For Alabama the task was simple, win the game and win the West. They needed this win to keep pace with Florida and Texas for the BCS title. So as the teams took the field each coach knew they had to get the best game of the year from their teams. What they got was an entertaining game that now clears the picture in the SEC. LSU looked strong early and it looked like they would get the best in this one. With LSU playing the run, the Tide put the ball in the air 25 out of the 34 times they threw the football in first half, but could only muster a Leigh Tiffin 28-yard field goal. In the meantime the Tigers were up 7-3 with Quarterback Jordan Jefferson and running back Charles Scott leading the way. Then the two of them were hurt in the second half and the game changed. It was 10-9 Alabama after a safety when Stevan Ridley had an 8-yard scoring run to put LSU up 15-10 going into the fourth quarter. Then Alabama showed the form that has gotten them this far this year. Running back Mark Ingram ran for 106 of his 144 yards in the second half and receiver Julio Jones had his best game of the year. It was reported that one or more of the Tigers defensive backs had been talking smack to Jones all day. Well all of that was squashed when he broke LSU’s back on a 73-yard catch and run for a 21-15 lead his team would not relinquish. Another Tiffin field goal with 3:04 left ended the scoring. With the win the Tide clinched the West and will play Florida for the SEC championship on December 5 in Atlanta. Barring a breakdown before that, the winner in Atlanta should play for the BCS title.
Tennessee 56 Memphis 28
The one thing that has been a constant this year in Knoxville is coach Lane Kiffin. He has stirred the stuff on more than a few occasions and this week was no different when Memphis coach Tommy West supposedly said some kind of joke that involved Kiffin and a dog. After the game Kiffin shot back in true fashion saying the dog had bitten back. He did not make any friends in the game either as he had his Vols play with the intensity of a conference championship. They kicked an onside kick with a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and went for it a few times on fourth down in the first half. He would also call a timeout on a third down play when Memphis had the ball at their own 14. It was his way of sending a clear message to his team that they would be playing full throttles the rest of the season. Yes it was Memphis they were playing and the Tigers scored most of their points against back up players. It did not matter as Jonathan Crompton threw for a career best 331 yards, five touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. It could have been worse but Kiffin pulled him in the third and then the defensive subs followed. It was a game that Kiffin hopes he can use to help recruiting in the Memphis area for the future. He has made many waves in his rookie season but he has also put a fire under these Vols. They are playing the brand of football that has not been seen in awhile here. They still have a few games left and if they can win out they stand a shot at bowl bids like the Outback and the Cotton. It’s still early up on Rocky Top but things are looking up for the future of Tennessee football.
Florida 27 Vanderbilt 3
One of the things I hate to hear is when they say a team got a moral victory in a loss. To me there is no such thing. So that takes us the Gainesville and the game between the Commodores and the Gators. It was never a contest but Vandy sacked AT&Tebow four times and limited him to just 27 yards rushing. He was efficient but Vanderbilt made him work harder than usual and Florida looked to have more questions than answers. They could not get into a flow and were confused with the different looks they were getting from the Vandy defense. Either way the Gators won their 19th straight game and is now on cruise control for their showdown versus Alabama for the SEC title. As for Vanderbilt, they showed again they have a top-flight defense but lack the offense and consistency to beat teams like Florida. Mistakes and stalled drives continue to be the flavor and they had to punt seven times. Mackenzi Adams started for the injured Larry Smith but could only get 100 yards passing and the offense managed just 199 total yards. That will not get it done in this league so Florida must now win out and use these next games as preparation for Alabama. If they play like they did on this day they will not beat the Tide and defend their national championship. Hold on cause now its SEC football at it’s best.