Tennessee (8-3, 4-3 SEC) defeated the Missouri Tigers (3-8, 1-6 SEC) 63-37 this past weekend. The AP and Coaches Polls have the Vols ranked 24th in the nation. The last regular season game is this Saturday against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM ET on the SEC Network.
1) Florida (East champions) 1) Alabama (West champions)
2) Tennessee 2) Auburn
T-3) Georgia, Kentucky T-3) LSU, Texas A&M
5) South Carolina 5) Arkansas
6) Vanderbilt T-6) Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Appalachian State handles ULM
The Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-3, 6-1 Sun Belt) easily defeated the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks 42-17. Running back Marcus Cox rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns to become Appalachian State’s all-time leading rusher. Tennessee defeated the Mountaineers 20-13 on September 1st. They will travel to play New Mexico State this Saturday for their last regular season game.
Virginia Tech rallies against Notre Dame
It’s been a solid season for first-year head coach Justin Fuente as the Virginia Tech Hokies (8-3, 5-2 ACC) pulled out a 34-31 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-7). VT quarterback Jerod Evans threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another on the ground. With the game tied late in the fourth quarter, kicker Joey Slye lifted the Hokies over the Irish with a 20-yard field goal. Tennessee defeated Virginia Tech 45-24 at the Battle at Bristol on September 10th. The Hokies will host Virginia this Saturday in a battle for the Commonwealth Cup.
Ohio falls to Central Michigan
The Ohio Bobcats (7-4, 5-2 MAC) fell 27-20 to the Central Michigan Chippewas (6-5, 3-4 MAC). Ohio quarterback Quinton Maxwell threw for 208 yards and a touchdown. The Bobcats drove the ball down the field with less than a minute left in the game. However, Maxwell threw a devastating interception in the end zone with 34 seconds on the clock. Tennessee defeated Ohio 28-19 on September 17th. The Bobcats will host Akron on Tuesday night at 7 PM ET on ESPNU.
Florida overcomes LSU
The 23rd ranked Florida Gators (8-2, 6-2 SEC) overcame all the odds and pulled out a 16-10 win against the No. 16 LSU Tigers (6-4, 4-3 SEC). The majority of the game was a defensive battle as both teams struggled to find any rhythm on offense. In the third quarter, the Gators capitalized on the biggest splash play of the game as Austin Appleby hit Tyrie Cleveland for a 98-yard touchdown to lift Florida 10-7 over LSU. Nine of Florida’s 16 points came from freshman kicker Eddy Pineiro. Late in the fourth, the Tigers were able to drive deep down the field in order to win the game. However, Florida’s defense stuffed LSU running back Derrius Guice at the 1-yard line on the last play of the game. With the win, Florida clinched the SEC East and will play Alabama in the SEC Championship game on December 3rd. Tennessee defeated the Gators 38-28 on September 24th. The Gators will travel to Tallahassee this weekend for a heated rivalry game against the Florida State Seminoles. Kickoff is Saturday at 8 PM ET on ABC.
Georgia holds off Louisiana Lafayette
The Georgia Bulldogs (7-4, 4-4 SEC) held off the Louisiana Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns 35-21. It was a big day for UGA receiver Isaiah McKenzie as he scored on the first play of the game with a 55-yard run. A few minutes later, McKenzie scored again with an 82-yard punt return. Jacob Eason threw for two more touchdowns, while Nick Chubb added another with 108 yards rushing on the day. Tennessee defeated Georgia 34-31 on October 1st on a last second Hail Mary. Georgia will host Georgia Tech this Saturday at noon on the SEC Network.
Texas A&M defeats UTSA
The 25th ranked Texas A&M Aggies (8-3, 4-3 SEC) held off the UTSA Roadrunners and won 23-10. A&M quarterback Jake Hubenak threw for 248 yards and a touchdown to Josh Reynolds. All eyes were on the defensive side, though, as defensive end Myles Garrett recorded 4.5 sacks on the day. The Aggies defeated Tennessee 45-38 on October 8th. A&M will host the LSU Tigers on Thanksgiving night. This game could be one Vol fans keep an eye on as it could have potential implications for what bowl game Tennessee ends up in. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Alabama is sluggish in win over Chattanooga
According to Nick Saban, his top-ranked Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) squad struggled to pull out a 31-3 victory over Chattanooga. Part of that is true as UTC was up 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. However, the Tide managed to take over the rest of the game behind freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts threw for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Alabama defeated Tennessee 49-10 on October 15th. The Tide will play Auburn this Saturday in the annual Iron Bowl. Kickoff is at 3:30 PM ET on CBS.
South Carolina beats Western Carolina
South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC) defeated Western Carolina 44-31. It was a big day for receiver Deebo Samuel, who scored three touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff return. Speaking of having a big day, running back Rico Dowdle rushed for 226 yards and added two more touchdowns for the Gamecocks. South Carolina defeated Tennessee 24-21 on October 29th. With the win, first year head coach Will Muschamp has the Gamecocks bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. South Carolina will travel to play fourth-ranked Clemson on Saturday. Kickoff will be at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Tennessee Tech tops Murray State
The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (6-5) played their last regular season game and topped Murray State 55-19. TTU quarterback Michael Birdsong threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns. On the receiving end, Dontez Byrd reeled in 198 yards and two touchdowns on 14 receptions. Byrd’s performance throughout the year resulted in him being named the OVC Co-Newcomer of the Year. The Vols defeated the Eagles 55-0 on November 5th on Homecoming.
Kentucky blasts Austin Peay
The Kentucky Wildcats (6-5, 4-4 SEC) became bowl eligible with a 49-13 win over the Austin Peay State Governors. UK quarterback Stephen Johnson came off the bench to throw two second-quarter touchdowns. On the ground, Benny Snell and Jojo Kemp combined for 206 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 49-36 on November 12th. The Wildcats will visit Heisman leader Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday for the annual Governor’s Cup. Kickoff is at noon on ESPN.
Vanderbilt stuns Ole Miss
It’s been quite the season for surprises and Vanderbilt added to it. The Commodores (5-6, 2-5 SEC) dismantled the Ole Miss Rebels (5-6, 2-5 SEC) 38-17. Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way. Webb needs just 27 yards to break the school’s rushing record owned by Zac Stacy. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur added two more touchdowns with 273 passing yards. The Commodores scored 31 straight points starting in the second quarter and never looked back. This week’s game with Tennessee should be interesting. The Vols cannot win the East, but are still in play for a possible Sugar Bowl bid. However, the Commodores are looking to become bowl eligible and they will be hungry for a home victory over the Vols. Kickoff is Saturday at 7:30 PM ET on the SEC Network.