Finally, football’s back
By Clif Knight
After being denied the pleasure of watching college sports for more than six months thanks to COVID-19, I enjoyed sitting back and watching a full slate of SEC football games Saturday.
Auburn’s Tigers and Kentucky’s Wildcats had the opportunity to show out as the first SEC game in a morning Top 25–ranked battle at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The favored Tigers managed to pull the game out of the fire by scoring two second–half touchdowns and winning 29-13. Sophomore QB Bo Nix completed 16 of 27 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns, while WR Seth Williams had six catches for 112 yards and two TDs.
Alabama’s Crimson Tide racked up an impressive win against the Missouri Tigers on the road in a night game, 39-19. The Tide, sparked by junior QB Mac Jones and WR Jalen Waddle, put the contest out of reach in the first half by scoring 28 points to three for their opponent. Jones completed 18 of 24 passes for 249 yards and two TDs while sitting out most of the second half. Missouri took advantage of a Tide defense sprinkled with reserves by scoring 16 in the second half.
Mississippi State’s Bulldogs provided the highlight of first–day SEC action by defeating the defending conference and national champion LSU Tigers 44-34. K.J. Costello, a transfer QB from Stanford, set an SEC single–game record by passing for 623 yards and five touchdowns. The record eclipsed the old mark of 544 yards by Georgia’s Eric Zeier in 1993 and ushered in first–year head coach Mike Leach’s “air raid offense.”
Hartselle’s Tigers, Falkville’s Blue Devils and Priceville’s Bulldogs are local high school teams getting a lot of attention since they opened their 2020 seasons in August.
The Tigers are coming off an amazing 38-14 victory over the Russellville Golden Tigers in a road game Friday night. The passing/receiving duo of JT Blackwood and Trent Wright played a major role in improving the team’s record to 4-2, 2-1. Blackwood completed 14 of 22 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while Wright caught five passes for 172 yards and a touchdown.
The Blue Devils (5-0, 2-0) improved their record to 5-0 by defeating Cold Springs in an away game, 49-13.
The Bulldogs picked up their fourth win against a single loss by defeating Danville’s Hawks on the road, 49-18. Priceville RB Jerry Burton rushed for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
Best wishes go out to all Morgan County teams for their success in 2020.