The SEC East-leading Georgia Bulldogs played like the underdog and came out on top Saturday against the Florida Gators. The team jumped up and down in unison in a huddle around coach Mark Richt, who was hugging his 15-year-old son Zach in an extended emotional embrace. With the victory, Georgia (6-2, 5-1 SEC) remains in at least a tie for first atop the SEC’s Eastern Division. South Carolina, which holds the tiebreaker because of its 45-42 win in Athens in September, was playing Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday night.
There have been installments of the Mark Richt Victory Watch I have enjoyed more than this one, but there haven’t been many. Irrespective of their middling record, the Florida Gators are a fine football team, and, even if they aren’t, hell, they’re still the Florida Gators. Given the alternating stretches of series dominance that have typified the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party since the founding of the SEC and the permanent relocation of the game to Jacksonville---Georgia owned the 1930s and ‘40s; Florida owned the 1950s and ‘60s; the Classic City Canines owned the 1970s and ‘80s; the Sunshine State Saurians owned the 1990s and 2000s---there is every reason to believe this win represents the swinging of the pendulum and the start of a 20-year period of Red and Black ascendance over the Orange and Blue in the 2010s and ‘20s. Even if it doesn’t, though, this win clearly ends the speculation on Mark Richt’s future in Athens; at this moment, Will Muschamp’s seat is a hell of a lot hotter than Mark Richt’s is.
No. 14 South Carolina ground punchless Tennessee into submission, 14-3, Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The Gamecocks gobbled up nearly the entire third quarter with a 20-play, 98-yard scoring drive that lasted 11 minutes and 35 seconds and included six third-down conversions. "We’re not very good at anything,’’ said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. "We’re not very good to beat anybody unless we get some things corrected.’’
Zach Hocker kicked a 42-yard field goal with 6:53 left, and Arkansas rallied from 14 points down to beat Vanderbilt 31-28 Saturday — the Razorbacks’ fourth straight win. This was the third time this season the Razorbacks have trailed by double digits. They didn’t trail by 18 as they did against Texas A&M or 17 last week before beating Mississippi. This time, Vanderbilt led 21-7 with 1:39 left in the first half. Vanderbilt missed a chance to force overtime when Carey Spear’s 27-yard field goal went wide right with 8 seconds left.
Receiver Emory Blake came back and Clint Moseley arrived with four touchdown passes, and it all added up to a 41-23 Auburn victory over Ole Miss in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. The Tigers improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss fell to 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the conference. It was the Rebels' 11th straight SEC loss.
Dan Mullen's two-quarterback system may be here to stay. Mississippi State's Chris Relf and Tyler Russell performed well in the 28-16 win over Kentucky on Saturday night after grading evenly - 72 and 73 percent - in practices last week, said offensive coordinator Les Koenning. Mullen made the decision to play both quarterbacks on MSU's plane ride to Lexington on Friday.
In a stunner, the [Georgia Tech] Yellow Jackets pulled a U-turn on their two-game slide and coldcocked undefeated Clemson 31-17 Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, "You've got to give all the credit to Georgia Tech. They just flat-out whipped us, out-executed us and no excuses."
When it mattered the most, No. 3 Oklahoma State made every yard seem like the longest yard for Robert Griffin III and Baylor. Joseph Randle set career-highs by running for 152 yards and four touchdowns, Justin Blackmon matched his career best with 13 catches for 172 yards and two scores and the Cowboys carried a shutout into the fourth quarter of a 59-24 win over the Bears on Saturday.
Landry Jones threw for a team-record 505 yards and 5 touchdowns, the all-American wide receiver Ryan Broyles caught 14 passes for 171 yards and a score, and 11th-ranked Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) beat the No. 10 Wildcats, 58-17 — dashing their championship hopes. "Oklahoma’s a lot better than some people would want to think, probably, and I did really a miserable job of getting our football team ready to play," Snyder said. "That’s factual." The Sooners, despite losing their top rusher, Dominique Whaley, for the season with a fractured left ankle on their first offensive play, had 183 yards of offense after 15 minutes; the Wildcats had 33.
The ninth-ranked [Michigan State] Spartans had a chance to build an almost insurmountable lead in the Big Ten Legends Division on Saturday against No. 13 Nebraska, but the Spartans’ road demons cropped up again in a 24-3 loss. "What a difference a week makes," Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio said. The Spartans were held to 187 total yards, and quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn’t get anything going in the passing game against Nebraska’s swarming defense.
In bright white letters against a blue background, the electronic signboards around Beaver Stadium took note of another milestone for Joe Paterno long after the stands had cleared. "Congratulations Coach Paterno," the signs read. "Winningest Coach in Division I College Football." It took all 60 minutes on a snowy, sloppy Saturday in Happy Valley, but Paterno broke Eddie Robinson’s record with Victory No. 409 as No. 21 Penn State defeated Illinois, 10-7.
Kiffin was livid with officials after the game for saying wide receiver Robert Woods did not get out of bounds on the last play of regulation before time expired. "I'm really disappointed in the officials," he said. "Extremely disappointed. ... I had asked for a timeout with one second left before the play. We could have kicked a 50-yard field goal to win the game. I'm not complaining. I'm just giving you the exact facts."