By Aaron Moser
Last week, I wrote that Vanderbilt should try to find more FCS teams to play. At the time, it was a half-sarcastic, half-serious take, given that the Commodores had just lost at home by 24 to a 1-4 UNLV team.
Missouri was supposed to walk into an empty Vanderbilt stadium and put up 50 on the Commodores. The Tigers were favored by 21 for Pete’s sake.
Their offense sputtered out a 14-21 loss to Vanderbilt. Both Missouri and myself need to move on to the next week, so let’s do it.
Here is how the Southeastern Conference breaks down after Week 8:
- #7 Florida 7-1 (4-1) Last week: W 38-27 @ South Carolina
- #10 Georgia 6-1 (3-1) Last week: W 21-0 vs Kentucky
Both of these teams have a bye week before they face off in Jacksonville. The winner of this rivalry has won the SEC East the past four seasons.
Unless Missouri turns itself around, this will likely be the case again. I will have a more detailed preview of the game in next week’s breakdown.
On the bubble
- Missouri 5-2 (2-1) Last week: L 14-21 @ Vanderbilt
With 11:39 in the third quarter, Missouri drove down the field and was on the doorstep of scoring. A roughing the kicker penalty on Vanderbilt gave the Tigers another shot at a touchdown to tie the game.
Two plays later, Bryant tried to find Albert Okwuegbunam in the back of the endzone, but Bryant slightly overthrew him and it was intercepted. That stifled Missouri’s offensive momentum for the rest of the game. Bryant would finish 13-26 with 140 yards passing.
Offensive coordinator Derek Dooley said they were underprepared. Head coach Barry Odom said that he got outcoached by Derek Mason.
Whatever the case, 293 total offensive yards and 3-15 on third down against a team that ranks 112th nationally in yards allowed per game, is unacceptable.
When the Tigers gain around 200 yards or more rushing, their offense has been effective, but when their offensive line struggles to get push in the run game, the offense has a lot more problems.
They like to establish the run game early in drives and games. Kelly Bryant will also hit short screen passes and timing routes to make him comfortable and put the defense on its heels.
This deters pass rush, and allows Kelly Bryant to have time to hit his favorite targets in the deep passing game. However, this can only happen when the running game is a factor.
The Tigers’ loss to Wyoming seemed to be a wake-up call, as they rattled off five straight home wins, with four of those being against mediocre to decent opponents.
They dominated opponent after opponent, but their Jekyll and Hyde complex has reared its ugly head when they have played away from Faurot Field.
The Tigers need to have a strong performance against a dilapidated Kentucky offense this week if they want any hope of upsetting Georgia. They need to prove that they can be a competitive team on the road.
- South Carolina 3-4 (2-3) Last week: L 27-38 vs Florida
- Tennessee 2-5 (1-3) Last week: L 13-35 vs Alabama
- Vanderbilt 2-5 (1-3) Last week: W 21-14 vs Missouri
- Kentucky 3-4 (1-4) Last week: L 0-21 @ Georgia
South Carolina played a solid game on Saturday, but fell short to the Florida Gators.
Throwing bottles and towels onto the field was not the best way to respond, but the South Carolina faithful were rightfully upset when two missed calls led to two touchdowns for Florida. Both Greg Mcelroy and rules expert Matt Austin on the ESPN broadcast agreed that a false start on a 75 yard touchdown run and a pass interference on a pick play that went for a touchdown were missed by the officials.
Three SEC losses kicks the Gamecocks out of SEC East contention.
With Vanderbilt’s upset of Missouri, I will no longer trash the Commodores. The only exception is if they find a way to lose to East Tennessee State.
Congratulations to Kentucky for holding Georgia scoreless until the third quarter. The only problem is that the Wildcats were also held scoreless … for the entire game.
- #1 Alabama 7-0 (4-0) Last week: W 35-13 @ Tennessee
- #2 LSU 7-0 (3-0) Last week: W 36-13 @ Mississippi State
- #9 Auburn 6-1 (3-1) Last week: W 51-10 @ Arkansas
Alabama left Neyland Stadium with its 13th straight win over Tennessee. Unfortunately, the Crimson Tide also left with a high-sprain on Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle.
The silver lining is that his injury is during a two week period where Alabama faces Arkansas and then follows with a bye week. The star quarterback will not suit up against Arkansas, but Head coach Nick Saban said that if all goes according to plan, he will be back in time for the LSU game.
Speaking of LSU, they host Auburn this week, which will be the second most important game of the week behind the Wisconsin-Ohio State game.
Auburn has been pounding the rock with the run game this season, as they sit at 11th in the nation with 239.6 rushing yards per game. This has taken the pressure of Bo Nix to produce everything for the offense.
However, LSU sits at No. 10 in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game this season, allowing just 93.3 yards per game. (Auburn’s defense has also been an effective run stopper sitting just two spots behind LSU)
LSU will likely be able to force Auburn into third downs, where Bo Nix is going to be relied upon to make plays himself. He did not fare well in passing situations against the Florida defense, as he threw three interceptions.
I do not think Auburn has the offensive horses to keep up with the LSU offense, and I like the Bayou Bengals in this one.
- Texas A&M 4-3 (2-2) Last week: W 24-17 @ Ole Miss
- Ole Miss 3-5 (2-3) Last week:L 17-24 vs Texas A&M
- Mississippi State 3-4 (1-3) Last week: L 13-36 vs LSU
- Arkansas 2-5 (0-4) Last week: L 10-51 vs Auburn
I watched the highlights of the Texas A&M and Ole Miss game. The amount of turnovers and missed field goals just in those clips made me gag.
For one second I considered moving A&M up to the “Outside shot” category because they still have to play LSU. However, I quickly realized they have to play both LSU and Georgia on the road.
Even though the Aggies have just two SEC losses, it would take an absolute chaotic collapse from the current true contenders for them to have a chance at the end of the season.
Congratulations to Mississippi State for holding the highest scoring offense in the nation to their lowest point total of the season. The three straight field goals the Bulldogs forced to begin the game, then their ensuing touchdown, was the high point for them against LSU.
Last week’s breakdown: https://kcou.fm/week-8-sec-breakdown-missouri-controls-its-own-destiny/
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org