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SEC Spin Zone: Week 8

What can your team take from its loss?

Mississippi State v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Week 8 of the college football season has now come and gone and in a shocking development, it was…actually pretty tame in the SEC? The winners and losers of this week panned out how most would have expected them to in the preseason. Even with this being the case, there was still no lack of story lines and narratives. Welcome to the Spin Zone, in which, as you probably know by now, we’ll be looking into the losers’ narratives.


Mississippi State

If you watched this game on Saturday, you know that it was nearly impossible for the Mississippi St. Bulldogs to move the ball and score vs. the LSU Tigers in their 19-3 loss. 12 of Nick Fitzgerald’s passes were caught, eight by his receivers and four by LSU defenders. The eight completions only accounted for 59 yards. It was a night to forget. Even with him being the all-time QB rushing leader in SEC history, questions are swirling on if he should remain the starter.

I do think that he has regressed, but I also think the performance in Baton Rouge was kind of an extreme exception. Not only is LSU’s secondary elite, this was one of those nights where everything just snowballed. This game can serve as a wake up call for the senior QB and he has huge test to regain the trust of the Bulldog faithful this Saturday against Texas A&M.

Vanderbilt

With wind gusts whipping over 50 mph at times in Lexington on Saturday night, the Vanderbilt Commodores fell to the Kentucky Wildcats 14-7. The Commodores were able to move the ball a little, but eventually succumbed to UK’s smothering defense and Benny Snell like 5 other teams have this season.

Yet another close loss is a hard pill to swallow, but this is a solid team with a lot of opportunity left. There are no ranked teams left on the schedule and it will most likely stay that way because their next opponents in order, Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee all have at least three losses already.

Getting to a bowl could be an uphill battle, but ‘Dores fans should be in eager anticipation of November 24th. This year, Vanderbilt could win a third consecutive game over Tennessee for the first time since before the Great Depression.

Ole Miss

The Ole Miss Rebels lost to the Auburn Tigers 31-16 in Oxford in Week 8. The Rebels didn’t turn the ball over and actually held the ball longer than the Tigers, but the difference was that Auburn’s defense mostly bent while Ole Miss’ mostly broke.

With five wins secured already, this season certainly can’t be called a disappointment, especially with the known deficiencies on defense. Ole Miss can be considered one of the best “work in progress teams” in the country, sitting at 46 in S&P+.

Thankfully, The best news for Ole Miss following Week 8 actually can’t be considered spin at all. After losing him in Week 7 at Arkansas, D.K. Metcalf’s football future won’t be in jeopardy following neck surgery. Whether he returns to Ole Miss and the nWo next season is still up in the air, however.

Tennessee

The Alabama game is over, but that’s not the only good news for Tennessee. Jarrett Guarantano is expected back for the game in Columbia vs. South Carolina this weekend after suffering a vicious Mack Wilson hit vs. the Tide.

In relief of Guarantano, Stanford transfer Keller Chryst had about as solid of a performance you could ask for having been sprung into action vs. the top-ranked team in America. Chryst finished 9/15 passing for 164 yards and two TDs.

Jauan Jennings and the receivers will also look to continue their impressive play in some very winnable games left on the tail of the Vols’ schedule.