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Take a Look Tuesday: Week 1

Spoiler alert: they all won

Mississippi State RB (23) evading a tackle in open space against Memphis

Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at what happened in the other games involving teams in the SEC. Wait, it’s Wednesday? Man, my clock is messed up from that game being Sunday. Anyway, everybody was in action this week, and everybody else won. Must be nice.

Tennessee 59 vs Ball State 10 (Thursday)

This was a beatdown that Tennessee dominated from start to finish. Tamarion McDonald picked off John Paddock on the first play of the game and Hendon Hooker threw a 23-yard TD to Jalin Hyatt on the next play. Tennessee didn’t punt until about midway through the 2nd quarter after they’d built up a 24-0 lead. Ball State didn’t score until midway through the 3rd quarter when the score was already 45-0 and Tennessee was playing back-ups. This was a standard blowout of a bad MAC team, so you didn’t miss much if you didn’t watch. The Vols travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Missouri 52 vs Louisiana Tech 24 (Thursday)

Mizzou’s defense came to play in this game. They got 3 interceptions, including a pick-6, and held Louisiana Tech to just 38 rushing yards on 18 carries (excluding sacks from rush totals). Eventually, the Tigers got going on offense, finishing with 558 total yards. Missouri had an issue with penalties, finishing with 10 accepted penalties for 100 yards. That lack of discipline is going to have to clean up if the Tigers want to get back to a bowl game. Missouri travels to face old conference foe Kansas State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

#6 Texas A&M 31 vs Sam Houston 0

This should’ve been a bog-standard blowout of an FCS team where Texas A&M showed their physical might. Holding the Bearkats to 198 yards and 0 points is one way of doing that. Rushing for 110 yards on 32 carries, on the other hand, not so much. It’s unreasonable to make predictions about a team in the long run on their first game of the season, especially against a team with 22 fewer scholarships, but it’s not a good look. Maybe the weather played a factor, this was one of several games this past weekend that had weather delays. Texas A&M hosts Appalachian State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

#19 Arkansas 31 vs #23 Cincinnati 24

Give credit to the Bearcats, they fought until the bitter end in this one. Cincinnati couldn’t pull this one out over Arkansas thanks to several miscues. Their first drive ended on a pass picked by Dwight McGlothern who returned it and set up a short field for an Arkansas TD, they missed a 25-yard FG at the end of the 1st quarter (kicker couldn’t hook the ball), they missed a 48-yard FG near the end of the 2nd quarter and they fumbled the ball with a chance to tie the game early in the 4th quarter. Arkansas did their job, but they got some help, too. Arkansas hosts South Carolina at 11 a.m. Saturday.

#3 Georgia 49 vs* #11 Oregon 3 [Atlanta]

What was this? I’m serious, I didn’t watch this game live, what the heck happened here? Bo Nix is known to be inconsistent, but he had moments where it was like he forgot how to play football. Stetson Bennett tore through Oregon’s defense like it was nothing. Georgia came in expected to be good, but this was just unbelievable. UGA plays FCS Samford at Samford Stadium at 3 p.m. Saturday.

#21 Ole Miss 28 vs Troy 10

Somehow, this game feels like it was worse than the Georgia game. It’s a game where it shouldn’t be as close as it is, one where the starters have to stay in a little bit longer than originally planned. Both teams combined for 5 turnovers and Ole Miss only managed 7 points in the entire 2nd half. This sure was a football game. The Rebels host FCS Central Arkansas at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Auburn 42 vs Mercer 16

T.J. Finley finished 9/14 for 112 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs in this win. That just feels good to me, it echoes back to the 2000s, as does Auburn’s final passing line of 13/21 for 212 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. The Tigers ran the ball extremely well, 41 carries for 285 yards and 5 TDs. There wasn’t much else from this game worth noting from this extremely 2005 blowout. Auburn hosts San Jose State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Florida 29 vs #7 Utah 26

This game was awesome, far better than a short recap can do justice. Billy Napier’s debut came in style as the Gators knocked off the Pac-12 favorite at home. The final 5 drives of this game were unbelievable, two heavyweights traded blows as each team drove down the field on long drives. The first four of those final drives ended in TDs. The final drive ended in a Cam Rising interception over the middle to seal the win for the Gators. The Gators next game is a 6 p.m. Saturday home game against the #20 Kentucky Wildcats. Speaking of which…

#20 Kentucky 37 vs Miami (OH) 13

I don’t know what was messier, Kentucky’s first half or the play-by-play for this game on ESPN’s website (seriously, it’s atrocious). The Wildcats entered halftime with a slim 13-10 lead. Then they returned the 2nd half kickoff for a TD, forced a fumble and scored another TD to make it 27-10 1:02 into the 3rd quarter. Kentucky ran away with the game and Mark Stoops tied Bear Bryant for the most wins as Kentucky’s head coach with his 60th. As mentioned above, their next game is a 6 p.m. road rivalry game at #12 Florida on Saturday.

Vanderbilt 42 vs Elon 31

It wasn’t as easy as the Hawaii game, but that was the expectation coming in. Vanderbilt pulled off the win, that’s all that mattered. Vanderbilt jumped out a an early lead, but Elon pulled it close late and recovered an onside kick with under 6 minutes to play down 11. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, they never scored again. This was another historic game for Vanderbilt football, as Mike Wright became the first Commodore QB to be responsible for 6 TDs in a game (4 passing, 2 rushing). The Commodores are 2-0 for the first time since 2018, the year they last went bowling, and have matched their win total from last year. Vanderbilt hosts #23 Wake Forest at 11 a.m. Saturday.

#1 Alabama 55 vs Utah State 0

Tree, meet woodchipper. Utah State got absolutely plastered in this one, as one might’ve expected. Still, I find it incredible to marvel at sheer dominance and this was a classic example of that. Alabama scored 7 TDs and allowed 7 first downs. Alabama held Utah State to 136 total yards. They had 138 yards with 1:46 to go in the 1st quarter. The only thing Bama didn’t have was a sack, though Saban explained that was because the Aggies threw quick passes. Also, Will Anderson is a beast, just thought it was important to remember that. Their next game is a big one, an 11 a.m. road clash at Texas on Saturday.

Mississippi State 49 vs Memphis 23

Lightning delays are the worst, so why not give this game a 3-hour delay so it doesn’t finish until after the Hawaii game kicked off? The Bulldogs didn’t have much else to complain about in this one, though. Will Rogers threw for 450 yards and 5 TDs, and the Bulldogs went 11/13 on 3rd downs (pretty good). After last year’s mess at the Liberty Bowl, MSU got one back on the Tigers. For some reason, Mississippi State’s next game is a 10 p.m. edition of Pac-12 After Dark at Arizona on Saturday.

South Carolina 35 vs Georgia State 14

This game shouldn’t have been as big a win as it was. The Gamecocks scored two TDs on blocked punts to solidify their victory, but there was one massive issue that fans are talking about with this game: blocking. The offensive line didn’t do a great job of blocking and the run game wasn’t that great, only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. It’s important to note that Georgia State had the 40th-best run defense in college football last season, but considering South Carolina has a new offensive line coach, fans are antsy. South Carolina faces #16 Arkansas at 11 a.m. Saturday in Fayetteville.