Sidelines with John Clay

SEC football status reports: Where did Mississippi State’s mojo go?

Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) and tight end C’yontai Lewis (80) lead their fans as the team celebrates a 13-6 win over Mississippi State in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) and tight end C’yontai Lewis (80) lead their fans as the team celebrates a 13-6 win over Mississippi State in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. AP Photo

SEC football status reports team-by-team through games of Sept. 29 with overall/SEC records:

Alabama (5-0/2-0): The Crimson Tide keeps right on trucking, dumping Louisiana-Lafayette 56-14 on Saturday. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa keeps on trucking, as well. In limited duty, the sophomore completed eight of eight passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He continues to lead the nation in pass efficiency with a 238.32 rating. Much of that top ranking is based on the fact Tagovailoa is completing 75 percent of his passes. This Saturday: At Arkansas.

Arkansas (1-4/0-2): Texas A&M’s 24-17 squeaker over the Razorbacks was Arkansas’ seventh straight loss to an FBS team. New coach Chad Morris’ lone win as Arkansas coach was over FCS Eastern Illinois 55-20 in the opener. The last two games, Arkansas has managed just 538 yards of total offense. The task grows much more difficult this week. Saturday: Alabama.

Auburn (4-1/1-1): Gus Malzahn’s offense continues to have trouble moving the sticks The Tigers managed just 341 total yards in their 24-13 win over Southern Miss in a game that experienced long weather delays. Auburn is 96th nationally in total offense, averaging 376.2 yards per game. Thankfully, Auburn’s defense has allowed a combined 550 yards over the last two games. Saturday: At Mississippi State.

Auburn holds on to take down stubborn Southern Miss

Florida (4-1/2-1): Kentucky might have been fortunate to catch the Gators early. (Or UK is really good.) The Gators have won three straight since falling to the Cats. Coordinator Todd Grantham’s defense allowed just 202 yards in the 13-6 win at Mississippi State on Saturday as head coach Dan Mullen celebrated his return to Starkville by beating his former team. Saturday: LSU.

Georgia (5-0/3-0): Quarterback Jake Fromm continues to be highly efficient. The sophomore is completing 72.5 percent of his passes. He is sixth nationally in pass efficiency with a 180.91 rating. Fromm was 16-of-22 passing for 185 yards in the Dawgs’ 38-12 win over Tennessee last week. Saturday: Vanderbilt.

Kentucky (5-0/3-0): Mark Stoops’ Cats climbed to 13th in the AP Top 25 after Saturday’s 24-10 win over South Carolina. Benny Snell rushed for 100 yards again, only to lose yardage in his final carry and end up with 99 yards on 26 carries. Snell ranks fourth nationally in rushing, averaging 132.8 yards per game. Saturday: At Texas A&M.

LSU (5-0/2-0): The Tigers had no trouble with visiting Ole Miss 45-16 on Saturday. Quarterback Joe Burrow, the grad transfer from Ohio State, showed himself to be a surprise running threat, gaining 96 yards on nine carries. Burrow was 18-of-25 passing for 292 yards and three touchdowns against the hapless Ole Miss defense. Saturday: At Florida.

Ole Miss (3-2/0-2): The Rebels are 127th nationally out of 130 FBS teams in total defense. Opponents are averaging 518.8 yards per game. LSU gained 573 yards on Saturday, the third out of five opponents to gain more than 500 yards on Mississippi. Saturday: UL-Monroe.

Mississippi State (3-2/0-2): New head coach Joe Moorhead has misplaced his mojo. The former Penn State offensive boss has watched his new team score just one touchdown and 13 points overall in their last two games, losses to Kentucky and Florida. MSU gained a meager 201 yards against UK, then 202 against UF. Over the last two games, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has completed 27 of 58 passes for 243 yards without a touchdown. Saturday: Auburn.

Missouri (3-1/0-1): The Tigers enjoyed an off week after the 43-29 loss to Georgia on Sept. 22. Head coach Barry Odom might have used the extra time to tighten up the Mizzou defense, which gave up 614 yards in the 40-37 win over Purdue and 445 yards in the two-touchdown loss to Georgia. Saturday: At South Carolina.

South Carolina (2-2/1-2): The Gamecocks suffered their fifth straight loss to Kentucky on Saturday. After gaining 534 yards in the 37-14 romp at Vanderbilt, Will Muschamp’s offense was held to 321 yards by Josh Allen and the Kentucky defense. Quarterback Jake Bentley was under 50 percent, completing just 13 of 28 passes. Saturday: Missouri.

Tennessee (2-3/0-2): New head coach Jeremy Pruitt knows defense. The former Georgia and Alabama defensive coordinator has left his imprint on the Vols. After giving up 547 yards to West Virginia in the opener, UT has allowed 194, 134, 387 and 410 yards since. But the UT offense managed just 209 yards in the 38-12 loss at No. 2 Georgia on Saturday. The Volunteers have lost 11 straight SEC games. Saturday: Off.

Texas A&M (3-2/1-1): The Aggies offense has cooled since Jimbo Fisher’s team entered SEC play. Still, A&M outgained Arkansas 377-248 in last week’s 24-17 win over the Razorbacks. Quarterback Kellen Mond threw two interceptions without a touchdown last week. He’ll be looking to escape Josh Allen this week. Saturday: Kentucky.

Vanderbilt (3-2/0-1): The Commodores trailed cross-town FCS foe Tennessee State 13-10 at the half and 27-24 with 8:02 remaining before pulling out a 31-27 win. Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for 146 yards on 17 carries, including a 78-yard touchdown. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur hit Kalija Lipscomb with a 68-yard TD pass for the winning score. Saturday: At Georgia.

SEC football standings

EASTSEC

Overall

TeamWLWL
Georgia3050
Kentucky3050
Florida2141
Missouri0131
South Carolina1222
Vanderbilt0132
Tennessee0223
WESTSEC

Overall

TeamWLWL
Alabama2050
LSU2050
Auburn1141
Texas A&M1132
Miss State0232
Ole Miss0232
Arkansas0214

SEC football schedule Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Noon - Alabama at Arkansas (ESPN)

  • Noon - Missouri at South Carolina (SEC)

  • 3:30 - LSU at Florida (CBS)

  • 4:00 - UL-Monroe at Ole Miss (SEC)

  • 7:00 - Kentucky at Texas A&M (ESPN)

  • 7:30 - Vanderbilt at Georgia (SEC)

  • 7:30 - Auburn at Mississippi State (ESPN)

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