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Around The SEC - Week 5

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The Aggies survived another SEC test. How did everybody else fare?

Kevin C. Cox

Georgia 35 - Tennessee 32

What we learned -  We know Todd Gurley is superhuman.  What we haven't really seen from Georgia this season is a playmaker at another offensive position on the field. Saturday was no exception, with Quarterback Hutson Mason turning in what could best be termed as a less than mediocre performance. Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo's determination to pass the ball had fans calling for his head during the game.

My conclusion, never pass again, and I'm not alone.

As for Tennessee, they continue to improve.  Promising freshman running back Jalen Hurd had a devastating end zone fumble, yet the Vols still managed to put a scare into Georgia before Gurley finally put them away.  QB Justin Worley played probably his best game so far (despite being temporarily knocked out of the game thanks to a porous offensive line).

Interesting Stat -  Georgia was 1 of 10 on 3rd down.  Oh, and Gurley accounted for more than half of Georgia's offense.

Kentucky 17 - Vanderbilt 7

What we learned - Kentucky's performance against Florida was no fluke, this is a decent football team improving along a similar curve as Tennessee.  I watched the majority of this game on the SEC network, and the primary thing that stood out was the Wildcats determination to keep everything simple and focus on execution.  Still, this game shouldn't have been this close, the Cats dominated allowing Vandy to hang around thanks to multiple turnovers.

As for Vandy, they stink.  We knew that.

Interesting Stat - Vandy's Darius Sims had a pick six, accounting for Vandy's only points.  He also had 2 KO return TD's last week against South Carolina. That gives the cornerback 3 touchdowns in the last two games.....as many as the Vandy offense.

Auburn 45 - Louisiana Tech 17

What we learned - Even Auburn can go through stretches of inconsistency.  For the second week in a row, Auburn, much like A&M, fell into a funk on offense at times.  The box score will show you that the Tigers dominated the game, but Auburn started both halves with multiple 3 and outs causing much gnashing of teeth among the fanbase.  Still, there was never any real danger, and dual threat Nick Marshall once again had over 100 yards rushing.

Interesting Stat - Auburn ran only 70 plays to La. Tech's 68.  That's not what Auburn fans are used to seeing.

MIssouri 21 - South Carolina 20

What we learned -  Sadly, what this game confirmed for me is that the Gamecocks just aren't very good this year.  In all reality this should have been their 3rd loss of the season, and could have been their 4th (all at home).  Mizzou gave the Gamecocks the "rope-a-dope", playing dead on offense for 3 and 1/2 quarters before springing to life and scoring 2 touchdowns late to steal the game.  Gary Pinkel has powers and he doesn't mind you overlooking him.   Still, this was not a good football game, and neither team demonstrated the ability to do anything on offense.

Interesting Stat - Erstwhile media hero Maty Mauk was 12/34 for 132 yards and no touchdowns.  He's nobody to be afraid of.

Ole Miss 24 - Memphis 3

What we learned - Dr. Bo still has not kicked his addiction to ether.  This game was UGLY, with the Rebel offense dicktripping all over the field, committing 4 turnovers, while only being able to muster 7 points through 3 quarters against the Tigers.  They pulled away late, but thanks only to their underrated defense.  This game was Boise State Part II for Ole Miss.

Gameday heads to Oxford next week for the Rebels showdown against Alabama.  Has Hugh Freeze been playing it close to the vest offensively during the Black Bears' non-conference slate?  We will find out just how good they are on Saturday.  Until then, they haven't shown any reason why they are a Top 10 team.

Interesting Stat - Despite being hamstrung by a misfiring offense, the Ole Miss defense held Memphis to 104 total yards and 3 points. That's impressive, I don't care who you play.

LSU 63 - New Mexico State 7

What we learned - True freshman and Bossier City, Louisiana native Brandon Harris is the quarterback of the future for LSU.  An A&M target until Kyle Allen's commitment, Harris was inserted into the game in the 2nd quarter after Anthony Jennings' inconsistent (I'm trying to be kind here) play resulted in 4 turnovers and a 3 and out in 5 of his six drives.  With Harris at the wheel, the Tiger offense responded, scoring touchdowns on their next 7 drives.  Harris's line?  11/14 for 178 yards and 3 TDs.  He also added 2 more TD's on the ground.  The Tigers' offensive Kiddie Corps consisting of Malachi Dupre, Leonard Fournette, Trey Quinn, and John Diarse are going to be scary if they can stay healthy and mature.  Just a ton of talent.

Interesting Stat - The much heralded Fournette had his first 100 yard game, gaining 122 yards on 18 carries with 2 touchdowns.  He also had 1 catch for 33 yards.  He's a very raw and punishing back.  He is going to be a force once  the game slows down for him a bit and he starts seeing cutback lanes.

LUCAS JACKSON RANKS THE SEC

1. Alabama -  Roll Bye'd.

2. Auburn - Arkansas demonstrated this week that they are no pushover.  Auburn beat them in Fayetteville at home, and also handled Kansas State in Manhattan.  That's a nice opening to any season.

3. Texas A&M - Sure, we misfired for most of the game, but the defense adjusted in the second half and held tough until the fuse finally lit on offense.  The Aggies are a scary team (think 2008 Texas Tech) with an offense that can blow your doors completely off, while giving them the ability to come back in any contest.

4. Miss State - True to my word, they move up with their nice win over LSU in Death Valley.  See you next week in Starkville.  Please wear the all-whites again, guys.

5. LSU - With Brandon Harris at the helm, they look like a different team.

6. Georgia - Todd Gurley is the best offensive weapon in the SEC.  Sadly, he's the only weapon the Dawgs have. I still think it's enough to win the East though.

7. Ole Miss - Gird up your loins, Rebels.  It's time for battle.  Show me something.

8. Arkansas - This team is going to hurt someone.  I think they pick up 2 wins the rest of the way and get to bowl eligibility.

9. Tennessee - A steadily improving, no excuse team that believes it can play with anyone anywhere.  They aren't there yet, but I see them taking 3 or 4 games in the East.  They should get to a bowl.

10. Mizzou - Thanks a lot South Carolina.  I hate placing the Tigers above the remaining teams, but I have no choice.  Nice win, Mr. Pinkel.

11. South Carolina - Dylan Thompson probably looked over at Conner Shaw on the sidelines last night and saw Shaw mouth back "You'll never be me, Dylan.  You'll never be me."

12. Florida - former Gator QB Jacoby Brissettt threw for 359 yards and 3 touchdowns and nearly upset #1 Florida State.  Enjoy your Driskel, Coach PUNCHO.

13. Kentucky - Snapped a 17 game SEC losing streak.  Congrats, Wildcats!

14. Vanderbilt - What a difference a year makes.  Don't look past Old Dominion, 'Dores.