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SEC East

Ric Tapia/Associated Press

Breaking down the SEC East 2019-2020

SEC East
Ric Tapia/Associated Press

A lot of things have happened in college football since week 1. Many upsets, big games, and playoff changing circumstances. As I break down how the SEC East is shaking out in these last few weeks, all you must do is read.

Starting off with Georgia, a team that was favored to win the east and potentially win the whole SEC at the start of the season. Georgia started the season like any top 3 ranked team would, winning. There offense has been led by NFL 1st round prospect Jake Fromm, and 1st round running back prospect D’andre Swift. Swift has been completely lighting it up with 110 carries for 752 yards and 7 touchdowns. The offensive line for Georgia is arguably the best in the Nation led by top 5 overall prospect Andrew Thomas. As for defense, Georgia is loaded with talent. This defense has 6 senior leaders starting led by sack leader Azeez Ojulari (3.5 sacks) and leading tackler Monty Rice (41). Georgia’s defense is ranked in the top 3 in the sec and can get to the quarterback at any time while having the secondary to get it done led by JR Reed. Georgia ripped out 5 dominating wins the start the season including a tightly contested game with #7 ranked Notre Dame. Unfortunately, Georgia was upset by unranked South Carolina which moved them down to 10th in the nation. Despite the agonizing loss, Georgia is in prime position to take reigns of the east with a top 10 matchup in Jacksonville against their rival Florida which would be the game that ultimately decides the SEC East and their hopes to make it into the college football playoff.

Florida has been faced with adversity all year. After starting the season 2-0, Florida was down by 11 late in the 3rd quarter against rival Kentucky, nothing was going right for them. Then one bad play would change the season for Florida. Starting qb Felipe Franks tore his acl on a qb draw that sent him out of the game and ultimately ended his season. Out came backup Kyle Trask who stepped in and completed 9 of 13 passes for 126 yards leading Florida to three scoring drives and a 4th quarter comeback that saved the Gators season. Since then, Trask has been getting it done alongside Tim Tebow like quarterback Emory Jones. Florida’s offense has been a question mark all year but the way Dan Mullen has been able to coach this team, it has allowed Florida’s elite receiving core to shine led by breakout tight end Kyle Pitts who has 391 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns and Big receiver Van Jefferson who has 331 yards and 3 touchdowns. Since week 3 Trask has had an amazing 1391 passing yards along with 14 touchdowns and a 68% completion percentage. The running game has been a problem all year for this Florida offense due to the lack of experience on the young offensive line. Leading senior rusher Lamichael Perine has 99 carries for 461 yards and 4 touchdowns which has been good considering the lack of help he has had. As for defense, Florida once again has an elite group. Led by lockdown corner CJ Henderson and leading pass rusher Jonathan Greenard (4.0 sacks), Florida’s defense has been tricky for quarterbacks all year. Let’s not forget about senior linebacker David Reese who leads the team with an impressive 66 tackles. Although this defense has been stout, Lsu’s Jake Burrow seemingly torched this Florida secondary which could pose a problem for Florida in their next matchup against Jake Fromm and Georgia. This matchup will be the one that ultimately decides the SEC East as Florida, like Georgia, controls their own destiny.

Missouri started the year with low expectations and to just make into a decent bowl. They lost the first game of the season to Wyoming but would bounce back with 5 dominant wins versus better opponents. Missouri would lose 2 straight conference losses to Vanderbilt and Kentucky. All playoff hopes are off the line for Missouri but surprisingly not SEC championship hopes. If Missouri can beat Florida and Georgia along with beating all other conference opponents, they would clinch the east. Leading passer Senior transfer Kelly Bryant has been solid for Mizzou this season tallying 1,845 passing yards along with 14 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. As for the running game, Missouri has been great with leading rusher Larry Rountree who has 644 yards on 130 attempts and an impressive 8 touchdowns. The defense for Mizzou has been decent alongside a good linebacking core in leading tackler Nick Bolton (66) and Cale Garrett (3 int’s). If Mizzou has anything to take from this season, they can say they have given themselves a chance to win the East.

As for the rest of the teams in the east, the doors have closed on them winning their conference and may be playing for bowl bids. These teams consist of Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt. These teams’ stats are below…

South Carolina: QB Ryan Hilinski 1,517 yards/8 tds/3 int, RB Tavien Feaster 101 att/572 yards/5 tds, CB Israel Mukuamu 4 ints.

Vanderbilt: QB Riley Neal 1,147 yards/5 tds/4 ints, RB Ke’shawn Vaughn 131 att/703 yards/6 tds, WR Kalija Lipscomb 32 rec/377 yards/2 tds.

Kentucky: QB Sawyer Smith 674 yards/4 tds/5 int, RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr. 946 scrimmage yards/5 total tds, DB Yusuf Corker 57 tackles.

Tennessee: QB Jarrett Guarantano 1,140 yards/10 tds/4 ints, RB Ty Chandler 95 att/484 yards/2 tds, CB Nigel Warriors 3 ints.


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