You could have called it "Throwback Saturday" with the way defenses and running games dominated some of the biggest games of the day yesterday. But for longtime SEC fans, it's just another Saturday of the brand of football they love.
Alabama 38, Florida 10
LSU 35, Kentucky 7
Arkansas 42, Texas A&M 38
Georgia 24, Mississippi State 10
Auburn 16, South Carolina 13
Tennessee 41, Buffalo 10
Ole Miss 38, Fresno State 28
I'll be the first to admit I had no idea Alabama would squash Florida but I should have. Here's what the numbers 13, 6, and 10 have in common: Those represent points the Gators have scored the last three times they've played the Crimson Tide. Yeah. Owned. 'Bama gave up an early score but remained calm and let their offense catch on with the powerful running game led by Trent Richardson. Then the defense turned up the heat and the Gators were done. Barring injuries, Alabama has one more test on the schedule.
That test is against LSU, who dominated hapless Kentucky. QB Jarrett Lee didn't look sharp (only 38% completion) but the running game of the Tigers and the ferocious defense was more than enough. The Tigers needs to work out some of Lee's kinks but they really just have to remain focused. That defense is good enough to carry them against a beat-up Florida team next week as they begin the march to face Alabama in early November.
Speaking of being carried, I would have never thought Auburn's defense would carry that team anywhere, but against South Carolina it did just that. Forcing mistakes, confusion, and miscues, the Tigers defense continually put their offense in position, and RB Michael Dyer did most of the rest with 41 carries (almost more than he'd had on the year combined). It should be noted that the game ended in controversy, with South Carolina gaining a first down with time on the clock for a potential game-tying field goal. However, the clock was never stopped (for reasons the referees will surely be explaining for a long time) and that was it. Auburn's long October continues to get tougher and it'll need more than favorable calls if it still plans to make a bowl game.