What happened and what mattered in the Week 4 of the SEC college football season?
5. The “other” games
Joe Burrow hit half of his passes in LSU’s 38-21 win over Louisiana Tech. That’s a big deal considering his accuracy issues so far, but with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Nick Brossette combining for 214 yards and five touchdowns, the passing attack was along for the ride. LSU got up 24-0 before taking the foot off the gas, and Tech got within three late. And then LSU tried again, and the drama was over. The positive? This team has that ability to flip a switch when it needs to.
Auburn wasn’t amazing in the 34-3 win over Arkansas, but it didn’t have to be. The special teams came through with two huge plays including a kick-six from Noah Igbinoghene, but Jarrett Stidham was just okay completing 15-of-22 passes for 134 yards and no scores, and the ground game was stuffed for just 2.5 yards per carry.
Arkansas moved the ball a wee bit and outgunned the Tigers 290 to 225, but the solid defensive effort didn’t matter after getting down big early. The passing game still isn’t clicking, misfiring time and again on third downs. The Hogs only managed a 29-yard Connor Limpert field goal in the third quarter.
It might have taken a while, but eventually the Ole Miss offense showed up. Tied at seven at halftime with Kent State, the offense exploded in the second half, with Jordan Ta’amu finishing with 442 yards and two scores with a pick. There were some spectacular moments, and the 661 yards were great, but the defense will never be anything special, and the consistency has to be there with LSU up next.
South Carolina got the O going with balance in the 37-14 win over Vanderbilt. Rico Dowdle ran for 112 of the team’s 273 yards on the ground, and Shi Smith was the receiving star with 119 yards and a 52-yard touchdown. The three turnovers kept it from being more of a rout, but the defense did its part to put the game away in the second half shutting out the Commodores.
Vandy couldn’t get the chains moving to keep up the pace. There wasn’t any ground game, Kyle Shurmur wasn’t consistent through the air, and everything fell flat after pulling within three in the second quarter. USC scored 20 unanswered points.