It’s time once again to break out our crystal ball and peek into the future. Week 9 in the SEC promises to be replete with storylines. Here are a few we foresee happening when the newspapers go to print on Sunday morning.
Mississippi State gets much-needed win over Samford
STARKVILLE, Miss. — A contest with Samford was just what Mississippi State needed to pump the brakes on the Bulldogs’ three-game losing skid. Nick Fitzgerald had a big day, passing for his second 300-plus yard game of his career and first since Mississippi State’s last win to essentially wrap up their contest with Samford by halftime.
Williams, Aggies return to form with one-sided win over New Mexico State
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M received a reprieve after facing then-No. 9 Tennessee and No. 1 Alabama in consecutive weeks when New Mexico State traveled to College Station in Week 9. Freshman running back Trayveon Williams reclaimed the SEC rushing lead with a dominant first half to scorch New Mexico State in the first-ever meeting between the two Aggies programs.
Kentucky upends Missouri, moves to within a game of bowl eligibility
COLUMBIA, Mo. — After blowing a big lead in Week 1 against Southern Mississippi, it appeared to be another long year for Kentucky. But the Wildcats (5-3, 4-2 SEC) inched within a victory of becoming bowl eligible for the first time in the Mark Stoops era, courtesy of one of the more impressive road wins during the coach’s tenure. In Week 9, Kentucky outlasted the Tigers in an aerial assault that featured very little defense. The loss keeps Barry Odom and the Tigers (2-6, 0-4 SEC) winless in conference play in the head coach’s debut season in Columbia.
Tennessee survives first-half scare in Columbia to edge South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. — New South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley made his case to remain the Gamecocks’ starter by dueling with his veteran peer Josh Dobbs of Tennessee in the first half of the Week 9 game between the two rivals. The Tennessee defense — namely defensive end Derek Barnett — proved to be too much for Bentley and South Carolina (3-5, 1-5 SEC) to handle, however, forcing the freshman into several critical turnovers to ultimately turn the game in favor of the Volunteers (6-2, 3-2 SEC).
Florida fends of Eason, Bulldogs for River City Showdown victory
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new name to its rivalry didn’t prevent the same bad blood and thrilling outcome between Florida and Georgia. Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason and Georgia made a final push late in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Gators defense clamped down to hold on for the win in the River City Showdown, formerly known as the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. The victory keeps No. 14 Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) entrenched in the SEC East’s top slot, while almost certainly dropping Georgia (4-4, 2-4) from contention for the division crown.
Auburn continues impressive winning streak, downing spiraling Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. — Auburn used an all-around performance, including a dominating defense, pounding running game and an error-free passing attack to propel the Tigers (6-2, 4-1 SEC) to their fifth-straight win. The loss is yet another for an Ole Miss squad (3-5, 1-4 SEC) that’s witnessed its once-promising season spiral out of control with its third-consecutive loss, and fifth defeat at the hands of a ranked opponent.