A look at the weekend’s SEC football results:
Alabama 49, Auburn 0: Alabama scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions, all without benefit of a turnover or a special teams score. Bama outgained the Tigers 483-163, perhaps sealing Gene Chizik’s fate as Auburn coach. Eddie Lacy gained 131 yards on 18 carries and quarterback AJ McCarron hit on 15 of 21 passes for 216 yards for four touchdowns. He averaged 10.3 yards per pass attempt. Auburn’s quarterbacks completed just five of 15 passes for 71 yards. That was a problem all year for the 3-9 Tigers, who failed to win a game in the SEC.
Florida 37, Florida State 26: The Gators scored 24 fourth-quarter points for a huge win in Tallahassee. Will Muschamp’s team needed Georgia or Notre Dame to lose on Saturday, which didn’t happen. Still, it was an amazing season for the Gators, who went 11-1 and will probably be in a BCS bowl. Mike Gillislee had a 37-yard TD run and Matt Jones had a 32-yard TD run in the final quarter for the Gators, who made the fourth quarter an emphasis all season. Interestingly enough, Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease had been touted as a possible candidate for UK’s opening, while Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops emerged through the grapevine Saturday as a serious candidate.
LSU 20, Arkansas 13: LSU finished its season at 10-2 with a win in Fayetteville on Friday despite the fact the Razorbacks outgained the Tigers 462-306. Arkansas turned the ball over twice, however, while LSU did not commit a turnover. LSU had a tough time running the football, but quarteback Zach Mettenberger was efficient enough, completing 16 of 29 passes for 217 yards and a TD without an interception. LSU has its fingers crossed for a BCS bowl bid. Arkansas made it official, informing interim coach John L. Smith he will not be back next season.
Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10: The Bulldogs had not trouble with their arch-rivals from Atlanta. Mark Richt’s team led 28-3 at the half and 42-3 after three quarters. Freshman tailback Todd Gurley gained 97 yards on just 12 carries and quarterback Aaron Murray was a near laser-like 14 of 17 for 215 yards and two scores. Georgia Tech actually outgained the Bulldogs 426-379, but Tech committed two turnovers while Georgia was clean in that department.
South Carolina 27, Clemson 17: The Gamecocks went with Dylan Thompson at quarterback and Connor Shaw’s backup completed 23 of 41 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Down 14-10 at the half, Thompson hit Ace Sanders for a 34-yard TD. When Clemson cut the led to 20-17, Thompson threw a six-yard scoring pass to Bruce Ellington with 4:17 left to seal the deal. The Gamecocks outgained Clemson’s high-octane offense 444-328.
Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29: Johnny Football was at it again last night in College Station. Johnny Manziel completed 32 of 44 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 12 times for 67 yards and two scores. Texas A&M built a 42-0 lead with 3:33 left in the second quarter. It was a tough first year in the SEC for Missouri, which went 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the league. A&M had little trouble with the transition, finishing 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference. Its losses were to Florida and LSU. The Aggies went 4-0 on the road in the conference.
Vanderbilt 55, Wake Forest 21: The Commodores won their sixth straight to finish 8-4. Zac Stacy rushed for 180 yards on 21 carries, including a 90-yard touchdown run, and Jason Matthews caught 10 passes for 144 yards. Jordan Rogers was nearly replaced as quarterback early in the year, but engineered the long winning streak. Rodgers completed 17 of 23 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns against the Deacons. Jonathan Krause had an 83-yard punt return for a score, as well.
Ole Miss 41, Mississippi State 24: First-year Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze did one of the more underrated jobs in the nation, guiding the Rebels to a 6-6 record and a big win in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss outscored State 17-0 in the third quarter with quarterback Bo Wallace hitting wide out Donte Moncrief for a pair of touchdown passes. Ole Miss gained 527 yards, including 233 on the ground. After a 7-0 start, State lost four of its last five to finish 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the league.