We learned a lot from the third Saturday of the college football season.
Alabama rallied to down Ole Miss, Georgia came from behind to stop Missouri and Texas A&M went on the road to get a win against Auburn.
Here’s the one big thing each SEC coach said Saturday:
Another week brought another uneven showing from Tennessee in a 28-19 win against Ohio, and Butch Jones responded accordingly:
“The penalties are inexcusable. The fumbles are inexcusable. … I’m pulling my hair out. … You’re like my wife. You just bring out all the things that (frustrate) me.” he said.
While the Volunteers were less than impressive, Vanderbilt was far worse in a 38-7 loss at Georgia Tech.
“I thought we were beat in all three phases,” coach Derek Mason said. “This was a tough day at the office.”
Alabama and Ole Miss
The Rebels and Crimson Tide treated fans to a thriller Saturday in Oxford, and both coaches had plenty to say about it:
“We got coaches getting IVs, we got players getting IVs, but the old fellow doesn’t need an IV cause they don’t make ’em like they used to,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
Hugh Freeze: "We couldn't stop the run and we’re not very good on third down on either side."
— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) September 18, 2016
The Wildcats still didn’t play well defensively, but put up 62 points in a victory against New Mexico State. Coach Mark Stoops was in glass-half-full mode after the game:
Mark Stoops: "We don't have a great football team, we have a good football team."
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 17, 2016
The Gamecocks ran their record to 2-1 after winning their home opener against East Carolina. The crowd, according to coach Will Muschamp, was a big part of the success:
“First of all, it was an amazing environment … the passion, energy and loyalty they have is awesome. It really helped us, especially at the beginning of the game, which allowed us to jump out early,” he said.
Texas A&M and Auburn
The Aggies grounded out a 29-16 win at Auburn, leaving Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin relieved.
“Going on the road and winning in the SEC West is nothing to take lightly,” he said.
On the other side, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was left to wonder about what might have been.
“Right now, we didn’t get it done and we had an opportunity. I think everyone saw that and that’s frustrating for me as a head coach,” he said.
Mississippi State and LSU
LSU built a commanding lead before hanging on to knock off Mississippi State. Some of the partisans at Tiger Stadium left early, and LSU coach Les Miles noticed.
"They thought this thing was over and we're going to get food." #LSU coach Les Miles on crowd leaving
— Billy Embody (@BillyEmbody) September 18, 2016
Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen talked about the adjustments his team made to get back in the game.
“It all comes down to effort and I like the effort our guys played with in the end. … I told them to stop worrying about anything but going as hard as you can. Honestly, that was our halftime adjustment,” he said.
The Razorbacks took a break from the high drama that marked their first two games with a 42-3 trouncing of Texas State.
“I really put the screws to them,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said of his team. “In this league if you worry too much about what happened yesterday you’ll get hit in the mouth.”
Missouri and Georgia
These teams played down to the wire with Georgia coming out on top, 28-27.
It was an emotional game, and Missouri coach Barry Odom’s comments reflect that.
#Mizzou coach Barry Odom: "I'm hurt for my team. I'm hurt we couldn't pull that one off. That would have been a good win."
— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) September 18, 2016
For Georgia’s Kirby Smart, he was just happy to be heading back to Athens with a win.
“Very fortunate tonight,” he said. “Glad we got the turnovers. … I’m really proud of the way our guys competed, but we’ve got to show so much improvement.”
— John Durham (@johndurham32) September 18, 2016
The Gators rolled against North Texas, 32-0, but that was hardly the story in this one. Instead, it was the low hit on quarterback Luke Del Rio, one that might keep him out against Tennessee next week.
Coach Jim McElwain was incensed after the hit.
"I care about these kids. They're mine. When I see something like that it isn't right." – McElwain on blowup after LDR hit
— Andrew Olson (@ByAndrewOlson) September 18, 2016