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Take a Look Tuesday: Wild Endings Edition

Missouri’s good! Alabama’s bad? Vandy’s, well, Vandy.

Welcome back to Take a Look Tuesday, a weekly look at the rest of the teams in the SEC. This week provided the first chance to see some SEC teams face each other.

Missouri 30 vs #15 Kansas State 27

This game was an instant classic. Missouri came into this game with a lot to prove. They were up against a good Kansas State team that was going to be their litmus test. KSU struck first with a 75-yard TD drive, but Mizzou hit back quickly with a drive of their own. It was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team managed to take a big lead, and it felt like it would come down to who had the ball last. With 8 seconds left, Missouri got in field goal range with no timeouts left, but they didn’t realize the play clock was running and took a boneheaded delay of game. After a quick incompletion, they sent out Harrison Mevis for a 61-yard field goal. He not only made it, he drilled it with plenty to spare. The 61-yarder set a new SEC record and is the second-longest in school history behind Tom Whelihan’s 62-yarder in a 1986 loss to Colorado. Brady Cook and Luther Burden were a lethal combo with 7 catches on 11 targets for 114 yards and 2 TDs. The run game wasn’t particularly effective, but that didn’t matter in the end. Missouri will try to get to 4-0 for the first time since starting 7-0 in 2013 when they face Memphis in The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

#1 Georgia 24 vs South Carolina 14

Georgia got off to yet another slow start before getting the lead and winning the game. This time, however, the Bulldogs had to mount a bit of a comeback. The Gamecocks got out to a 14-3 halftime lead, and Spencer Rattler’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Antwane Wells Jr. marked the first time Georgia trailed all season. Georgia got the lead halfway through the 3rd quarter and never let South Carolina back in it. Georgia wasn’t incapable of playing offense, they put up 459 yards, after all. They missed two field goals, but they only punted three times. South Carolina played well and kept a game close that was expected to be a blowout while Georgia is begging the question of whether Stetson Bennett was the engine to this offense, one that seemed ridiculous until now. On Saturday, Georgia hosts UAB at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 at the same time South Carolina hosts Mississippi State on SEC Network.

#10 Alabama 17 at South Florida 3

This was an atrocious performance by the Alabama offense. The Tide were extremely lucky to be playing a team who was incapable of throwing the ball even somewhat competently. South Florida has one (1) FBS win since 2020 and came into this game 5-30 in the 2020s. Their only points came on a three-and-out in plus territory set up by a Kool-Aid McKinstry fumble on a punt return. These two teams were offensively inept. Prior to the final two drives of the game, Alabama had 225 yards and USF had 269. At the end of the game, the teams combined for 141 net passing yards (passing yards-sack yards). USF had 5 sacks in this game after coming in with 4, all of which came in their Week 2 game against FCS Florida A&M. Alabama didn’t just look bad, they looked horrendous against a far inferior opponent. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they host #15 Ole Miss Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

Texas A&M 47 vs ULM 3

The Aggies bounced back from their loss to Miami (FL) with an easy home win. A&M made quick work of the Warhawks and dominated the passing game. Both teams were roughly equal in ground yards, but Texas A&M outgained ULM 399-95 through the air. Conner Weigman led the way with a phenomenal performance, going 25/29 for 337 yards and 1 TD. A&M had 557 total yards and 28 first downs while the defense held the Warhawks to just 1/12 on third downs. The Aggies have a much better offense than last year, and they keep showing it. They needed 172:49 to score 132 points this season. They needed 368:32 to score 132 points in 2022. They face a far tougher test Saturday when they host Auburn at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN.

Auburn 45 vs Samford 13

Auburn is 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2019. This game was as easy as expected. The Tigers outgained the Bulldogs 562-218 and 223-91 on the ground (sack adjusted). Both teams threw two picks, but Auburn lost the turnover battle thanks to a muffed punt late in the 3rd quarter that set up Samford’s second TD. QB Payton Thorne had 405 yards of offense, 282 through the air and 123 on the ground, to lead the game in passing and rushing. Auburn failed to score in the 1st quarter, but they found their groove the rest of the way. They punted once. As mentioned above, they’ll have a tougher test Saturday to prove that they are better than many expected when they travel to face Texas A&M at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN.

Florida 29 vs #11 Tennessee 16

Joe Milton is a great thrower in the pocket, but he is not a program-changing QB if this game is anything to go by. Milton went 20/34 for 287 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, yes, but he showed his weakness when forced to make tough throws on the run. Not only that, he still hasn’t shown the same incredible stuff he did against Virginia. The Vols average the lowest time of possession of any FBS team with a mere 23:27 per game. More than half of Tennessee’s 22:32 of possession came in the 3rd quarter (11:38), and Tennessee turned that into 3 points. The game got chippy at the end when Josh Heupel decided to call a timeout with 7 seconds to go while Florida was taking knees to run out the clock and then a Volunteer gave a cheap shot to Graham Mertz on the final knee. Fun. #25 Florida hosts Charlotte Saturday at 6:00 p.m. on SECN+/ESPN+. Tennessee hosts UTSA at 3:00 p.m. on SEC Network.

UNLV 40 vs Vanderbilt 37

This game was utter bonkers. Vanderbilt jumped out to an early 17-0 lead that started with a pick-six and ended with a 56-yard TD pass from A.J. Swann to London Humphreys. UNLV starting QB Doug Brumfield got hurt in the 1st quarter, so that forced redshirt freshman Jayden Maiava into action. Once the early 2nd quarter rolled around, UNLV started clicking. They scored 30 unanswered points to take a 13-point lead into the 4th. Vandy tied the game, gave up a TD and retied the game. They picked off Maiava and returned it to the 21 with a great chance to win the game. Instead, they missed a 33-yard field goal with 44 seconds left and allowed the Rebels to get into field goal range and win the game. A.J. Swann hurt his shoulder in the 2nd quarter, but he finished the game 17/35 for 335 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. Clark Lea is a defensive coach, but that defense has hurt the Commodores this year. They open SEC play Saturday at home against Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. on SEC Network.

BYU 38 at Arkansas 31

The little things add up in close games, and this one was no exception. Arkansas had a 10-point lead on BYU deep into the 3rd quarter, but they failed to convert a 4th and 1 which allowed BYU a short enough field to get a field goal despite driving 24 yards and picked off KJ Jefferson to set up a 1-play, 20-yard TD drive. Those 10 points were vital to BYU getting the win, as were the 25 yards in penalties they racked up on the final drive, one that got all the way down to the BYU 16. Arkansas finished with 14 penalties for 125 yards and went 2/13 on third down. Arkansas could have won this game, but they blew it. They open their SEC season on the road at #12 LSU Saturday at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Kentucky 35 vs Akron 3

Kentucky is 3-0 to start the season for the third consecutive season, the first time Kentucky has started three consecutive seasons undefeated since doing so from 1929-33. The Wildcats finished their MAC slate with their first win over Joe Moorhead since 2018. Devin Leary had an extremely efficient day going 16/25 for 315 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. Ray Davis led all rushers with 72 yards and 1 TD on 7 carries. Kentucky’s defense got 5 sacks and held the Zips to just 6/15 on third down. Kentucky hasn’t faced much of a challenge this season, but that may change Saturday when they travel to face Vanderbilt at 11:00 a.m. on SEC Network.

#17 Ole Miss 48 vs Georgia Tech 23

Ole Miss is second to Tennessee in lowest average and lowest total time of possession in 2023. They’ve had the ball for just 70:41 of game time this season and have scored 158 points. They needed just 20:43 to score 48 in this beating. The Rebels made mincemeat out of the Yellow Jackets’ defense with a staggering 9.8 yards per play average in their 550-yard performance. Jaxson Dart went 10/18 for 251 yards and 1 TD while the rushing offense gained 300 sack-adjusted yards on 36 rushes. A Haynes King TD pass to Eric Singleton Jr. early in the 4th quarter made it 24-17 Ole Miss, but the Rebels got 17 points in 3:05 to put the game out of reach. Ole Miss opens SEC play Saturday at #13 Alabama at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.