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SEC Spin Zone: Week 10

What can your team take from its loss?

Alabama v LSU Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Week 10 in the SEC was SEMIFINAL SATURDAY and there was exciting action...in the South Carolina vs. Ole Miss game. Alabama and Georgia are your 2018 division champions and handled business in claiming their titles on Saturday. With the SEC Championship game settled, it’s now time for some good ole pettiness in these three remaining weeks of the regular season. But first, let’s discuss the five teams that were on the wrong end of the result in Week 10.


LSU

Let’s just get this one out of the way. The LSU Tigers failed to show up to their own stadium on Saturday night against the Alabama Crimson Tide. 29-0 was the score and this keeps LSU’s combined point total in their last three meetings against the Bama at 10. I really have no spin and I’m sorry. You had 12 rushing yards, Tigers.

I guess the closest to something encouraging that I have to say is that, somehow this version of Nick Saban’s behemoth could prove to separate themselves as his best team ever, even with a young secondary. Most of this is thanks to Tua Tagovailoa’s incendiary season that will surely end in the sophomore becoming Alabama’s first ever QB to win the Heisman Trophy.

Losing to Bama yet again and killing your playoff dreams is tough, but if there is any team you’d prefer to get shut out by, it’s this one. Maybe next year you can break the “Consecutive Curse” that I mentioned in reference to Ole Miss after Week 3.

Kentucky

This season has been a fun ride, but there was a major bump on Saturday. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 34-17 in front of a record (since renovations) Kroger Field crowd on Saturday. The game was pretty much in hand from the beginning for the Dawgs who probably would have won by more if not for two fumbles in the first half, both inside the UK 30 yard line.

Kentucky, while good, fell victim to a full team of four and five star depth and were pushed around at the line of scrimmage and sped past by players like D’Andre Swift, who ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

With three very winnable games remaining on the schedule, Kentucky is still looking to punch a ticket to a major bowl game. The potential is there for 11 wins for only the second time in school history.

Florida

Woooo. This was a bit of a shocker on Saturday. The Missouri Tigers made themselves quite comfortable in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, defeating the Florida Gators 38-17. Drew Lock finally had a breakout game against a conference opponent this season, throwing for 250 yards and three touchdowns on 24/32 passing. The Mizzou rushing attack had a respectable game as well, posting 221 yards.

This was obviously a game to forget for the Florida defense, but Feleipe Franks continued to have his issues as well, so much so that Kyle Trask came on in relief. I don’t know if November is the best time for having a QB controversy, especially when you’re out of the SEC East race, but it could be the case here.

Controversy or not, this has still been a solid year under a first year head coach that’s still setting his foundation. Maybe this game was just a Cocktail Party hangover.

Texas A&M

Like Florida’s, the season of the Texas A&M Aggies is currently trending down. Against the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, they held a 24-14 lead with 5:26 left to play and looked poised to extend the funky winning streak of road teams in this series to seven. It was not to be, however as the Tigers scored two late touchdowns to win 28-24.

A&M dominated from a pure statistical standpoint, with almost 39 minutes of possession, 145 more total yards and a 28 to 13 first down advantage, but Auburn didn’t turn the ball over. It was an interception (one of three Aggie turnovers) at about the midway point of the fourth quarter and then a stalled Aggie drive that sparked Auburn’s quick comeback.

If you’re an Aggie fan, you may be quite alarmed by this turn of events because this game took place in November. Even now with Jimbo Fisher at the helm, it’s hard to forget A&M’s now 4-11 record against SEC opponents in November since 2013. Ole Miss and LSU remain, however, so Jimbo has a chance to turn the tide of late-season blues. I think both of these games are winnable with Ole Miss’ continued defensive woes and LSU possibly having the spirit sucked out of them by Bama.

Ole Miss

Coming into the game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, I knew it had all the makings of a Big 12-esque shootout. 11:00 am central time kickoff, unfamiliar opponents (hadn’t faced each other since 2009), a bad defense overall (Ole Miss) and a defense with the secondary as its weak point facing a team that can gash you vertically. (South Carolina). As it turns out, the South Carolina defense played worse, but the Gamecocks won 48-44 in the end.

In my opinion, two funky plays were the difference in this game. The only turnover of the day was a Scottie Phillips fumble with the Rebels down 14-3. This led to a Gamecock field goal to put them up 17-3. The other play was this absolutely absurd 75 yard TD catch by Bryan Edwards to put Carolina up 24-13.

Individual plays such as these make the difference in shootout type games where the final team to possess the ball often win. Ole Miss was driving to win, but a crucial three of Jordan Ta’amu’s 46 pass attempts fell incomplete on the Rebels’ final drive.

This game was tough to lose, but in a season that was already a wash with a bowl ban, the best news for Rebel fans right now are the lessened NCAA sanctions that were announced last week. The Rebels wrap up he season with Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.