Winners and losers of SEC Week 7
What a week! From the brilliant (Georgia) to the surprising (LSU) to the bizarre (Ole Miss) to the horrifying (the circumstances that led to the crazy Rebels win), everything was going on. If you’re trying to unpack it all, let us help you. Here are the winners and losers of SEC Week 7.
Maybe the Bulldogs schedule has been a little weak. Maybe there aren’t a ton of great SEC offenses this season. But seeing Georgia do what it does to another top 20 team is humbling. Kentucky scored twice, which is as much as anybody has scored on Georgia in 2021, and had to chew up ground an inch at a time to do it. It’s not so much that the Dawgs are the best team in the country (though they are), it’s that there can’t be more than a handful of teams in college football that can even put up 21 points on Georgia’s defense. Perhaps no play was more telling than a Kentucky screen pass to Chris Rodriguez. UK offensive coordinator Liam Coen had three blockers available for Rodriguez, and Georgia had one defender. Who dropped Rodriguez for a 5-yard loss. Good luck, rest of SEC, rest of college football.
This may be Nakobe Dean's best play of year (and that's saying a lot). If Nakobe doesn't beat not one but TWO blockers, Kentucky scores easy TD on this play https://t.co/GYmy5zqXWy
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) October 17, 2021
LSU entered Saturday 13th in the SEC in rushing, averaging 83 yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry. They also were substantial underdogs against Florida and looked like a team that had its spirit broken by Kentucky. Enter Davis-Price, who had 147 rushing yards and 2 scores in Lexington. Maybe it should have served notice to Florida. Davis-Price carved up the Gators with 36 carries for a school-record 287 yards and 3 touchdowns, as LSU upset Florida 49-42. Ed Orgeron might just have Dan Mullen’s number, but it’s hard to overstate the significance of a career game (basically a month of production) from Davis-Price, who will certainly be worth watching moving forward for the Tigers.
Tyrion Davis-Price is a MONSTER 🔥
— Christian Siméon🇭🇹🇩🇴🇦🇪 (@kervcristo) October 17, 2021
Looking at Ole Miss’s 31-26 win in Knoxville might not be impressive at first. But just as the craziness of the situation (to be discussed later) lends more context, so did Ole Miss’s struggles. The Rebels were down several significant offensive contributors, and Corral’s 231 passing yards and 2 scores, combined with his 195 rushing yards, absolutely carried the day for the Rebels. After running, passing, and imposing his will on a very competitive game, Corral will remain in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race, and justifiably so.
Auburn’s quarterback continued to improve, going 21 for 26 for 292 yards and 2 scores in the Tigers’ upset of Arkansas. Few SEC players have ever been as thoroughly debated as Nix. Many wanted to see T.J. Finley take the job after the ugly Georgia State win. But Nix has never lacked for guts, and he’s certainly showing that now.
One more time
Bo Nix’s 71-yard Auburn touchdown strike to Demetris Robertson in the win over Arkansas.pic.twitter.com/wBaD1z3G0h
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) October 17, 2021
FOUR sacks? Any time a Tide player gets mentioned with Derrick Thomas, he’s probably having a pretty special day. No exception here.
How many sacks does Will Anderson have so far tonight? pic.twitter.com/5eTGsjqGa9
— KD ➐ (@notkdk3) October 17, 2021
Few moments in SEC football are as singularly stupid and ridiculous as UT’s fans bombarding the Ole Miss sideline with garbage in Knoxville. Vols fans were disappointed with the spot of the football on 4th down, with officials ruling that they came up short in the final minute. The barrage of debris led to about a 20-minute delay, it endangered the safety of coaches and athletes, and it served notice to other SEC fans that if you want to have a fit, go ahead and do it. Everyone will cluck their tongues in chastisement, but nobody at the SEC office has the guts to say, “Enough is enough. Pull the plug on this one.” This is a league that rarely misses a chance to fine schools for students storming the field or court. It will be interesting to see if a much more tangible safety issue will be basically ignored. It was a disgrace to the University of Tennessee, to a team that fought hard (and did get some very questionable officiating), and to the SEC as a whole.
We’re watching the fall of Rome, sorry the Tennessee Vols football program right in front of our eyes
As classless as anything you’ll ever see in college football
— Dan Leach (@DanLeach971) October 17, 2021
Todd Grantham continues to be the most unusual combination of highly regarded and well-traveled. When he moves on, both fan bases are happy — the one getting him to coach and the one saying goodbye. Florida looks destined to be another such stop. Dan Mullen will have difficulty selling the thought of keeping his staff intact after what looks certain to be an 8-4 season. Losing to Kentucky and an LSU team that will probably finish around .500 won’t go over well in Gainesville. Giving up more than 300 rushing yards to a team that never gained half of that in any game before Saturday won’t either.
Florida’s handling of Anthony Richardson
So Mullen apparently has bit the bullet and gone to AR-15 at quarterback. Yes, he makes costly mistakes, like the interception that all but ended the LSU game. But he also accounted for 4 touchdowns off the bench and kept Florida in the game. Given the difficulty of hanging with Georgia and the other 4 easy games left to play, there’s no reason Richardson won’t continue to play. But it’s also not clear how much reason there was for not playing him more already. And when Richardson is the subject of transfer portal speculation after the game, it’s obvious that Mullen might not have the best grasp on this 2021 Florida team.
Kentucky’s defensive nap
Kentucky wasn’t awful in getting handled 30-13 by Georgia. But one play was mind-numbing. Late in the first quarter, when the game was scoreless, UK forced a Georgia fumble. But the only player on the field who seemed to notice that it was a fumble was UGA back Kendall Milton, who dove on the ball while several UK defenders stood by looking oblivious. One play later, Georgia took a lead it never lost. Kentucky’s defense gave Georgia some problems, but it was just a bad, bad moment for a talented and resourceful group. Play through the whistle, always. Even UK’s fans were shaking their heads.
Kentucky defense after not picking up that fumble pic.twitter.com/Vy5YMu8gtE
— Andrew Cassady (@AndCassady) October 16, 2021