Week 8 of the SEC season is in the books and with a number of teams on a bye week the options for best moments are a little more limited than usual. There were, however, plenty of good things going on Saturday. Here is a look at five of the very best.
By Steve Wright
5 – Tysheem Johnson’s interception
This one makes the list both for the play itself and what it meant to the game. LSU was driving already up 7-0 and with the explosive Ole Miss offense having been on the field for just three plays. Ed Orgeron – a coach playing with house money given he knows he has already been fired – went for it on 4th down from the Ole Miss three-yard line. It was the final play of a 14 play drive and a touchdown would have given LSU a two-touchdown lead early. Instead, Tysheem Johnson undercut Max Johnson’s throw, toe-tapping his way to a monster pick that the Rebels pushed on from to win the game.
4 – The Texas A&M running game
Watching the Aggies play now it is hard to fathom how they were completely unable to move the ball against both Arkansas and Colorado. It is like the goodwill from the Alabama win energized this offense to another level – confidence is a funny thing after all – and the more that Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller get the ball the better they look. The pair went for 256 yards and a couple of scores against South Carolina as the Aggies did whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the ball.
3 – Ainias Smith’s punt return
I love a good special teams touchdown and the Ainais Smith punt return for a score for Texas A&M against South Carolina was exactly that. The best punt returns are the ones that shouldn’t happen – no returner should be catching the ball on his own five-yard line pinned into a corner – but Smith turned what could have been a disaster into an epic return touchdown as he cut all the way across the field while serving in and out of potential tacklers before gassing it into the end zone.
2 – The play of Bryce Young
Alabama was up by just seven points heading into the fourth quarter against Tennessee. They exploded in the final stanza to make the result look better than the performance maybe deserved, but it was once again quarterback Bryce Young that stole the show. Young accounted for more than 400 yards of total offense and four touchdowns in the win in another Heisman performance as he continues to excel in an Alabama offense that – Jameson Williams aside – doesn’t have the game-breakers at the skill positions that teams in Nick Saban’s recent past have always enjoyed.
1 – Mike Leach and his candy
Firstly, let us all agree that Mike Leach talking about his dislike for candy corn is something that everyone should be on board with. That he then transitioned into a conversation about items such as Sprees in and box and gummy bears (but only if they are Haribo) is one for the ages. This should probably be a weekly segment with Leach doing Leach things – perhaps in conversation with the ever so slightly insane Bill Walton – for a national audience. One thing though, Leach claiming Almond Joy as his favorite candy bar is a fineable offense.