carries for 169 yards and 3 TDs, showing the abilities he was known for coming out of high school. South Carolina’s next game will be a home game against FCS South Carolina State at 6:00 p.m. Thursday that’s been moved up because of Hurricane Ian.