OF NOTE: South Carolina had second-and-goal at the one and ended up coming away with just a field goal. A touchdown would have given the Gamecocks a 24-21 win.
To paraphrase Michael Douglas's character in the movie The American President, we can no longer afford to pretend that we live in a society where Aaron Murray is our quarterback. As a college quarterback if you're going to be a "game manager" you danged well better to a good job of managing the game. Mason's 16/25 for 147 yard passing effort (5.9 yards per attempt) was not awful until you tack on 2 interceptions and a fumble, all of which really could have been a lot more disastrous.
Unfortunately for those fans, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley isn't about to give in to mob rule. Foley tells the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi (I know, I'm sorry) that Muschamp will get the full 2014 season to prove his mettle — or lack thereof:
The Commodore offense was without Patton "the General" Robinette, and went to Wade Freebeck for the game, who went 8/25, throwing 3 picks and only 85 yards. In the postgame, Mason (I think correctly) pointed out that there were a few big throws that if they were on target were touchdowns. Freebeck clearly has the potential to be a big QB in teh coming years, but right now he's playing, well, like a Freshman QB.
Kentucky would end up punching it in on a controversial Ryan Timmons reception capping off a 13-play, 99 yard drive with Towles going 9/9 for 77 yards and seven different people catching balls on the drive. It was a very impressive drive and Towles looked like a top tier SEC QB. Unfortunately, it was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Then in the second half, we clamped down and gave up 150ish. Over and over again, our offense put our defense in positions where we had to make a stop, and we did. We freaking did. And then to top it off, Arkansas needed two yards to get into the game in OT and they couldn't get it because of our defense.
A botched exchange between Nathan Peterman and Marlin Lane at the Dawg 21 yard line with the Vols down 21-17 ended Tennessee's best scoring threat of the third quarter. This came during a weird sequence where Tennessee couldn't move the ball despite excellent field position, then lost Justin Worley to an elbow injury for three series. When Worley returned, Todd Gurley had just broken a 51 yard touchdown run to put Georgia up 28-17. But the offensive fireworks were just beginning.
I don't mean they couldn't convert difficult plays to pull off a win. I mean basic things like completing the snap. Twice Arkansas fumbled the snap. The first time, in the first half, resulted in a turnover while the Razorbacks were driving. The second, on what might have been Arkansas' chance to ice the game. Brandon Allen recovered the ball, but Arkansas was then behind the chains and a couple of rushes weren't enough to get the first down, which forced the 44-yard field goal that John Henson missed.
The hurry-up, no-huddle (HUNH) spread offense is slowly starting to take over the SEC. In 2012 Missouri and A&M introduced the conference to the possibilities of modern offensive football and Johnny Manziel won the Heisman, although the SEC title game featured a typical pro-style slugfest between Georgia and Alabama.
Actually, it is. This isn't baseball. In the spirit of Delusional Optimism, let's bury the lede and talk about the good things first. LSU won by 56 points. Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards for the first time in his career. Kendall Beckwith kept the first quarter from being an unmitigated disaster with an interception for a touchdown. LSU averaged 6.7 yards per rush. Kwon Alexander is still Kwon. Malachi Dupre continues to put an injury-plagued August behind him.
Auburn's offensive struggles from last Thursday night seemed to carry over, as the inside running game never seemed to get going for the Tigers, and the Auburn offense as a whole struggled early against the Bulldogs. The defense stepped up big in the first half to carry the load, including Montravius Adams pulling down a tipped pass and returning it to the five yard line to set up Auburn's first touchdown.
Mississippi State BYE
Just as this team has won games this season by creating big plays, they allowed big-time mistakes to sour what was an otherwise dominating performance. The Rebels turned the ball over four times - two Bo Wallace picks and a fumble, plus a Markell Pack fumble on a punt return (sound familiar?) - missed two field goals, and committed a whopping 10 penalties, many of which were personal fouls.
But more importantly: Kicker Getting EJECTED!