SEC's 5 biggest surprises in Week 11
With two inner-division showdowns in the SEC West, a lot was at stake in Week 11. The two victors surprised in the way they each dominated two contenders. A pair of SEC East teams also surprised in how they won.
5. Tennessee’s lowest-scoring win of the season came against North Texas: When one thinks of North Texas football, defense doesn’t often come to mind. The 1-9 Mean Green have seen teams like Iowa and Portland State score 60-plus against them. Tennessee’s offense wasn’t as fortunate, managing only 24 points, with no touchdown passes for QB Josh Dobbs. UT’s previous lowest point total in a winning effort this season was 27-24 over South Carolina.
4. Fortunes flipped for Kentucky and Arkansas: When the month of September ended, Arkansas was 1-3, having just lost its third consecutive game with a 28-21 defeat at the hands of Texas A&M. Kentucky entered October 3-1 having just defeated two-time defending SEC East champ Missouri 21-13. Heading into Week 12, the 6-4 Razorbacks are one of the hottest teams in the conference, with back-to-back upsets of Ole Miss and LSU on the road. The 4-6 Wildcats, meanwhile, are on a five-game losing skid and will need wins over Charlotte and in-state rival Louisville to reach 6-6 and qualify for bowl eligibility.
3. Missouri upset BYU, scored multiple touchdowns: It’s been a tumultuous week at Mizzou, and no one would expect the football team to be completely focused on a game it wasn’t sure it would play last weekend. The Tigers were on track for their fifth consecutive loss, trailing BYU 10-6 entering the fourth quarter. MU scored two offensive touchdowns – the first time since Sept. 12 against Arkansas State – to beat the Cougars 20-16.
2. Leonard Fournette got outrushed in back-to-back weeks: Before LSU’s Week 10 showdown with Alabama, RB Leonard Fournette was considered the Heisman frontrunner. On 19 carries for Fournette, the Crimson Tide defense held him to 31 yards and a touchdown, while Alabama RB Derrick Henry stole the show with 210 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries. This past Saturday against Arkansas, Fournette managed a solid outing (19 carries, 91 yards, TD), but Razorbacks RB Alex Collins was the top rusher in the game (16 carries, 141 yards, 2 TD).
1. Alabama kept Mississippi State out of the end zone: MSU’s offense came into the showdown with the Crimson Tide having outscored its last two SEC foes (Kentucky and Missouri) 73-29, with QB Dak Prescott responsible for all 10 touchdowns (seven passing, three rushing). Prescott and the Bulldogs fell to earth, playing a stingy Alabama defense that bent at times (MSU outgained the Tide), but never broke in a 31-6 blowout.