SEC Rundown Week 11
Posted By:Wes Mewbourne - Birmingham, AL Tags:
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The SEC is rolling towards its biggest matchup in the championship game since it got one. Florida and Alabama both took another step closer, and are a Tide iron Bowl win away from the first ever meeting of 8-0 division champs in the SEC Championship game. How did the rest of the SEC fare? Well, three more punched a ticket to the postseason and two more bubble teams are left. This and more in this week’s Rundown…
Florida @ South Carolina: Urban Meyer is continuing to chip away at the standard Spurrier set. Saturday’s win marked the first time since the Ole Ball Coach was in the Swamp that the Florida Gators finished an 8-0 conference record in the regular season (1996, to be exact). Add to it that it was done against Spurrier’s current team, and the fact the Gamecocks basically gift-wrapped the game with a drive killing interception in the fourth quarter. Florida continues dominance, and the Gamecocks continue their late season slide.
Alabama @ Mississippi State: The Tide played their most complete game in over a month Saturday in a rout of the Bulldogs in Starkville. QB Greg McElroy finally had a few big passes for touchdowns, Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram added a couple td’s (and a brief scare after being cut above the left eye), and the defense held an SEC opponent to a single score for the third time this season. The Tide is two wins away from a national semifinal showdown against the Gators in Atlanta, while the Bulldogs must win their final two games to become bowl eligible.
Tennessee @ Mississippi: The vaunted Volunteer defense that held defending champ Florida, and challenger Alabama to a combined 35 points this season allowed that and more Saturday against an overall underachieving Ole Miss squad. The Rebel’s running back, Dexter McCluster, set team records for rushing yards and all-purpose yards, gaining 282 and 324 respectively. Ole Miss takes another step towards a repeat Cotton Bowl appearance, and Tennessee must wait until facing rival Vanderbilt next week to become bowl eligible.
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt: The Wildcats become bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season. That’s the first time in the team’s history they’ve been able to say that (the previous streak, three in a row was 1949, ‘50, and ’51, when Bear Bryant was the coach). Kentucky hopes to improve its bowl standing in the last two weeks against Georgia and Tennessee, while Vanderbilt hopes to win its second game against rival Tennessee in the past 26 years next week. The Commodores just celebrated last year with their first bowl trip since 1982, ending the country’s longest bowl drought.
Auburn @ Georgia: In quite possibly the most exciting matchup of the weekend, the Bulldogs won the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry 31-24. Georgia scored to take their third and final lead of the night with just under 7 minutes left, and Bulldog safety Bacarri Rambo made a game saving hit/pass deflection at the goal line on Auburn’s 4th-and-18. Rambo and teammate, AJ Green, were both taken out of the game with injuries. Georgia claimed their fourth straight victory in the series to earn bowl eligibility. Auburn looks forward to a bye week to rest and prepare for a Black Friday Iron Bowl.
Troy @ Arkansas: The Razorbacks cruised to bowl eligibility averaging two touchdowns a quarter this past week against an overmatched Troy team on a seven game winning streak. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallet, in his first year starting, broke the single season passing record of 2,629 yards. He sits currently at 2,882 with two more games left. Arkansas looks to improve their bowl standing over the next couple weeks with Miss St and LSU – both very winnable games.
La Tech @ LSU: The biggest surprise of the weekend was just how beat up the Tigers were after their game in Tuscaloosa last week. Without their starting QB (sprained ankle) or RB (broken collarbone), LSU struggled all over the field. Jarret Lee was just 7/22 passing, but managed a touchdown with no picks. Backup RB Keiland Williams was the real hero of the day, running for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first start this season. The Tigers look to improve this week while traveling to Ole Miss.
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