The LSU-Georgia showdown lived up to the hype despite defenses and run games alike showing up only in select moments. The two QBs – Aaron Murray for Georgia and Zach Mettenberger for LSU – dueled to a thrilling and spectacular finish. Murray and the Bulldogs ultimately drew the last score and the defense stopped Mettenberger’s final drive.
The game certainly didn’t look like your daddy’s SEC, but it showcased the type of quarterback that the conference has lacked at times during its run of dominance. If either team can find a defense, it could challenge Alabama later in the season.
Speaking of which, the Crimson Tide resolved whatever defensive issues it had earlier in the season. Alabama spanked Ole Miss 25-0 in a convincing victory that, realistically, means Nick Saban’s team could virtually clinch the division before it even plays LSU. (Do you really see Alabama losing two conference games?)
Arkansas stayed close with Texas A&M, but the Aggies ultimately had too much firepower and fended off a game Razorbacks team.
Florida had no such issues at Kentucky, quickly dispatching any upset hopes the Wildcats – and their borderline incompetent offense – had.
South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri all lived dangerously in the second halves of games against non-conference opponents, but survived to tell about it.
Let’s take a look at Week 5 in this week’s SEC Rewind.
Week 5 Results
No. 12 South Carolina 28, UCF 25
Tennessee 31, South Alabama 24
No. 9 Georgia 44, No. 6 LSU 41
No. 1 Alabama 25, No. 21 Ole Miss 0
No. 10 Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33
No. 20 Florida 24, Kentucky 7
Missouri 41, Arkansas State 19
Vanderbilt 52, UAB 24
Byes: Auburn, Mississippi State
QB Aaron Murray – Georgia
Not that long ago, Murray “couldn’t perform well in the big one.” So much for that tag. He rose to the occasion again Saturday in a 44-41 shootout win over LSU, throwing for 298 yards and accounting for 5 TDs – including a 25-yard strike to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining to give Georgia the win.
QB Zach Mettenberger – LSU
Yes, Mettenberger ultimately came up short against Georgia in this one. That can hardly be pinned on the Georgia-transfer, who threw for 372 yards and 3 TDs without turning the ball over.
RB T.J. Yeldon – Alabama
The Crimson Tide feature back rushed 17 times for 121 yards and a TD despite missing time with a “butt bruise.” Alabama dominated time of possession 38-22 in besting Ole Miss.
WR Mike Evans – Texas A&M
Playing through obvious pain, Johnny Manziel’s go-to target caught 6 passes for 116 yards and 2 TDs in the Aggies’ win at Arkansas.
RB Mike Davis – South Carolina
Once South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier decided he could win the game on the back of his run game, Davis picked up the load and did the rest. The Gamecocks rode Davis – getting extra workload for injured RB Brandon Wilds – to 167 yards and 3 TDs on 26 carries. His stellar play helped the Gamecocks avoid an upset loss at UCF.
QB Tyler Murphy – Florida
Making his first career start, Murphy threw for 156 yards, rushed for 36 more and accounted for 2 TDs. He opened the game 12-of-12 passing and allowed Florida to coast to a win over an inferior Kentucky team.
Alabama shutting out Ole Miss
The Crimson Tide had something to prove defensively against Ole Miss. It delivered a loud statement in shutting out a very good Rebels attack. QB Bo Wallace, who boasted last week that Ole Miss would be able to “put some points on” Alabama, completed just 17 of 31 passes for 159 yards. He tried to run 12 times for only 5 yards. Alabama dominated the game with its defense, holding Ole Miss to 205 yards of total offense and less than 22 minutes in time of possession. The Rebels went 4 of 14 on third-down conversions and made just 1 of 4 fourth-down tries. The biggest difference for the Crimson Tide might be the play of freshman CB Eddie Jackson, who shined in the victory.
Arkansas QB Brandon Allen returned from an injury to his throwing shoulder and helped the Razorbacks remain competitive with Texas A&M for much of the game. Though Allen’s efforts ultimately went unrewarded, it highlighted just how big a difference his presence in the lineup makes. Just a week earlier, the Razorbacks looked inept in a loss at Rutgers. With Allen forcing the defense to respect the pass, RBs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams shined again. Collins rushed for 116 yards and a TD while Williams finished with 120 yards of total offense and 2 receiving TDs…
Though Arkansas gave a minor scare to the Aggies, Texas A&M dominated on the ground offensively. The A&M line opened up holes for whoever wanted to try them, allowing the team to rack up 262 rushing yards for a 6.0 yards-per-carry average. QB Johnny Manziel gave the team much-needed balance, throwing for 261 yards and 2 TDs…
Conversely, the A&M defense continues to be a huge issue. It allowed the Razorbacks to post 483 yards, including 201 yards on 30 rushes (6.7 yards per carry). At some point, the Aggies defense simply is what it is – and that is a severely deficient unit. The one highlight: CB Deshazor Everett returned an interception for a TD that briefly extended the Aggies’ lead before they gave the score right back on the next possession…
Georgia RB Todd Gurley left the game against LSU early with an ankle injury. He suffered the injury on a second-quarter run and returned to the sideline in street clothes when the team reemerged from the locker room after halftime. Gurley is listed as day-to-day, but early speculation makes it seem unlikely he will play against Tennessee. Keith Marshall rushed for 96 yards on 20 carries in his absence…
LSU’s tandem of WRs came up large again for QB Zach Mettenberger. Jarvis Landry caught 10 passes for 156 yards and a TD and Odell Beckham hauled in 6 passes for 118 yards. However, Beckham had a critical turnover when he muffed a punt to set up a Georgia touchdown late in the third quarter…
While neither Georgia nor LSU did much in pass defense – both in pass rush and in what at times amounted to downright putrid coverage – the Bulldogs fared well against LSU’s run game. They limited RB Jeremy Hill to 86 yards and a TD on 21 attempts and held the Tigers to 77 total rushing yards. Georgia’s prowess against the run forced LSU to be one-dimensional, though Mettenberger proved to be up to the challenge…
Though Alabama’s offensive stat line – aside from time of possession – was hardly a thing of beauty, the Crimson Tide will be downright scary if it converts on 47 percent of its third-down tries all year as it did against Ole Miss…
Was Saturday’s dreadful performance in Lexington a product of Kentucky’s ineptitude on offense or Florida’s dominant defense? The answer probably lies somewhere inbetween. Even without DT Dominique Easley, who was lost for the year with a knee injury, the Gators had no problem slowing the Wildcats. Kentucky’s only TD came on a fake field goal. Scrap that play from the defensive totals and Florida allowed just 148 total yards of offense. No matter how good the defense is – and Florida’s is downright sensational – that is completely unacceptable for an SEC offense. For the record, neither of the QBs – Maxwell Smith nor Jalen Whitlow – showed much life for the offense…
Florida RB Matt Jones knew he would probably see an increased workload with QB Jeff Driskel out for the season. He proved plenty capable of handling it Saturday, rushing for 176 yards and a TD on 28 attempts. Coach Will Muschamp won’t hesitate to ride his run game hard, so Jones will have plenty of shots to be a breakout star in the Gators attack…
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw left Saturday’s game against UCF with a shoulder injury. He is expected to miss 2-3 weeks, which means he would miss the Kentucky and Arkansas games and would be questionable for the Tennessee game. It stands to reason the Missouri game is also in doubt. Fortunately for the Gamecocks, coach Steve Spurrier has a proven commodity in QB2 Dylan Thompson, who didn’t pass especially well against the Knights, but did rush for a TD…
On the Jadeveon Clowney watch, the South Carolina DE managed just two tackles and a QBH in the win. Through four games, he has just 12 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks and a forced fumble…
There were no style points to be found for Tennessee in its nail-biting escape of South Alabama. The Volunteers clung to its 31-24 lead when CB Brian Randolph sealed the win with an interception in the end-zone. Tennessee led the game 31-7 at one point before the Jaguars started to rally…
Tennessee QB Justin Worley played the entire game against South Alabama, though that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Had the game gotten out of hand, as it appeared like it might until the Vols got sloppy in the second half, true freshman Riley Ferguson might have made his debut. Worley’s play has been up-and-down at best through the first four games, fueling speculation that coach Butch Jones might pull the redshirt off Ferguson or another highly touted true freshman, Josh Dobbs. Perhaps we will see how Jones is feeling next week when the Vols host Georgia…
WR Dorial Green-Beckham has started to live up to his considerable hype coming into Missouri. The former No. 1 recruit in the nation only caught 4 passes during the Tigers’ win over Arkansas State, but they went for 95 yards and 2 TDs. Green-Beckham has established himself as a dynamic playmaker and a more trustworthy weapon for QB James Franklin, who accounted for 288 yards and 4 TDs…
Vanderbilt WR Jonathan Krause showed this week that his performance against UMass was no fluke, hauling in 4 passes for 108 yards against UAB. His development will be especially key in the progression of QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, who relied too heavily on WR Jordan Matthews early in the season. RB Jerron Seymour appears ready to burst out onto the scene as well. He ran 12 times for 107 yards and 2 TDs and also caught 3 passes for 45 yards.
Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana State Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Vanderbilt Commodores