It was a lighter slate of games for the SEC on Saturday, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of action.
Tennessee-Texas A&M provided one of the year’s best games, while several other teams had big standout performances.
Here’s the one big thing each SEC coach said Saturday:
Tennessee and Texas A&M
The Aggies had the second-largest crowd in program history in attendance for a 45-38, double-overtime victory.
It was a factor that certainly helped, coach Kevin Sumlin said after the game:
Kevin Sumlin: 'This is the type of atmosphere people had envisioned' https://t.co/0OCjiYXEkU
— DMN College News (@dmn_colleges) October 9, 2016
The Volunteers nearly rallied back for another improbable victory, but fell short in the second overtime. Next week doesn’t get any easier when they host Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country.
“They’re very, very disappointed but we’ll get back to work,” Vols coach Butch Jones said. “Alabama is next. That’s life in the SEC.”
Alabama and Arkansas
The Crimson Tide were in control for the most part all night, but coach Nick Saban is a perfectionist, and he wasn’t entirely pleased with the way his defense played in the 49-30 victory.
“Guys didn’t play the ball at times in the secondary,” Saban said. “We messed up some fundamental things. We didn’t have very disciplined eye control.”
On the other side, the Razorbacks saw a gutsy performance from quarterback Austin Allen, even if that wasn’t enough to pull off an upset win.
“I thought our guys prepared well and our fans prepared well,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “And we wanted it for our fans.”
Auburn and Mississippi State
Auburn enjoyed a comfortable 38-14 win over Mississippi State, one that left coach Gus Malzahn with no real criticism for his Tigers.
“We were up 35-0,” Malzahn said. “There ain’t no negatives from me today.”
The Bulldogs couldn’t overcome a slow start, something that coach Dan Mullen partially attributed to his team’s youth.
“They’re learning, and they get swayed by momentum a lot,” Mullen said, according to AL.com’s James Crepea. “The emotions when you have a lot of first-time guys out there on the field, you feel energy. When good stuff happens, it can be really positive for you because they can play almost above themselves. When bad things happen, it can be really negative because it lingers with them and can pull them down.”
Vanderbilt and Kentucky
The Wildcats got back on track with a 20-13 home win over the Commodores. Now, coach Mark Stoops hopes to see that carry some momentum into later contests.
“There’s no doubt that we’re getting better,” Stoops said.
Vandy coach Derek Mason had no issue taking some blame after his team fell just one score short.
Derek Mason: "I have to do a better job" https://t.co/reBb5MaNqp
— Vanderbilt on Scout (@VandyOnScout) October 9, 2016