This one was over before it even started. The floodgates opened early for the Gators and they buried LSU in the first quarter before cruising to a resounding victory. Reestablished themselves as the favorite in the East.
Mississippi State: A
Congratulations to MSU for being the first team all season to hold onto the ball against Vanderbilt. The offensive numbers weren’t great – less than 250 total yds – but the Bulldogs had 0 turnovers and forced 2 Commodore turnovers. It never hurts to hold you opponent to 107 total yards.
Arkansas’ defense has been bad all season, but got just the cure in Auburn’s impotent “offense”. What was more surprising was the way the Hogs carved up the Tigers normally reliable defense. Without a few miscues – particularly on Special Teams – this game wouldn’t have been close.
After the last two games against the Vols, the ‘Dawgs will take any win they can get, but this one wasn’t easy. They dominated the stats – 458-209 total yards, 29-10 FD, 42:04-17:56 TOP – but managed only 6 2nd half points and led by only 6 at the start of the 4th quarter. The 11:00 minute FG drive was a back breaker for the Vols.
South Carolina: B
Maybe this was officially the beginning of the Stephen Garcia era. He added a new dimension the ‘Cocks’ offense. The 4 turnovers is way too many though. Big play in Special Teams was a big life in an otherwise stagnant first half for SC.
The ‘Cats again played fairly well, but were outmanned by the Gamecocks. Their defense had no answer for Stephen Garcia, though it did force 4 turnovers. Special Teams breakdown on FG attempt was huge and ended up providing the difference in the game. Didn’t have a single run of longer than 9 yds and ended up with less than 220 total yds.
Once again, the Vols D played well – at times – and actually had the Vols down only 6 at the beginning of the 4th. Eventually though, they just couldn’t get off the field. Not that the offense did that much when they were on the field. Stephens again showed signs of life under center, but 1 rushing yd is inexcusable.
Met its match against a well-disciplined MSU team that didn’t give Vandy the game. VU mustered only 107 yds of offense against the Bulldogs. The Defense was good – holding MSU to 247 yds – but it wasn’t enough. Offense was forced to deal with a full football field most of the day and that spelled trouble.
Walked into a buzzsaw in the Swamp and just got obliterated. Lee looked shaky under center. Thought they were making a move with bookend TD drives around halftime, but then more of the same. This may help them in the long run, but for now… yikes.
How much explanation does this one really need? Their offensive struggles are old hat now, but their defense gave up more than 400 yds to an Arkansas team that was averaging just over 300 yds. Made some nice plays on special teams or they would have gotten an “I” for incomplete.