There were just four games on the SEC slate for Week 9 but I bet we can work through them to find five things to be upset about. Here are your disasters for Week 9. By Steve Wright
5 – Matt Corral’s end zone interception
This one was bad. Matt Corral fought he was back onto the field after an ankle injury that initially looked to be very serious against Auburn. Down 31-20 with nine minutes to play the Heisman contender needed a Heisman moment to pull the Rebels within a score. Rolling right, Corral threw a nasty stiff-arm to a defender and gave himself time to set and throw by the boundary. His pass however, was across his body and back against the grain, two factors that allowed a converging Auburn defender to pick it off. Even worse, this play was on first-and-10, meaning that Corral should have just scrambled for whatever he could to set up a better chance to score.
4 – Anthony Richardson’s game ending pick
Yes, the game was still in the second-quarter when Anthony Richardson was picked off by Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean. Even so, this pick – and the resulting 50-yard sprint into the end zone by Dean – effectively ended this as a contest. Down 17-0 and near midfield with 17 seconds to go, the Gators were in position to reduce the Georgia lead with a couple of chunk plays. Richardson, however, failed to see Dean – who is a nonsensically athletic linebacker – spying his pass to the boundary. Seconds later it was 24-0 instead of potentially 17-7 and Florida was never in it after that.
3 – Vanderbilt’s Hail Mary defense
We will get to the play that allowed Mizzou to hoist an end of half Hail Mary shortly, but the play itself was one that the Vanderbilt defensive backs had a disaster on. A 45-yard heave from Connor Bazelak was claimed in the air for a touchdown by wide receiver Keke Chism to give the Tigers a half-time lead from nowhere. While that sounds impressive – and it is –it was helped by some unreal (in a bad way) defense. Vanderbilt started the play by getting no pressure on the quarterback and then finished it with seven defenders around that ball WATCHING as Chism was the only player in the end zone who actually jumped in the air. Five players could conceivably have done something to prevent this catch and exactly zero of them tried to do so.
2 – Whatever Kentucky’s offense was doing
Kentucky has been one of the more promising teams in the SEC East this season but their offense was, well, just plain weird against Mississippi State. The ‘Cats were down 14-10 at the break before Mississippi State – fuelled by Kentucky turnovers – blasted 17 points unanswered in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. While Will Levis had easily his worst game as a Wildcat – he threw three picks to one touchdown – it was the workload for the leading rusher in the SEC that made even less sense/ Chris Rodriguez carried just eight times for 34 yards, easily his worst output of the season against anyone not named Georgia.
1 – Vanderbilt’s fake field goal
This has to be the worst play of the weekend for a number of reasons. Firstly, Vanderbilt was actually up in an SEC game. Secondly, while it was a long field goal attempt (52 yards) the kicker in question – Joseph Bulovas – has a 53-yard kick in his history. Thirdly, they were only 22 seconds left in the half. Even then, the play-call itself was, well, insane. Even with the best blocking running a kicker sweep around the right edge for seven yards seems tough. The blocking wasn’t there and as Bulovas attempted to turn the corner with no passing options he was looking at three Mizzou defenders waiting on him. Even the Tigers’ rush defense wasn’t going to mess this one up.