The Southeastern Conference had three top 25 match ups among conference teams on Saturday, while no other conferences had any games featuring two top 25 teams. In addition to the Crimson Tide, Auburn and LSU saw their stock rise on Saturday.
Massachusetts – 28 at South Carolina – 34
The revolving door at quarterback continues for the Gamecocks. Freshman Jake Bentley (the 5th QB for SC this season) got his first start against UMass and posted a respectable 16 of 25 passing for 176 yard and a pair of touchdowns. South Carolina took at 27-14 lead into half time and survived a fourth quarter rally from the Minutemen, icing the game with an 80 yard, 4 minute drive.
South Carolina improves to 3-4 (1-4 SEC) and will host the Tennessee Volunteers, who was on bye this week, at home next weekend.
Middle Tennessee – 51 at Missouri – 45
Missouri lost to Middle Tennessee. That actually happened. Since joining the SEC, Mizzou has been to two SEC championship games and doesn’t have to play Auburn or Alabama every year like the Aggies do. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in the SEC East? Even still, the Tigers still can’t seem to get anything going.
Missouri falls to 2-5 (0-3 SEC) and hosts Kentucky next week. Two more losses and they’ll be out of bowl contention. They close the seasons with Tennessee and Arkansas.
No. 17 Arkansas – 3 at No. 21 Auburn – 56
Gus Malzahn seemed to be one loss away from losing his job after the Aggies beat Auburn a few weeks ago. He hasn’t lost since. Auburn jumped out to a 21 point first quarter lead against the Hogs behind three rushing touchdowns, including a 78 yard home run by Eli Stove on their first offensive possession. Austin Allen left the field briefly with an injury in the first half, but after returning it seemed to be too little too late as Arkansas managed just three points on the road.
Arkansas 5-3 (1-3 SEC) will have a bye week next week and then host Florida. Auburn 5-2 (3-1 SEC) will travel to Oxford for a battle with Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss Rebels.
Mississippi State – 38 at Kentucky – 40
After a scoreless first quarter a slug fest broke out at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. The teams scored 78 points on 916 yards of total offense with no team leading by more than 11 points at any point in the game. Austin MacGinnis pushed through a 51 yard field goal as time expired to give Kentucky their third SEC home victory of the season.
Mississippi State is now 2-5 (1-3 SEC) and remains in last place in the SEC West. Kentucky on the other hand, improve to 4-3 (3-2 SEC) and edges out Tennessee for second place behind the Florida Gators in the SEC East. Mississippi State will host Samford at home next week while Kentucky will hit the road to play Missouri.
Tennessee State – 17 at Vanderbilt – 35
After falling behind in the first quarter to Tennessee State on a 93 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ronald Butler, Vanderbilt rushed for 358 yard on 42 carries and ran away from the Tigers. The Vanderbilt defense was stout, allowing the Tigers to convert just two of seven third down conversions. They also forced three fumbles, recovering one, and an interception.
Vanderbilt, now 4-4 (1-3 SEC), will have next weekend off before traveling to Auburn.
No. 23 Ole Miss – 21 at No. 25 LSU – 38
Leonard Fournette had touchdown runs of 59 yards, 76 yards, and 78 yards. Then an injury forced the Rebels to put in freshman Greg Little at left tackle. A five star recruit out of Dallas, Little was no match for SEC sack leader Arden Key. Key knocked the ball away from Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly twice after that, with both fumbles returned for touchdowns. Both scores were overturned via replay, but Key’s impact sealed the game for the Tigers.
With the loss Ole Miss falls to 3-4 (1-3 SEC), but will still find a way to stay ranked as the “best four-loss team in the country”. They’ll have a tough match up next week as the play host to Auburn. LSU 5-2 (3-1 SEC) continues to find ways to win under interim coach Ed Orgeron. Coach O will have his hardest test of the season after their off week next week when the Crimson Tide come to town.
*** Stats from ESPN ***