SEC recap: What we learned about every SEC West team
Week 12 featured a pair of SEC West meetings that included an epic slugfest in Fayetteville and the continued slide at LSU.
Here’s what we learned about every SEC West team following an exciting weekend of college football in the South.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 12 result: Defeated Charleston Southern, 56-6
What we learned: After watching SEC East teams Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina struggle against inferior non-conference opponents, Alabama separated itself from the rest by taking care of its FCS opponent in convincing fashion. The Crimson Tide made sure nothing flowed through a tin horn on Saturday, jumping out to a 49-0 lead by halftime. The team heeded coach Nick Saban’s highly-publicized upset warning by scoring the most first-half points since Saban took over at Alabama. Now the Tide steamrolls into Auburn week with supreme momentum and confidence. A victory sends them to Atlanta to face Florida in the SEC Championship Game.
Week 12 result: Lost to Mississippi State, 51-50
What we learned: In a conference noted for defense, times have changed. Scoring 50 points no longer guarantees a victory. Not even a school-record seven touchdown passes from QB Brandon Allen was enough in a time when explosive plays wins the day. Allen, the school’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (63), has Arkansas’ offense humming along like a well-oiled machine. The Hogs scored 50-plus points for the fourth time in their last five games. It’s likely the Hogs won’t need 50 points to win Friday’s regular-season finale with a struggling Missouri team still in need of a victory to become bowl eligible.
Week 12 result: Defeated Idaho, 56-34
What we learned: The Tigers fought like a team trying to become bowl eligible, turning three turnovers into touchdowns. Auburn did not waste a chance at a sixth victory, converting on all six red zone opportunities. The Tigers showed what they’re capable of, scoring the most points in any one game this season. With two wins in their past three games the Tigers, 2-5 in the SEC and last in the West Division, carry some momentum into the Iron Bowl. There they’ll attempt to pull off the biggest upset of the season in the conference with a win over division-leading Alabama, 6-1 in the SEC.
Week 12 results: Lost to Ole Miss, 38-17
What we learned: Things can change in a hurry. It was only a couple of weeks ago that LSU was being discussed as one of the top teams in the country. Three lopsided losses later and coach Les Miles is sitting on the hottest seat in the country. An offense predicated on a solid running game has been ground to a halt. The offensive line decimated by injuries, coupled with the regression at the quarterback position, has resulted in embarrassing losses over the past three weeks. The Tigers look to avoid a four-game losing streak to end the regular season when they host Texas A&M on Saturday.
Week 12 results: Defeated Arkansas, 51-50
What we learned: There’s just no quit in this Bulldogs team. Not when you have a quarterback like Dak Prescott at the helm. In one of his most inspiring performances, Prescott threw for a career-high 501 yards and needed all five touchdown passes, not to mention a blocked field goal attempt, to finally subdue a red-hot Arkansas team. The Bulldogs bounced back nicely from last week’s loss to Alabama and have won five of their last six, and seven of nine games heading into the Egg Bowl on Saturday.
Week 12 results: Defeated LSU, 38-17
What we learned: The Rebels have plenty of fight left in them. Some of their best football played this season has been in games following losses. Saturday’s victory was no different. Bouncing back once again, this time from a devastating one-point overtime loss to Arkansas, it was evident that the team had moved on. The Rebels raced out of the gate to a 24-0 lead and looked like a team still in the hunt for the SEC West title. A victory in Saturday’s Egg Bowl, coupled with an Alabama loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, would send Ole Miss to Atlanta to face Florida in the SEC Championship Game.
Texas A&M Aggies
Week 12 results: Defeated Vanderbilt, 25-0
What we learned: The Aggies have a kicker, a quarterback, and a defense. Kicker Taylor Bertolet tied a school record with six field goals. Quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 336 yards and a touchdown without throwing an interception. And the Aggies defense limited Vanderbilt to a season-low 23 passing yards and 148 total yards. Still on a quest for a 10-win season, the Aggies (8-3) visit slumping LSU on Saturday before a bowl game. Chances for winning those remaining two games will improve if the Aggies turn field goals into touchdowns.