SEC

Here’s everything you need to know about Week 3 in the SEC

Ole Miss running back Akeem Judd, center, pushes against Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey, right, while rushing for extra yards Saturday in Oxford.
Ole Miss running back Akeem Judd, center, pushes against Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey, right, while rushing for extra yards Saturday in Oxford. AP

This was a tough week for Mississippi’s football faithful.

Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. Actually, it’s definitely an understatement.

How’s this? Mississippi’s football teams all lost over the weekend. Clean. Sweep.

Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley, Mississippi College, Belhaven, Millsaps and Delta State ... all lost.

Mississippi’s SEC representation found out (once again) that football games are actually 60 minutes, not 30.

Ole Miss squandered a 21-point lead and eventually lost to No. 1 Alabama, 48-43. Mississippi State, meanwhile, waited until the fourth quarter to actually make a run at LSU and lost 23-20.

Winner of the Week

Alabama 48, Ole Miss 43: In a matter of minutes, Alabama went from staring at an 0-3 streak against the Rebels to annihilating any confidence Ole Miss may have earned from the game. The Rebels actually led 24-3 with 2:47 remaining in the first half. Sixty-five seconds later the Tide trailed just 24-17 and eventually pulled ahead for good. Ole Miss’ up-tempo offense backfired as the Rebels’ defense wore thin as the game progressed. On the flip side, Alabama did what Alabama does — wore down their opponent. Yes, Chad Kelly threw for a career high 421 yards with three touchdowns, but Alabama also forced two costly turnovers in the second half.

Loser of the Week

Georgia 28, Missouri 27: The Tigers had the win. They had it. Georgia and Missouri traded leads throughout the game, so maybe one more change in the final minutes wasn’t completely surprising. Even after Jacob Eason’s dart of a 20-yard TD pass over the middle to Isaiah McKenzie with 1:29 remaining, you knew the game wasn’t over. The Tigers struck back on the very next play from scrimmage on a 20-yard pass from Drew Lock to J’Mon Moore, but the receiver was stripped and Georgia secured Kirby Smart’s SEC debut.

Star player

QB Jacob Eason (Georgia): It has been easy to see why Eason was considered one of the top quarterbacks in the 2016 signing class. Trailing late on the road Saturday, Eason showed plenty of poise in leading Georgia to its road win at Mizzou. Eason finished the game with 308 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 29 of 55 passing. Through three games, Eason has completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 643 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions.

Statistically speaking

21: Alabama’s 48-43 win Saturday at Ole Miss tied the program’s largest comeback in school history. The last time the Tide rallied from a 21-point deficit was 1989 — when they ended up rolling Ole Miss 62-27. That one didn’t quite have the same drama as Saturday’s game.

Pollsters

Associated Press: No. 1 Alabama, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 12 Georgia, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 17 Arkansas, No. 18 LSU, No. 19 Florida and No. 23 Ole Miss. Receiving votes: None.

USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll: No. 1 Alabama, No. 11 Georgia, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 13 Texas A&M, No. 16 Florida, No. 17 LSU, No. 18 Arkansas and No. 21 Ole Miss. Receiving votes: Auburn (2).

SEC contenders

1. Alabama (3-0)

2. Texas A&M (3-0)

3. Georgia (3-0)

Relegation zone

12. Kentucky (1-2)

13. South Carolina (2-1)

14. Vanderbilt (1-2)

Game to watch

Florida at Tennessee: This week’s rivalry showdown between the Gators (3-0) and Tennessee (3-0) should be an interesting one. While the Vols are undefeated, they have done it in completely uninspiring fashion. Last week was a perfect example, where Tennessee should have steamrolled Ohio at home. Instead, UT —which was a 27-point favorite — let the Bobcats hang around and only won 28-19. The Gators, meanwhile, cruised past a woeful North Texas team but lost starting QB Luke Del Rio for the next couple of weeks due to injury. Headline: Two teams limp into Neyland Stadium, who survives?

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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