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Bob Dixon

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Middlesboro, KY 40965

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Go Big Blue!

SHANE SHACKLEFORD: UK Drives Out Demons With Key Win Over No. 10 Gators


Junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson of Kentucky led the receivers with four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. In the first quarter, he caught a wide receiver screen, and with the help of a springing block by Kavosiey Smoke, weaved his way through traffic for a 41-yard touchdown. (SEC Photo)

In what was perhaps the best week of football in the Alliance Killer known as the SEC, several teams took a major step forward while some teams maintained or slipped a little. There were all kinds of talking points in the conference, so without further adieu let’s hit it like a cannonball in a swimming pool in the dead of summer.


Kentucky 20, Florida 13


Why Should I Care: The Cats exorcised another demon from the program by beating the Gators in Lexington for the first time since November 1986. They did it using the classic Frank Beamer Virginia Tech formula for winning: a powerful ground game that eats up yards and clock, a dynamic defensive effort, and big plays from the special teams. The Gators outgained the Cats by nearly 120 yards but held Florida out of the end zone when it mattered most. For UK, the Cats are 5-0 and 3-0 in SEC play (I predicted it, just saying,) and have elevated themselves into the discussion as a top-five SEC team. The Gators drop to 3-2 (0-2 SEC) but are still extremely dangerous. You haven’t heard the last of them.


Tennessee 62, Missouri 24


Why Should I Care: I’ll always give credit where it’s due ---the Vols blasted the Tigers with a potent offense (683 yards) and enough defensive stops to make this game a laugher. Right now, the Vols (3-2, 1-1 SEC) are the fourth-best squad in the SEC East, far ahead of their rebuild schedule. UT coach Josh Heupel has done a dandy job. For the Tigers (2-3, 0-2 SEC), Mizzou has all kinds of problems defensively and can’t stop anybody right now. Their defense might be the worse one not named Vanderbilt right now and Mizzou can’t score enough to win shootouts.


Georgia 37, Arkansas 0


Why Should I Care: The gap between Georgia and Alabama is closing quickly. The Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 SEC) are simply blasting teams behind the nation’s best defense and enough offense to win. I’m telling you, this Georgia team is different. Arkansas (4-1, 1-1 SEC) is a really good football team, but they are way ahead of their rebuild schedule and will be just fine. Georgia isn’t done rolling teams yet.


Alabama 42, Ole Miss 21


Why Should I Care: Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin needs to follow me on social media. I expressly said to not go with the “We Want Bama” mindset. He didn’t listen and said get your popcorn. You see the result. Alabama (5-0, 3-0 SEC) bludgeoned the Rebels on the ground and rolled to another win. The great teams can beat you in a myriad of ways, and Bama does it with shocking proficiency. For the Rebs (3-1, 0-1 SEC), it’s back to work in preparing for a much better Arkansas at home. Should be another great game.


Mississippi State 26, Texas A&M 22


Why Should I Care: Don’t look now, but the Fightin’ Mike Leach’s are rolling in Stark Vegas. The Bulldogs (3-2, 1-0 SEC) rode quarterback Will Rogers’ 408 yards passing to upset the Aggies (3-2, 0-2 SEC) in College Station. It could be said the Aggies were overlooking State with Alabama on the horizon next, but in truth, Gig Em has a lot of issues on both sides of the ball. They have no identity on offense (Can they run or can they pass?) and defense (They struggle with their pass defense). They have talent without question, but they aren’t in a place right now to give the Tide much of a fight.


South Carolina 23, Troy 14


Why Should I Care: The Gamecocks (3-2, 0-2 SEC) took care of business and beat the Trojans. Quarterback Luke Doty passed for 255 yards and the defense forced four turnovers to seal the win. However, USC is having a difficult time running the ball effectively. With the majority of their games coming up against SEC foes, that lack of a rushing attack could be exposed.


Auburn 24, LSU 19


Why Should I Care: The Tigers traveled to Death Valley and handed LSU a tough loss behind Bo Nix. You know, the quarterback all but dead and buried on the Plains? Nix had 329 yards of total offense to lead the victorious Tigers (4-0, 1-0 SEC). It’s amazing what getting benched will do to your focus and effort. For LSU (3-2, 1-1 SEC), they missed a golden opportunity to get a home win and some needed momentum going into next week’s battle with undefeated Kentucky. And without question, coach Ed Orgeron’s seat got a little hotter.


Vanderbilt 30, UConn 28


Why Should I Care: Vanderbilt kicked a last-second field goal to defeat the Huskies in Nashville on a rainy night. Vandy signal-caller Ken Sears passed for 333 yards and a couple of scores to lead the Commodores (2-3, 0-1 SEC.) Do you realize that if Vandy had bothered to play tackle football with East Tennessee State they would be 3-2? Mind. Blown. Up next for Vandy is a date with Florida in the Swamp. Ugh.


Week Six Predictions


It was a pretty good Week Five for the Backwoods Swami. I was 6-2 for the week and improved to 52-6 (.896) for the season. Let’s take a peek at next week, shall we?


(Winners in bold)


Georgia at Auburn


Arkansas at Ole Miss


Vanderbilt at Florida


South Carolina at Tennessee


North Texas at Missouri


LSU at Kentucky


Alabama at Texas A&M


Week Six Rankings


I had some good comments about my rankings, which I appreciate. Give me some feedback on this week’s poll too.

  1. Alabama

  2. Georgia

  3. Kentucky

  4. Auburn

  5. Ole Miss

  6. Arkansas

  7. Florida

  8. LSU

  9. Texas A&M

  10. Mississippi State

  11. Tennessee

  12. South Carolina

  13. Missouri

  14. Vanderbilt

Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, Tenn. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, Ky. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com Magazine, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at coachshack50@gmail.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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