SEC Roundup: Florida rallies, but loses starting QB

By: The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2019
Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) reaches for extra yards ahead of Kentucky safety Jordan Griffin (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) reaches for extra yards ahead of Kentucky safety Jordan Griffin (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

— Kyle Trask relieved an injured Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida with three fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including a go-ahead, 4-yard scoring run with 4:11 remaining, to defeat Kentucky 29-21.

Franks, the Gators' third-year starter, was carted off with a right leg injury late in the third quarter with his team trailing 21-10. Stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Kentucky 38, Franks appeared to bend backward on the play. Medical personnel placed an inflatable cast under his right leg.

Trask entered and led Florida (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) on a 62-yard drive, ending with Lamical Perine's 8-yard TD run to get the Gators to 21-16. Shawn Davis's interception with 6:05 to go gave the Gators another opportunity, and Trask capitalized with his go-ahead touchdown.

The two-point conversion failed, though, and Kentucky (2-1, 0-1) had a final chance to regain the lead. But Chance Poore's 35-yard field-goal attempt with 54 seconds left was wide right, and Josh Hammond's 76-yard TD run three plays later helped Florida avenge last year's loss in Gainesville.

NO. 2 ALABAMA 47, SOUTH CAROLINA 23

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Tua Tagovailoa threw for a career-high 444 yards and tied his personal best with five touchdowns to help Alabama open Southeastern Conference play with a victory over South Carolina.

Coach Nick Saban improved to 12-1 at Alabama in SEC openers and wiped away some bad memories of his last visit to Williams-Brice Stadium nine years ago.

Tagovailoa and his receivers quickly got the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0) rolling with first-quarter TD passes of 24 yards to Najee Harris and 81 yards to Henry Ruggs III. Whenever the Gamecocks (1-2, 0-1) drew within range, Tagovailoa came right back to restore Alabama's edge.

Harris added a 42-yard catch-and-run score where he broke two tackles and leaped over defensive back R.J. Roderick on the way to the end zone. DeVonta Smith caught Tagovailoa's last TD pass, also for 42 yards.

Saban reminded his players, about all who were in middle or elementary school in 2010, of the Tides' previous game here when the top-ranked Tide were soundly beaten 35-21.

Smith and Ruggs both surpassed 100 yards receiving. Smith had 136 yards on eight catches, including two TDs. Ruggs had six catches for 122 yards.

NO. 3 GEORGIA 55, ARKANSAS STATE 0

ATHENS, Ga. — Jake Fromm threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns before taking the rest of the day off, and Georgia's defense turned in a dominating performance.

With thousands of Georgia fans wearing pink instead of red to honor Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson's wife, Wendy, who died last month from breast cancer, the Bulldogs (3-0) took control as soon as they got their hands on the ball. They scored on six of seven possessions in the first half, building a 34-0 lead.

The Georgia defense was equally stout, posting its first shutout since the 2018 opener. The Red Wolves (1-2) went three-and-out four times in the first half and crossed midfield only once, settling for a 50-yard field goal try that faded wide right.

The Bulldogs went to the locker room with a 382-81 edge in total yards, and many of the fans didn't bother coming back to watch the final two quarters. Georgia finished with 656 yards total while holding the visitors to just 220.

NO. 4 LSU 65, NORTHWESTERN STATE 14

BATON ROUGE, La. — Joe Burrow completed 21 of 24 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns, and LSU pulled away from Northwestern State in the second half.

Burrow has played through the third quarter only once in three games because of lopsided scores. He's 75 of 90 (83.3 percent) passing for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Burrow also ran for 30 yards and a touchdown against Northwestern State (0-3), an FCS team that was surprisingly competitive in the first half before the Tigers (3-0) dominated the third quarter.

In leading LSU to the 800th victory in the program's 126-year history, Burrow also became just the school's sixth quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards in consecutive games. Only Rohan Davey did it three times in a row, a mark Burrow can match next weekend.

NO. 8 AUBURN 55, KENT STATE 16

AUBURN, Ala. — JaTarvious Whitlow rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and Bo Nix ran and passed for scores to lead Auburn.

The Tigers (3-0) piled up 467 rushing yards — and three 100-yard rushers — in their final tune up before Southeastern Conference play. They also got some big plays running and passing from Nix, including a 49-yard flea flicker to Eli Stove for a touchdown in the third quarter. Then both offensive stars were able to head to the sideline after the Tigers avoided a pre-SEC letdown against the Golden Flashes (1-2).

Nix had runs of 17 and 18 yards on consecutive plays to set up a touchdown on the opening drive and added a 1-yard score. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards for an offense that topped its combined points from the first two games. Backup quarterback Joey Gatewood ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Shaun Shivers, Auburn's 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back, also gained 102 yards. It was the first time Auburn had three 100-yard rushers in a game since 1983.

NO. 16 TEXAS A&M 62, LAMAR 3

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Freshman Isaiah Spiller ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for 317 yards with a touchdown pass and a run in three quarters to lead Texas A&M.

Spiller shined in the first game since Jashaun Corbin sustained a season-ending hamstring injury last week at Clemson, running for touchdowns of 1 and 34 yards. Mond was 20 of 28 with an interception.

The Aggies (2-1) led 27-0 at halftime but Mond tried to throw in between two defenders on his first drive of the third quarter and was intercepted by Cameron Hayes. But the Cardinals (2-1) couldn't get anything going on offense and had to punt. Mond found Jhamon Ausbon, who had 109 yards receiving, for a 26-yard catch to get the next drive going and Spiller capped it with a 34-yard run to make it 34-0.

OTHER SCORES

Kansas State 31, Mississippi State 24

Missouri 50, Southeast Missouri State 0

Tennessee 45, Tennessee-Chattanooga 0

Ole Miss 40, Southeastern Louisiana 29

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