Week 12 of the SEC season has been and gone and it felt like the calm before the storm with a host of rivalry games on tap this weekend. That doesn’t mean, however, it was boring, and here are five of the best to prove that.
By Steve Wright
5 – Mizzou going for two
Mizzou head coach Eli Drinkwitz could have kept it simple and kicked an extra point to extend the game against Florida. Instead, Drinkwitz decided that the lottery of overtime was too much and opted for an all-or-nothing outcome as he went for two at the end of the first period of OT. Drinkwitz also had an interesting play call for the occasion. Instead of handing off to all-everything running back Tyler Badie – who had already gone for 146 yards and a score – Drinkwitz knew Florida would be keying on the back. Instead, Mizzou pulled off a throwback screen from quarterback Connor Bazelak – who had been inconsistent to that point – for the big win.
4 – Will Rogers nonsense stats
Rogers is second in the nation with 4,113 passing yards. With the Egg Bowl and a Bowl Game to go there is an outside chance he hits 5,000 on the year. Given how putrid the Mike Leach-led offense of the Bulldogs looked last year, this is a ridiculous level of improvement in just 12 months. Rogers has 34 passing touchdowns and his QBR is 77.8, good for sixth and 16th in the country respectively. If Rogers can continue this improvement he will busy any Dak Prescott record he doesn’t own at the end of this year in 2022.
3 – Bryce Young to Jameson Williams
This connection just keeps getting more ridiculous by the week. The Young to Williams connection went for eight catches, 190 yards, and three touchdowns on Saturday. Williams is basically uncoverable, with his speed plus the ability of Young to put the ball in tight windows combined to ruin the days of countless defenders this season. Their first touchdown hookup here was a perfect example of this, with Williams streaking past two defensive backs who may as well not have been there to make a catch at the Arkansas 35 yard line before cruising into the end zone for a ho-hum 79-yard touchdown connection. Young finished with 559 yards passing, the second-most ever in an SEC game.
2 – Deantre Prince’s pick
Let’s overlook the decision of Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright to throw this ball where he did – no Commodore players in the area and a super athletic defensive back in Deantre Prince waiting on the ball. Instead, just watch body control of Prince to not only climb the ladder to make the catch in the first place, but then to contort himself in mid-air, thrusting down his right toe within an inch of the sideline to make a legal interception and end any hopes Vandy had of a comeback. Outstanding work.
1 – Arkansas’ fake field goal
I have said all along in this column that if you have a cool special teams play you are going to feature. This play – one that closed the gap to just one score as Arkansas tried to run down Alabama in the fourth quarter – might be the best yet this season. The design is fun, as holder Reid Bauer pops to his feet before running right at the line of scrimmage and tossing a jump pass to his crossing player. What makes it even better, however, is that the pass was far from perfect. Tight end Blake Kern was the target, but the pass was behind him. Kern managed to one hand the pas on a full sprint, before turning and rumbling into the end zone. Chef’s kiss.