The SEC looked good in non-conference games this weekend as far as winning games that they should win. When it comes to the marquee games of the week, the SEC forgot to show up.
In the three biggest games of the weekend, Florida lost to Utah 24-11, South Carolina lost to North Carolina 31-17, and LSU lost to Florida State 45-17. Three straight duds from the conference that has won back-to-back national championships.
The Hugh Freeze era began in Auburn with the Tigers doing what Freeze does best, scoring a lot of points. Alabama may have found their quarterback of the future in Jalen Milroe, and Tennessee and Georgia picked up where they left off last season.
Missouri 35, South Dakota 10
Brady Cook and the Missouri Tigers got off to a 1-0 start to the 2023 season as they took down South Dakota at home. Cody Schrader had a great day as he carried the ball 18 times for 138 yards and a touchdown.
No. 14 Utah 24, Florida 11
New season, same frustration for the Gators. Florida enters Year 2 under Billy Napier and they started it off on a sour note as the offense could never really get going. Graham Mertz threw for 333 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, but the Gators couldn’t run the ball if their lives depended on it. Something has gotta change on their offensive line.
Kentucky 44, Ball State 14
The post Will Levis era is off to a 1-0 start as Devin Leary led the Wildcats to their first win of the season over Ball State. Leary threw for 241 yards and Ray Davis added 112 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
No. 12 Tennessee 49, Virginia 13
The Tennessee Volunteers picked up where they left off last season with their offense lighting up the scoreboard. This time, it was another ACC foe who fell victim to the Vols. Virginia’s defense couldn’t hold up against Jaylen Wright and Joe Milton.
Arkansas 56, Western Carolina 13
KJ Jefferson is back and he looks great. Jefferson went 18/23 for 246 yards and three touchdowns as the Hogs routed Western Carolina.
No. 22 Ole Miss 73, Mercer 7
Lane Kiffin tried to break the scoreboard against the Mercer Bears on Saturday. Jaxon Dart threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns while Quinshon Judkins added two touchdowns of his own to lead the way for the Rebels.
Auburn 59, Massachusetts 14
The Hugh Freeze era in Auburn started off with his team doing what Freeze specializes in, scoring a lot of points. Payton Thorne, the Michigan State transfer, got the start at quarterback for the Tigers but it was backup quarterback Robby Ashford who made the biggest difference as he scored three rushing touchdowns.
Mississippi State 48, Southeastern Louisiana 7
Will Rogers came back to lead the Bulldogs one more time. He started his Senior campaign off with a big 48-7 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Rogers threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns and Jo’Quavious Marks ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mississippi State.
No. 1 Georgia 48, UT Martin 7
The Dawgs are back and are looking for a three-peat as Carson Beck got his first start under center for Kirby Smart. He threw for 294 yards and a touchdown as he hit his favorite target, Brock Bowers, for 77 yards as Georgia got a big win.
No. 23 Texas A&M 52, New Mexico 10
There was no game one let down for the Aggies this year as they came out and put a beatdown on New Mexico. Conner Weigman had a great first game as he threw for 236 yards and five touchdowns in the big win.
Vanderbilt 47, Alabama A&M 13
Vanderbilt is the only team in the SEC that has a 2-0 record. They beat Hawaii 35-28 in Week 0 before hosting Alabama A&M and getting a big win against them. AJ Swann led the way for the Commodores on offense as he threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 4 Alabama 56, Middle Tennessee State 7
Has Alabama found their next great quarterback in Jalen Milroe? Tide fans are hoping so. Temper your expectations because it was just Middle Tennessee State, but Milroe looked good. He finished the night 13/18 for 194 yards and three touchdowns through the air while adding 48 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Tommy Rees’ offense looked solid with him at the helm. We will find out more when Bama plays Texas next week.
No. 21 North Carolina 31, South Carolina 17
Spencer Rattler was 30/39 for 353 yards, zero touchdowns, and zero interceptions, but it was the nine sacks that was the biggest stat of the night. British Brooks and Drake Maye proved to be too much for South Carolina as the Tar Heels came away with a win.
No. 8 Florida State 45, No. 5 LSU 24
Keon Coleman, a Michigan State transfer, torched the LSU secondary as he caught nine passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Travis was outstanding as he finished the night 23-for-31 throwing for 342 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception.