Alabama stayed unbeaten and Florida used a goal-line stand to upset LSU at Tiger Stadium and win the SEC East.
There were other highlights, too. South Carolina and Kentucky became bowl-eligible, while Arkansas’ offense ran wild in Starkville.
Here’s one big thing each coach had to say about Saturday’s action:
Running back Nick Chubb rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown as Georgia downed Louisiana-Lafayette, 35-21. His coach, Kirby Smart, was happy to see his running back play at such a high level.
“He runs hard and he’s hard to tackle,” Smart said. “I’d hate to be one of the guys trying to get him on the ground. You’re going to feel it in the morning.”
The Texas A&M offense wasn’t overwhelming in a 23-10 win against UTSA, but defensive end Myles Garrett sure was. He had 4.5 sacks, and his coach saw it coming earlier in the week:
Sumlin: Garrett was very healthy. He was bouncing around and running this week. His GPS was 21 MPH…Christian Kirk speed.
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) November 19, 2016
Florida and LSU
Florida kept LSU out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line to secure a 16-10 win and the SEC East title. Coach Jim McElwain didn’t hide his feelings after the game, either.
“These guys, we’re beat to heck, came on the road for a home game and won the SEC East,” he said. “When millions and millions of people call people out when there is actually tragedy happening? It’s unbelievable to me, but you know what, we came on the road and won a game. That’s the way it should be.”
The game came down to the final play, but LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron knows his team could have done better at several different points in the game.
“Our guys fought ’til the very end,” he said. “We shot ourselves in the foot. Lot of opportunities in the red zone we didn’t convert into points. Our guys fought the whole way. It was the worst we played in our new season.”
Missouri and Tennessee
Early in their 63-37 win against Missouri, Volunteers fans got the news from Baton Rouge that Florida had clinched the SEC East. The air went out of Neyland Stadium a little, but coach Butch Jones was trying to keep his players focused after the game.
“Nothing changes. We want to be 1-0 next week,” he said. “We know we have two opportunities left.”
Missouri gained the most yards ever accumulated against Tennessee, yet lost by 26.
“You see those stats and you don’t look at the other side, and it should be a good night,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said.
The Gamecocks’ 44-31 win against Western Carolina gave them six victories on the season. That means a bowl game for the team picked by most to finish last in the East.
“You remember certain things in your coaching career and one of the moments for me … Qua Lewis and I were talking … he said, ‘Coach, I’ve never been to a bowl game.’ When you’re able to give it to a guy like that … to see the look on his face, a lot of those guys’ faces,” coach Will Muschamp said.
Coach Mark Stoops’ squad also earned bowl eligibility with its 49-13 win against Austin Peay on Saturday.
“We’re thankful for our seniors,” he said. “It’s just an excited locker room.”
The Crimson Tide were flat early in their 31-3 triumph over Chattanooga, and it didn’t escape the attention of Nick Saban.
“It’s very difficult when you don’t have a high level of intensity to compete in these games,” he said. “The other team could have a historic moment when they come face you.”
Mississippi State and Arkansas
After coming out on the wrong end of a 58-42 shootout with Arkansas, Mississippi State’s bowl hopes were dashed. Coach Dan Mullen addressed that after the game.
On not getting bowl eligible. "Obviously disappointing. we've had opportunities through the year where we've come up short."
— David H Murray (@DawgsBiteMag) November 20, 2016
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks marched up and down the field all night. So much so that they didn’t have to punt.
“We didn’t have to punt? Wow, we had a good game plan,” Bret Bielema said.
Ole Miss and Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt boosted its bowl hopes by frustrating freshman quarterback Shea Patterson and Ole Miss in a 38-17 win in Nashville. Coach Derek Mason was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We just took care of ourselves,” he said. “We did the things that we were supposed to do. … (Bowl eligibility) is something we’ve been working toward for a long time. This group? I’m proud of them. I love them.”
In the other locker room, coach Hugh Freeze was not quite as cheerful.
“Disappointed in being outcoached tonight, outplayed — they wanted it more,” he said. “In every facet of the game. Coach Mason, who I have great respect for, had his kids ready to go and we didn’t.”
Coach Freeze talks to reporters after the Rebels' loss to Vandy. https://t.co/iMrUSQXSPz
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) November 20, 2016
Auburn hammered Alabama A&M, 55-0, and coach Gus Malzahn was naturally happy after the game.
“Obviously, the defense with a shutout,” he said. “It’s hard to shut people out in college football. … Happy to get win No. 8.”