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Thursday, December 7, 2023

SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 from Week 12

On the 12th Saturday of the SEC’s 2023 season, Georgia defeated Tennessee 38-10, Missouri defeated Florida 33-31 and South Carolina defeated Kentucky 17-14 in conference games and Alabama defeated Chattanooga 66-10, Arkansas defeated FIU 45-20, LSU defeated Georgia State 56-14, Mississippi State defeated Southern Miss 41-20, Ole Miss defeated ULM 35-3, Texas A&M defeated Abilene Christian 38-10 and Auburn lost to New Mexico State 31-10 in non-conference contests. Here are 10 numbers about the SEC’s Week 12 games:

1 Victory for New Mexico State in 25 games against SEC opponents – Saturday’s 31-10 win at Auburn. In the Aggies’ 24 losses, a 34-24 defeat by South Carolina on Aug. 31, 2002, was New Mexico State’s smallest margin of defeat and the fewest points that NMSU had given up came in a 31-0 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 2, 2000. The Aggies’ victory broke a 21-game losing streak against Power 5 opponents (since a 28-21 victory over Minnesota on Sept. 10, 2011). Auburn suffered its first loss in a non-conference game in November since Nov. 10, 1990, when Auburn fell to Southern Miss 13-12, and its first setback to an unranked non-conference opponent in a home game since Sept. 7, 2007, when South Florida scored a 26-23 victory.

3 100-yard receivers for LSU in the Tigers’ 56-14 victory over Georgia State on Saturday. WRs Malik Nabers had eight receptions for 140 yards and two TDs, Brian Thomas Jr. had four receptions for 103 yards and one TD and Kyren Lacy had five receptions for 101 yards and two TDs. LSU had had three 100-yard receivers in the same game once before Saturday. In the Tigers’ 45-38 victory over Texas on Sept. 7, 2019, WRs Justin Jefferson had nine receptions for 163 yards and three TDs, Ja’Marr Chase had eight receptions for 147 yards and Terrace Marshall Jr. had six receptions for 123 yards and one TD.

3 Consecutive losses for Florida even though the Gators scored at least 31 points in each game. That’s tied for the longest such losing streak in SEC history. Florida’s streak is the ninth in SEC history, and all have occurred in the past 14 seasons. The Gators lost to Arkansas 39-36 on Nov. 4, LSU 52-35 on Nov. 11 and Missouri 33-31 on Saturday. Missouri became the fifth consecutive opponent to score at least 30 points against the Gators, the longest such streak in school history. The streak started when Florida defeated South Carolina 41-39 on Oct. 14 and continued with a 43-20 loss to Georgia 43-20 on Oct. 28.

4 Consecutive 100-yard rushing games for Missouri RB Cody Schrader after he had 148 yards and one TD on 23 carries in a 33-31 victory over Florida on Saturday. Schrader ran for 159 yards in a 34-12 victory over South Carolina on Oct. 21, 112 yards in a 30-21 loss to Georgia on Nov. 4 and 205 yards in a 36-7 victory over Tennessee on Nov. 11. Schrader leads the SEC with 1,272 rushing yards and seven 100-yard games this season.

8 TDs were accounted for by LSU QB Jayden Daniels in the Tigers’ 56-14 victory over Georgia State on Saturday, which tied the SEC single-game record. LSU QB Joe Burrow had seven TD passes and one TD run in the Tigers’ 63-28 victory over Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28, 2020. On Saturday, Daniels completed 25-of-30 passes for 413 yards with six TDs and no interceptions and ran for 96 yards and two TDs on 10 carries as he became the 11th player in NCAA FBS history to record 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season, a list that includes Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in 2012. By reaching 1,014 rushing yards for 2023, Daniels became the seventh SEC QB with 1,000 rushing yards in a season.


21 Tackles were recorded by Mississippi State LB Nathaniel Watson in the Bulldogs’ 41-20 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday, tied for the fourth-most in one game in the nation this season and the most for an MSU player in this century. Watson had the most tackles in one game by an SEC player since Tennessee LB Daniel Bituli recorded 23 in a 42-41 double-overtime victory against Georgia Tech on Sept. 4, 2017. MSU LB Jett Johnson had 18 tackles against Southern Miss on Saturday, the second-most recorded in one game by a SEC player this season.

24 Conference regular-season victories are the most in a three-season span by an SEC team, a record matched by Georgia with its 38-10 victory over Tennessee on Saturday. In 2020, SEC teams played schedules of 10 league games to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Alabama went 10-0 and with eight SEC victories in 2018 and six in 2019 had 24 regular-season league wins across three consecutive seasons. Georgia completed its third straight season with an 8-0 conference record on Saturday. Georgia became the fifth SEC program to go undefeated and untied in conference play in three consecutive seasons. Tennessee was 18-0 from 1938 through 1940, Alabama was 20-0 from 1973 through 1975 and 19-0 from 1977 through 1979 and Georgia was 18-0 from 1980 through 1981. By beating Tennessee, the Bulldogs equaled the SEC record of 27 consecutive conference regular-season victories. Alabama had a 27-game streak that started with a 20-13 victory over Tennessee on Oct. 16, 1976, and was ended by a 6-3 loss to Mississippi State on Nov. 1, 1980. Georgia’s most recent setback in an SEC regular-season game is a 44-28 loss to Florida on Nov. 7, 2020.

27 Yards were gained on a completion from Missouri QB Brady Cook to WR Luther Burden III on a fourth-and-17 snap from the Tigers 33-yard line with 38 seconds to play against Florida on Saturday. Followed by completions of 11 and 16 yards by Cook, the play put Missouri in position to beat the Gators 33-31 on kicker Harrison Mevis’ 30-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.

75 Yards were gained on a rushing attempt by Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright on the first snap of the Volunteers’ game against Georgia on Saturday. Wright’s TD run made him the only player in the nation with two rushing attempts that have gained at least 75 yards this season. There have been 35 runs of at least 75 yards in 2023, with six other SEC players on the list – South Carolina RB Mario Anderson, Texas A&M RB Amari Daniels, LSU QB Jayden Daniels, Kentucky RB Ray Davis, Tennessee QB Joe Milton III and Alabama QB Ty Simpson. Simpson’s 78-yard run came in Alabama’s 66-10 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday. Because Simpson tossed the ball away just before he crossed the goal line, he has the only rushing attempt in NCAA FBS this season that has gained exactly 78 yards. Had Simpson held on to the football all the way to the end zone, he would have had one of the three 79-yards runs.

85 Yards were covered by Alabama S Caleb Downs on the first punt return of his career in the Crimson Tide’s 66-10 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday. After Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry fumbled on a punt return in the first quarter, Downs went back to field punts. Following two fair catches, Downs went 85 yards for a touchdown with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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