Alabama holds on to beat LSU 20-14 in Tuscaloosa.
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Around the SEC: Alabama escapes LSU, Texas A&M knocks off Auburn

ATHENS — LSU didn’t get the upset in Tuscaloosa, but the Tigers served a slice of humble pie to mighty Alabama last Saturday night before falling 20-14.

“Sometimes we have an expectation that we’re going to win easy,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said, “but sometimes it’s not so easy.”

Heisman Trophy favorite Bryce Young was 24-of-37 passing for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns on a night the Tide was held to just 6 yards rushing on 26 attempts.

Alabama (8-1. 5-1 SEC) remained in the driver’s seat to represent the SEC West Division against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

But the close-call against the Tigers (4-5, 2-4) left many wondering if the Tide will survive its final two SEC games against Arkansas (Nov. 20, in Tuscaloosa) and at Auburn on Nov. 27.

Fact is, Alabama has not won on The Plains since 2015, losing 48-45 in 2019 and 26-14 in 2017.

Texas A&M, by virtue of its 41-38 win over Alabama in College Station, would win the tiebreak if the Aggies can close out their SEC schedule with wins at Ole Miss (7 p.m., Saturday) and at LSU (Nov. 27).

Texas A&M 20, Auburn 3

It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t have to be for the Aggies, who knocked off the Tigers in an SEC West elimination game of sorts in College Station last Saturday.

The teams battled to a 3-3 halftime time with A&M forging ahead 9-3 with two more field goals in the second half before Michael Clemons broke open the game with a 24-yard fumble return for a touchdown to make it 17-3 with just over 13 minutes remaining.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix was 20-of-41 passing for 153 yards and an interception and the Tigers’ ground attack was limited to 73 yards on 29 attempts.

The Aggies, meanwhile, pounded out 217 of their 409 total yards on the ground, led by Isaiah Spiller’s 112 yards on 21 carries.

Tennessee 45, Kentucky 42

The Vols’ quick-strike offense scored its first touchdown just 37 seconds to score their first touchdown in what turned into a wild, back-and-forth affair in Lexington.

The Wildcats actually outgained Tennessee 612-461 and held a mammoth time of possession edge of 46:08 to 13:52, but first-year Coach Josh Heupel’s team made the big plays when it mattered most.

SEC Offensive Player of the Week Hendon Hooker threw a career-high four touchdown passes in the game to four different receivers and added another 41 yards on the ground on his 11 rushing attempts.

Arkansas 31, Mississippi State 28

The Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3) earned bowl eligibility under second-year head coach Sam Pittman with the hard-fought victory over Mike Leach’s Maroon Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3).

Leach said he would be holding open auditions for a kicker after State’s backup kicker missed a potential game-tying field goal form 40 yards out with two seconds left in the game.

“We didn’t just win the Super Bowl but it feels like it,” Pittman said. “Very, very excited to know we’re going to play in December or Ja

South Carolina 40, Florida 17

The Gamecocks (5-4, 2-4) stunned a Gators team (4-5, 2-5) that entered the night as a 20-point favorite, becoming the first team to outgain Florida (459-340) en route to the romp at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Gators were held to just 82 yards on the ground after Florida entered the game averaging 242 yards rushing.

“We’re not there yet,” South Carolina head coach and former UGA assistant Shane Beamer said. “We’re still a work in progress, but we took a big step tonight.”

Florida fired its offensive line coach and defensive coordinator on Monday.

Ole Miss 27, Liberty 14

Matt Corral threw for 324 yards on 20-of-27 passing with a TD as Lane Kiffin and the Rebels handed former coach Hugh Freeze and his Flames a loss in Oxford.

Ole Miss built a 24-0 lead at the half and were never really threatened, keeping former Atlanta prep star and Liberty QB Malik Willis in check, just 16-of-25 passing for 173 yards with 3 interceptions.

Georgia 43, Missouri 6

The Bulldogs’ offense overcame a sputtering start, striking for a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down near the end of the first quarter to put the wheels in motion on another workmanlike win for the nation’s No. 1 team.

Preseason Heisman Trophy candidate JT Daniels saw his first action in six weeks, completing 7 of 11 passes including a touchdown.

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