THE SEC REPORT

The SEC Report: A&M continues its points explosion, Alabama’s championship run takes a hit and Georgia is in the playoff conversation

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

LAST WEEKEND

The Aggies continued their offensive expressions of dominance against South Carolina, who went home trying to figure out who they made so angry to cause a 30-6 game and how do they apologize? Georgia beat Auburn in a good game and has slowly crawled its way into the top 4 nationally giving the Bulldogs a shot at the playoffs as the season winds down. Alabama's season took a turn for the worst as state treasure Tua Tagovailoa's season ended abruptly and painfully Saturday with a dislocated hip. LSU continued its reign of terror over the SEC as they scored 58 against Ole Miss.

STARS OF LAST WEEKEND

Christopher Rodriguez Jr, Runningback of Kentucky: Nn a game Kentucky needed desperately their stud running back ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on only 15 carries. Moby Dick couldn't be a bigger monster than this kid last weekend.

Georgia's Defense: Seriously they were playing Auburn and held them scoreless through three quarters of football and then after Auburn got a little momentum going, they were able to rally and get a couple of late stops in the game to help keep the lead late and secure the victory.

John Rhys Plumlee, quarterback of Ole Miss: OK obviously, Ole Miss lost and Joe Burrow continued his Heisman hunt with five passing touchdowns but I feel like if I don't act least acknowledge Plumlee's 212 yards and four, yeah, FOUR touchdowns on 21 carries then it's a crime against good football. So Burrow was great, but Plumlee was amazing.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND

This week Texas A&M takes on the role of heartbreakers looking to stop Georgia's low-key end around past Alabama in the rankings. Georgia got the biggest gift in the world with Tua going down and now the rankings aren't as in love with Saban's Crimson Tide as they were a week ago. The Aggies are on the road but they can ruin The Bulldogs perfect storm of a season. Also worth watching is West Carolina coming to Alabama, now before you say anything, hear me out. Alabama's defense hasn't been up to championship standards all year and the team has looked vulnerable for the first time in a while, heck they lost a regular season game! They need a good game to remind themselves that they are Alabama, this is either going to be a masterpiece in coaching and head games or actually tough to watch. LSU hosts Arkansas and unless the Razorback offense can hold the ball for 30 minutes themselves this game, the Tigers will probably hang 50 on them.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Isaiah Spiller, Runningback of Texas A&M: So this season Kellen Mond was supposed to be the leader but by now it looks like they need someone else on crucial downs and plays and a great running game can control the tempo of a game and keep the other team on their heels. Long drives, touchdowns to finish and then defensive stands are how A&M can bury the Bulldogs.

D'Andre Swift, Running back of Georgia: This is the week where they don't want mistakes or turnovers. All they want to do is go out there and in their last big test of the season just execute the plays and rack up the yards and the scores.

Joe Burrow, Quarterback of LSU: Honestly by now this is almost just personal, I like this kid and would like to see him win the Heisman. LSU is having a magical run and he's hitting 78.6% of his throws, he's making great reads and handling the rising pressure week after week as the spotlight intensifies.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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