SEC Report Cards, Week 6: Florida is the new favorite
Six teams didn’t play in SEC Week 6 … and that’s not even counting Vanderbilt or Auburn. But the weekly grind goes on, and we’ll grade the teams that did play, or at least were supposed to. As usual, we’ll grade the individual teams and then give awards to the best (honor roll) and call out the worst (detention) in offense, defense, and special teams. School’s in session and it’s grade card time.
The Rebels rushed for 413 yards in a conference game. Perhaps even more amazing, this defense played against Ke’Shaun Vaughn and held the Vandy ground game to 62 yards on 27 carries. This was absolutely amazing all the way around.
Yes, it was Utah State. But anytime you outgain a team 601-159, you did some positive things. How about 11 for 17 on third down (LSU) versus 1 for 12 (Utah State)?
Yes, Florida is good. But Auburn was outgained by 129 yards, committed four turnovers and went 2-for-15 on third and fourth downs. More troubling, the Tigers couldn’t consistently run (3.6 yards per carry) or throw (11 for 27 with three interceptions).
Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M: Incomplete
All had Saturday off. Hey, Bama and Arkansas got the same grade for once.
The Gators were sloppy in spots on offense, but they dominated defensively and cashed in enough points to grab a pivotal SEC win. They don’t always look smooth doing it, but winning cures a multitude of ills.
In this case “A” is for “Aw, no, Bryant got hurt.” The Tigers played well in all areas, but the loss of their signal caller could be critical for however long he ends up missing time.
Georgia was about to get sent back a grade or two for a quarter and a half, but the Dawgs shaped up. It says something for how good UGA is that a flash of a bad quarter here or there is about all we can find to pick on.
Yes, they lost by 29. But the Vols could have lost by 49, and their efforts at playing a new quarterback and keeping things fresh bode well for the remainder of what will be a very long season.
Bad offense, bad defense, losing by 25 to Ole Miss lays a footprint for a bad season.
Kentucky and South Carolina: Incomplete
Bye week for both.
Four straight 300-yard passing games for an LSU quarterback? Couple that with 248 rushing yards and we get excited.
So, 413 yards rushing? Maybe the Rebels should just forget about passing and start grinding games out in the trenches.
The best thing about this offensive performance was that when UGA struggled, Jake Fromm was sharp (24 for 29, 288 passing yards).
Holding anybody (even Utah State) to 19 rushing yards and 0.9 yards per carry is a pretty good sign.
The Gators just keep taking teams out of their game plan. Bo Nix looked very much like a freshman in this game, and nobody else has done that to him yet.
When you outrush a decent Vandy ground attack by 351 yards — first, you did some great things offensively. Second, you absolutely dominated the Commodores defensively in the trenches.
Solid kicking and punting game, and the Gators even recovered a fumbled punt at the Auburn 2-yard line at one point. Guess we’ll forget that horrible fake punt that ended up not hurting them.
Well, the Commodores punted 11 times. But the kicking game was probably the best thing about their performance on Saturday.
Nothing superhuman, but just a reminder that we could watch Rodrigo Blankenship kick all day, every day. Bonus mention for his kickoffs.
Last week it all looked so easy. They ran at will and Bo Nix carved up Mississippi State. Not this week — 269 yards and 13 points won’t win a ton of games.
Going 2 for 17 on third down? Gaining 264 total yards against Ole Miss? Ke’Shaun Vaughn was basically MIA for this game — he was outrushed by three different Ole Miss players.
Yes, the Gators won the game. They also fumbled on three of four drives at one point, and managed to turn a first and goal at the 2-yard line into nothing. Got to tighten up.
Yes, Ole Miss is playing better with John Rhys Plumlee at quarterback. But the Rebels shouldn’t average nearly 10 yards per carry (413 yards on 44 carries). This isn’t Tommy Frazier and mid-’90s Nebraska.
The Vols offense kept them in the game early, but the defense just didn’t have an ultimate answer. Georgia racked up 526 yards and 43 points in a game where it rarely seemed to break a sweat.
They did keep the Tigers in the game, but the back-breaking 88-yard run by UF’s Lamical Perine late was a killer.
We’re not forgetting that fake punt after all. Tommy Townsend is a great, great punter. And a bad running back.
A missed field goal and a couple of shanked punts helped put the Vols in a bad place.
Two missed field goals (although both were long tries) isn’t the route the Tigers want to go in 2019.