Hogs Fall, Texas A&M Earns Upset of the Year
Week 11 of college football brought some huge surprises to the Southeastern Conference. Wins, losses, upsets and close calls all showed strengths and weaknesses of some teams that had not been shown this season.
Arkansas fell to No. 8 South Carolina, 38-20. This is the first time in three seasons that South Carolina has defeated Arkansas.
The Hogs held with South Carolina for the first quarter and only allowed seven points. At the half, South Carolina led 21-10 but a huge third quarter in which they outscored the Razorbacks 17-3 earned the Gamecocks the victory.
South Carolina was playing its first game of the season without their star running back, Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a gruesome knee injury last week.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson led the Hogs with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions on the day.
Wide receiver Bruce Ellington led the Gamecocks with five receptions for 104 yards and one touchdown.
Arkansas is 4-6 on the season while South Carolina sits at 8-2, hoping to clinch a BCS Bowl Game.
The biggest upset of the season so far came from the SEC this week. No. 15 Texas A&M defeated the defending National Champions and No. 1 Alabama, 29-24.
Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny “Football” Manziel had the game of his career and proved himself to be a candidate for the Heisman race. He passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards.
The Aggies came out with a 20-0 first quarter lead but Alabama went on to score 14 unanswered points in the second quarter.
The game then came down to the wire when Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron tried to lead his team to a second straight comeback, but fell short. McCarron threw for 309 yards and one touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, his first two of the season.
This loss possibly destroyed Alabama’s hopes of going to the National Championship game for the second straight year. It also means the SEC is very unlikely to win a seventh consecutive national title.
The Crimson Tide are 9-1 on the season and the Aggies stand at 8-2.
No. 6 Florida faced a few challenges this week in a last-second victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Gators were trailing, 20-13, with two minutes remaining in the game. Florida tied the game just under the two minute mark. The Ragin’ Cajuns punted the ball with just a few seconds left, but the punt was blocked and returned 36 yards by Jelani Jenkins for the game winning touchdown.
This nonconference game was supposed to be a middle of the season break for the Gators. Louisiana-Lafayette was a 27-point underdog in the game and hadn’t beaten a ranked opponent in 16 years. The Cajuns were paid $950,000 to be Florida’s homecoming opponent.
With the win, Florida moved to 9-1 on the season.
The Gators were hoping for an Auburn upset over Georgia, which would help them clinch the SEC East title, but that did not happen.
Georgia shutout Auburn 38-0 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia and Florida will finish the season tied for the SEC east, but Georgia will play in the SEC championship game because of their victory over Florida.
Quarterback Aaron Murray passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall ran for more than 100 yards each.
The Bulldogs are on a four-game winning streak, which puts them at 9-1 on the season, fighting for a BCS Bowl Game appearance. Auburn fell to 2-8 on the season without an SEC conference win.
No.7 LSU defeated No. 21 Mississippi State, 37-17, to keep the hopes of an SEC title alive for the Tigers. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger led the attack for the Tigers with 273 passing yards and two touchdowns.
LSU moved to 8-2 on the season, also hoping to clinch a BCS Bowl appearance. Mississippi State fell to 7-3.
Vanderbilt came up with an exhilarating one-point win over Ole Miss, 27-26. Quarterback Jordan Rodgers hit Chris Boyd for a 26-yard touchdown with 52 seconds left to win the game.
Rodgers completed 20 of 35 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Matthews had nine receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown.
The Commodores trailed the Rebels 23-6 in the third quarter but made a tremendous comeback to pick up the victory.
Vanderbilt moved to 6-4 on the season. Ole Miss stands even at 5-5.
Missouri picked up its second SEC win of the year in a four-overtime game against Tennessee, 51-48. The Tigers were led by quarterback James Franklin who threw for 226 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray had an outstanding game with 404 passing yards and four touchdowns but came up short of the win.
The Tigers stand even at 5-5 on the year and Tennessee fell to 4-6.
Even after a tough loss, Alabama only fell to No. 4 in the BCS poll. The Tide are followed by five SEC teams: Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
The top three teams, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame, are all unbeaten, so despite six of the top ten teams being from the SEC, at least two of these teams will have to lose for an SEC team to play for the national title.