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SEC News and Notes

2:14 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide's run as the nation's top-ranked team continued against Missouri as they came away with an easy 42-10 victory on the road, scoring the first 28 points of the game and never looking back. The Alabama rushing attack was unstoppable, piling up 362 yards. Both Eddie Lacy (career- high 177 yards, three TDs) and T.J. Yeldon (144 yards, two TDs) had monster games, and it was the first time this year the duo each rushed for 100 yards in the same game. A.J. McCarron (16-of-21, 171 yards) didn't need to be spectacular, but he also improved his school-record run of pass attempts without an interception as he now sits at 227 and counting. Once again, the UA defense was suffocating, allowing Mizzou to gain just 129 yards, including a dismal three yards rushing. With two more interceptions, the unit has now forced 17 turnovers on the year, converting them into 13 touchdowns. Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) will stay on the road as it plays at Tennessee this Saturday.

ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks got the dominant win they have been looking for all season as they trounced Kentucky, 49-7, for the second-largest margin of victory in program history against an SEC opponent. It took less than three quarters to pile up all those points as the game was shortened due to inclement weather. Tyler Wilson was spectacular, completing 23-of-31 passes for 372 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Much of that damage came on throws to freshman Jonathan Williams (three receptions, 150 yards, two TDs), who hauled in scoring strikes of 74 and 77 yards in the first quarter, becoming just the second player in school history to have two receiving scores of 74 yards or longer in the same game. The ground attack was also plenty effective with Dennis Johnson rushing 12 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, and Knile Davis contributing 68 yards on 13 totes. Arkansas (3-4, 2-2 SEC) is idle this coming week, and will try for its first three-game win streak of the season when it hosts Ole Miss on Oct. 27.

AUBURN: The Tigers' horrible season continued in a 41-20 loss at Ole Miss on Saturday. They actually led 17-14 late in the second quarter, but the offense mustered just one field goal in the second half while the defense surrendered 24 points after the break. Making his first start of the season in place of Kiehl Frazier, Clint Moseley was far from impressive, completing 11-of-18 passes for 112 yards with an interception. Both of the team's touchdowns came from Tre Mason, who finished with 82 yards on 18 carries. Daren Bates tallied a career-high 16 tackles for his fourth double-digit tackling performance of the season. Auburn (1-5, 0-4 SEC) continues on the road this Saturday when it plays at Vanderbilt.

FLORIDA: Despite falling behind early, the fourth-ranked Gators managed to pull off a quality road victory over Vanderbilt, 31-17, giving them 22 consecutive wins over the Commodores dating back to 1988. Jeff Driskel was rather sluggish through the air, completing just 11-of-20 passes for 77 yards, but he more than made up for it in the rushing department as he tallied a career-high 177 yards with three touchdowns of 37, 13, and 70 yards. The 177 yards is the most ever by a UF quarterback, surpassing Tim Tebow's 166-yard effort in 2007. Mike Gillislee helped control the clock with 17 carries but for only 67 yards (3.9 ypc). The Gators defense had seen better days, allowing 363 yards, but it recovered a fumble and recorded a season-high nine tackles for loss. Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC) is bowl eligible and has already matched its win total from all of last season when it went 6-6. Another tough test is on tap for the Gators this weekend as they play host to a very good South Carolina squad.

GEORGIA: Having been idle this past Saturday, the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) had an extra week to recover from their Oct. 6 loss to South Carolina (35-7). They'll try to start a new winning streak this Saturday when they travel to Lexington to tangle with the Kentucky Wildcats.

KENTUCKY: The Wildcats were blown off the field in more ways than one in Saturday's 49-7 loss to Arkansas. The game was shortened midway through the third quarter due to severe weather, which was probably a good thing for a UK defense that allowed seven touchdowns and 533 yards in less than 40 minutes of action. The Wildcats offense could not get anything going either, compiling just 170 yards, and only a 61-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Whitlow to La'Rod King just before the game was called saved the team from being shut out. Save for his one long touchdown strike, Whitlow was ineffective in completing a mere 2-of-10 passes. Morgan Newton also saw some time under center (2-of-5, 21 yards). With only four completed passes, the Wildcats had to rely on the run game, but produced just 66 yards on 25 carries (2.6 ypc). The road only gets more difficult for Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC) this week as it entertains 13th-ranked Georgia.

LSU: The Tigers managed to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit to No. 3 South Carolina to pull out a 23-21 victory at home and in the process kept their hopes alive for an SEC championship run. Jeremy Hill was the unquestioned spark plug, setting career highs in carries (17) and yards (124), while rushing for a pair of scores. His 50-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter put his team up by 11 points and helped secure the victory. The defense also stepped up in a big way, holding the Gamecocks to 211 yards of total offense while logging four sacks and a pair of interceptions. Zach Mettenberger was inefficient yet again, completing just 12-of-25 passes for 148 yards and an interception. LSU (6-1, 2-1 SEC) almost cost itself with poor red-zone play, having to settle for three short field goals from Drew Alleman (23, 22, 20). Alleman also missed a chip shot (32), but luckily it was not costly in the end. The Tigers hit the road this week, facing yet another tough opponent in the 20th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs were able to overcome a rowdy road crowd in posting a 41-31 win over Tennessee, moving to 6-0 (3-0 SEC) in the process. Their eight-game win streak is the third-longest active streak in the nation behind only Alabama and Oregon. Mississippi State was down 7-3 midway through the first quarter, but took the lead later in the frame and didn't look back. LaDarius Perkins continues to be the model of consistency, carrying the ball 23 times for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Vols, and he now has at least one score in every game this year. Tyler Russell completed 23-of-37 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. He is one of only five FBS quarterbacks with double-digit touchdown passes (12) and fewer than two interceptions on the season. Tight end Marcus Green had a career-game with six catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns, while Chad Bumphis (seven reception, 93 yards) was also active in the passing game. MSU will step out of conference this week when it plays host to Sun Belt foe Middle Tennessee.

MISSOURI: The Tigers had the unfortunate task of going up against the No. 1 team in the country, and they fell flat against Alabama in a 42-10 defeat. It was a day to forget for the Mizzou offense, as it generated just 129 total yards, including three net yards rushing. Corbin Berkstresser failed to get anything going, completing just 12-of-29 passes for 126 yards with two interceptions. He was also responsible for negative-50 yards rushing thanks in large part to taking three sacks. UM's only touchdown came on a 98-yard kickoff return from Marcus Murphy in the second quarter. Although the Tigers defense was shredded for 362 yards on the ground, the unit did manage to force two turnovers. The Crimson Tide entered the game having committed just three turnovers all season. Missouri (3-4, 0-4 SEC) continues its current homestand this Saturday as it tries once again to notch its first SEC win against the Kentucky Wildcats.

OLE MISS: The Rebels' 16-game losing streak against SEC opponents finally came to an end as they beat up on Auburn, 41-20, snapping a skid that dated back to Oct. 2, 2010. Jeff Scott was the catalyst in the victory, rushing for 137 yards on 21 carries, while adding another 70 yards and a touchdown on three receptions, the score coming on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Bo Wallace in the fourth quarter to help put the game away. Quarterback Bo Wallace was also outstanding, contributing a passing touchdown, two rushing scores, and a 25- yard receiving touchdown on a trick play in the first quarter. He finished an efficient 17-of-22 for 226 yards. The Rebels also scored their first defensive touchdown of the season when C.J. Johnson recovered an Auburn fumble in the end zone early in the game. Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2 SEC) heads into its bye week on a high note and will return to action on Oct. 27 when it plays at Arkansas.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks took a lead into the fourth quarter but were unable to hold on as they dropped a hard-fought road battle against No. 9 LSU, 23-21, snapping their school-record 10-game winning streak in the process. Although the offense managed to score three touchdowns, the unit was not in sync for the most part, producing 211 total yards while going just 3-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts. Connor Shaw completed 19-of-34 passes for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions and finished with negative-one yard rushing. Marcus Lattimore found few running lanes, gaining just 35 yards on 13 carries, although he did find the end zone once. While the USC defense kept LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in check (12-of-25, 148 yards, INT), the Gamecocks surrendered 258 rushing yards. South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) faces another brutal road test this Saturday when it plays at third-ranked Florida.

TENNESSEE: The Volunteers stayed within striking distance of nationally-ranked Mississippi State throughout their recent clash, but they ultimately fell in a 41-31 final. With a 98-yard kickoff return for touchdown in the second quarter and an 11-yard receiving touchdown in the third quarter, Cordarrelle Patterson became just the fifth player in school history with a return score in addition to a touchdown rushing or receiving in the same game. The MSU defense held UT quarterback Tyler Bray in check as he completed just 13-of-24 passes for 148 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Eight different Vols caught at least one pass in the game, but no one had more than 41 receiving yards. The defense did not hold up its end of the bargain, yielding 450 yards, but A.J. Johnson set a career-high with 21 tackles. Tennessee (3-3, 0-3 SEC) will have a difficult time notching its first conference win of the season this week as it plays host to top-ranked Alabama.

TEXAS A&M: The Aggies nearly coughed up a 39-16 halftime lead, but they were able to fend off nationally-ranked Louisiana Tech to win a 59-57 barn-burner in Shreveport on Saturday. Johnny Manziel continued his historic rookie campaign by breaking his own school and SEC record for total offense with 576 yards (395 passing, 181 rushing). The young signal-caller also accounted for a whopping six touchdowns, three passing and three rushing. Mike Evans had a big day catching the ball, hauling in four passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. The Aggies put up at least 600 yards of offense for the third time this season, and they have scored 282 points on the year -- the most in school history through six games. The defense was suspect to say the least, allowing 615 yards to the Bulldogs, but Damontre Moore was credited with a career-high 17 tackles, and he added 1.5 sacks. Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC) faces one of its toughest tests yet when it hosts No. 6 LSU this Saturday.

VANDERBILT: The Commodores continue to be victimized by the schedule makers, as they dropped a 31-17 decision at home to fourth-ranked Florida over the weekend. They actually held a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but the Gators went on a 21-0 run over the next two and half quarters to put the game out of reach. Vanderbilt hasn't beaten Florida since 1988, a span of 22 games. Jordan Rodgers had one of his most productive outings of the season, completing 17- of-31 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown. A slew of aerial strikes went in the direction of Jordan Matthews (eight receptions, 131 yards, TD). Matthews is one of Vandy's most consistent performers as he now has at least four catches in every game this season. Zac Stacy had a nice game on the ground with 24 carries for 86 yards and a score, while Wesley Tate was also a factor out of the backfield (10 carries, 66 yards). Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-3 SEC) continues its homestand this Saturday when it takes on Auburn.

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