Tennessee finished a couple plays away from scoring the biggest upset of the SEC season, taking Georgia to overtime. The Bulldogs needed a touchdown with 5 seconds left in regulation and a defensive break when Volunteers RB Alton Howard fumbled the ball out the side of the end-zone while extending for the goal-line to survive undefeated in conference play.
The only real surprising result of the weekend came at Auburn, where first-year coach Gus Malzahn’s team upended No. 24 Ole Miss. Beating the Rebels hardly gives Malzahn a signature win – he has three tries for those later this season – but it marks a milestone on Auburn’s path back to respectability.
Missouri became the other big winner this weekend, shaking off doubters saying it hadn’t played anyone on its way to a dominant 51-28 victory at Vanderbilt. The Tigers (5-0, 1-0) now stand alone with Alabama as the only unbeatens in the SEC.
South Carolina survived a late scare against Kentucky. LSU weathered an early storm against Mississippi State before pulling away in the second half for a blowout win.
Florida and Alabama each took care of business as well.
Let’s take a look at Week 6 in this week’s SEC Rewind.
Week 6 Results
No. 1 Alabama 45, Georgia State 3
No. 6 Georgia 34, Tennessee 31 (OT)
Auburn 30, No. 24 Ole Miss 22
No. 18 Florida 30, Arkansas 10
No. 10 LSU 59, Mississippi State 26
Missouri 51, Vanderbilt 28
No. 13 South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28
Bye: Texas A&M
Tennessee Pushes Georgia
First-year coach Butch Jones threw absolutely everything at the Bulldogs during his team’s near upset. He dialed up three fourth-down tries – converting on all three, including one from the Tennessee 35. The Volunteers played like they had nothing to lose, perhaps because they didn’t against Georgia. It nearly paid off. RB Rajion Neal scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:54 remaining in regulation before Georgia QB Aaron Murray responded with the tying TD with 5 seconds remaining in regulation. Overtime brought with it heartache. Tennessee fumbled away its possession while stretching for the end-zone. The Bulldogs gained zero yards on their drive, but kicked a 42-yard field goal to escape Neyland Stadium for the win.
QB James Franklin – Missouri
In leading the Tigers to a 5-0 start, Franklin threw for 278 yards and 4 TDs. He also rushed for 63 yards. More importantly, Franklin guided Missouri to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and then led the offense to touchdowns in response to every time Vanderbilt scored.
WR Odell Beckham – LSU
QB Zach Mettenberger hit Beckham 9 times for 179 yards and 2 TDs during Saturday night’s win at Mississippi State.
QB Aaron Murray – Georgia
This won’t be one of the games Murray remembers most fondly. He barely completed more than 50 percent of his passes and failed to throw for 200 yards. Under the circumstances, though, Murray deserves a ton of credit. The senior signal-caller was without five of his biggest six offensive weapons by the time the game ended. Still, he led the Bulldogs – with championship aspirations on the line – down the field for a game-tying touchdown with 5 seconds remaining in regulation. Georgia ultimately won in overtime.
CB Loucheiz Purifoy – Florida
Purifoy impacted the game early with a pick-six for Florida’s first touchdown. He also added a forced fumble, a TFL, a sack, a QBH and three pass break-ups.
RB Jeremy Hill – LSU
Hill spearheaded LSU’s rushing attack on its way to 223 yards and 6 TDs. Hill accounted for 157 of those yards and 2 TDs himself on just 16 carries.
DE Carl Lawson – Auburn
This mention could have just as easily gone to DT Gabe Wright (3 TFLs, 2 sacks) or DE Dee Ford (3 TFLs, 2 sacks), but Lawson made the biggest impact on the game. Not only did Lawson and DE LaDarius Owens do a great job on the read-option, Lawson also recorded 3.5 TFLs and 2 sacks to disrupt Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace.
QB Tyler Murphy – Florida
If it seems like Murphy appears on this list every week it’s because he pretty much does. The lightly recruited junior completed 16 of his 22 attempts for 240 yards and 3 TDs in a win over Arkansas.
QB Nick Marshall – Auburn
Throwing for 97 yards will rarely open eyes. It does when the quarterback also runs for 140 yards and 2 TDs in a big divisional victory. Marshall played turnover-free football to lead the win.
RB Rajion Neal – Tennessee
With Tennessee’s passing game still a work in progress and fellow RB Marlin Lane out with an injury, Neal knew coach Butch Jones would call his number several times on Saturday. First down or fourth down, Neal answered the call. He finished with 148 yards and 2 fourth-quarter TDs to put the Volunteers on the verge of a landmark win.
WR Donte Moncrief – Ole Miss
When Moncrief needed to rally, it turned time and time again to Moncrief, who responded with 6 catches for 122 yards and 2 second-half TDs, albeit in a losing effort.
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