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SEC Week Four Wrap Up: Georgia Falls, Others Survive

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Georgia Falls to 0-3 in Conference Play
The Georgia-Mississippi State game was a tale to two teams passing each other on the road of relevance Saturday, and it is evident which one is trending upwards and which is sinking to the bottom. Who would have ever thought Georgia would start the season 1-3, losing three straight conference games to teams they’ve traditionally been in front of? Georgia never led in the game against Mississippi State Saturday night, and it is clear the problems on that team run much deeper than the absence of A.J. Green. Kirk Herbstreit can shill for him all he wants to, but Mark Richt is definitely in trouble in Athens. It’ll take an unprecedented effort for him to survive the season.

Alabama Wins It With Defense
Alabama surrendered passing yards in bunches Saturday but finally relied on what many thought would be the best defense against such an attack – the running game. Arkansas started with a flurry of offense that led to a 13 point lead in the second half over the defending National Champion and number 1 ranked Crimson Tide. Alabama’s defense stiffened, the running game battered through the Hogs defense, and a late interception shut the door on the upset bid. Close games like this tell you a great deal about your allegedly best team in a conference. Alabama is heading into a tough stretch of games, and this test will either be the precursor to a loss or the catalyst to propel them through the competition they way Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson ran through Arkansas.

LSU Holds Off West Virginia
LSU and West Virginia traded punches Saturday in the late night game and, once again, the Tigers of the bayou found a way to win utilizing defense and special teams. Patrick Peterson may never get the serious Heisman run he and LSU think he’s due, but no one will deny how special a player he is or how important a role he plays. LSU’s passing game is still in the tank but, as they proved Saturday, the Tigers apparently don’t need it to win.

Auburn Comes Back…Again
For the second week in a row, the Auburn Tigers overcame a rough start and a double-digit deficit at home to defeat South Carolina. The Tigers offense rolled up over 300 yards in rushing and the defense pressure SCar’s quarterbacks (yes – Spurrier played both) and forced four turnovers. AU QB Cam Newton scored five touchdowns in the victory. What does all of this mean? The jury’s still out on these teams. Both looked good in spots and not-so-good in others. One thing is certain – an early lead against Auburn is anything but safe these days.

Final Thoughts…
– Tennessee: Escaping UAB is almost as laughable as…well, it’s not really that funny. It’s kind of sad to see a storied program in the SEC reduced to the pile of rubble currently wearing orange and white in Knoxville. Derek Dooley’s remodel is going to take some time.
– Ole Miss: congratulations for showing up and showing out against Fresno State. Many had picked the Rebels ripe for another beating, but Houston Nutt still has some tricks in the bag.
– Florida: Freshmen QB/WR/RB Trey Burton scored six times against the Wildcats in a game that was never in doubt, and in the first one the Gators offense finally started clicking. It’ll be interesting to see how Meyer and company work him in to the rest of the year as the Gators schedule is about to get a lot tougher.


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