The titanic struggle that we all have been looking forward to in the SEC did not disappoint as LSU held on to beat Alabama and take the inside track to the SEC West, SEC and National Championship. For us old school guys, it was one beauty of a defensive struggle between the two best teams in the nation. Or the world, for that matter.
Let's look at the week that was in the SEC:
Again, that's why they're Vanderbilt. With Florida having a fourth and one from their own 20, up six and three minutes to play, they lined up as if they were going to go for it.
Even Ronnie Millsap could see that the Gators would not snap it. Everyone that is, except for Rob Lohr, who jumped into the center, and gave the Gators a fresh set of downs to run more clock.
Then Florida has a third and long, and after the 'Doores correctly diagnosed the play, they have QB Jacoby Brissett bottled up and running for his life towards the sideline. To avoid a loss, he heaved a pass into coverage and hoped for the best.
He got it as Vandy defensive back Sean Richardson was nabbed for pass interference to once again keep another drive alive.
Then another third and one comes, and with a chance to stop the Gators drive, they don't as Jeff Demps takes a pitch all the way for the touchdown to ice the game.
Vanderbilt being Vanderbilt, drove down the field to score a touchdown to get their fans hopes up once again only to not get the onside kick. Game over.
I thought you had to be smart to go to Vanderbilt?
UGA suspended every tailback on their roster last week, even if they had done nothing wrong, since that seemed to be the trend coming out of Athens. It didn't matter as the Dawgs trounced New Mexico State.
Even Herschel Walker, Terrell Davis and Knowshon Moreno were suspended from whatever they were doing so UGA made sure they were in compliance with the punishments dealt out.
Aaron Murray threw five TD passes in the second quarter, which is a Georgia record.
The Red and Black got even better news later Saturday night as they had climbed into first place in the SEC Least when
South Carolina was blown away by Arkansas. This one was close for a while, but four turnovers gave the Hogs all the gifts they needed.
Arkansas outgained Carolina 435-207, which included a robust 79 yards rushing. The first half was pretty bad as South Carolina was held to only 49 yards total.
Where is Marcus Lattimore when you need him? And I didn't see much of Alshon Jeffrey either. Did he even make the trip with the team to Fayetteville?
True, the 'Cocks had four turnovers, but made up for it with nine penalties. And this was the team leading the SEC Least?
What is it with everyone beating UT this year? Whether it's UT-Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Memphis or UT-Piney Flats (That's a real city in upper East Tennessee, by the way), I do not think the UT's football teams have won a game in months.
It made no difference for UT-Martin as they played the sacrificial lamb in their loss. However, they did have 454 total yards of offense, which the Bama people will see and start licking their chops going into next week.
UTM RB Justin McNair had 122 yards on the ground, but when you are behind 28-0 in the first half, the running game does suffer some.
In a battle of two of the worst teams in the SEC, Kentucky made sure the Rebels place in the SEC West cellar was secure as they trounced the visitors in Lexington.
QB Max Smith, making his first start, looked pretty good as he threw for 128 yards by halftime and led the 'Cats to 20 unanswered fourth quarter points to erase a 13-10 Rebs lead. Smith finished with 283 yards and two touchdowns.
This was the first SEC victory in nearly a year for Kentucky, and it left them in fifth place. This was the 13th straight conference loss for Ole Miss, and they are firmly in control of sixth and last place in the West.
So far this year, the Rebs have lost to perennial doormats Kentucky and Vanderbilt by a combined 60-20. I might be sending my coaching resume to Oxford tonight. I am sure they would give even me a look-see
Getting a victory for the first time since Smokey was a pup, Tennessee is happy to be off the skids and can finally enjoy their upcoming week.
Problem is, they have Arkansas at he end of it.
With the worst rushing attack in the SEC, the Vols ran for 120 yards, and gave a few new players some reps before getting back to the final three games of the season.
On a brighter note, Justin Worley looked better than last week as he threw for 291 yards and a touchdown. The Vols almost doubled the time of possession and forced three turnovers.
On a darker note, the Vols scored all of their points in the first half, and were listless and uninterested in the final thirty minutes of play.
Question now is will UT mail it in for the final three games of the year? We'll see
In what was billed as the next "Game of the Century" LSU held on to win a thriller, and in doing so, are now on the fast track to winning another National Championship.
This one was more of a game of Alabama losing than LSU winning, however. Bama missed four field goals, and A.J. McCarron missed a wide open receiver on a third down play in the second quarter that would have went for a touchdown.
The killer for the home team came in the fourth quarter. Marquis Maze took a snap in the wildcat formation and tried to surprise LSU with a pass. Tight end Michael Williams was wide open inside the five yard line, but Eric Reid caught up to the floating pass and took it away from Williams as they both hit the ground at the one yard line.
LSU only got close to getting a touchdown once as the first half was about to expire, which was another in a long line of Les Miles stellar time management exhibitions. As the Tigers were stopped short of the goal line, Miles almost let the clock expire, but was fortunate to get it killed with two seconds left, which gave LSU three points at halftime.
General Neyland once said, "Press the kicking game, for here is where the breaks are made." I think LSU's John Chavis, a former UT defensive coordinator, must have brought that with him to Baton Rouge. It was the difference on Saturday night.
By the way, I am against seeing a rematch. Why should the winner of the game have to do it again for the championship? The losing team had their shot to win and didn't. Case closed.
Did anyone else shoot their televisions out last night? Well, let me re-phrase that. All the fans not wearing Crimson and white, did you shoot your TV's out last night?
I cannot stand to listen to Verne and "The Clown" doing an SEC game. Verne butchers the names and misses calls in plain sight.
"The Clown" Gary Danielson, couldn't announce the winner of a one horse race.
Here are some highlights of their stellar performance:
On a second quarter pass by LSU, Verne called it an interception, but then had to change his call to completion when he realized the ball had not been intercepted.
When talking about Marquis Maze, Verne called him, Marquis Mose.
On the critical LSU interception, Verne called it a completion (Obviously learning his lesion from the previous gaffe, only in reverse) but he was wrong again since this time it was an interception.
Hey CBS, either get Verne some glasses, or cut off his "Daddy's Apple Juice" during games, will ya?
Danielson was in rare form again on Saturday night. Then again, I wish his appearances were rare every Saturday
Jumping the gun on what he thought was a holding call on Bama, it turned out to be a facemask call on LSU. Good anticipation on that one.
CBS ran a poll to see what team the viewers thought had the best chance of going undefeated. The Clown chimed in, "I think TCU is looking pretty good right about now." Um, they lost early in the year, Einstein When they came back with the results, Bama was an overwhelming favorite, which surprised the Circus Sideshow Attraction. "I would have through our viewers would have selected Boise State."
Well, Menza Boy, you have to figure this would have been watched by more SEC fans, than any other fan base, since after all, it is the SEC on CBS. You think Bobby Bourbon and Wally Whisky would be voting for Boise State? There's another insightful comment that should cement an Emmy Award.
When LSU had a substitution infraction, "Well, Bama just got hit with another substitution infraction."
After a Bama pick, "Jarrett Lee just got hit with another bad interception."
Aren't all interceptions bad, Gary?
When an LSU punt went out of bounds, The Clown said, "Look, there's Tom Ritter, standing behind the punter seeing where the ball went out of bounds."
What I saw was the official on the sideline where the ball went out having the best view of it and marking it out where he thought it went out of bounds. Not Tom Ritter, who was at least 40 yards behind the play and nowhere close to the sidelines.
This is the national game of the best conference in America. Can we get somebody, anybody, to come in and call the game at a level that is on par with the teams in this conference?
As much as I was on the Tyrann Mathieu train earlier this year, I have to say this kid, and that's what he is, a kid, is a huge disappointment.
He plays with ferocity, since he is short small and nobody wanted him. I love kids like that. Kids that have grit and determination to succeed will always have a place in my heart.
But after seeing him over the last few weeks, he's nothing but a loudmouth who should shut his pie hole and play football instead of all the theatrics. He is what my Aunt Molly would call, "Big hat, no cattle." (All talk, no substance)
Mathieu talks trash on every play. Most times he's not in on any plays, but he runs across the field to get in someone's face. Why? Does he have that big of a Napoleon Complex?
After making a tackle, which he hasn't made too many of those lately, he gets up and looks like a Mark Gastineau mini me by gyrating around the field. You did your job, son, act like you have made a tackle before.
He is supposed to be a leader of the team, but he gets busted for smoking dope. If we had any coaches with a spine these days, he would have been thrown off the team faster than you could say SEE YA!"
Bear, Bo, or Woody would not have put up with that garbage, but those guys are long gone. These days, as long as you can make plays on Saturday, no matter what rules a player has broken, blind eyes will be everywhere.
The icing on the cake had to be in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. With 4:33 to play, Mathieu, who had been talking trash with Bama's Dre Kirkpatrick for most of the game, ran up behind him during a punt return and blasted him with a forearm to the helmet, then spun him down to the ground. Kirkpatrick lay on the field face down and motionless for a while.
Even the LSU fans thought the play was a cheap shot and he might get suspended for a game. It was also interesting to note the same fans were saying that he was the weak link in the defense and had gotten beat by his receiver several times during the game.
"The Clown," made a comment about the play, and for the first time ever, I had to agree. (Please don't mention I wrote that to too many people. I have a rep to protect). He said, "That looked like a play from a football game held in the 60's."
Playing hard and being emotional is one thing. But to purposely injure another player in a cowardly, back stabbing act goes beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior, especially from someone who represents a school with a proud, and long football tradition.
I hope the "Honey Graham" gets more than a one game suspension for his actions. Then again, in this day and age, I am sure the people who make that call probably looked at the play with two blind eyes.
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