Week 14 SEC Report Cards: All about Auburn
Hello there, Auburn. Got to give you guys credit for starting and finishing strong. Kind of like the SEC as a whole. Week 14 is now in the books, and it’s time to deliver a final regular season round of report cards. As is customary, we grade every team in the league, and then give some extra attention to the league’s best and worst offenses, defenses, and special teams. Here are the Week 14 report cards.
We wanted to act like the teacher in A Christmas Story and fill the board with plusses, but you get the idea. Staying in this game and taking Alabama’s best punches was impressive. Getting the win — well, it was legendary.
The Tigers took care of business, absolutely dominating a decent Texas A&M team that played within a score of Georgia and two scores of Clemson. Anytime the yardage advantage is 553-169, that is decisive.
Mississippi State: A-
The Bulldogs found a way to win. Gutty game by the Bulldogs, grinding out 210 yards on the ground, winning the turnover battle, and, yes, getting a little bit lucky.
There was plenty to like for Alabama. The Crimson Tide passed for 335 yards, equaled Auburn in the run game and nearly overcame the loss of the most special player in the sport. But Alabama missed its late field goal, committed the late penalty and took a loss it didn’t need.
The Razorbacks found enough energy to make their finale competitive, but their offense was a little too anemic to deliver an SEC win. This was one of their best efforts in a putrid 2019 season.
Texas A&M: D-
The Aggies don’t get a failing grade just because this was LSU. But Kellen Mond couldn’t get it going, the run game didn’t do much and the Aggies got blasted.
The Rebels lost their rivalry game in a historically embarrassing way. They really didn’t play badly, but that might make the end of the game even worse.
Yes, this Louisville team wasn’t very good (though it did somehow go 5-3 in the ACC). But Kentucky made a statement by setting a school record for rushing yards (517) for the second consecutive game.
This was a day for taking care of business game as Georgia won the yardage battle 500-139 against Georgia Tech. This game was close for a half, but Georgia took over late.
This was a nice day for the Gators, as they passed all over Florida State, picking up 390 yards through the air. This one was so lopsided that UF even won the rushing battle.
Ugly passing day for the Vols, but that was about the only thing not to like — other than Jauan Jennings’ head-stomping antics.
It was kind of a bland victory for the Tigers, as they went to third-string QB Taylor Powell and he was good enough to direct the victory. Time to see what direction Mizzou goes for its new coach.
South Carolina: C-
It was hardly surprising, but the Gamecocks didn’t put up much of a fight against Clemson. The Tigers won the yardage battle 527-174 and USC finished with 9 first downs.
Just another day at the office for the 3-9 Commodores, who never really had a chance. Vandy’s offense was one big underachievement, in this game and in this season.
The Tigers put up 50 on the Aggies, led by 425 yards from the highest-octane passing attack in college football.
The Wildcats’ 517 rushing yards led to a dominant win over in-state rival Louisville.
Remember when FSU had a first-rate pass defense? After the Gators threw for 390 yards, it seems like a long, long time ago.
Yes, the Tigers gave up 45 points, but they also had two interception returns for touchdowns and without those the win over Alabama would’ve never happened. A subtle key to the game was holding Alabama to the late field goal try, which was shanked.
Yes, Georgia Tech has struggled all year. Still, 139 total yards and 7 first downs is pitiful for a Power 5 team, much less against an in-state rival. UGA’s defense didn’t get the shutout, but did dominate.
LSU held Kellen Mond to 92 passing yards and three picks. The Tigers held the Aggies to 169 total yards and were never threatened in this game.
Two 50-plus-yard field goals? We see you, Tigers.
Jaylen Waddle’s kick return score kept the Tide rolling, for the moment.
Big, big kicking game for Anders Carlson, which ended up making a major difference in the Iron Bowl.
Yes, Clemson had plenty to do with it. But South Carolina had 9 first downs and 3 points so the Gamecocks did plenty to stop themselves.
Going 11 for 31 passing for 77 yards against a Missouri team that had been porous for the past month tells plenty about Arkansas’ season.
The Commodores couldn’t run or throw against UT and got thumped accordingly.
The offense put up 45 points. Granted, two of Auburn’s touchdowns were on pick-sixes. But the bottom line was that most Alabama defenses would have salted this game away. But Auburn ran effectively and passed just enough to steal the win.
Tennessee wasn’t much of a running team, but UT running back Eric Gray surpassed his season rushing total against Vandy. Gray’s long carry coming in was 16 yards. He averaged almost 10 yards per carry on his way to 246 rushing yards.
South Carolina was were picked apart in the air (316 yards) and on the ground (211 yards). Clemson just imposed its will on the Gamecocks.
Yes, the Crimson Tide were on both the honor roll and detention list. Why? Because a missed field goal finally did hurt them, as we all knew it some day would.
Yes, Elijah Moore lost his mind with his celebration penalty. But if Luke Logan could have made a 35-yard kick, it would all have been forgotten.
Like the Tide, plenty of bad as well as good. The touchdown from Waddle could’ve been the difference in this game.