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SEC tough Saturday, dominated 141-44 in three games


If you were looking for the few SEC East teams that were playing on Saturday to provide positive outings and keep the games competitive, we were all wrong. Besides Tennessee’s performance up to the 3 and 1/2 quarters, it was an extremely embarrassing day for this side of the conference.

Let’s start with Nashville, as Vanderbilt sought out the first conference victory of the season. Not only did the Dores fail to show up for their home game, they were outplayed in every aspect. Mississippi State came to Nashville on a mission to embarrass the Dores, after being beaten 49-9 last weekend against Alabama. It was 24-3 at halftime, and honestly it could have been a lot worse. The Dores once again had to ride with Mike Wright as quarterback, which quickly turned into a bad situation. Wright finished the night 12-17 for 122 yards and 1 interception. There didn’t seem to be any sort of life for Vanderbilt’s offense as they finished the game with a total of 9 rushing yards. It’s disgusting, even for that offensive line from Vandy. It’s not like the Bulldogs are dominant in defense, but they fooled the Dores on Saturday.

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Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers takes on Vanderbilt in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, October 23, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt’s defense allowed 522 yards of total attack, most of it coming from the air. Mississippi State QB Will Rogers was 41-57 for 384 yards and 4 touchdowns, but threw 2 interceptions. He could have pitched five picks tonight and it still wouldn’t have mattered. Vanderbilt was 1-11 in third downs, while only owning the ball for 20:58. A horrible night in Nashville for the Dores, who will host Missouri next weekend.

On their way to College Station, as South Carolina looked for a surprise against Texas A&M. If you want to see what a team without an identity looks like, just take a look at the Gamecocks. Shane Beamer’s side were leading 31-0 at halftime. Ainias Smith hit a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown and Jalen Wydermyer scored two touchdowns in the first half, making the Gamecocks look like an FCS football team. South Carolina gave up the first touchdown on special teams and the Aggies have never looked back. “This is what a dominant SEC football team looks like and they played like that,” Shane Beamer added after the game.

In the 4th quarter, Zeb Noland was finally eliminated, after only a pass from 30 yards. He was beaten through the night, as the Aggies destroyed the Gamecocks offensive line. Quarterback Jason Brown came on in the 4th quarter, but that was only to prevent Noland from leaving the game in a wheelchair. South Carolina ended the game with a total of 185 yards and three turnovers. Simply put, this team looked horrible and showed no signs of life. The Gamecocks will have a week off before welcoming the Florida Gators. The “Bye Week” could not have come at a better time.

SEC tough Saturday, dominated 141-44 in three games

A member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets shows his support for Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller during the second half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at University Station, Texas.
(AP Photo / Sam Craft)

We end the day in Tuscaloosa, as Tennessee fought with Alabama, at least for 3 and a half quarters. The Vols allowed a touchdown on their first defensive outing, as the Tide ran for 85 yards on the field. But, the Vols also had some offensive magic, going 75 yards in 1:50, tying 7-7, thanks to Hendon Hooker’s connection to Velus Jones Jr. The Vols actually led 14-7 in the first quarter, while JaVonta Payton passed 57 yards at home, as the small contingent from Tennessee erupted into cheers. But Vols’ defense continued to be left on the pitch, and as the teams made their way to the locker room, Alabama had taken a 21-14 lead. In one of the craziest stats I’ve seen this season, Alabama recorded 33 first downs, compared to 10 overall for Tennessee. If that doesn’t tell you how long the Vols defense has been in the field, I don’t know what will.

There was one key point in this game where I felt the Vols could have made a statement. After blocking a punt early in the 3rd quarter and getting the ball over to Bama’s 16-yard line, the Vols had to settle for an FG and couldn’t tie it up, making it only 21-17. From there, the Tide took advantage of a worn-out Tennessee defense, scoring five times in the second half, only one being a field goal. Bryce Young finished the game 31-43 for 371 yards and 4 total TDs. As for Hendon Hooker, he emptied it and finished with 308 total yards and 3 touchdowns. The final score of 52-24 shouldn’t indicate how close this game was at the start of the 4th quarter, as Tide scored a few late TDs against a gassed Vols defense. Either way, that was the type of performance Tennessee were trying to avoid as they couldn’t afford to keep their defense so much on the court. Ultimately, Flights need to be healthy and they have a week off to do it. Tennessee will play Lexington on November 6, in a much more winnable game now, compared to a month ago. We’ll see where the Robbery season goes from here, with three home games remaining.

SEC tough Saturday, dominated 141-44 in three games

Alabama defensive back Jordan Battle (9) tackles Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday October 23, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
(AP Photo / Vasha Hunt)

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Overall, it was a tough day for the East Division and things are going badly for Vanderbilt and South Carolina, while Tennessee showed signs of life on Saturday.

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