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College Football: Around the SEC Week Six

Alabama and Georgia remain undefeated following week six.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Another Saturday in the SEC has come and gone as Alabama and Georgia continue to separate from the rest of the league in their quest for a trip to Atlanta in December. However, Auburn impressed with a convincing win over Ole Miss on the Plains making them 3-0 in conference play. The loss to Troy in week five wasn’t enough to deter the Tigers as LSU goes into Gainesville and leaves the Swamp with a win.

These are just a few of the headlines following week six action. Here’s a look at how all six games played out on Saturday:

Georgia 45 Vanderbilt 14

Georgia showed no signs of let down in a route of Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday. The Bulldogs continue to do what they do best: beat opposing defenses into submission with a strong run game. Georgia’s offense put up nearly 550 yards of total offense, with 423 of those yards coming on the ground. Equally impressive was Georgia’s stout defense, which held Vanderbilt to a mere 64 rushing yards.

With Florida’s loss, Georgia now remains the only undefeated team in the east and it’s only fitting that they are now in the drivers seat for a trip to Atlanta. At this point in the season, there appears to be no one left on their schedule that could challenge them outside of Auburn.

Vanderbilt on the other hand is now sitting at 3-3 after rattling off three straight wins to start the season. The Commodores defense, which is Derek Mason’s strong suit, have been dominated in the last three games versus Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. They will head to the Grove next Saturday to face Ole Miss in Oxford. Georgia will welcome Missouri to Athens as they look to go 7-0.

Auburn 44 Ole Miss 23

This one was worse than the score indicates, and the score as it is, is still pretty lopsided. After getting trounced by Alabama in a 66-3 loss last week, the Ole Miss defense again had no answer for Auburn’s rushing attack. The Tigers jumped out to a 38-3 lead before the Rebels were able to put a few more on the board in the fourth quarter.

Following a rough offensive start to the season which included a frustrating loss at Clemson, Auburn is now proving why they entered the 2017 with so much hype. The offense is finally producing, and with their defense the Tigers are showing that they can challenge Georgia and Alabama come November.

Ole Miss, now sitting at 2-3 will host Vanderbilt in week 7 as Auburn will head down to the Bayou to take on LSU in Baton Rouge.

LSU 17 Florida 16

The Gators have managed to live on the edge through the first half of the season, coming from behind late to beat Kentucky and pulling off a hail Mary to top Tennessee to start conference play 3-0. Saturday was not the case as the luck seemed to have finally run out on Florida.

LSU took a 10-3 lead into the half before taking their opening drive of the third quarter down field to go ahead 17-3. The Gators didn’t go away easy, however as they had back to back touchdown drives to pull with in an extra point. Due to a botched snap, the game tying extra point in the fourth quarter went wide left. The missed PAT turned out to be the difference in the game as neither team managed to score again.
LSU was in search of answers and desperate need of a win following the Troy debacle in Tiger Stadium just a week ago but Ed Oregeron and the Tigers found that win in the Swamp on Saturday. Questions certainly still abound for both teams, but LSU will enter week 7 feeling better about themselves than they did last week. They will look to pull of another upset when Auburn comes to town next Saturday. Florida will play Texas A&M for the first time since 2012 in Gainesville next Saturday night.

South Carolina 48 Arkansas 22

Butch Jones isn’t the only coach in the league sitting on a scalding hot seat. In fact, some could argue there is not a seat hotter in the entire conference than the one Bret Bielema sits on in Fayetteville.

The Razorbacks fell below .500 in a blowout loss to South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday. The loss now puts Bielema at 10-24 in conference play through four seasons, and Arkansas fans are starting to realize that Bielema may never be competitive in the SEC.

The Gamecocks, coming off losses to Kentucky and Texas A&M also needed a win in a big way and on Saturday, and they delivered. The Gamecock defense forced four turnovers in the form of two fumbles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score. The offense behind Jake Bentley returned to early season form, putting up 358 yards on Arkansas’ defense.

Bret Bielema and company will once again head into week 7 searching for answers as they travel to Tuscaloosa to face off against top ranked Alabama. South Carolina will head to Knoxville as they look to continue their winning ways versus Tennessee.

Kentucky 40 Missouri 34

Don’t look now, but Mark Stoops and the Wildcats are 5-1 after a thrilling win over Missouri in Lexington on Saturday night. Kentucky appeared to be running away with it, holding on to a 20-7 lead before Missouri scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Drew Locke to Emmanuel Hall to make it 20-14 at the half.

In the second half, both teams went back and forth before Kentucky tacked on two field goals to break a 34-34 tie late in the fourth quarter. With 3 seconds left in the game, Locke’s game tying pass attempt fell short of the end zone and Kentucky was able to hold on for the win.

Missouri, which came up short of their first conference win of the season will head to Athens 0-4 in league play on Saturday as they face 4th ranked Georgia. Kentucky will get a bye week before taking on Mississippi State in Starkville on October 21st.

Alabama 27 Texas A&M 19

Second ranked Florida State was able to hold Alabama to a mere 24 points in a 24-7 loss to the top ranked Crimson Tide in week one. I bring this up because before Saturday night, the Seminoles were the only team thus far in 2017 that were able to give Alabama a game for 3 and a half quarters. Texas A&M came closer in College Station on Saturday.

Alabama jumped out to a 24-3 lead, despite a pretty good effort by the Aggie defense for 3 quarters. Alabama however, made a series of critical mistakes, something that they don’t do often. After a Kellen Mond tochdown pass to Christian Kirk made it 24-10, Texas A&M was able to block and Alabama punt in their own end zone to make it 24-12 in the fourth quarter. The Aggies offense wasn’t able to capitalize on the ensuing drive however, as Alabama’s defense forced quick a three and out.

Alabama extended their lead with a field goal to go up 27-12 with 2:14 left in the game. Texas A&M did not roll over and hang their hat on a well fought game against the top ranked team in the land. On their final drive of the game, Mond made a Johnny Manziel-esque play by eluding a sack and hitting his receiver deep to give the Aggies 1st and goal. A few plays later, a rushing touchdown made it a 24-19 game. Alabama was able to sniff out any attempt at a game tying drive by recovering the ensuing onside kick. Still, Texas A&M was able to hang in there, and Kevin Sumlin’s team has showed they are still contenders in SEC play despite starting the season 0-1.

Texas A&M heads to Gainesville in week 7 to face Florida, as Alabama will play host to Arkansas on Saturday night.