SEC Recap: Number of Beatdowns, A Few Letdowns — Here Is What’s Ahead

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AUBURN, AL. — The letdown game between Auburn and Penn State was assuredly made up for with LSU and Mississippi State.

Coming into the weekend, there were only a few games that I thought could bring us fireworks, but I was wrong, as Florida and Arkansas both struggled at home.

Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, LSU's Jayden Daniels and Penn State's Nick Singleton
Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Penn St.’s Nick Singleton and LSU’s Jayden Daniels. (Photos via Getty)

So, let’s take a look back at Saturday, while also giving a glimpse into the future.  We have a massive game in Knoxville next weekend between Tennessee and Florida, while Arkansas and Texas A&M have a showdown in Arlington.

Georgia Throttles South Carolina 48-7

Stetson Bennett continues to make this Bulldog offense look unstoppable, throwing for 284 yards and two touchdowns against the Gamecocks.

If you’re a Georgia fan, you have to love what you’re seeing from this team, as they rarely take their foot off the opponent’s throat.

Brock Bowers
Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) follows his blocks on a reverse play. (Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Speaking of weapons, Brock Bowers had 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, showing off his skills down the field. As for South Carolina, this team is taking on water at the moment and it shows on both sides of the ball.

After the bad loss against Arkansas, they followed it up with another rough performance against Georgia. Shane Beamer made it clear during his postgame press conference that his team hasn’t quit, which got him heated in the moment.

Penn State Embarrasses Auburn 41-12 In Rout On The Plains

Auburn has some serious problems right now and it will not get easier. After the demoralizing effort against Penn State, there are serious questions about this football program.

The quarterback situation is in a kerfuffle, with TJ Finley and Robby Ashford trading snaps all afternoon, in which neither had success.

As for the defense, they allowed Nick Singleton to rush for 124 yards and two touchdowns, not putting up much of a fight.

It wasn’t as if Sean Clifford is a dual threat in the pocket, but he made Auburn pay at critical times, going 14-18 for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns. Who knows where Auburn goes from here, with Missouri coming to town next week.

Bryan Harsin’s seat should be pretty darn hot at the moment as his team looked lethargic for most of the day. It looks like there’s not much fight in this team once they get down two touchdowns, so they certainly have work to do.

We’ll see if they can get a win next week against Missouri, but in this conference, you can’t take any Saturday for granted.

Texas A&M Defeats Miami, But Still searching For Offensive identity

Thanks to a solid defensive performance, Texas A&M bounced back from the App State loss last week and defeated Miami 17-9.

Jimbo Fisher decided to start Max Johnson at quarterback, who finished with 140 yards and 1 touchdown, hoping it would spark the offense.

Max Johnson (14) of the Texas A&M Aggies
Max Johnson (14) of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the second quarter of the game at Kyle Field on September 17, 2022, in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Jack Gorman/Getty Images)

But, as we saw Saturday night, the Aggies are still searching for an offensive identity. It hasn’t been pretty, and this team cannot only rely on Devon Achane to bail them out.

Next week presents the toughest challenge of the season so far, as the Aggies will face Arkansas in Arlington. Stopping QB’s from Miami and App State is one thing but preventing KJ Jefferson from running all over you is another.

This could be a game that turns around the Texas A&M season, but a loss would just dial back up the chatter in College Station. Nice win against the Hurricanes, but the real test comes next Saturday.


Vanderbilt Passes The Predicted Season Win Total

Credit to the Dores for making my recap, beating Northern Illinois and moving to 3-1 on the season, passing Vegas expectations.

The quarterback situation seems to be solved, with AJ Swann passing for 255 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win. Congrats Vanderbilt, this looks like progress. Unfortunately, the Commodores play Alabama next week.

LSU Defeats Missouri State In SEC Opener After 21-0 Fourth Quarter Run

How about those LSU Tigers? A back-and-forth battle between the Bulldogs and Tigers ended with 4:05 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Tigers took a 31-15 lead.

Armoni Goodwin had the 47-yard touchdown run to finish off the Bulldogs, as Jayden Daniels looked comfortable during the second half in the pocket. Brian Kelly and his Tigers went on a 21-0 run during the second half, moving LSU to 2-1 on the season.

LSU QB Jayden Daniels. Courtesy of LSU football

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Will Rogers was held to just one touchdown on the night. Next up, both teams play ‘buy games’, so there isn’t much to look forward to in terms of competition. Rough night for Mike Leach and the Bulldogs.

Florida Holds On To Defeat South Florida In Crazy Fourth Quarter 

In a game that the Florida Gators entered as 24-point favorites, it ended up delivering for all four quarters.

The USF Bulls led multiple times against the Gators, but after an interception by the Gators secondary led to Florida taking the 31-28 lead with three minutes remaining.

But, USF drove down the field and had an opportunity to either win or send it to overtime.

Florida Gators celebrate after a late game interception. Courtesy of UAA and Florida Athletics

Unfortunately for the Bulls, a bad snap forced them into a 48-yard FG attempt, which they missed and Florida fans collectively let out a sigh of relief.

This Florida football team is struggling, with Anthony Richardson going 10-of-18 for 112 yards, while the Gators rushed for 218 yards on the night. Simply put, this Billy Napier led team needs to run the ball more. Opposing teams have the blueprint to beat Florida, forcing Anthony Richardson to beat them through the air.

We’ll see how the Gators respond this week.

Next up, a massive road game at Tennessee, where tensions will be high all week leading up to this one. Prepare for a week of trash talk between the two fan bases, with the Vols having a better team, but Florida always finding ways to pull out a win out in these type games.

Arkansas Pulls Ahead Late In 4th Quarter To Defeats Missouri State

The return of Bobby Petrino to Arkansas almost turned into catastrophe for the Razorbacks.

Down 27-17 in the 4th quarter, the Razorbacks went on a crazy 21-0 run that included an 83-yard punt return and Sam Pittman’s team escaped with the win 38-27.

KJ Jefferson passed for 385 yards, while Raheim Sanders had 167 yards on the ground.

Next up, Arkansas heads to Arlington for a showdown with Texas A&M. 

Tennessee Takes Care Of Akron — The Big One Is Upcoming

The Vols entered this game looking to get most of their starters out by halftime and this was the case against Akron, leading 35-0 heading into the locker room.

Hendon Hooker was 14-of-18 for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the team had 135 yards on the ground the first half.

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) runs the ball during the game against Akron at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. (Photo by Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This biggest aspect of this one was staying healthy, which was tested when Cedric Tillman went down. The receiver was seen walking the sidelines, but his status, along with Jabari Small will be a cause for concern in Knoxville.

Josh Heupel said postgame that they don’t know yet, but they’re hopeful about the status of Tillman and Jabari Small.

We will see, but after talking with a few folks, Small should be ok to go next week.

Hendon Hooker, Bru McCoy and Jalin Hyatt celebrate the touchdown. Courtesy of Tennessee Football

Now the Vols will prepare for Florida, which should be one of the best atmospheres in college football next weekend. 

Tennessee has been very unlucky in the past against the Gators, but Josh Heupel has his team rolling on offense and this game presents the perfect opportunity for the Vols to get out of September 4-0.

Kentucky Beats Youngstown State 31-0

Ok, nice win. The Wildcats will face Northern Illinois next week, then head to Ole Miss for one of the biggest games in the SEC in this early season.

Alabama takes Out Frustrations On Louisiana-Monroe

After a battle with Texas last weekend, Alabama came into this game looking to fix a few things on offense.

Beating a team 63-7 might look good on the scoreboard, but the Tide’ needed this type of game. Bryce Young passed for 236 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Next up, Vanderbilt comes to town. 

Missouri Took Care Of Abilene-Christian 

The only thing that matters about this game is that the Tigers won 34-17 and will now prepare to play Auburn next week.

Brady cook
Mizzou QB Brady Cook (12) of the Missouri Tigers drops back for a pass in the game against Abilene Christian. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Brady Cook completed 21-of-30 passes and threw for 292 yards in this game, so there’s your offensive stat.

Ole Miss Takes Care Of Georgia Tech 42-0 ON THE ROAD

It’s Georgia Tech, so not much of a challenge.

We’re two weeks away from Kentucky traveling to Oxford, so that’s something to look towards.

A big weekend awaits in both divisions of the SEC next weekend. Florida will travel to Tennessee, while Arkansas and Texas A&M will battle it out in Arlington.

Read Trey Wallace’s latest coverage here, and follow along on Twitter.

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.

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