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Week 6 SEC rankings and reactions: Tennessee came up with a brilliant comeback win, Georgia suffered a heartbreaker in a few ways, and Florida kept on rolling.
SEC Player of the Week
Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs completed 25-of-42 passes for 312 yards and three scores with a pick, and ran 18 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Georgia.
Week 6 SEC Football Rankings
1. Florida (6-0)
W, at Missouri 21-3: Missouri doesn’t have much of an offense, so all Florida hat to do was keep it conservative, don’t make mistakes, grind out the running game, and move on. That’s exactly what happened with Kelvin Taylor running hard – even if he wasn’t able to bust out anything big – a +2 turnover margin, and keeping the ball for close to 38 minutes. As flaky as last year’s loss was to Mizzou, that’s how easy and sound this year’s victory was. The Gators got up early, let the D do the work, and let Will Grier hit the third down throws and use Taylor to grind it. This was a very smart, very good win coming off the emotional game against Ole Miss. But now comes the date with LSU and a chance to truly make a big push in the playoff chase.
2. Ole Miss (5-1)
W, New Mexico State 52-3: New Mexico State might be the worst team in college football, but it’s still a major plus to see the offense working like it’s supposed to again. The Rebels came out roaring, with Chad Kelly back to the ways of the first few weeks with 384 yards and three scores, while Laquon Treadwell coming up with his own personal highlight reel with eight terrific catches for 136 yards and two scores. It was just the type of game the Rebels needed to get back on their feet again after the ugly loss to Florida except for one problem – the turnovers. It would’ve been nice to have been far tighter with two lost fumbles and a pick. The defense can pick up the slack against the New Mexico States of the world, but Ole Miss has to start winning the turnover margin again.
3. Alabama (5-1)
W, Arkansas 27-14: It sure does help to have an NFL defensive front seven that can stop an elite running game cold. The Crimson Tide held Arkansas to nine first downs and gave up just 44 rushing yards, but it was still too much of a struggle because the O needed a while to get going. Bama was helped by a bad fake punt call from Bret Bielema, but after going conservative with a steady drip, drip, drip on offense, Jake Coker connected with Calvin Ridley for an 81-yard score and all was right with the world. Was this yet another moment for Coker to take the team by the horns? He looked fine, but turnovers are still a concern with two picks. With this defense, though, it’s easy to overcome mistakes.
4. Texas A&M (5-0)
UP NEXT: Alabama
5. LSU (5-0)
W, South Carolina 45-24: Can Brandon Harris keep on doing this? After an awful game against Eastern Michigan, Harris completed 18-of-28 passes for 228 yards and two scores, utilizing the terrific receiving corps with Travin Dural catching four passes for 109 yards and a score and Malachi Dupre coming up with a big day. Leonard Fournette is getting all the attention, but this is growing into a strong all-around team. Now there needs to be a big win over a solid team – the close call against Mississippi State was the best victory so far. Beat Florida next week, and all of a sudden, it’ll be time to talk about LSU as the possible No. 1 team.
6. Mississippi State (4-2)
W, Troy 45-17: This was the right game to give the star a rest. With Dak Prescott a little under the weather, the Bulldogs got up big early, let Dak take a break, and got to see what Nick Dylan Fitzgerald could do. Nine different MSU players got to run the ball, Fitzgerald got to see some meaningful time, and the team got a nice scrimmage with Louisiana Tech and Kentucky up next. The offense was just 2-of-10 on third downs, but after getting up 38-0, there wasn’t much of a need for a fully-focused effort.
7. Arkansas (2-4)
L, at Alabama 27-14: The Arkansas schedule is just so brutal. The Crimson Tide defense stepped up and stopped the Hog running game to a dead stop – NOTHING was working – and Brandon Allen only threw for 176 yards, but it was still a battle until late. Arkansas was able to keep the Crimson Tide running game from getting going, forcing Jake Coker to try winning the game through the air. Everything worked fine except for one giant pass play that changed everything up, and the Hogs just didn’t have the playmakers to answer. This was a loss to, probably, the best team in college football in its home park – blow it off, beat Auburn and UT Martin, and get ready for Ole Miss and LSU games on the road.
8. Tennessee (3-3)
W, Georgia 38-31: Joshua Dobbs just saved the season. The defense was struggling against Georgia, the offense was having problems early on, and everything appeared to be slipping away, but Dobbs made the game his with a historic performance. He ran well against Florida, he threw well against Arkansas, but against Georgia, he did it all with 312 passing yards and three scores, and running 18 times for 118 yards and two scores. There are too many weapons on offense for Dobbs to have to do it all himself, and he certainly had help, but he did exactly what a leader and star is supposed to do in a huge home game. Now Tennessee is back in the East race, but more than that, with a trip to Alabama coming up next, the team simply got a win.
9. Georgia (4-2)
L, at Tennessee 38-31: It is possible to have had a worse outcome after losing a key East battle as well as star running back Nick Chubb? Sony Michel ran well with more work, taking off 22 times for 145 yards, but losing Chubb for the season will be devastating as the year goes on – the Bulldogs can’t afford to lose offensive stars. But even with the problems on defense stopping Joshua Dobbs and the Tennessee attack, the game was there to be won with Reggie Davis dropping a sure touchdown pass. As bad as the last two weeks have been, all is not lost. Beat Missouri, beat Florida, and the Dawgs are right back in the East race. It’ll take more help from others, but it’s still there. The team can’t lose focus now.
10. Kentucky (4-1)
UP NEXT: Auburn
11. Missouri (4-2)
L, Florida 21-3: The Tigers just don’t have the offensive playmakers to afford getting down early, and they don’t have the ability to come up with a good comeback against a great defense like Florida’s. Drew Lock wasn’t ready for primetime, completing just 16-of-39 passes for 151 yards and two key interceptions, but it wasn’t all on him. The offense only converted one of 14 third down chances with way too many tough situations set up by a lack of a running game on first downs. Can the defense carry the day at Georgia next week? It’ll have to.
12. South Carolina (2-4)
L, at LSU 45-24: It was a messed up weekend all the way around for South Carolina, but instead of the team being able to get away from the distractions, it was still just an away game at LSU. The real life issues were obviously front and center, but on the field, this was yet another game that exposed just how few offensive playmakers the Gamecocks have. The line couldn’t get a push for the ground game, and Perry Orth did what he could on a few nice passes, but they weren’t close to being enough. This is a better team that it shows, but it’s outmanned and outtalented – to create a word – against the better SEC teams. That won’t be a problem against Vanderbilt next week.
13. Auburn (3-2)
UP NEXT: at Kentucky
14. Vanderbilt (2-3)
UP NEXT: at South Carolina