Saturday's SEC College Football Capsules
For Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
No. 1 ALABAMA 44, TENNESSEE 13
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Alabama may have a championship-caliber offense to go with its best-in-the-nation defense.
A.J. McCarron tossed four touchdown passes and threw for a career-high 306 yards as the top-ranked Crimson Tide trounced Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. Freshman receiver Amari Cooper caught seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman running back T.J. Yeldon ran for 129 yards and two scored on 15 carries.
Tyler Bray went 13 of 27 for 184 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes for Tennessee. The Volunteers had scored at least 31 points in each of their first six games, but they couldn't muster much offense against an Alabama team that entered leading the country in total defense, scoring defense, run defense and pass efficiency defense.
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC) has lost 11 of its last 12 SEC games and is 0-14 against the Top 25 since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010.
More than one-third of the 102,455 fans were cheering for Alabama (7-0, 4-0). By the midway point of the fourth quarter, many of the Tennessee fans already had headed to the parking lot.
No. 3 FLORIDA 44, SOUTH CAROLINA 11
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- No. 3 Florida lived up to its surprising BCS ranking by thrashing a South Carolina team that appeared to be a contender in the SEC.
The Gamecocks gave LSU almost all it could handle in Death Valley last week, and figured to follow up with a good showing in The Swamp.
Instead, Loucheiz Purifoy knocked the ball out of South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw's hands on the first play, and Florida punched it in to start a 44-11 rout in Gainesville.
Jeff Driskel threw four touchdown passes — three of them after turnovers — and the Gators matched their win total from last season.
Florida avenged consecutive losses to the Gamecocks, including one a couple of years ago that ended with Steve Spurrier and his players celebrating a division title on the Gators' home field.
Florida managed just 29 yards and two first downs in the first half against South Carolina (6-2, 4-2). But the Gators led 21-6 thanks to three turnovers and never looked back.
Florida's latest whatever-it-takes win kept coach Will Muschamp's team undefeated and put it on the cusp of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division title. The Gators can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game by beating No. 13 Georgia next week.
No. 6 LSU 24, No. 20 TEXAS A&M 19
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown, and the sixth-ranked Tigers rallied from an early deficit.
Michael Ford also had a touchdown run and Zach Mettenberger threw a TD pass to Kadron Boone for the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), who scored 21 points off four Texas A&M turnovers.
A&M (5-2, 2-2) outplayed the Tigers for much of the first half and led 12-0, LSU's largest deficit since the national championship game against Alabama in January. But the Aggies gave away two costly turnovers just before halftime, and Boone's diving catch in the end zone with 11 seconds left put LSU up 14-12 at the break. Hill finished off A&M with a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Johnny Manziel, A&M's dual-threat redshirt freshman quarterback, completed 29 of 56 passes for 276 yards, but threw three interceptions and was sacked three times. He was the SEC's leading rusher coming into the game and was held to 27 yards on 17 carries.
No. 13 GEORGIA 29, KENTUCKY 24
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes to rally Georgia over stubborn Kentucky.
The junior finished 30 of 38 for 427 yards as the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) stayed within reach of East-leading Florida entering next week's showdown against the unbeaten Gators in Jacksonville, Fla.
Georgia, coming off a bye following a 35-7 loss at South Carolina, had to work hard to get past Kentucky (1-7, 0-5), which has lost six in a row. Despite outgaining the Wildcats 504-329, the Bulldogs trailed three times and needed Murray's fourth TD for a cushion.
Two of Murray's scores were to Tavarres King, who had nine receptions for 188 yards — included a 66-yard TD. Arthur Lynch and Chris Conley also caught TDs for the Bulldogs.
Kentucky senior Morgan Newton had a hand in all the Wildcats' scores, running and passing for a touchdown and leading a field-goal drive. He played the entire second half in place of freshman Jalen Whitlow, who left with a migraine.
No. 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE 45, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 3
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tyler Russell threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns, Johnthan Banks tied a school record with his 16th career interception and Mississippi State pulled away in the second half.
Mississippi State (7-0) led just 10-3 at halftime, but scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to open a comfortable lead in the non-conference game. It was the ninth straight win for the Bulldogs, dating to last season.
LaDarius Perkins shook Mississippi State's offense out of an extended drought midway through the third quarter, bursting through the middle of the line for a 64-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-3. He finished with 125 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Mississippi State's Chris Smith caught a career-high seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee (4-3) was led by Jordan Parker's 66 yards rushing.
The victory sets up Mississippi State's undefeated conference showdown at No. 1 Alabama next weekend.
VANDERBILT 17, AUBURN 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Luckily for Zac Stacy, he won't be remembered for his last carry on a record-setting day.
Vanderbilt overcame a fourth-quarter fumble by its senior running back, who rushed for 169 yards and a go-ahead touchdown in a 17-13 victory over Auburn on Saturday.
Stacy had 27 carries and became the school's all-time rushing leader but lost the ball on his final rush, allowing the Tigers (1-6, 0-5 Southeastern Conference) to take over at their 32-yard line with 2:24 left.
Vanderbilt (3-4, 2-3) responded by smothering the SEC's worst-scoring offense. Clint Moseley overshot an open Sammie Coates on fourth-and-13 with 52 seconds remaining.
The Tigers are off to their worst start since losing six of their first seven in 1952 in Shug Jordan's second year as head coach. Auburn is the first team since 1936 to start 1-6 within two years of finishing first in The Associated Press rankings.