The bad news is that the defense, and especially the young secondary, continues to be a huge liability.And we've lost perhaps the two most explosive offensive weapons we had, as well as our most steady, clutch wide receiver, all of whom have helped rescue that defense repeatedly this season. I'm afraid that unless Todd Grantham's guys grow up in a hurry, they're going to soon find themselves calling for the cavalry only to be told the cavalry is no longer there to ride to the rescue.
But the Gators dug hard in that second quarter, with a fine drive that terminated in Brad Phillips hitting a chip shot field goal, and with big plays from both Loucheiz Purifoy and Solomon Patton. Purifoy's, a perfunctory interception that he turned into a pick-six with speed and patience, gave the Gators the lead; Patton's, an electrifying catch-and-run on a seemingly aimless drive near the end of the first half, made the lead unassailable.
South Carolina - Concerns about Jadeveon Clowney's injuries and consistent play
The good news is that the Carolina offense played extremely well. We scored on seven of eight possessions, the only punt coming on Dylan Thompson's one drive. Connor Shaw was magnificent in this game, going 17-20 for over 260 yards and 50 rushing yards. Damiere Byrd was Shaw's favorite target; Byrd continues to play well in the absence of Shaq Roland. When Kentucky came within a score in the fourth quarter after Bruce Ellington's lost fumble on a kickoff return, Shaw put the team on his back and led a long scoring drive to put the game out of reach. Mike Davis also looked good yet again, rushing for over 100 yards.
Tennessee - Tennessee is looking for someone to knock off to make a statement win for their season, come up short
And then Tennessee did what almost none of us expected, because none of us had seen it in years. Hadn't seen it at all, let alone against a Top 10 championship-caliber team. The Vols answered the bell and responded to adversity in the fourth quarter. Then got a stop. Then took the lead.
Kentucky - Competitive against a Clowney-less SCAR team
The good Man, I loved how we competed. We didn't compete early, I suppose overwhelmed by the crowd and the moment. But after the Wildcats got over that, they showed us how you compete as a big underdog.
Johnny Manziel leads the nation (by a lot) in first-half passing yards per game among QB's who have played at least four games, with 248. Remember when 200 yards per game was a nice number for an Aggie QB? Yeah, 248 per game in the first half is the new reality