CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Bazemore/AP/Shutterstock (13610160l) Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) throws from the pocket during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, in Athens, Ga Tennessee Georgia Football, Athens, United States – 05 Nov 2022

CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

#3 Georgia 27, #1 Tennessee 13

The SEC East officially belongs to the Georgia Bulldogs and them alone. It looks to be clear that Georgia was offended they were not given top two praise in the CFP rankings, as they were relentless in their home building. This game was all about Georgia’s defense, which came into the game sixth in the nation in total defense. They dominated from start to finish. The two big stars of this defense, potential top-10 draft picks DL Jalen Carter and CB Kelee Ringo, made their presence felt. Carter forced two fumbles to go along with a sack and Ringo pulled in Hendon Hooker’s second interception of the season. Hooker was sacked six times and constantly felt pressure. As for the Bulldog offense, not many would have guessed that QB Stetson Bennett would outplay Hooker, but that is exactly what happened this afternoon. Bennett completed 17 of 25 pass attempts for for 257 yards and two touchdowns with multiple big plays to boot. WR Ladd McConkey was the biggest beneficiary of those big plays connecting with Bennett five times for 94 yards and a score. Georgia scored 24 of their 27 points in the first half with contributing factors on all sides. One of which was a 75-yard line drive punt that pinned Tennessee at the one-yard line resulting in a three-and-out and an ensuing score. Georgia dominated on third down converting on seven of 12. The game was a showcase that Georgia should be the number one team in the country. The home field likely helped, but Georgia looked as impressive as they have all year.

Tennessee was simply outmatched this afternoon. Not only were they bothered by the incredible noise in the building, but the Vols were given very few actual opportunities to move the football. This was the first time all season that Tennessee truly struggled offensively. They went in as the number one offense in the nation with the leading Heisman candidate under center and the game never looked competitive on that end. Tennessee could not keep the pocket clean for Hendon Hooker and could not overcome the matchups that Georgia lined them up with. WR Jalin Hyatt has been a star all season, even putting up over 200 yards and five touchdowns against Alabama earlier in the year, but could not create space against Kelee Ringo. After catching for over 130 yards in each of his last three games, Hyatt was held to six catches for 63 yards. As for Hooker, he threw only his second interception of the season on 23 of 33 for 195 yards. With this win, Georgia potentially has sealed their spot in the college football playoff whereas Tennessee may need some help to earn a spot.

Up Next (Georgia): @ Mississippi State

Up Next (Tennessee): vs. Missouri

#10 LSU 32, #6 Alabama 31 (OT)

Well, this makes things a bit more interesting. Alabama’s second loss likely shakes up the college football playoff picture, especially after Tennessee’s loss to Georgia. It was a back and forth game the whole way in Death Valley and LSU may have just ruined Alabama’s season. Not much went wrong for Alabama as a whole, but Bryce Young did not have his best game throwing the football. He completed 25 of 51 pass attempts for 328 yards and a touchdown while also throwing a pick. However, Alabama mustered up 465 yards of total offense with RB Jahmyr Gibbs and WR Ja’Corey Brooks putting up typical great days. Gibbs ran for 99 yards on 15 carries while Brooks caught for 97 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. The Crimson Tide defense was able to pressure LSU QB Jayden Daniels sacking him six times and forcing him into uncomfortable situations. Alabama showed up to play, just like they did in their loss to Tennessee two weeks ago. In Knoxville, it was a missed field goal. In Death Valley, it was an LSU two-point conversion in overtime. The Crimson Tide have suffered plenty of heartbreak this year and will likely fall out of the playoff picture because of it.

It was a gutsy call for LSU to go for two in overtime to win the game, but guts pay off sometimes. This was a perfect example of how dynamic Jayden Daniels can be. Daniels ended the game on a 25-yard touchdown run to score in overtime and threw the game-winning two-point conversion. Those two displays of talent slayed Alabama and gave LSU their best win of the season. Daniels went 22-for-32 for 182 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He also ran for 95 yards and a score on 18 carries. This season, Daniels has shown LSU he can be either the liability or the reason. He was the reason on Saturday. He made the big plays that mattered and took advantage of Alabama’s mistakes. They are unlikely to make the playoff, but they deserve to be mentioned with the teams at the top of the SEC.

Up Next (Alabama): @ #11 Ole Miss

Up Next (LSU): @ Arkansas

#22 NC State 30, #21 Wake Forest 21

NC State’s offense did what it needed to do to win the game. They ran the football better than Wake Forest. NC State put up 115 yards on the ground, which is all they would need to pull out a win. QB MJ Morris played well in this one throwing for 210 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-28 passing. The biggest takeaway from the Wolfpack, however, was their pass defense, which was assumed to be a factor in this game. NC State picked off Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman three times taking advantage of his mistakes. This team’s identity has been defense all year long and it shows that they do not rely on Devin Leary to win games. This win should set up the Wolfpack for a solid end to the season as they play only one ranked opponent to wrap up the year.

Wake Forest’s inability to run the football has costed them games left and right this season. The Demon Deacons ran for a total of 17 yards on the night and their starting RB Justice Ellison ran a negative yard on 10 carries. Hartman is the entire offense and if they play a defense that can remotely defend the pass, Wake Forest is cooked. Hartman was once again stuffing the stat sheet with 397 yards passing with two touchdowns, but also threw three picks. Wake Forest’s offense has become very predictable making Sam Hartman more prone to mistakes. A.T. Perry continues to prove he is the preferred weapon in the offense catching 12 balls for 159 yards and a touchdown. Nobody can deny this offense’s ability to put up points, but their inability to run the ball and effectively control the pace of the game leaves them vulnerable against stiff competition. This is Wake’s second straight loss dropping them to 6-3 on the season after a hot start.

Up Next (NC State): vs. Boston College

Up Next (Wake Forest): vs. #17 North Carolina

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