Ole Miss 31, Vanderbilt 6
John Rhys Plumlee was more than fine … on the ground. The Ole Miss starter only hit 10-of-18 passes for 99 yards, but he dominated under offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez with 165 rushing yards and a score. Vanderbilt had absolutely no answer from the start against a Rebel attack that finished with 413 rushing yards, four scores, and big dash after big dash.
The Ole Miss defense did its part, too. It didn’t give up a touchdown, only allowed two field goals, and stuffed drive after drive. Vandy converted just 2-of-17 third down tries as it couldn’t get anything moving. The Ole Miss offense was explosive, and the Vandy offense spun its wheels.
Vanderbilt should be able to get by UNLV next week, and it’ll get by East Tennessee State, but it needed this game to realistically make a push for bowl eligibility. There are winnable games left, but this was a punch in the gut. On the other side, Ole Miss just got back on track after losing two straight. At 3-3, there’s hope to get to six wins with New Mexico State still to play as part of the three wins needed.
Georgia 43, Tennessee 14
On the plus side, Tennessee might have found a possible quarterback. Brian Maurer wasn’t able to keep it all going after a great start, but he finished hitting 14-of-28 passes for 259 yards and two scores with a pick and a forced fumble after getting lit up on a huge hit. There was no running game, and there wasn’t a key stop after getting up early, but at least for a little while, the Vols looked the part. But …
There was absolutely no panic on the Georgia side. Jake Fromm was Jake Fromm – he hit 24-of-29 passes for 288 yards and two scores – the running game was steadily nasty, and the defense clamped down and played like enough was enough. The Bulldogs scored 33 unanswered points, and they managed to make it a laugher on the scoreboard. However, against South Carolina and Kentucky, they have to work on getting off to hotter starts before dealing with Florida in early November.
This is such an amazing Georgia team, but it’s almost as if it’s going through the motions until it has to be good. There’s still a lot to clean up with 11 penalties and again, getting off to a hotter start, but that’s nitpicking. It got its win over Notre Dame, and now it’s about maintaining focus over the next few weeks.
Even at 1-4, there’s still time for Tennessee. It can beat Vanderbilt and UAB, and it gets Mississippi State and South Carolina at home. Blow off the losses to Florida and Georgia – those two are at another level – but next week is the real test, Lose to Miss State, and then it really is time to pack it in.