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Around the SEC: Week 5

Week 5 action brought upsets, some close calls, and some absolute blow outs around the SEC.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Tennessee Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

After five weeks of SEC football, it has become clear who is at the top of this conference and who is lagging behind. Former Auburn head coach and current SEC Network analyst Gene Chizik said it best yesterday during the network’s show SEC Now, “It’s Alabama, Georgia and Auburn. Then everyone else.” Following Saturday’s dominating performances by those three teams, it’s hard to argue with his assessment.

Still, there were nine other teams that played on Saturday. There were a few blowouts, upsets, and close calls for teams across the conference and while some teams have already missed out on Atlanta, there are a few that can still challenge Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia in the SEC race. Here’s a look at how week five in the SEC played out.


Alabama 66 Ole Miss 3

Remember that time Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels marched into Tuscaloosa and upset Alabama in 2015? Nick Saban remembered it, alright. He also wanted to make sure that the next time anyone associated Ole Miss with playing in Tuscaloosa that they’d remember the night the top ranked Crimson Tide put up 66 points.

There was really no doubt that Alabama would win this game, but to beat Ole Miss worse than they beat Vanderbilt a week ago? I don’t know if anyone say that coming. Next week Alabama will travel to College Station to face Texas A&M. Johnny Football won’t be there, so don’t draw comparisons to that time the Aggies pulled off the upset or you might get the Ole Miss treatment. Ole Miss will look to rebound against a surging Auburn team on the Plains next Saturday.

Georgia 41 Tennessee 0

Butch Jones may not have needed to beat a top 10 Georgia team to cool off his seat a little, but he certainly did not need to allow the 7th ranked Bulldogs to hand Tennessee their worst home loss since 1906.

How bad was Tennessee’s offensive production on Saturday? They rushed 29 times for a total of 62 yards with the leading rusher in the conference in running back John Kelly. The Vols didn’t fare any better through the air as Dormady and Guarantano combined to go 11-23 for a total of 80 yards. The four turnovers didn’t help either. It was definitely not the outcome Tennessee needed, and it’s hard to believe that the administration didn’t hear the boos from fans echoing throughout Neyland Stadium.

Georgia on the other hand continues to dominate in SEC play. Freshman Quarterback Jake Fromm only went 7-17 passing for a total of 84 yards, but he was able to rush for two touchdowns. As a team, the Bulldogs ran for nearly 300 yards in the shutout win. There was a time when Georgia could get some big wins early in the season only to lose one or two games they shouldn’t down the stretch. Mark Richt isn’t at Georgia anymore. They’ve made their case as the second best team in this conference right now and they’ve shown no signs of let up.

Tennessee will enter a much needed bye week at 0-2 in the SEC and 3-2 overall. Will major changes be made before the Vols take on South Carolina? Georgia will head to Nashville to face Vanderbilt.


Auburn 49 Mississippi State 10

Mississippi State continues their fall from grace after beating LSU in Starkville a few weeks ago. Since that win, which propelled them into the top 25, Dan Mullen’s team has gone 0-2. In their last two conference match ups they’ve been outscored 80-13. They supposedly had the best QB in the league in Nick Fitzgerald, but since that win over LSU, Mississippi State’s offense has struggled to find a pulse.

Auburn on the other hand has found an offense. What was supposed to be one their stronger units to compliment a great defense, Auburn and QB Jarrett Stidham looked vanilla through the first three games of the season. In their last two games versus Missouri and Mississippi State, the Tigers have put up a total of 100 points a slew of rushing yards to go with it. Granted, Missouri isn’t very stout defensively and it’s becoming clearer each week that Mississippi State was supremely overrated. However, this Auburn team is clicking at the right time as they prepare to take on Ole Miss on Saturday. Mississippi State will get a bye week before playing host to BYU.

Florida 38 Vanderbilt 24

Florid entered their contest with Vanderbilt with only one rushing touchdown in the last nine games. On Saturday they scored five. In unlikely fashion, this one appeared to be a shoot out early as both teams traded touchdowns throughout the first half. In the second half, Florida went up 31-17 in the fourth quarter. Vanderbilt managed to score again to bring it within a touchdown with less than five minutes left in the game. Freshman running back Malik Davis iced the game for the Gators with a touchdown run with just over a minute left in regulation.

Although it wasn’t pretty, Florida was able to put together their best offensive performance in quite sometime. They will host a reeling LSU team next Saturday while Vanderbilt will take on Georgia at home.


Troy 24 LSU 21

Tennessee fans can be grateful to LSU on this Sunday morning. On Saturday evening, the headliner appeared to be Georgia’s absolute route of the Vols. The 25th ranked LSU Tigers changed that headline Saturday night after losing to the Sun Belt’s Troy at home in famed Death Valley. The Trojans led by 10 in the final minutes of the game before LSU pulled within three to make it 21-24. The Tigers had one more shot to get into field goal range to put the game in overtime, but Danny Etling’s pass was intercepted with only a few ticks left on the clock.

LSU, a team that had a lot of potential entering 2017 according to the experts, is now sitting at 3-2 with a trip to Gainesville on the docket for next Saturday. If they do not get things turned around, Butch Jones may not be the only SEC head coach on his way out.

Arkansas 42 New Mexico State 24

The Razorbacks were reeling after two straight losses to TCU and Texas A&M. What they needed was a strong showing at home on Saturday. That’s exactly what they got. Sticking to what has been their staple in the Bielema era, running the football successfully, Akransas rushed for a total of 230 yards on the ground. Arkansas will look to get their first win in league play next Saturday when they head to Columbia to face South Carolina.


Kentucky 24 Eastern Michigan 20

The Wildcats needed a score late to put away Eastern Michigan at home on Saturday. It looks like Kentucky was still hungover following a heartbreaking loss to Florida last week. Nevertheless, Mark Stoops’ team is sitting at 4-1 and will welcome a bad Missouri team to Lexington next Saturday.


Texas A&M 24 South Carolina 17

A few weeks ago would you have thought both of these offenses would score 24 or less? That was the case in College Station on Saturday night. South Carolina held a 17-7 lead before the Aggies came from behind to tie the game at 17 a piece. A touchdown run by Keith Ford with 7:42 left in the game was the deciding play to give Texas A&M the 24-17 win at home. The Aggies, now 4-1 after losing to UCLA in the opener, will take on top ranked Alabama on Saturday. South Carolina will play Arkansas at home.