SEC Week 10 roundup: Alabama, Georgia win divisions; ranked teams go down

By: The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) celebrates his touchdown reception with teammates in the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) celebrates his touchdown reception with teammates in the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NO. 1 ALABAMA 29, NO. 3 LSU 0

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdown passes and ran 44 yards for a score in his toughest test this season, Alabama's defense stifled No. 3 LSU, and the top-ranked Crimson Tide remained unbeaten with a 29-0 victory Saturday night.

Tagovailoa took the field wearing a brace on right knee, threw his first interception of the season late in the first half and also played into the fourth quarter for the first time this season. None of those developments proved consequential. He was 25-of-42 passing for 295 yards and moved as well as well as he needed to, particularly when he sprinted up the middle of the field or his long TD run in the third quarter to give Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) a 22-0 lead.

Tagovailoa limped off the field after that play, went into the medical tent for some treatment and rode a stationary bike on the sideline, but returned for the next series.

LSU (7-2, 4-2) entered a chance to control of the SEC Western Division with a victory, but that began to decreasingly realistic with every possession.

Alabama led 16-0 by halftime and forced LSU punts on the Tigers' first nine possessions. LSU drove to the Alabama 15 on its tenth series early in the fourth quarter, only to miss a field goal with 10:45 to go.

Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow completed 18 of 35 passes for 184 yards. He was sacked five times and had a pass intercepted in the end zone late in the back by linebacker Mack Wilson. Nose guard Quinnen Williams finished with 2 1/2 sacks. Lineabckers Anfernee Jennings and Christian Miller each had one. The Tigers were helpless to relieve pressure on Burrow with the running game, held to 12 yards all game.

Defensively, the Crimson Tide rarely looked fooled and more often seemed to anticipate what was coming. Most LSU plays ended with crimson jerseys swarming to the ball at, near or behind the line of scrimmage.

Alabama finished with a 576-196 advantage in total yards and spent 35:18 in possession of the ball.

Damien Harris rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries, including his 1-yard TD run, for Alabama. Najee Harris gained 83 yards on the ground, 29 on one carry.

Jerry Jeudy caught eight passes for 103 yards, Irv Smith Jr. had four catches for 64 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown grab late in the first half.

Henry Ruggs III caught four passes for 55 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game, but injured his left leg late in the second quarter.

Tagovailoa's interception came on a deep throw down the middle, which Todd Harris Jr. hauled in for his first career pick while falling to the ground at the LSU 4.

The Tiger Stadium crowd went wild, as it appeared the turnover might get LSU to halftime down by no more than nine points, perhaps less, if the Tigers could move the ball.

But the Crimson Tide's response was emphatic, however. Burrow was sacked inside the 1-yard line, and LSU had to punt shortly afterward.

Alabama got the ball back on its 46 and Tagovailoa needed just two plays — a 29-yard pass to Jeudy, followed by his scoring strike to Smith — to widen the Tide's lead.

NO. 6 GEORGIA 34, NO. 9 KENTUCKY 17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Georgia believed it had a point to prove.

Bulldogs running backs D'Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield spent all week hearing about the rushing prowess of Kentucky's Benny Snell Jr. Georgia's defensive players kept fielding questions about their inability to stop the run or rush the passer consistently.

They responded Saturday with a performance that convincingly showed Georgia remains the class of the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. Swift ran for a career-high 156 yards and two touchdowns as the sixth-ranked Bulldogs defeated No. 9 Kentucky 34-17 to clinch the SEC East title.

"I think people had started doubting us," Swift said. "We just tried to silence the critics."

Swift had an 83-yard breakaway in the third quarter that gave Georgia (8-1, 6-1) a 28-3 lead. He also had a nifty 20-yard scoring run in the second period when the game was close.

Holyfield ran for a career-high 115 yards on 18 carries, scoring on a 4-yarder in the third quarter. Georgia rushed for a season-high 331 yards to earn a spot in the SEC championship game Dec. 1 in Atlanta.

"It's definitely a point proven," Holyfield said. "There was a lot of talk about them.... and not enough talk about us."

Kentucky (7-2, 5-2) has never reached the SEC championship game, which has been played every year since 1992. The Wildcats entered the weekend with the nation's top scoring defense and hadn't allowed anyone to exceed 20 points all year, but they couldn't slow down Georgia's tandem of Swift and Holyfield.

Before Saturday's game, the only player to rush for as many as 75 yards against Kentucky was Texas A&M's Trayveon Williams, who ran for 138 yards in a 20-14 overtime victory over the Wildcats. Swift and Holyfield were both over the 100-yard mark by the end of the third quarter.

"They did a good job," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "They moved us. They made us miss. There's a lot of things we could have done better, but a lot of that has to do with them."

Kentucky dominated time of possession through the first 1 1/2 quarters, but still trailed 7-3. That's when Swift started to give the Bulldogs some breathing room.

With Georgia facing second-and-17, Swift made a move around a defender at the line of scrimmage, made another move between two Wildcats about five yards downfield and shed a tackle inside the 5 to complete a remarkable 20-yard touchdown run.

Swift's touchdown gave Georgia a 14-3 late in the second quarter. Georgia fumbled away a scoring opportunity late in the first half but got the ball to open the second half and extended the lead to 21-3 on Holyfield's touchdown.

On Georgia's next series, Swift raced through a big hole on the left side of the line and didn't appear to get touched on his 83-yard sprint to the end zone. Before that play, Kentucky hadn't allowed a run from scrimmage longer than 34 yards all season.

That touchdown sealed a hard-earned division title for Georgia, last year's College Football Playoff runner-up. After losing 36-16 at LSU two weeks ago, Georgia beat Florida and Kentucky for two straight wins over ranked division foes.

"Give our kids a lot of credit because their backs were against the wall kind of two weeks in a row and they came out fighting," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "They came out scratching and clawing."

MISSOURI 38, NO. 11 FLORIDA 17

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Drew Lock picked apart Florida's defense for the second straight year, throwing three touchdown passes to lead Missouri to a 38-17 victory against the 13th-ranked Gators on Saturday.

Lock completed 24 of 32 passes for 250 yards, with scoring throws to Albert Okwuegbunam, Kam Scott and Emanuel Hall that stunned the Swamp.

Fortunately for the Gators (6-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), they won't have to face the senior and possible first-round draft pick again.

They might have seen the last of Feleipe Franks, too.

Coach Dan Mullen benched Franks late in the third quarter — the home crowd cheered wildly — and backup Kyle Trask promptly directed a 75-yard touchdown drive in which he converted two fourth downs. Trask found Josh Hammond in the end zone on the second one for a 7-yard score that made it 35-17.

The Tigers (5-4, 1-4) responded with a field goal that essentially sealed their first SEC win of the season and sent fans scrambling for the exits.

Lock and Missouri also torched Florida last year, winning 45-16 just days after the team parted ways with coach Jim McElwain. The Gators went into that one with an array of emotions.

They had no excuses this time around.

But Florida, which was eliminated from the SEC East race with a 36-17 loss against Georgia last week, came out flat and didn't find a spark until it was too late.

Lock had a lot to do with the lopsided affair, showing why he's considered a top NFL talent. His 41-yard throw to Hall down the sideline was perfect, setting up a touchdown run in which Lock held the defensive end before pitching the ball.

And his TD throw to Okwuegbunam came after a pre-snap read and adjustment.

Lock got plenty of help from his experienced offensive line and running backs.

Damarea Crockett ran for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Larry Roundtree added 72 yards and a score.

Roundtree scored three times against the Gators in 2017. Lock completed 15 of 20 passes for 228 yards and three TDs in that one.

He hadn't been nearly as good against the SEC this season, completing 50 percent of his passes for 732 yards, with one touchdown and five interceptions, against Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky.

AUBURN 28, NO. 20 TEXAS A&M 24

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Seth Williams caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham with 1:41 left and Auburn rallied to beat No. 20 Texas A&M 28-24 on Saturday.

The Tigers (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) sputtered early on offense but finished with a 14-point outburst over the final 5:14 and the defense came up with big stops. Stidham delivered big on both final drives.

Kellen Mond and the Aggies (5-4, 3-3) pushed the ball into Auburn territory on their final drive, converting a fourth-and-5. Then a holding call pushed them back across midfield and Mond's desperation pass into the end zone was incomplete.

Officials put one second back on the clock but Mond was sacked by Nick Coe on the final play.

The Tigers, who had plummeted from a No. 8 ranking, had trailed 24-14 before staging the rally.

Stidham started the final drive with a 47-yard pass to Ryan Davis, who spun away from defenders and raced downfield. Then came Williams' second touchdown catch in the back left corner of the end zone.

Auburn had gotten new life with an interception by Noah Igbinoghene. Stidham led the Tigers down the field and completed two straight sideline passes to Darius Slayton to set up Chandler Cox's 1-yard touchdown run, making it 24-21.

The defense held again and Christian Tutt returned a punt to the 42.

Stidham completed 18 of 29 passes for 239 yards. Darius Slayton had eight catches for 107 yards.

Auburn won despite running for just 19 yards on 21 carries. It was the fewest since gaining 18 against Mississippi State in 2000.

Trayveon Williams ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns for Texas A&M. He caught five passes for 75 yards and a third score.

SOUTH CAROLINA 48, OLE MISS 44

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Jake Bentley passed for two touchdowns and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 5:50 left to lift South Carolina to a 48-44 comeback win over Mississippi on Saturday.

South Carolina (5-3, 4-3) erased a 44-34 deficit in the fourth quarter to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The Gamecocks covered 47 and 73 yards in fourth-quarter scoring drives, capped by a 3-yard run from A.J. Turner and Bentley's decisive score, respectively.

Bentley finished 22-of-32 passing for 363 yards as the Gamecocks had 510 total yards. The South Carolina defense, after giving up eight scores in 10 possessions, closed with four consecutive scoreless series to preserve the win.

Ole Miss (5-4, 1-4) rallied from an early 17-3 deficit for a 27-27 tie at halftime and moved out to a 44-34 fourth-quarter lead. Jordan Ta'amu was 31-of-46 passing for 379 yards as the Rebels had 616 yards of total offense, including 141 rushing yards on 21 carries from Scottie Phillips.

The first-half shootout opened on a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown by Deebo Samuel as the Gamecocks raced to an early 14-point lead. By halftime, Parker White had field goals of 20 and 23 yards, Ty'Son Williams scored on a 2-yard run and Bryan Edwards pulled in a 75-yard touchdown pass from Bentley for South Carolina.

Ole Miss countered with a 24-point outburst in the second period, highlighted by touchdown runs of 1 and 9 yards by Phillips. Luke Logan added field goals of 25 and 26 yards, while Ta'amu scored on a 17-yard run.

The Rebels got second-half touchdown runs from Phillips and Isaiah Woullard on 2 and 1 yards, respectively. Josh Vann had a 5-yard scoring pass from Bentley late in the third quarter before South Carolina rallied in the final 12 minutes.

OTHER SCORES

Mississippi State 45, Louisiana Tech 3

Tennessee 14, Charlotte 3

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.