SEC Recap and Look Ahead: A Wild Saturday That Humbled A Few Teams

Videos by OutKick

A crazy day around the SEC was bound to happen, we were due some type of craziness, which is exactly what we got.

The Alabama and Texas game delivered in a massive way, while Texas A&M decided to not show up against Appalachian State.

The Kentucky Wildcats delivered in a big way on Saturday night, defeating Florida and providing fireworks in ‘The Swamp’. Tennessee won in overtime at Pittsburgh and KJ Jefferson led Arkansas to the win over South Carolina.

Alabama Comes Up Big With The Pressure Cooking

The one game that most folks around the country laughed at this past week turned out to be one of best games of the day. Alabama looked lethargic at times against Texas, struggling to put together consistent offensive drives, while the Longhorns lost starting quarterback Quinn Ewers.

Once Steve Sarkisian had to put in the backup, most thought this game was over, but Hudson Card was ready for the challenge. Credit to the Longhorns for giving the Tide’ everything they wanted and then some. But Bryce Young had other plans, leading his team down the field for the game winning score.

Texas Longhorns’ T’Vondre Sweat (93) pressures Bryce Young (9) in the end zone. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Yes, Alabama looked human against Texas, but Nick Saban will find numerous ways to elevate this team after the close win. It might’ve taken a last minute drive to finish the Longhorns, but somehow the Tide’ found a way to win. Alabama will be fine, but it did give opposing teams a glimpse at how you can beat the Tide.

App State Takes The Soul Of Texas A&M

It’s one thing to win a game on some wild fluke play at the end of regulation, but App State controlled this game from the start.

QB Chase Brice went 15 of 30 for 134 yards and one touchdown. But it was the Aggies offense that looked abysmal, with QB Haynes King only passing for 97 yards and the team only rushing for 66 yards.

We’ve seen this Jimbo Fisher led team play bad before, but this was different. There wasn’t a moment in this game that anyone thought the Aggies were in control or anywhere near it.

Texas A&M just doesn’t look confident. The defense looked bad, the offense couldn’t muster any yards and the coaching staff looked incompetent at times. The Aggies will host Miami next week, in a must-win game.

Tennessee’s Defense Comes Up Big In Overtime Against Pittsburgh 

The Vols entered this game looking for their first non-conference top-25 road win since defeating Miami in 2004. Nothing was going to come easy for Tennessee on Saturday night, as Pittsburgh sent this game into overtime thanks to the Vols offense stalling.

There were times where the connection between Hendon Hooker and Cedric Tillman seemed unstoppable, but the third quarter came and the Vols offense didn’t look the same.

Cedric Tillman
Tennessee Vols’ Cedric Tillman (4) reacts after making a catch for 28-yard touchdown reception in overtime during the game against Pitt. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Even with starting quarterback Kedon Slovis on the sidelines, the Panthers found a way to tie it up towards the end of regulation. Thanks to Hendon Hooker’s TD pass in overtime — and the defense collapsing Pitt’s offensive line — the Vols got out of Pittsburgh with the win.

A lot of areas where Tennessee can get better, but a road win is something you’ll take, no matter how it comes. For all the talk about the Vols offense, it was the defense that saved the day. Next up, the Vols host Akron, before a huge showdown with Florida in two weeks.

Arkansas Takes Care Of South Carolina, Behind KJ Jefferson 

It was all about controlling the game for Arkansas, which is exactly what the team did against South Carolina.

 KJ Jefferson avoids a tackle by a Gamecock lineman
Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) evades the tackle of South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Tonka Hemingway (91). (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

KJ Jefferson was in command of this game, while going 18-of-21 for 162 yards and 1 touchdown. It was the rushing attack from Raheim Sanders that took down the Gamecocks, as he ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

Yes, Spencer Rattler had a good game in the box score, throwing for 376 yards and 1 touchdown, with an interception, but South Carolina struggled with consistency.

Saturday proved that Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks will give everyone on their schedule a tough game, while the Gamecocks struggle to find some type of identity on both sides of the ball.

The Razorbacks will host Missouri State next weekend, before a huge matchup with Texas A&M in two weeks.

Kentucky Goes Into Gainesville And Grabs The Blue-Collar Win

How about the Kentucky Wildcats? Going into Gainesville and defeating Florida without its starting running back and on the back of their defense.

This was such a gritty win for Mark Stoops and his team tonight, winning 26-16.

Credit to the Cats’ defense for holding Anthony Richardson to 14-of-35 for 143 yards, 2 interceptions and only 4 rushing yards. Beating Florida in back-to-back years, while also making a statement to the SEC East, the Wildcats have shown that they are a team that can beat you multiple ways.

Anthony Richardson
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) throws a pass during the game against Kentucky. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kentucky’s defense forced two turnovers, two fourth down stops, a pick-six and didn’t give up a single point in the final 35 minutes.

Congrats to Mark Stoops for passing Bear Bryant for all-time wins in Lexington, thanks to Will Levis and this group of players.

Florida has been brought back down to reality after the win over Utah in the season opener. I think the Gators have talent, but lack depth, which showed Saturday night. Next up, Kentucky will host Youngstown State, while the Gators will host South Florida.

Other Teams Of Note

No. 2 Georgia handled Samford 33-0. The Georgia Bulldogs will face South Carolina next weekend in Columbia.

Kansas State destroys Missouri 40-12, as the Tigers looked horrible on both sides of the ball. It’s a rough situation in Columbia.

Wake Forest defeats Vanderbilt 45-25. The Commodores were brought back down to reality this weekend and they will play Northern Illinois next weekend.

LSU defeats Southern 65-17, improving to 1-1 on the season. The Tigers will face Mississippi State next weekend.

Auburn defeats San Jose State 24-16. A sloppy game for the Tigers, as San Jose State caused problems for the Tigers defense in the first half.

I still don’t trust the quarterback situation with TJ Finley or Robby Ashford. Bryan Harsin will need to make a decision going forward. Next up, Auburn will host Penn State in a massive game on the Plains.

Mississippi State defeats Arizona 39-17: 16 hours after the first game of Saturday morning, the Bulldogs wrapped up the day with a win over the Wildcats in Tucson. Will Rogers had an impressive night with four touchdown passes and will head back home with a 2-0 record. Next up, Mississippi State will travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. The Bulldogs will have a great opportunity at the win. 

Ole Miss defeats Central Arkansas 59-3: The only takeaway from this game will be the health of Luke Altmyer going forward. After an injury sidelined the QB, Jaxson Dart entered the game and could be the starter for the Georgia Tech game next Saturday. We’ll see what Lane Kiffin says this week. 

Just another crazy Saturday in the SEC, with next week sure to bring us more fireworks.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

Leave a Reply