What happened and what mattered in the Week 5 of the SEC college football season?
5. The “other” games
The Kentucky dream season keeps on getting better and better. Everyone knows what’s coming, but it doesn’t matter. It’s going to be Benny Snell pounding away. It’s going to be Terry Wilson doing whatever it takes to keep the chains moving. South Carolina knew this, and it didn’t matter in an explosive second quarter in a 24-10 Wildcat win.
The Gamecocks didn’t help themselves with mistakes – four turnovers and 11 penalties were all killers. Jake Bentley threw three picks, partly because the O line couldn’t keep Josh Allen and the defensive front out of the backfield. UK had the ball for almost 35 minutes, it controlled the game with the D in the second half, and even though it’s not pretty, 5-0 is beautiful.
Alabama went through the motions after a jaw-dropping first half. The Crimson Tide scored 49 first half points in the 56-14 win over Louisiana, emptying the bench in the second half. Tua Tagovailoa hit all eight of his throws for 128 yards and two scores, Jalen Hurts completed 4-of-6 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, and in all, the passing game went for 340 yards – a 94-yard touchdown from Jaylen Waddle helped the stats. The Ragin’ Cajuns ran for 200 yards, but everything positive came in the second half well after Bama took its foot off the gas.
There’s no reason to get into a twist over Auburn’s tight 24-13 win over Southern Miss. The lightning delay killed the momentum of the game, but even so, the O line that needed some reworking didn’t do the job for the ground game, leading the way to just 96 yards and under three yards per carry. Jarrett Stidham threw for 245 yards and two scores, but he was under pressure for most of the game. The Tiger D did its job, living in the backfield and stoning the USM ground attack. Again, it was a strange game – but if there’s a problem against Tennessee next week, it’ll be time to worry.
Yuck. Vanderbilt survived Tennessee State 31-27, with Kyle Shurmur completing 22-of-29 passes for 297 yards and three scores, but he gave up two picks. The Vandy offense worked, but the Tigers wouldn’t go away. They kept taking advantage of their opportunities, didn’t turn the ball over, and pushed the Commodores until the end. And now Vandy has to be ready for Georgia – needing to do far, far more on third downs.