It was another exciting weekend of football in the SEC in week 12. Here are some notes from around the conference.
No. 1 Knocked Off
Alabama is back on top – of the SEC at least and if it wins out, the Crimson Tide will be in the NCAA College Football Playoff.
25-20 was the final and that was after Alabama was up 19-3 at home against Mississippi State Saturday. Neither team played their best, but Blake Sims again made the throws when he needed to, the Tide moved the ball on the ground, and the defense forced three Bulldog turnovers while the offense secured the ball for four quarters.
The biggest question will be answered Tuesday night – how far will Mississippi State drop in the College Football Playoff Rankings? I think to No. 5 at the most, but there should be a lot of talk about the Bulldogs being at No. 4 with their resume this season.
Hogs Shutout Tigers
LSU should have beat Alabama last week at home if you’re being honest about it. Then the Tigers go out and miss two field goals, only have 123 total yards of offense, and look bad against Arkansas.
Credit the Arkansas defense, their toughness up front, and the stable of running backs the coaching staff has put together. Arkansas had been close in quite a few games this season, so will this win give them that boost and confidence?
Stay tuned. It hosts Ole Miss Saturday.
Gurley Returns, Now Out for Season
Auburn got the ball to start the game and went right down the field against Georgia to take a 7-0 lead. Todd Gurley (pictured) was back after a four game suspension and he took the Auburn kick-off about seven yards deep in the end zone and returned it for a touchdown, but it was nullified due to a holding penalty.
Gurley was running strong even though Auburn’s defense clearly keyed on him when he was in the game, but on his 29th carry he went down favoring his knee, and it turned out to be a torn ACL.
He finished the night with 129 yards and a touchdown. Nick Chubb had 144 yards on 19 carries and the freshman phenom is now over 1,000 yards for the year. He will go back to the man in the backfield between the hedges.
Georgia played its best game of the season in a 34-7 win over Auburn at home.
Is Gurley done at UGA? Odds are yes. Scout expects him to apply for the NFL Draft in 2015.
Dobbs the Answer?
Joshua Dobbs is making it look easy at times.
Against Kentucky in somewhat of a laugher (50-16 final), Dobbs threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns while adding 48 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He is showing arm strength, touch, accuracy, and mobility as the Tennessee starter.
There is no doubt Dobbs is the guy moving forward. As a true freshman a year ago, he had his ups and downs, but since Butch Jones put him in as the guy under center in 2014, he has grown as a player and shown maturity on the field.
Dobbs has plenty of weapons to throw to in Knoxville and this offense could be scary a year from now with the receivers, Jalen Hurd in the backfield, and the offensive line a year older.
Hansbrough to the Rescue
Will Missouri hang on in the SEC East? Georgia has finished their conference schedule at 6-2 and it will now sit back and become Tennessee and Arkansas fans the next two weeks.
A week after beating Auburn at Auburn, Texas A&M lost to Missouri 34-27 at home. The Aggies had the ball inside the Missouri three yardline with under two minutes to go in this game with a chance to tie, but the Tiger defense stood strong.
That was a big moment, but the star of the game was running back Russell Hansbrough. He scored two touchdowns on 20 carries and rushed for 199 yards. He is Scout’s SEC Offensive Player of the Week.
The Power Five1. Alabama (9-1)
2. Mississippi State (9-1)
3. Georgia (8-2)
4. Ole Miss (8-2)
5. Auburn (7-3)
In short, the picture is getting a little clearer in the SEC, at least at the top. Alabama is the best team in the conference and most expected the Crimson Tide to be where they are now before the season started. Mississippi State still looks to be the second best team and without the crucial turnovers Saturday in Tuscaloosa, that game could have turned out a different.
After the Tide and the Bulldogs, the third spot is up for grabs this week between Georgia and Ole Miss, but the Dawgs get the nod with their most impressive performance of the year in a 34-7 win over Auburn.
The Best in Week 12
Offensive Player of the Week: Russell Hansbrough (pictured), Missouri
Missouri needed a win over Texas A&M to stay on top of the SEC East and they rode Hansbrough to that. The running back had 199 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries for the Tigers.
Defensive Player of the Week: Amarlo Herrera, Georgia
Georgia played their best game for four quarters against Auburn and it won 34-7. They also had a kickoff return called back and a touchdown pass, maybe two, dropped. The defense was strong and Herrera led the way with 12 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception.
Special Teams Player of the Week: South Carolina
South Carolina got off to a hot start, Florida came back, and the Gators had this game under control late. That was before the Gamecocks blocked a field goal that kept the spread at seven points, then blocked a punt with under a minute to go to lead to their touchdown that sent the game into overtime. South Carolina won the game 23-20 and their special teams was key.