Top-ranked Alabama continues to roll, remains undefeated

By Cody Prudhomme

MCT

The Alabama football team remained undefeated on the season after defeating SEC rival Mississippi, 33-14, at home this past weekend.

The Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) defeated the Rebels (3-2, 0-1 SEC) in a game that saw top-ranked Alabama trail early on for the first time since Oct. 22, 2011 in a 37-6 win over Tennessee.

After limiting the Crimson Tide’s offense to only two field goals in the first quarter, Mississippi pushed ahead, 7-6, when junior running back Jeff Scott scored on a handoff from one yard out. Outside of the run, Alabama’s defense was very effective, limiting Scott to only 49 yards on 19 carries.

The Rebels’ 7-6 advantage lasted exactly one play, as Alabama sophomore Christion Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to put his team back in front for good, 13-7. Jones’ return was the team’s first kickoff return for a touchdown of the season.

Before halftime, the Crimson Tide added two more touchdowns to put them ahead 27-7 going into the break.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron connected with freshman receiver Amari Cooper for two touchdown passes to lead the Crimson Tide offense.

During the second quarter, McCarron broke the school record for consecutive passes without an interception. He now has thrown 206 consecutive passes without a turnover.

Alabama is off this weekend, but will continue SEC play on Oct. 13 at Missouri. Mississippi hosts Texas A&M on Saturday night.

Bulldogs survive scare against Tennessee

Fifth-ranked Georgia narrowly edged Tennessee, 51-44, in an offensive shootout on Saturday in Athens, Ga.

With the victory, the Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 SEC) remained in the top spot of the SEC East standings, while the Volunteers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) continued their struggles in conference play.

Both sides combined for 1,038 total yards of offense in the contest, but committed seven total turnovers as well.

With the game tied at halftime, Georgia outscored Tennessee, 21-7, in the third quarter to pull ahead, 51-37. The Volunteers pulled to within one score but failed to bring the contest any closer.

Georgia pulled ahead on its first possession when freshman Todd Gurley scored on a handoff from two yards out to put the Bulldogs ahead, 7-0. Gurley and fellow freshman Keith Marshall finished the game with three and two touchdowns, respectively, and over 100 yards apiece for Georgia.

Tennessee evened the score on its next defensive possession with a Byron Moore interception return for a touchdown.

By the start of the second quarter, the game appeared decided as Georgia had a 27-10 lead. But Tennessee scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter, including two touchdown passes from quarterback Tyler Bray, to pull ahead, 30-27, in the final minute of the first half.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Bulldogs kicker Marshall Morgan nailed a 50-yard field goal as time expired to knot the score at 30 at halftime .

The Bulldogs pulled ahead for good with three touchdowns in the third quarter, capped off by Keith Marshall’s 72-yard touchdown run that put Georgia ahead, 51-37, with three minutes, six seconds left in the third.

The Volunteers pulled within seven after a fourth quarter touchdown, but were unable to close the gap. Georgia’s defense played strongly when it counted most, stopping Tennessee multiple times in the red zone in the fourth.

The Bulldogs travel to No. 6 South Carolina on Saturday night while Tennessee is idle this week.

Cody Prudhomme can be reached at [email protected].