Tennessee 31 South Carolina 13
The last time their was this much excitement in Knoxville the Vols were considered a good team. When this year began the idea was to get the program back to it’s winning ways. A task tat would fall to new head football coach Lane Kiffin and his new staff. Things did not start well for the Vols but began changing when they lost that narrow game to Florida. They followed it up with a closer one against Alabama. Although they were losses they seem to build the character of this team and they seemed to have found some kind of unity and understanding of each other. I had written that maybe they had found that missing piece of something that they needed to build their confidence and play ball again. Well on Saturday they were facing a Gamecock team that would not fold easily. Yet when it came to game time they could not execute as they fumbled three times in the first half to help the Vols take a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Vols wore Halloween uniforms also going with the black top with orange letter on it. It was a move by a team that is feeling more confident each week. After the first half all the Vols had to do was hold on to the lead as South Carolina never really threatened or put up any kind of fight. It was a huge win for the team as they showed that they can compete and finish against a quality opponent. The fact that they were humiliated by S.C. last year, then a few days later Phillip Fulmer was advised that he would not return as coach, played a big part in their motivation. Jonathan Crompton continues to improve and show more confidence in his game. He managed the game well going 12-24 for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly he did not throw an interception and was on target for the most part. Montario Hardesty continues to run strong and hard as he ended the game with 121 yards on 23 carries. There was the almost customary blocked field goal and that will have to be addressed too. Junior Chad Cunningham handled the kicking duties while Daniel Lincoln was nursing an injured quadriceps. Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia had 300 yards passing on 25-50 but most of it was late when his team was trying to come back too little too late. He was bothered all day by the new blitzing schemes implemented this past week and never really could get into a rhythm. The running game was not a factor as well due to the lead that was built by Tennessee. It was the first time in a while that UT outplayed a Steve Spurrier coached team like this. He is usually prepared for any situation but not on this day. The win puts UT at 4-4 on the year with hope of finishing off strong. An 8-8 record is not out of the question yet.
Florida 41 Georgia 17
This was not supposed to be this bad but AT&Tebow made sure it was. He accounted for four touchdowns, throwing and running for two each, and set the record for rushing touchdowns in SEC history with his 50th and 51st of his career. A.J. Jones had two big picks and another was returned five yards by Brandon Spikes for a touchdown. It was the best that Florida has played in quite some time as they won their 18th straight game to extend the nation’s longest win streak. They also clinched at least a tie for the SEC East title after the South Carolina loss. As for Georgia it was a rough outing to say the least as they are still smarting form last year’s 49-10 loss to the Gators in which coach Meyer called two timeouts to prolong the Bulldogs loss. Pictures of him calling the timeouts were posted all over the Georgia locker room and but it did nothing as far as motivation. Georgia QB Joe Cox was replaced in the lineup by Logan Gray and the Gators welcomed him on the pick by Jones to end the scoring. Georgia will now have to take another look at their team to see what they can do to salvage a season they hoped would go better than this one has gone. They are now at 4-4 overall and at 3-3 are tied with South Carolina in the East. It’s been a disappointing season but they have time to finish strong.
Mississippi State 31 Kentucky 24
It was the Anthony Dixon show as he ran for a school record 252 yards and two touchdowns. He broke the school record that was held by Jerious Norwood (247 yards) right after he broke the career mark also set by Norwood two weeks ago. The Bulldogs keep their bowl hopes alive and are now 2-3 in the West and 4-5 overall. Quarterback Tyson Lee was efficient going 10-17 for 145 yards a touchdown and two picks. For the Wildcats it was not enough even though they started so strong jumping out to a 14-3 lead. Quarterback Morgan Newton continues to show signs that he is the future of this team. He was just 11-19 for 119 yards but on his 11-yard scoring run he dragged defenders with him showing his toughness. He made good decisions but made his mistakes as well. Kentucky was moving the ball in attempt to tie the game but fell short when they turned it over on downs. The bowl picture still looks god for both of these teams.
Auburn 33 Mississippi 20
LSU 42 Tulane 0
Georgia Tech 56 Vanderbilt 31
Arkansas 63 Eastern Michigan 27