Sep 20, 2017

Big Ten & SEC Week 3 Recap: Florida Outlasts Tennessee and Mississippi State Makes Its Presence Felt

Standings and Results

Big Ten

SEC

AP Top 10

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Oklahoma
4. Penn State
5. USC
6. Oklahoma State
7. Washington
8. Michigan
9. Wisconsin
10. Ohio State

Big Ten, SEC Flex Muscles in Week 3

In non-conference games over the weekend, the Big Ten and SEC combined to go 14-4. The Big Ten went 9-2, with the only losses coming by Illinois Friday night against the No. 22 South Florida Bulls and Nebraska’s upset defeat at the hands of Northern Illinois.

The SEC went 5-2 in non-conference play including Vanderbilt’s upset victory over No. 18 Kansas State, 14-7. After the big win, Commodores’ DL Nifae Lealao had some big words for their next opponent, No. 1 Alabama:

The SEC also featured three conference matchups on their Week 3 slate, Tennessee-Florida, LSU-Mississippi State, and Kentucky-South Carolina. All three games saw the underdog upset the favorite, including the Bulldogs 30-point victory over 12th-ranked LSU in “Starkvegas” and a Hail Mary victory for the hometown team in Gainesville (more on that game later).

Kentucky’s win was its fourth straight over South Carolina, adding to their record streak in the series, set with last season’s victory. After starting his career 4-0 against the Wildcats as head coach at Florida, Will Muschamp has now lost both meetings since taking over the sideline in Columbia.

A Gainesville Prayer

After Tennessee topped Florida 38-28 last season to end the Gators 11-game winning streak in the series — the longest for either side — the Gators looked for revenge when they hosted the Volunteers in their home opener. UF’s original home opener scheduled for last weekend against Northern Colorado was canceled due to effects from Hurricane Irma, so Florida was not only looking for revenge, but they were also putting their 27-game win streak in home openers on the line against the Volunteers.

Through three quarters of play, the score was 6-3 in favor of the Gators, so most likely didn’t see a fourth quarter offensive explosion coming. However, the teams combined for 37 points in the final quarter, with Florida twice taking a 10-point lead only to see Tennessee quickly tie the game up. The second instance came with 50 seconds left in the ballgame, when kicker Austin Medley sent a 27-yard field goal through the uprights to tie the score at 20-20.

After a short completion and two rushes, Feleipe Franks scrambled with nine seconds to play before launching a deep pass down field that was brought in by Tyrie Cleveland for the game winning touchdown with no time remaining. The pass flew an astounding 65 yards in the air before it was caught by the wide receiver as he fell to his knees in the middle of the endzone.

What happens in Starkvegas, does not stay in Starkvegas

As mentioned earlier, Mississippi did not hold back when No. 12 LSU came to town. The Bulldogs went with a physical gameplan and pounded it on the ground against the stout Tigers defense, totaling 285 rushing yards on the day and scoring on seven straight offensive possessions.

The Bulldogs also shined on the defensive side of the ball, keeping last year’s Citrus Bowl MVP Derrius Guice in check (76 yards, 0 TDs) and allowing just 270 total yards to the Tigers.

Legendary coach and current College Gameday analyst Lee Corso told the Florida Citrus Sports audience at Monday night’s Team Selection Kickoff Dinner in Orlando that he thinks Mississippi State has the best chance of anyone in the SEC to knock off Alabama this season.

Celebration Gone Wrong

Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley saw his 74-touchdown catch wiped off the board after he was called with an unfortunate penalty.

 

Team Selection Committee Recap

The Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee held its first meeting of the 2017-18 season Monday morning at Camping World Stadium, and after three weeks of memorable college football action and nearly two dozen campus visits already logged this year, there were more than a few exciting stories to go around. READ MORE >>>

Play of the Week

A struggling Michigan offense got a nice boost from the special teams department courtesy of Donovan Peoples-Jones.

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