Winners and losers of SEC Week 3: Florida/Bama, Showboat Boykin and more
SEC Week 3 had more than its fair share of expected blowouts, a dash of controversy, a big-time game that felt like the SEC Championship (even though there probably won’t be a rematch), and so much more. As usual, here’s the big picture: Your weekly SEC winners and losers.
Florida. And Bama. And Florida/Bama.
Can everybody involved in a game be a winner? Well, not literally. But for our purposes, sure. Florida proved that with Emory Jones at quarterback, it can still go toe-to-toe with anybody in the nation. Dan Mullen’s stubbornness about his offense and his offensive personnel paid off. The Gators actually outgained Alabama 440-331, outrushing the Crimson Tide 245-91. Florida is legit.
And so is Bama. Alabama was like the heavyweight champ that had a pretty poor fight and had to win by decision. But the Crimson Tide did win. Given how few close games Alabama has played in the SEC most years, it will likely be a positive learning experience to have survived such a game already in September. It’s one thing for coach Nick Saban to go on post-game rants when his team is pasting Mercer. It’s another when you look defeat in the eye and live to fight another day.
Showboat Boykin (and Matt Corral)
Arnold “Showboat” Boykin passed away in 2018 at the age of 89. So why is he a winner? Because his name came up again thanks to Matt Corral.
Seems that Showboat had the Ole Miss single-game touchdown record with 7 scores in an Egg Bowl matchup back in 1951. Showboat’s record stayed intact through Archie and Eli, through Chad Kelly and the entire Hugh Freeze era. But Corral tied him with 7 scores (3 passing, 4 rushing) in the Rebels’ beatdown of Tulane on Saturday. So now they’re in the history books together, and if you hold an offensive record for your school for 70 years, we’re going to recognize you too.
Matt Corral has 7 touchdowns tonight and he won’t play in the fourth quarter. Those Heisman longshot tickets over the summer look like a pretty great investment now
Ole Miss gets Alabama in 2 weeks pic.twitter.com/w0uJ0HvjQW
— Caleb Wilfinger (@caleb_wilfinger) September 19, 2021
The Arkansas passing game
Every week, Arkansas is finding some way to impress us. This time, it was K.J. Jefferson’s passing game. No, beating Georgia Southern isn’t surprising. But it is impressive when a QB manages completions of 44, 47, 60, and 91 yards, each to a different receiver. Jefferson needed just 23 pass attempts (and 13 completions) to total 366 passing yards. That’s efficient — and so far this season, that’s Arkansas.
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 18, 2021
The SEC as a whole
Ohio State? Vulnerable. Oklahoma? Vulnerable. Clemson? Lost to Georgia already. The winners of the SEC’s two divisions are in the CFP — or certainly should be.
Mississippi State/Memphis Officials
Look, nobody gets more tired of the back-biting on officials than we do. It’s a genuinely hard job. But when your league’s post-game correction (and yes, that is your own post-game correction) points out multiple errors in a specific call — one that had a huge impact in a two-point game — it’s just not acceptable.
— SEC Officiating (@SECOfficiating) September 19, 2021
The SEC: It Just Means More. Except in officiating.
Unlike the defeated team in the Florida/Alabama game, Kentucky managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a brutal 28-23 win over FCS Chattanooga. Yes, UK won. But that’s about the only good news, when your highly touted ground attack gets outgained 171-102 by Chattanooga. It could not have been more plain that Kentucky was looking past this game. It nearly cost them and it’s a mistake they can’t afford to repeat.
This looked doubly bad on a week when the rest of the SEC vs. FCS matchups ended up 56-0 (Tennessee over Tennessee Tech) and 59-28 (Missouri over Southeast Missouri, and that game was 45-0 midway through the third quarter).
The Tigers did themselves proud by going into Happy Valley and giving Penn State all the Nittany Lions wanted. But at the end of the game, two particularly odd calls felt … well, very, very Auburn.
On 4th and goal down by a score, Auburn ran a fade that looked clearly like an attempt to draw a penalty flag. Receiver and Penn State DB get tangled, fall to the ground, pass sails 5 feet over it all. Then, in the final seconds and down 8, Bo Nix didn’t even get his final throw from the 26-yard line into the end zone. Nix can clearly throw the ball 35ish yards, so the only logical assumption was that the play was short of the goal line by design. Just odd.
Auburn clearly had all the weapons to win over Penn State. But the offensive coaching left two opportunities very much out to dry in the game’s closing minutes.
Arkansas kicker Cam Little
We saw you, bro. You can’t hide.