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Around the SEC: Week 4

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Oh, it’s a meltdown in some fan bases.

Auburn v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Saturday wasn’t supposed to be a bye week for anyone, but it became one thanks to outbreaks on two teams (Florida and Vanderbilt.) That unexpectedly gave their scheduled opponents, LSU and Missouri, respectively, a bye week as well.

But after Week 3, the story in the SEC was offense: evidently, somewhere along the line, SEC teams had forgotten how to play defense. That was not the case on Saturday, and the lack of offensive production in some places has fans asking questions.

First, Auburn. It’s always Auburn. Fans are asking questions in the wake of the Tigers’ 30-22 loss at South Carolina, dropping their record to 2-2 — and, really, it should be 1-3 if not for the referees blowing a late call in a two-point win over Arkansas.

Thank goodness we don’t play Vanderbilt in 2020. that would be embarrassing.

Ah, okay then. South Carolina, meanwhile, improved to 2-2 with its second straight win.

Up next: Tennessee, which lost 34-7 to Kentucky at home, the Vols’ first home loss to the Wildcats since a 17-12 defeat in 1984. Tennessee fans react... about how you would expect them to react after getting blown out by Kentucky at home, a thing that in their minds ranks only below getting blown out by Vanderbilt.

It’s early in the (weird) season and he just got an extension. I’m not saying he should be on the hot seat. But it’s time to start showing something on the offensive side. And if it’s going to be more of the same, it’s time to show a willingness to make a change at the quarterback position.

And Tennessee has already reacted to the loss by firing its defensive line coach. Yes, boys, Volsenfreude is back on the menu. A Sea of Blue, meanwhile, is giddy at the defensive performance, which saw pick sixes on two consecutive drives in the first half.

Okay, now this is what we love to see. Back-to-back dominant defense performances shows what we all expected going into the season. This is one of the best defenses in the entire country.

Next up: Ole Miss, which fell behind 20-0 in the first half in Fayetteville and watched Matt Corral throw six interceptions in a 33-21 loss to the Razorbacks.

Corral threw a pick-six, his fifth of six interceptions on the day, and the Rebels went on to lose. It was not a positive day. There was little to go off of. It was bad.

On the other side, Arkansas has already equaled its win total from each of Chad Morris’ two seasons.

Next up: Mississippi State, which saw senior QB K.J. Costello get benched in a 28-14 loss to Texas A&M.

Senior quarterback K.J. Costello completed 15 of 22 passes for 99 yards and an interception. Freshman quarterback Will Rogers, who replaced Costello midway through the third quarter, finished 15 of 18 for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Yep. Looks like we’ve got a quarterback controversy in Starkville. Rogers’ touchdown throw was Mississippi State’s first offensive touchdown in two weeks. Part of the issue had to do with Texas A&M’s defensive line.

The defensive line was monstrous today. Rushing 3 guys for most of the game and we ended up with 6 sacks. That’s tremendous. Clemons, Leal, and Peevy were phenomenal all game. Elko called a helluva game and really maximized his talent advantage.

And last but not least, Georgia. Of course Georgia. A day before the Braves finished blowing a 3-1 lead in the NLCS, Georgia wasn’t really competitive in a 41-24 loss at Alabama.

In a departure from recent history the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t even allow us the heartbreak of a last minute, gut-wrenching loss to Alabama. Instead, the Athenians yielded the lead midway through the third quarter and never really threatened again, falling 41-24 in Tuscaloosa.

Meanwhile, Roll Bama Roll recaps Alabama’s 23-second drive to end the first half with a field goal, which seemed to cut off any chance at a Georgia comeback. In an underrated development, Alabama actually appears to have a good kicker this year.

This Week’s Schedule

Oh, it’s a short one. Initially there were five games scheduled this weekend, with the SEC starting its three-week rotation of bye weeks in the middle of the modified, ten-game schedule. But thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 issues at Florida, the Gators have gotten an unscheduled bye week, and Georgia has as well to accommodate the schedule change.

That leaves Auburn at Ole Miss (11:00 AM CT, SEC Network) as the lone early game. CBS has chosen to schedule an execution (Alabama at Tennessee, 2:30 PM CT) for mid-afternoon viewing, up against the rescheduled Kentucky-Missouri (3:00 PM CT, SEC Network.) The late game is South Carolina at LSU (6:00 PM CT, ESPN), and are you really confident in LSU right now?