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SEC News and Notes

11:23 AM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

ALABAMA: The top-ranked Crimson Tide took care of business against Colorado State on Saturday evening, 31-6, even though the offense wasn't very sharp (16 first downs, 338 yards). A.J. McCarron completed 20-of-26 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He hooked up with Christion Jones nine times for 90 yards, and found DeAndrew White on a 30-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter. The rushing attack was shut down for the most part, gaining only 66 yards on 21 attempts. After being suspended for the first quarter, T.J. Yeldon racked up 49 yards on seven carries, while Kenyan Drake scored a rushing touchdown. The 'Bama defense was outstanding, holding the Rams to 279 total yards. Dillon Lee had a 15-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, and C.J. Mosley tallied nine tackles. Alabama (3-0) will return to SEC action this Saturday when it hosts Ole Miss.

ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks appears destined for their fourth straight victory up 17 points over Rutgers late in the third quarter, but they surrendered 21 unanswered points to close out the game to fall on the wrong end of a 28-24 decision. AJ Derby filled in under center for the injured Brandon Allen and was mediocre at best, completing 14-of-26 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams had both rushed for at least 100 yards in the first three games this season, but the duo combined for just 88 yards in this contest on 28 carries, although Williams did contribute with a 21-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. The defense forced three turnovers and recorded five sacks (two by Darius Philon), but couldn't keep the Scarlet Knights off the scoreboard late. Arkansas (3-1) opens up SEC play next week when it hosts nationally-ranked Texas A&M.

AUBURN: The Tigers fought back after getting shut out in the first half, but they still fell short of sixth-ranked LSU on the road, 35-21. Tre Mason looked great against an outstanding LSU defense, racking up 132 yards and two touchdown on 26 carries for his fourth career 100-yard rushing game. Nick Marshall, on the other hand, was held in check, completing just 17-of-33 passes for 224 yards with zero touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Marshall did manage to connect with Sammie Coates on a couple of big plays. Coates finished with four receptions and a career-high 139 yards. Cameron Artis-Payne (seven carries, 41 yards) accounted for the final touchdown. Cassanova McKinzy (eight tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Jermaine Whitehead (INT) had strong efforts on defense. Auburn (3-1, 1-1 SEC) is idle this week and will host Ole Miss on Oct. 5.

FLORIDA: It was far from a pretty performance for the Gators, who committed three turnovers, but behind a strong rushing attack and a great defensive effort they were able to defeat Tennessee, 31-17. An ugly game was made even worse when starting quarterback Jeff Driskel left the game in the first quarter, and after the game was diagnosed with a broken tibia that will cost him the rest of the season. Tyler Murphy stepped in with 134 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-14 passing, while adding 84 yards and another score on the ground. Mack Brown averaged just 3.6 ypc but still amassed 86 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Gators were outstanding, holding the Vols to just 220 yards while forcing six turnovers. Dante Fowler, Jr. shined with 3.0 TFL, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC) travels to Lexington this Saturday to take on the Kentucky Wildcats.

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs experienced a scare at home against North Texas, as they found themselves tied early in the third quarter, but they managed to pull away late with 24 unanswered points to claim a 45-21 win. After a slow start, the offense eventually amassed 641 total yards. Aaron Murray was outstanding yet again, completing 22-of-30 passes for 408 yards with four touchdowns (one rushing) and a pick. It was the Heisman hopeful's third career 400-yard passing performance. Reggie Davis registered 134 yards on just two receptions, with his 98-yard touchdown in the second quarter marking the longest offensive play in school history. Todd Gurley logged 21 carries for 91 yards and a score. The defense played very well, holding UNT to just 245 total yards. Leonard Floyd tallied six tackles and two sacks, while Tray Matthews had an interception. Georgia (2-1) heads back to conference play this Saturday when it hosts LSU.

KENTUCKY: The Wildcats (1-2) were idle over the weekend coming off a 27-13 loss to nationally-ranked Louisville on Sept. 14. They will open up SEC action this Saturday when they host Florida.

LSU: The sixth-ranked Tigers kept rolling along on Saturday night by dismissing Auburn, 35-21. Jeremy Hill broke loose in the backfield, logging 25 carries for a career-high 184 yards and three touchdowns. Zach Mettenberger completed 14-of-22 passes for 229 yards with a touchdown. He also threw his first pick of the year, but his touchdown-to-interception ratio (10-to-1) is still outstanding. Jarvis Landry hauled in seven passes for 118 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Odell Beckham was also active in the receiving game with five catches for 59 yards. The defense held Auburn scoreless in the first half. D.J. Welter, Lamin Barrow and Kwon Alexander all logged double-digit tackles, while Craig Loston and Jalen Mills had interceptions. LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has a difficult task on Saturday afternoon as it travels to face a very good Georgia squad.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs closed out their contest against Troy with 52 unanswered points on their way to a 62-7 victory. Tyler Russell missed the game with a concussion, but his backups did just fine in his absence. Dak Prescott completed 13-of-21 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. The signal caller also rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns, and even caught a 36-yard touchdown pass, becoming the first quarterback to throw, rush and catch a touchdown in the same game since Oregon's Marcus Mariota in October of 2012. Amazingly enough, wide receiver Jameon Lewis also accomplished the trifecta, finishing with two receptions for 96 yards and a score to go along with an eight-yard rushing touchdown and a 50-yard scoring strike to Prescott on a trick play late in the second quarter. The defense also played outstanding, holding Troy to 186 total yards. Jamerson Love returned an interception 70 yards to the house early in the first quarter for the game's first score. Mississippi State (2-2) hosts nationally-ranked LSU on Oct. 5.

MISSOURI: The Tigers kept their undefeated record alive with an impressive road win over Indiana, 45-28. The offense racked up 623 yards and was led by quarterback James Franklin, who completed 32-of-47 pass attempts for 343 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also accounted for 61 rushing yards and another score on the ground. Dorial Green-Beckham caught eight balls for 105 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. Marcus Lucas (10 receptions, 101 yards) was also outstanding. Russell Hansbrough had 13 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, giving the squad a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game for the first time in school history. Marcus Murphy (10 carries, 67 yards, TD) was also effective in the ground game. Missouri (3-0) will host Arkansas State this Saturday.

OLE MISS: The nationally-ranked Rebels enjoyed an off week after a fantastic 3-0 start, giving them extra time to prepare for this Saturday's visit to No. 1 Alabama.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) were idle over the weekend following a Sept. 14 win over Vanderbilt (35-25). They will step outside the conference this Saturday to play UCF on the road.

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers came out flat against nationally-ranked Florida with just 220 yards of offense and six turnovers as they dropped their SEC opener, 31-17. Nathan Peterman earned his first career start but struggled mightily, completing only 4-of-11 passes for five yards with two interceptions. Justin Worley relieved Peterman but did not perform much better (10-of-23, 149 yards, TD, two INTs). Pig Howard was the game's top receiver with four receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. The poor offensive performance overshadowed a great defensive effort. The unit forced three turnovers, including Devaun Swafford's 62-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) steps out of conference this Saturday to entertain South Alabama.

TEXAS A&M: The Aggies closed out their four-game homestand with a dominating 42-13 win over SMU. Johnny Manziel had a rather modest day passing the ball, going 14-of-21 for 244 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but he made up for it with his legs, rushing for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 attempts. Ben Malena was also integral in an effective ground attack, turning 13 carries into 71 yards and two touchdowns. Malcome Kennedy was the top target in the passing game, tallying six receptions for 83 yards and a score. Matt Joeckel and Kenny Hill both saw time under center, but the duo combined to complete just 5-of-14 passes for 72 yards. Tramain Jacobs paced a strong defensive effort with 10 tackles. Texas A&M (3-1) will hit the road this Saturday for an SEC clash with Arkansas.

VANDERBILT: After letting a winless Massachusetts squad hang around for much of the contest, Vanderbilt managed to pull away with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as it claimed a 24-7 victory. Austyn Carta-Samuels threw for 219 yards on 18-of-27 passing, tossing a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Jonathan Krause hauled in six balls for 105 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Jordan Matthews' streak of three straight 100- yard receiving games to start the season came to an end, but he was still very productive with eight receptions for 76 yards and a score. Wesley Tate (64 yards) and Jerron Seymour (56 yards, TD) helped controlled the ground game with 29 combined carries. The defense held UMass to just 248 total yards. Adam Butler recorded both a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the same play. The Commodores (2-2) return home this Saturday to take on UAB.

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