BY RAFAEL GARCIA
* AT&Tebow does it again. He was more than just Superman as he passed for a career high 304 yards going 22-of-32 with one interception and two touchdowns. He shows that he has the whole package when healthy. He reads the field well and can hit receivers on the numbers. What makes it so hard for defenses is this guy is too big to just go down. He continues to make his case for the Heisman.
* Vanderbilt’s Mackenzi Adams continues to blossom in coach Bobby Johnson’s offense. He is managing the game better each week and that showed as he went 20-of-31 for a career high 193 yards and two touchdowns. Granted there is room for improvement as he made mistakes.
* AT&Tebow again folks. He not only has a great passing day, but tops it off with 26 carries for 120 yards and five rushing touchdowns. You can see that this guy is for real as he goes head first into defenders with no fear. He knows that he is counted on to throw as well as run and he does both. No Percy Harvin was no problem for Tebow. Now all he needs is some help from other teams in the East to make it to Atlanta.
* Tennessee duo of Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty. The knew they had to control the ball and keep out of the hands of Arkansas’ two-headed monster of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. They combined for 33 carries and 148 yards and a Foster touchdown.
* Arkansas’ McFadden worked hard to get 117 yards on 22 carries. He was shut down to the tune of 25 yards in the first half but still managed to get over one hundred after his running mate Felix Jones was injured. Even though the bulk of those yards came after the game was about decided he still showed how good he can be.
* UT had a defensive gem against Arkansas. Vols defensive coordinator John Chavis said his plan was what he called “probably the smallest package we’ve ever taken into a game since I’ve been here”. He told his players to buy into to the plan and they would come out winners. Then the defense went out and executed it to near perfection. The Hogs’ running game was shut down and they could never get into a rhythm. Give the defense an A on this day.
* The men in Georgia came out wearing black uniforms further showing that coach Mark Richt is not your laid back coach these days. He is trying to find every way to motivate his team as they find themselves at number nine in the BCS. They are fighting for an SEC East title as well as a BCS bowl berth. So when Auburn took a 20-17 lead in the third quarter the defense took over. They did not allow another score.
* The Mississippi State defense was just superb. They kept Alabama QB John Parker Wilson off balance all day as he finished a dismal 16-of-34 for 121 yards and two interceptions. Most importantly they held the ‘Bama offense out of the end zone. Anthony Johnson returned an interception 100 yards for a score on a bad pass by Wilson to close out the first half. The great effort made Mississippi State bowl eligible for the first time since 2000.
AIN’T THAT SPECIAL
* Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin accounted for all of his team’s points in the loss to Mississippi State. He had field goals of 39, 51, 29, and 50 yards.
* UT’s is finding a return man in Denis Rogan, as he had a kickoff return for 78 yards as well as four punt returns for 32 yards. Kicker Daniel Lincoln continues his good season with two more filed goals and punter Britton Colquitt had five punts for 201 yards.
* Mississippi State special teams got 144 return yards in their win over Alabama.
INTO THE MINDS
* At Vanderbilt a win would make the ‘Dores bowl eligible for the first time in a quarter century. Mistakes cost them big in this one. They had eight penalties for 65 yards as well as two missed field goals and a missed point after. Then there was the sack late in the game followed by a spike instead of what most thought would be a timeout called. Finally it ended with an Adams pass that sailed over his receiver’s head on the final play. This was very discouraging for Coach Johnson as his team won the statistical battle but not the war. They out-gained the Wildcats, had more first downs, and controlled the time of possession.
* Down in Georgia Coach Richt is getting his team ready for the stretch run. They still need help in the East as Tennessee holds the tiebreaker but are also fighting for a BCS bowl berth. Richt has abandoned the laid back approach and is now using all kinds of tactics to fire up his team. First it was the celebration in the end zone against Florida and then they come out in black jerseys against Auburn. Let’s see what he comes up with next as his Dawgs try to bite and claw their way up the rankings.
* Tennessee controls their own destiny but they cannot afford to slip up. Coach Phillip Fulmer has installed an “us against the world” attitude and will need every bit of it if the Vols hope to play in Atlanta for the SEC title.
PHOTO CREDIT: SEC SPORTS MEDIA