SEC Power Rankings: Week 7

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
2:00
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The good times kept rolling in the Magnolia State, as the Rebels and Bulldogs won big again one week after their historic victories. Whoever thought they would see the day when the two Mississippi schools stood atop the SEC? Meanwhile, in the East, Georgia put the conference on notice that it would be foolish to count it out in light of Todd Gurley's indefinite suspension.

Edward Aschoff, Jeff Barlis, David Ching, Sam Khan Jr., Chris Low, Greg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough contributed to these rankings.

LSU freshman tracker: Week 7

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
11:00
AM ET
With the obvious exception of tailback Leonard Fournette, whose 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns were key elements in the victory, LSU’s true freshmen didn’t make as big an impact as usual in Saturday’s 30-27 win against Florida.

Here’s a recap of some of the key contributors’ performances:

WR Malachi Dupre
What he did:
Dupre came off the bench to catch just one pass for an 8-yard gain against Florida, although he played an active role in the receiver rotation. It was the first time since he was held without a catch by Louisiana-Monroe that Dupre failed to have at least 52 receiving yards in a game.

What it means: LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings completed just 10 passes, so we shouldn’t read much into Dupre’s lack of productivity against the Gators. Nobody had a breakout night in the passing game

RB Leonard Fournette
What he did:
Fournette started for the first time against Florida and received far and away the most touches of his young college career. He led the Tigers with 27 carries for 140 yards and scored touchdowns of 12 and 2 yards. He also returned four kickoffs for 85 yards.

What it means: Fournette has led LSU in rushing each week after a quiet opener, but this was the first time that he got a heavy workload. Obviously it paid off pretty well. But does this mean LSU will move away from its four-man backfield timeshare so that Fournette is the feature back? It’s too early to say.

DT Davon Godchaux
What he did:
Godchaux also started, but that is becoming a common thing. This was the fourth time in five games that he was in LSU’s starting lineup. He tied with senior defensive end Jermauria Rasco for third on the team with five tackles against Florida.

What it means: LSU desperately needs someone aside from Christian LaCouture to establish himself at defensive tackle. Godchaux continues to rank as one of the Tigers’ top options at the position -- a sign that the coaches believe he can be that guy.

WR Trey Quinn
What he did:
LSU’s third true freshman starter, Quinn was second on the team with three catches and 31 receiving yards with a long of 13 yards. He has caught at least one pass in every game this season.

What it means: As with Dupre, we can’t read much into Quinn’s stats from Saturday. For the most part, this wasn’t a stats game for receivers. Both freshman wideouts are still among LSU’s top options at their position.

RB Darrel Williams
What he did:
Williams carried the ball twice for a total of 4 yards against Florida -- tying for his fewest touches since he failed to play in the opener against Wisconsin. Saturday’s game also ended a three-game stretch where he caught at least one pass.

What it means: LSU had split carries more evenly between its backs prior to the Florida game, but nobody got many carries except Fournette. Terrence Magee ran six times for 50 yards and fellow senior Kenny Hilliard got four carries for 15 yards and a touchdown. Williams is still in the rotation, but this might have been Fournette’s coming-out party.

SEC helmet stickers: Week 7

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
9:00
AM ET
Landsharks and cowbells. That’s the best way to describe Week 7 in the SEC. Now it’s our turn to find deserving recipients for this week’s helmet stickers.

Javess Blue, WR, Kentucky: Can you earn a helmet sticker on one play? If it’s a one-handed touchdown grab with a defender draped all over you, then yes, you’re deserving. Blue had arguably the SEC’s catch of the year in Saturday’s 48-14 win over Louisiana-Monroe. If that wasn’t enough, he also hauled in a separate 83-yard touchdown grab earlier in the game and finished with three catches for 109 yards and the two scores.

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: The last time Chubb saw more than 30 carries in a game he was still playing for Cedartown High School. On Saturday, the freshman ran the ball 38 times for 143 yards and a touchdown in Georgia’s 34-0 win over Missouri. For good measure, he added four catches for 31 yards. No, he’s not Todd Gurley, but Chubb sure did an admirable job filling in for the Heisman Trophy contender. There’s no telling when, or if, Gurley comes back, but Chubb proved he’s more than capable of handling the load. Now give the kid a day off.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Chubb wasn’t the only freshman running back to have a breakthrough game Saturday. Fournette, the nation’s No. 1 recruit last year, finished with a career-high 140 yards and two touchdowns in LSU’s 30-27 win over Florida. And he must have learned his lesson because there were no Heisman poses after his touchdowns this time around. Love him or hate him, Fournette is a rising star in the SEC. This won’t be his last 100-yard game, and it certainly won’t be his last helmet sticker.

Cody Prewitt, DB, Ole Miss: Everybody in the Ole Miss secondary deserves a helmet sticker after Saturday’s 35-20 win over Texas A&M, but the nod goes to Prewitt because he’s the senior captain and because his 75-yard interception return for a touchdown was the turning point in the game. He also had seven tackles. But this helmet sticker could just as easily have gone to Tony Conner, who led the team with 11 tackles, or Senquez Golson, who had his second interception in as many weeks. It was a feeding frenzy for the “Landsharks,” who stymied Kenny Hill and held Texas A&M scoreless in the first half, the first time that’s happened under Kevin Sumlin.

Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State: Yes, Dak Prescott was really good again and probably should be on this list, but it was Mississippi State’s defense that came up with big play after big play in Saturday’s 38-23 win over Auburn. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers against Auburn, and as always, Smith was in the middle of it all. He didn’t add to his interception total, but the senior defensive end did finish with four tackles, one sack and four quarterback hurries. He’s been a big reason behind the success of this defense in the first half of the season.

Jeremy Pruitt, defensive coordinator, Georgia: Normally helmet stickers are for players only, but how about the job Pruitt has done with this Georgia defense? The Bulldogs forced five turnovers in the shutout win over Missouri on Saturday. It was a unit that was much maligned after the South Carolina game, but with the SEC East on the line, the defense stepped up and played its best game of the season. Credit the first-year coordinator.
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Check out the top plays from Week 7 of college football.
The SEC began to separate the contenders from the pretenders on Saturday, and the only thing we can safely say is that the state of Mississippi is still king.

[+] EnlargeCody Prewitt
AP Photo/Bob LeveyCody Prewitt scored one of Ole Miss' two defensive touchdowns in the Rebels' 35-20 dismantling of Texas A&M.
The Egg Bowl is the new Iron Bowl: Who would’ve thought that Mississippi State and Ole Miss would both be ranked in the top three midway through the season? One week after the Magnolia State took over the college football world, it was back for an encore. The Bulldogs began the day with a 38-23 win over No. 2 Auburn in a game where you couldn’t hear yourself think over the sound of cowbells. The defense forced four turnovers, and quarterback Dak Prescott accounted for more than 350 total yards and three touchdowns. Not to be outdone, Ole Miss dominated No. 14 Texas A&M in the nightcap, scoring two defensive touchdowns in a 35-20 win. There’s still plenty of football to be played, but the Egg Bowl, not the Iron Bowl, is the place to be the last weekend in November.

Defending champ down, not out: Auburn didn’t look much like a playoff contender in the first quarter Saturday. The Tigers turned the ball over on their first two plays from scrimmage, and before you could blink, it was 21-0 in favor of Mississippi State. But they rallied back and made it a one-possession game in the second half. It was reminiscent of last year’s loss to LSU, which ultimately turned around their season, as Auburn went on to win its next nine games. After Saturday’s game, coach Gus Malzahn said he believes that his Tigers are still one of the better teams in college football. The only problem is that they are likely going to have to be perfect the rest of the way if they want to make the playoff, and with trips left to Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama, that’s no walk in the park.

No Gurley, no problem for Georgia: Let’s be clear. Georgia is still the team to beat in the SEC East. Yes, Todd Gurley is a star. Yes, he’d probably be the Heisman Trophy favorite had he played this week. But even without him, the Bulldogs are still the best team in a mediocre division. They proved that Saturday with an impressive 34-0 win at Missouri. Freshman Nick Chubb filled in admirably for Gurley, rushing for 143 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries, and Jeremy Pruitt’s defense played as well as it has played all season. Georgia forced five turnovers, including four Maty Mauk interceptions, and held Missouri to 147 total yards. We still don’t know how much time Gurley is going to miss, but regardless, the Bulldogs are the clear favorite to reach Atlanta and play for the SEC championship.

Keep an eye on the freshman RBs: Chubb’s day was impressive, especially given his workload, but he wasn’t the only true freshman running back to put on a show. LSU's Leonard Fournette, the nation’s top recruit in the 2014 class, rushed for a career-high 140 yards and two touchdowns in a thrilling 30-27 win at Florida. He looked like a grown man when he ran over a defender on his way to the end zone in the first quarter. Auburn freshman Roc Thomas saw more action Saturday than he had all season and responded with 42 yards on six carries against a very good Mississippi State defense. And then there was Stanley Williams. Coming off a one-game suspension, the Kentucky back ripped off a 58-yard touchdown run and finished with more than 100 yards in the Wildcats' 48-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Defenses beware.

The honeymoon is over at Alabama: It feels like ages since Alabama hung 42 points on Florida and Lane Kiffin was being tabbed the best coaching hire this past offseason. In the two games since, the Crimson Tide’s offense has sputtered, and they were lucky to escape Arkansas with a 14-13 win on Saturday. Quarterback Blake Sims played OK as he went 11-of-21 for 161 yards and two touchdowns, but the running game never got going and Amari Cooper was held to just two catches for 22 yards. There was one point in the fourth quarter when Sims tried to convert a fourth-and-1 by jumping straight up, and Nick Saban looked like his head was going to explode. It didn’t appear as if the Alabama coach loved the play call or the execution. Kiffin’s offense better pick it up when Texas A&M comes to town next weekend.

Interview: LSU QB Anthony Jennings

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
12:18
AM ET
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LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings reacts to LSU’s 30-27 win over Florida in The Swamp.

Video: LSU coach Les Miles

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
12:14
AM ET
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LSU capitalized on a late turnover to get a much-needed road 30-27 win over Florida.

LSU Gets Much-Needed Win

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
12:00
AM ET


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LSU kept itself relevant in the SEC with a late win over Florida.

Instant Analysis: LSU 30, Florida 27

October, 11, 2014
Oct 11
11:42
PM ET
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- LSU came into its game against Florida a wounded bunch of Tigers after a lopsided loss at Auburn the week before but turned things around with a dramatic 30-27 victory on Saturday.

How the game was won: A game that felt heavy on defense and running suddenly exploded in fits of big fourth-quarter plays. Once again, LSU head coach Les Miles emerged victorious with his unique brand of late-game magic. With the game tied at 27, Florida was on the march and looking for a go-ahead field goal with seconds remaining. Gators QB Jeff Driskel inexplicably threw an inside slant into double coverage with no timeouts remaining. LSU safety Rickey Jefferson corralled the tipped ball and ran 23 yards into field goal range. Even more inexplicably, Miles dialed up a running play with a few second left in the game. Officials called a timeout, allowing the Tigers to kick the game-winning 50-yard field goal. Florida coach Will Muschamp vowed to call the SEC's head of officials for an explanation.

Game ball goes to: Leonard Fournette was a beast. He put the LSU offense on his back and carried it over, around and through the Florida defense. The Gators entered the game with a toothy run defense that ranked second in the SEC. Fournette didn't quite have a coming-out party, but the freshman did best his previous career highs with 27 carries for 140 yards. He also tied his career high with two touchdowns.

What it means: Not much. The Tigers are still trying to get back into the SEC West race. Beating the typically low-scoring Gators doesn't do much to signal that LSU is back, but a win does keep the Tigers' hopes alive that they can regain relevance by knocking off an Alabama or Ole Miss. The Gators (3-2, 2-2) had a chance to make hay and stay in the SEC East race with a win but must go back to soul searching after letting a game slip through their fingers. Playing against the worst run defense in the SEC, Florida got almost nothing from its running backs (10 carries for 17 yards).

What's next: LSU (5-2, 1-2 SEC) hosts Kentucky on Oct. 18, while Florida (3-2, 2-2) stays in the Swamp for an East Division matchup with Missouri.

LSU escapes with 30-27 victory at Florida

October, 11, 2014
Oct 11
11:24
PM ET
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Colby Delahoussaye hit a 50-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining, making up for a missed extra point earlier in the game, and LSU edged Florida 30-27 on Saturday night.

Delahoussaye helped the Tigers avoid their first 0-3 start in Southeastern Conference play since 1999 and win in Gainesville for the second time in their last five tries.

His game-winner was set up by Rickey Jefferson's interception in the final minute.

Jeff Driskel tried to hit Latroy Pittman on a slant pass on third down, but the ball was tipped and caught by Jefferson.

Pittman was crunched on the hit. He rolled over before trainers got to his side, and he was eventually strapped to a backboard and carted off the field. He was moving his arms and hands, and gave a thumbs-up to fans as he left Florida Field.

It was a frightening moment that marred a dramatic finish.


(Read full post)


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Colby Delahoussaye 50 yd FG GOOD

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Fournette Runs Over Aggie On 22-Yd TD
LSU RB Leonard Fournette rushes 22 yards for a second-quarter touchdown in the Tigers' 23-17 win over Texas A&M.
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