During the final week of the SEC’s 2018 regular season, Alabama defeated Auburn 52-21, Texas A&M defeated LSU 74-72 in seven overtimes, Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 35-3, Missouri defeated Arkansas 38-0 and Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 38-13 in league games and Florida defeated Florida State 41-14, Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 45-21, Kentucky defeated Louisville 56-10 and South Carolina lost to Clemson 56-35 in non-conference contests. Here are 10 numbers about the SEC’s Week 13 games:
1 SEC team has outscored its conference opponents by a bigger margin than Alabama did this season. The Crimson Tide’s 52-21 victory over Auburn on Saturday pushed Alabama’s scoring margin in its eight league games in 2018 to 261 points. The only team that’s exceeded that was Florida’s 1996 squad, which outscored its opponents by 264 points. That team of Gators had been the only SEC team to score at least 50 points in seven games in a season until Alabama equaled that feat on Saturday. It was the Tide’s fourth 50-point game in conference play in 2018. Florida reached 50 points against three SEC opponents in 1996.
2 SEC teams have started a conference season with four straight losses, but still managed to finish the campaign with a 4-4 league mark — Missouri in each of the past two seasons. The Tigers defeated Arkansas 38-0 on Friday for their ninth straight November victory and their second straight 4-4 record in SEC play. The loss relegated the Razorbacks to an 0-8 finish in conference competition in 2018. Arkansas became the 18th team to post an 0-8 record in SEC play. At the other end of the standings, Alabama’s 52-21 victory over Auburn on Saturday gave the Crimson Tide an 8-0 conference record for 2018. Alabama became the 17th team to go 8-0 in SEC play. It’s the seventh time the Tide has done so.
2 Passes were thrown by Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide’s 52-21 victory over Auburn on Saturday. That’s one more than he had thrown in the final period all season. Entering Saturday’s game, Tagovailoa’s only fourth-quarter pass had been a 24-yard completion in a 29-0 victory over LSU on Nov. 3. Against Auburn, Tagovailoa completed a 10-yard pass on the second snap of the fourth quarter, then threw a 22-yard TD pass on the next snap. The final throw allowed Tagovailoa to tie the Alabama single-game record for TD passes of five, established by Gary Hollingsworth in a 62-27 victory over Ole Miss on Oct. 7, 1989.
6 TDs were accounted for by LSU QB Joe Burrow and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa on Saturday to set school single-game records. Burrow had three TD passes and three TD runs in the Tigers’ 74-72 loss to Texas A&M, breaking the school record for TD responsibility of five that had been accomplished seven times. Tagovailoa had five TD passes and one TD run in the Crimson Tide’s 52-21 victory over Auburn, breaking the school record for TD responsibility of five that had been accomplished five times. Burrow went all the way in a seven-overtime game, and Tagovailoa left his game three snaps into the fourth quarter. The QBs didn’t account for the most TDs in the SEC in Week 13, though. Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond had six TD passes and one TD run against LSU. Mond’s performance was the 14th time an SEC player had accounted for seven TDs in one game.
12 Consecutive games have been won by Alabama with a margin of victory of at least 20 points after the Crimson Tide defeated Auburn 52-21 on Saturday. Alabama’s closest game on its way to a 12-0 mark in the 2018 regular season was its 45-23 victory over Texas A&M on Sept. 22. Alabama has the longest run of 20-or-more-point victories in one season in NCAA FBS history. It’s not the first time that it’s happened in major-college football history, though. In 1888 (before the NCAA), Yale opened the season on Sept. 29 with a 76-0 victory over Wesleyan, then defeated Rutgers 65-0, Pennsylvania 34-0, Wesleyan 46-0, Amherst 39-0, Williams 30-0, MIT 68-0, Stevens Institute 69-0, Pennsylvania 58-0, Crescent Athletic Club 28-0, Amherst 70-0 and Wesleyan 105-0. Yale ended the season with a 10-0 victory over Princeton on Nov. 24 in New York City to end its string of 20-point wins at 12. Yale’s streak was part of an 88-1-5 record accomplished across 11 seasons, with the loss and all the ties coming against Princeton (with all the ties by a 0-0 score).
15 Consecutive passes were completed by Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur to open the Commodores’ 38-13 victory over Tennessee on Saturday. Shurmur went on to complete 31-of-35 passes for 367 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He broke his Vanderbilt single-game record for completion percentage at .886. With 63 TD passes, Shurmur holds the Vanderbilt career record, and 12 of them have come in his four games against Tennessee. He also has 1,275 passing yards against the Volunteers — 15 percent of his career total. Shurmur’s performance helped Vanderbilt post its third consecutive victory over Tennessee for the first time since 1926. The Commodores’ 25-point margin of victory was the largest for Vanderbilt against the Vols since a 26-0 victory on Nov. 27, 1954.
146 Points were scored in Texas A&M’s 74-72 seven-overtime victory against LSU on Saturday, the highest-scoring game in NCAA FBS history. The previous record had been 137 points in Pittsburgh’s 76-61 victory over Syracuse on Nov. 26, 2016. The SEC record for points in a game had been 134 in Arkansas’ 71-63 victory over Kentucky in seven overtimes on Nov. 1, 2003. The game, which took four hours, 53 minutes to play, was the fifth NCAA FBS game to reach seven overtimes and the third in SEC history to do so. The conference’s other seven-OT game was Arkansas’ 58-56 victory over Ole Miss on Nov. 3, 2001. Texas A&M and LSU brought to 36 the number of SEC teams who have scored at least 70 points in a game in the first contest to feature two 70-point outputs.
226 Fewer rushing yards for Georgia Tech than its season average and 211 fewer passing yards for Ole Miss than its season average last week. Georgia Tech entered its game against Georgia on Saturday leading the nation with an average of 354 rushing yards per game. But the Yellow Jackets managed only 128 in a 45-21 loss to the Bulldogs. Georgia’s defense entered the contest giving up an average of 128 rushing yards per game in 2018. Ole Miss entered its game against Mississippi State on Thursday averaging 364 passing yards per game and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu ranked second in the nation in passing yards. But the Rebels managed only 152 in a 35-3 loss to the Bulldogs, with Ta’amu accounting for 87 before leaving the game. Mississippi State’s defense entered the contest giving up an average of 165 passing yards per game in 2018.
510 Passing yards for South Carolina QB Jake Bentley in the Gamecocks’ 56-35 loss to Clemson on Saturday. The former Opelika High School standout broke the South Carolina single-game record for passing yards of 473 set by QB Steve Tanneyhill in a 65-39 victory over Mississippi State on Oct. 14, 1995. Bentley had the second-most passing yards for a Clemson opponent, behind the 521 of Florida State’s Chris Weinke in the Seminoles’ 54-7 victory over the Tigers on Nov. 4, 2000. The 510 passing yards are tied for eighth-most in a game by an SEC player. Bentley’s five TD passes against Clemson tied South Carolina’s single-game record, which had been accomplished five times previously.
744 Yards of total offense were piled up by Clemson during the Tigers’ 56-35 victory over South Carolina on Saturday. Clemson had 351 rushing yards and 393 passing yards to ring up the most yards ever given up by the Gamecocks in a game, eclipsing the 680 yards that Texas A&M gained in a 52-28 victory over South Carolina on Aug. 28, 2014. Clemson’s yardage total was its third-highest in a game. The Tigers built up their yardage with TD drives of 95, 97 and 98 yards. With South Carolina adding 600 yards, the teams combined for 1,344 yards of offense in the game — 5 short of the SEC record set by Missouri and Tennessee in the Volunteers’ 63-37 victory on Nov. 19, 2016.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.