SEC News and Notes

10:01 AM, Oct 14, 2013   |    comments
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ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide continued to roll along at Kentucky over the weekend, as the nation's No. 1 team made easy work of the Wildcats in a 48-7 final. The Tide outgained UK by nearly 500 yards in the dominating performance (668 total yards to 170). The rushing attack was unstoppable, paced by T.J. Yeldon's 124 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Kenyan Drake also made the most of his touches, amassing 106 yards and a pair of scores on 14 attempts, while Altee Tenpenny (five carries, 21 yards) also found his way into the end zone. AJ McCarron completed 21-of-35 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Norwood hauled in four balls for 81 yards and a score, and DeAndrew White (four receptions, 80 yards) was also solid out wide. A'Shawn Robinson tallied two sacks to lead the defense. Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) returns home this Saturday to take on Arkansas.

ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks came out flat against nationally-ranked South Carolina on their home turf, racking up a meager 248 yards on their way to an embarrassing 52-7 setback. The Gamecocks shut down the passing game all afternoon, with Brandon Allen completing just 4-of-12 passes for 30 yards and an interception. A strong rushing attack was the team's saving grace, as it picked up 218 yards on just 24 carries (9.1 ypc). Alex Collins ran for 69 yards on 10 attempts, including the team's only touchdown -- a six-yard scamper early in the first quarter. Keon Hatcher also had 69 rushing yards on just two totes, while Jonathan Williams added 61 yards on six carries. Although the defense had its hands full with South Carolina, surrendering 537 yards, Darius Philon stood out with 3.0 TFL, a sack and a forced fumble. Arkansas (3-4, 0-3 SEC) will have difficulty halting its four-game slide this Saturday when it faces No. 1 Alabama on the road.

AUBURN: The Tigers made the most of their Homecoming matchup by demolishing FCS foe Western Carolina over the weekend, 62-3. The offense put up a school- record 712 total yards and was led by Jeremy Johnson, who was filling in for Nick Marshall under center. In his first colligate game, Johnson completed 17- of-21 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns against only one pick. Johnson's biggest job on the afternoon was handing the ball off to the running backs, and the ground game responded with a whopping 511 yards and five scores. Cameron Artis-Payne led the way with 133 yards and a TD on just seven carries, while Tre Mason (six carries, 100 yards, two TDs) and Corey Grant (five carries, 83 yards, TD) were also outstanding on limited action. Quan Bray, Ricardo Louis, Tony Stevens and Jay Prosch were all on the receiving end of Johnson's scoring strikes. The defense also played exceptionally well, holding WCU to just six first downs and 173 total yards. Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) will face a difficult task this Saturday when it travels to College Station for a bout with Texas A&M.

FLORIDA: The Gators were stifled offensively in their trip to Baton Rouge, as they amassed just 240 total yards in a 17-6 loss to 10th-ranked LSU. Tyler Murphy had his first sub par outing since taking over for the injured Jeff Driskel at quarterback, as he completed just 15-of-27 passes for 115 yards while being sacked four times. Mack Brown was the team's leading rusher with 56 yards, although he needed 15 carries to get there (3.7 ypc). Kelvin Taylor added 52 rushing yards on 10 totes. The UF defense played very well in defeat, holding LSU to 327 yards and Zach Mettenberger to just 9-of-17 passing. Antonio Morrison (12 tackles) and Michael Taylor (10 tackles) each finished with double-digit stops. Florida (4-2, 3-1 SEC) will try to rebound at undefeated Missouri this Saturday.

GEORGIA: After falling behind by as many as 18 points, the Bulldogs climbed back to make the deficit just two in the fourth quarter, but they could not complete the comeback bid as they were upset at home by No. 25 Missouri, 41-26. With numerous injuries to his running backs and wide receivers, Aaron Murray struggled all afternoon, going 25-of-45 for 290 yards with two interceptions and a fumble that resulted in a Tigers' touchdown. Murray did manage to toss three touchdowns for the fifth consecutive game, with Rantavious Wooten his top target with 83 yards and a score on four receptions. J.J. Green filled in admirably for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in the backfield, turning 12 carries into 87 yards while also adding five receptions for 42 yards. The defense held a potent Mizzou offense to just 375 yards, but the unit failed to force any turnovers. Georgia (4-2, 3-1 SEC) will try to get back on track this Saturday at Vanderbilt.

KENTUCKY: The Wildcats were thoroughly overmatched at home versus No. 1 Alabama, falling in blowout fashion, 48-7. The squad could get nothing going offensively, amassing a meager 170 total yards, while the defense was torched by the Crimson Tide to the tune of 668 yards. Maxwell Smith got the nod under center and completed just 7-of-16 passes for 76 yards, although he did manage to throw the team's only touchdown in the third quarter -- a 30-yarder to Javess Blue (two receptions, 44 yards). Raymond Sanders was impressive against a stout Alabama front, carrying the ball 14 times for 72 yards, although the rushing attack as a whole was held to less than three yards per carry. Despite the poor defensive effort, Avery Williamson was still impressive with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. UK (1-5, 0-3 SEC) will attempt to halt its four-game slide on Oct. 24 when it travels to Starkville for a bout with Mississippi State.

LSU: The Tigers faced a difficult home matchup versus 17th-ranked Florida and came away with an impressive 17-6 triumph. The top offensive performer was Jeremy Hill, who turned 19 carries into 121 yards, while also tallying a 30- yard reception. J.C. Copeland and Anthony Jennings accounted for the team's only touchdowns, with each converting one-yard scoring runs. Zach Mettenberger had an off day, completing just 9-of-17 passes for 152 yards. Jarvis Landry reeled in four balls for 58 yards to lead the receiving corps. The defense was the big story in this one, as it held the Gators to only 240 total yards. Lamin Barrow paced the unit with 13 tackles, while the team combined for four sacks, eight tackles for loss and six pass break-ups. LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) will get back to work this Saturday when it plays Ole Miss on the road.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs had a more difficult time than expected against Bowling Green on Saturday, but they were able to escape with a 21-20 victory. Although Dak Prescott failed to impress with his pass attempts (7- of-11, 75 yards, INT), he was a difference-maker on the ground, finishing with 139 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard scoring jaunt in the first quarter. Tyler Russell made up the other half of the two-quarterback system, and he displayed great accuracy by completing 12-of-14 passes for 102 yards. LaDarius Perkins was the most utilized tailback, turning 16 carries into 83 yards and a touchdown. Skinner Deontae and Benardrick McKinney paced the defensive effort with eight tackles apiece. Mississippi State (3-3) returns to SEC action on Oct. 24, as it closes out a four-game homestand against Kentucky.

MISSOURI: Missouri's undefeated start continued over the weekend with its most impressive victory yet, as it went on the road to upset No. 7 Georgia, 41-26. James Franklin completed 18-of-27 passes for 170 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, but he left the game early with a shoulder injury. In his absence, Maty Mauk was 3-of-3 for 23 yards, and the Tigers also got creative with the play-calling as receiver Bud Sasser completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to L'Damian Washington in the fourth quarter. Washington finished with seven receptions for 115 yards and two scores. Marcus Murphy turned five carries into 57 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter, while Henry Josey (51 yards, TD) was also effective on the ground. Andrew Wilson (11 tackles) and Kentrell Brothers (10 tackles, INT) led an outstanding defensive effort, while Michael Sam scored a touchdown on a 21-yard fumble recovery. Mizzou (6-0, 2-0 SEC) returns home this Saturday for another big-time showdown with Florida.

OLE MISS: A back-and-forth battle against ninth-ranked Texas A&M ended in heartbreak for the Rebels, as the Aggies made a game-winning field goal as time expired to hand them a 41-38 defeat. The passing attack had no problem carving up the A&M defense, as Bo Wallace completed 22-of-36 passes for 301 yards while tossing three touchdowns and only one interception. Backup quarterback Barry Brunetti also saw limited action, going 3-of-4 for 28 yards, with two of his completions going for touchdowns. Laquon Treadwell was the standout performer at receiver, hauling in eight passes for 77 yards and a pair of scores. Vince Sanders needed just three catches to amass 90 yards, with most of his damage coming on a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Jaylen Walton rushed for 41 yards on seven carries to lead the ground game. The team was ultimately done in by a defense that had no answer for Johnny Manziel, as A&M racked up 587 yards of total offense. Ole Miss (3-3, 1-3 SEC) hopes to halt its three-game losing streak this Saturday, but will have another tough task as it hosts LSU.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks made a statement on the road against Arkansas by putting together a dominating effort in a 52-7 victory. Connor Shaw was brilliant in completing 19-of-28 passes for 219 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions, while posting decent rushing numbers as well (37 yards, TD). The ground game, which racked up 277 yards on 54 attempts, was spearheaded by Mike Davis, who tallied 128 yards and a touchdown for his fifth 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Bruce Ellington was Shaw's top target at receiver, hauling in six passes for 96 yards, including a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Defensively, South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 SEC) held the Razorbacks to just 248 total yards and forced three turnovers. Skai Moore led the unit with six tackles, and Victor Hampton recorded an interception. The Gamecocks will try to extend their winning streak to five game this Saturday when they challenge Tennessee on the road.

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers (3-3, 0-2 SEC) were idle this past week. All three of their losses have come against nationally-ranked opponents, and they are set to square off against three more such foes over the next three weeks, starting with South Carolina this Saturday.

TEXAS A&M: The Aggies suffered a scare at Ole Miss, but they were able to cap off the seesaw battle with a game-winning 33-yard field goal by Josh Lambo as time expired to lift them to a thrilling 41-38 victory. Johnny Manziel was a one-man wrecking crew, racking up 459 of the team's 587 total yards. Manziel had to leave the game briefly early on after an apparent knee injury, but he returned to complete 31-of-39 passes for 346 yards, and while he failed to throw a touchdown pass, he ran in a pair of scores on his way to 113 rushing yards. Ben Malena tallied 72 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while Trey Williams (50 yards) had his number called a few times in the red zone with two scores. Travis Labhart (eight receptions, 97 yards) and Malcome Kennedy (seven receptions, 89 yards) were active in the passing game. Defensively, the Aggies allowed 462 yards, but Steven Jenkins shined with 13 tackles and two pass break-ups. Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC) returns home this Saturday to take on Auburn.

VANDERBILT: The Commodores (3-3, 0-3 SEC) were idle over the weekend, and they will try once again to record their first conference win when they host the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday.

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