Week six was separation Saturday. Last week was survival Saturday. It’s known for culinary talents, but the state of Mississippi was college football’s object of conversation for a second straight week. The College Football Playoff and Heisman Trophy conversations are starting to take shape. More action still remains in this season, but let’s recap what took place last week.
SEC Matchups: Week 7
· #3 Mississippi State vs. #2 Auburn
Summary: Mississippi State punched Auburn in the mouth early. The Bulldogs led 21-0 in the first quarter after a 34-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to De’Runnya Wilson and two rushing scores. Give Auburn credit for hanging around. Daniel Carlson nailed two field goals in the second quarter, and Nick Marshall hooked up with D’haquille Williams for a 9-yard touchdown. It wasn’t his best game, but Prescott delivered Mississippi State to a victory. He registered 367 total yards (246 passing, 121 rushing), three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Marshall struggled in the first half, but came alive in the second half. He along with teammate Cameron Artis-Payne anchored Auburn’s run game. Marshall totaled 309 yards (209 passing, 100 rushing), two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mississippi State and Auburn each had four turnovers. Both team generated 400+ yards of offense, but the Bulldogs converted more third downs than Auburn (Miss. St. 47.1 percent—Auburn 40 percent).
Final Score: Mississippi State 38—Auburn 23 (Predicted: MSU 38 Auburn 25)
· #3 Mississippi vs. #14 Texas A&M
Summary: It’s safe to say that Kenny Hill isn’t Johnny Manziel. Fans at College Station wanted a win; instead Bo Wallace came to play. Ole Miss’s head coach Hugh Freeze created a balanced game plan for Mississippi’s offense. Wallace attempted 19 passes and the Rebels rushed for 160 yards. Wallace completed 13 of those passes (68.4% completion rate) for 178 yards. He had three total touchdowns (1 passing, two rushing).
The Rebels defense stuffed Texas A&M’s run game. The Aggies totaled 54 yards rushing. Hill recorded 53 pass attempts. He completed 79.2 percent of his passes (42-53) for 401 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Texas A&M had more first downs (TAMU 27—UM 17), total yards (TAMU 455—UM 338) and passing yards (TAMU 401—UM 178) than Ole Miss, but three turnovers and six penalties cost the Aggies the game.
Final Score: Ole Miss 35—Texas A&M 20 (Predicted: Ole Miss 35 Texas A&M 18)
· #7 Alabama vs. Arkansas
Summary: Alabama was fortunate to escape Fayetteville alive. Razorback Stadium was wet and it resulted in two Crimson Tide turnovers. Special teams continues to be Alabama’s Achilles heel. Placekicker Adam Griffith missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Christion Jones, Cyrus Jones and Landon Collins couldn’t handle the ball on returns. All three players fumbled the ball. Blake Sims didn’t toss an interception; however, he did make some poor choices Saturday. He locked onto Amari Cooper too much and almost threw two interceptions. Alabama’s offensive line struggled as Arkansas’s defensive line dominated in the trenches. The Crimson Tide rushed for 66 yards and totaled 227 yards of offense.
It wasn’t a vintage Alabama defense, but it sure felt like it Saturday night. Alabama forced three turnovers and sacked Brandon Allen four times. Jonathan Williams rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown, but the Crimson Tide held Alex Collins to 13 yards. Alabama’s Trey DePriest, Jonathan Allen and Landon Collins were the difference makers in the contest. DePriest caused a fumble (Kody Walker) to go out of the endzone for a touchback. Allen blocked John Henson’s extra-point. Collins intercepted a Brandon Allen pass in the fourth quarter, ending all hopes of a miracle in Fayetteville.
Final Score: Alabama 14—Arkansas 13 (Predicted: Alabama 35 Arkansas 33)
· #13 Georgia vs. #23 Missouri
Summary: No Todd Gurley. No problem. Hutson Mason, Nick Chubb and Georgia took Missouri to the woodshed Saturday in Columbia. Mason looked rattled in the first half, but gained confidence as the game moved on. He completed 78.6 percent of his passes (22-28) for 156 yards and a touchdown. Chubb collected 38 carries for 143 yards and a touchdown. Georgia’s defense played lights out. The Bulldogs forced five turnovers, including four Maty Mauk interceptions. Missouri totaled 147 yards of offense (97 passing, 50 rushing) and was 0-7 on third down.
Final Score: Georgia 34—Missouri 0 (Predicted: Georgia 27 Missouri 17)
· LSU vs. Florida
Summary: Florida’s receiver Andre Debose was healthy Saturday and it showed. Debose caught one pass for 35 yards, but returned two punts for 115 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Driskel continues to struggle with interceptions. He had two against LSU. His stats weren’t gaudy, but Anthony Jennings got the job done. He was 10-21 passing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Leonard Fournette had a monster game, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Fournette recorded two scores and 140 rushing yards. LSU forced three Florida turnovers. The Tigers converted 43.8 percent on third down. Placekicker Colby Delahoussay drilled a 50-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds left.
Final Score: LSU 30—Florida 27 (Predicted: Florida 21 LSU 20)
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