SEC roundup: Georgia, Alabama take big steps in division races

Georgia wide receiver Dominic Lovett (6) is stopped by Missouri defensive lineman Johnny Walker Jr. (15) after a catch during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATHENS, Ga. — Defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse's fourth-quarter interception helped protect No. 1 Georgia's slim lead and the Bulldogs beat No. 14 Missouri 30-21 on Saturday for their 26th consecutive win.

Georgia (9-0, 6-0 SEC), the No. 2-ranked team in the College Football Playoff, had to rally to win the key SEC East matchup against Missouri (7-2, 3-2, No. 12 CFP).

The Tigers led 13-10 early in the second half. Georgia answered with consecutive touchdowns, a 15-yard run by Kendall Milton and Carson Beck's 5-yard scoring pass to Oscar Delp. Beck completed 21 of 32 passes for 254 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Georgia led 27-21 when Stackhouse, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound senior, picked off Brady Cook's short pass. Stackhouse rambled all the way to the Missouri 5, but a blindside block penalty against Bulldogs linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. pushed Georgia back to its 30.

Daijun Edwards' 22-yard run helped set up a 48-yard field goal by Peyton Woodring, the freshman's third of the game, that gave Georgia a 30-21 lead.

Georgia's defense came through with another interception when safety Javon Bullard picked off Cook's deep pass with 1:36 remaining.

Milton's scoring run was an important lift for the Bulldogs' sluggish running game. The Tigers took a 151-131 advantage in rushing yards.

Cody Schrader's 12-yard scoring run and Cook's 2-point pass to Luther Burden III, who had a touchdown catch earlier in the game, cut Georgia's lead to 24-21. Schrader had 22 carries for 112 yards.

Woodring's 30-yard field goal midway through the fourth increased the Bulldogs' lead to six points.

Cook kept the Tigers close with his dual-threat skills. The junior was largely responsible for the Tigers pulling to a 10-10 tie late in the first half. He had runs of 19 and 18 yards on a drive that set up a 38-yard field goal by Harrison Mevis to tie the game.

Cook threw a 39-yard scoring pass to Burden in the first quarter and rushed for 39 yards.

Dominic Lovett, a Missouri transfer, caught a 6-yard scoring pass for the Bulldogs' only touchdown of the first half.

Despite Georgia's long winning streak, the hard-fought first half was no surprise. The Bulldogs had to rally from a 10-point deficit to win at Missouri 26-22 last season.

The Tigers survived a scare when Burden held his left ankle and was examined on the field in the second quarter. Burden returned later in the half after walking slowly off the field.

Mevis gave Missouri a 13-10 lead with a 42-yard field goal which gave the senior the school's career scoring record, passing Jeff Wolfert's 363 points from 2006-08.

Crimson Tide win, Daniels knocked out

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Jalen Milroe rushed for 155 yards and 4 touchdowns and passed for another 219 yards to lead No. 8 Alabama to a 42-28 victory over No. 13 LSU on Saturday night.

Milroe matched big plays both running and passing with the Tigers' Heisman Trophy candidate Jayden Daniels and the Crimson Tide (8-1, 6-0 SEC, No. 8 CFP) moved closer to locking down an SEC West title. Alabama also continued its rise back into playoff contention with a seventh consecutive win.

“Probably as close to a complete game as we’ve played all year and we needed to play a game like that,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. It kept all of Alabama's annual goals intact, something that seemed anything but guaranteed after a Game 2 loss to No. 7 Texas.

“Maybe win the West, maybe get in the SEC Championship Game and who knows what happens from there?” Saban said.

Daniels and Milroe were both putting on dazzling dual-threat displays. But the Heisman Trophy contender for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2) was hurt on a hard hit that drew a flag early in the fourth quarter. He briefly reentered the game but didn't run a play, heading to the medical tent after a penalty and a timeout, where his mother joined him. CBS reported he was in concussion protocol.

Daniels lay face down before walking off after the hit by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner that drew a roughing the passer flag.

Milroe, meanwhile, had likely his best all-around game, putting up Daniels-like numbers. He completed 15 of 23 passes and had 20 carries, setting a Tide single-game record for rushing TDs by a quarterback.

Daniels also passed for 219 yards with 2 touchdowns, while running for 163 yards and a score. His lone negative play proved a big one. Turner deflected a fourth-quarter pass into the air and Terrion Arnold intercepted it, setting up Jase McClellan's 10-yard scoring run to push the margin to two touchdowns.

Garrett Nussmeier finished off the game and did move LSU into Alabama territory late.

Malik Nabers, the nation's leading receiver had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown on the Tigers' opening drive.

Both starting quarterbacks had 100-plus rushing yards and topped 160 passing by halftime, when it was tied 21-21.

The teams traded rushing touchdowns by Josh Williams and Roydell Williams in the third quarter.

Rebels survive scare

OXFORD, Miss. — Lane Kiffin, along with every fan of the Ole Miss Rebels, needed to exhale after experiencing all the twists and turns of their win over Texas A&M.

Quinshon Judkins ran for 3 touchdowns, including the game-winner from a yard out with 1:40 left, and Zxavian Harris deflected Randy Bond’s 47-yard field-goal attempt on the last play to preserve the 38-35 victory Saturday.

“What a really exciting way to finish a game. Exciting,” Kiffin said. “We seemed in command, let it get away, come back to get ahead and get a play at the end. Our guys really played well.”

The Rebels (8-1, 5-1 SEC) remained in second place in the SEC West with their fifth consecutive win. Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3) was denied bowl eligibility for another week and lost for the third consecutive time to the Rebels.

Judkins, who had 102 yards rushing on 23 carries, capped a 9-play, 75-yard drive to give the Rebels the decisive margin. Jaxson Dart was 24 of 33 for 387 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tre Harris caught 11 passes for for 213 yards, including an 11-yard TD.

“It was an awesome game by Dart,” Kiffin said. “That was a really good game against a good defense without a mistake and it still went to the wire.”

Jahdae Walker led Texas A&M with 8 receptions for 100 yards and Amari Daniels had 70 yards on 12 rushes with a 1-yard touchdown.

“Our guys fought, battled and we got to help them make one more play,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We got to find a couple of inches and cure this problem.”

Max Johnson, 31 of 42 passing for 305 yards, rallied the Aggies from a 31-21 fourth-quarter deficit, scoring on a 1-yard run for a 35-31 lead with 4:34 left. 

He also threw a 28-yard TD pass to Jake Johnson, but had a pass intercepted in the end zone.

The Rebels got scoring runs of 9 and 6 yards from Judkins to build a 20-14 halftime lead.

A&M’s Le’Veon Moss left with an injury in the second half after running nine times for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Texas A&M, trailing 14-0 midway, kept the game close thanks to a big play on special teams. After Ole Miss had a 12-yard touchdown run erased by a holding penalty, Shemar Turner blocked Jacoby Mathews’ 41-yard field goal attempt and returned it for a 75-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.

“It was critical. The special teams block got us back in the game,” Fisher said. “Then we got rolling on offense.”

Other final scores

Arkansas 39, Florida 36 (OT)

Auburn 31, Vanderbilt 15

Kentucky 24, Mississippi State 3

Tennessee 59, Connecticut 3

South Carolina 38, Jacksonville State 28