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The SEC featured five games this weekend. Auburn dismantled Ole Miss 74-10, while LSU skipped past Mississippi State 27-5. Tennessee upended Florida 45-17, South Carolina blanked Georgia 72-0, and Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 27-8.
In Starkville, Miss., the Bulldogs came out very motivated and took the game to LSU, but the Tigers weathered the storm and matched the physicality of Mississippi State. Leading the Tigers were the Falcon brothers, Cameron at hooker and Brennan at Flanker.
In a sloppy error filled game, LSU was able to outlast Mississippi State. “It was really sloppy on both sides,” LSU captain Alexander Nadler said. “There were a lot of knock ons and a lot of mental mistakes.”
LSU has been able to jump out to a 2-0 start to SEC play in large part to the team's depth. The Tigers have a number of freshmen with rugby experience, making practice extremely effective.
“Practice flows better because guys really know what they are doing despite never having played at the collegiate level before,” Nadler suggested.
The Tigers have also added Jamie Ewton to the coaching staff and welcomed back Scott Mclean to the fray. Along with head coach Bob “Red” Causey, the team is extremely well coached.
Over in Knoxville, Tennessee jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead over Florida. The Gators came marching back, with the next three scores giving Florida a 17-12 lead. The Volunteers added two tries right before halftime and really pushed momentum in their favor. After tying the match, the ensuing kickoff bounced around and right into the hands of a Tennessee player. He went untouched 70 yards to give the Volunteers a 24-17 lead going into the break.
Tennessee made some key adjustments in the second half and was able to prevent Florida from adding any more points. “We really jumped on them in the second half and were able to hold onto possession and limit their opportunities,” Tennessee coach Marty Bradley told Rugby Today.
The Volunteers were able to pull away from the Gators by adding on some substitutes. “We brought in some fresh legs. We have some depth in some spots that we have never had before, and it really showed in this game,” Bradley added.
“This was a typical Florida-Tennessee battle. Florida is a good bunch of guys, but we were just able to get on them in the second half,” Bradley said.
Tennessee moves to 1-0 in league play and will travel to in-state rival Vanderbilt next weekend.