Quick thoughts and takes on every Week 12 SEC game.
Florida 23, Missouri 6
It wasn’t anything pretty, and the Gators didn’t get the Georgia loss they needed to take the SEC East, but it was still a strong road win by double-digits. Kyle Trask threw for 282 yards and two scores, the offense was able to open it up a bit in the third quarter, and it was the win needed to keep hope alive for a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Missouri can’t score touchdowns. It managed two field goals, making it the second straight game without a touchdown and with just 27 points over the last four games. The passing game didn’t go anywhere, the running game finished with 52 yards, and the O wasted a strong effort from the D.
The Tigers aren’t going bowling no matter what – thanks to NCAA violations – but it would nice to come up with a winning season. They get Tennessee up next before closing out at Arkansas.
Florida gets a week off before facing Florida State. The Sugar Bowl might be out with LSU, Alabama and Georgia all in the mix for the CFP and the top SEC bowl spots, but Orange is a possibility with a convincing win against the Noles and a 10-2 record.
Alabama 38, Mississippi State 7
Of course the season-ending injury to Tua Tagovailoa overshadowed everything else – a whole lot more on that coming over the next few days – but Mac Jones stepped in and was fine. The Tide only scored three points in the second half, but Jones hit 7-of-11 passes for 94 yards, the defense was great, and the shell-shocked team got through the rest of the game and got out. It was still a 31-point win on the road, even after all of that.
Najee Harris has picked a fantastic time to become amazing. He ran for 88 yards and three scores – and caught 51 yards worth of passes with a. score – the offensive line blasted away, and the receiving corps was its typical fantastic self. Everything was great except for that, and …
Tagovailoa’s injury also pushed out of the spotlight a leg injury to DT Raekwon Davis. The D was just fine against the Bulldogs, but Davis the guy the line couldn’t afford to lose.
Mississippi State was able to run for just enough big dashes to average over five yards per carry. After a good early scoring drive, though, that was it. Tommy Stevens threw for 82 yards and a score, and he tore off a 46-yard run, but the O didn’t do much of anything with its 270 yards.
Alabama got a week against Arkansas to get Mac Jones up to speed in case he was needed against LSU. Now he gets a practice week against Western Carolina to get ready for the trip to Auburn. All is hardly lost in the CFP race – blow out the Tigers, and everything will be still on the table.
At 4-6, Mississippi State has to beat Abilene Christian and Ole Miss to get to six wins and bowl eligibility.