Vandy-South Carolina

Every week, the Nashville Post will have a roundup of the weekend's Nashville-area college football games, including top performers and takeaways, as well as updates from around the state and on local players.

Let's take a look back at the slate from week 11 of the college football season.  

Tennessee falters in top-two clash at Georgia 

It was a tough weekend for local college football teams, and the struggles started at the very top of the heap.

Fresh off being selected as the top team in the country by the College Football Playoff Committee, the Tennessee Vols (8-1, 4-1) had to face off against the AP No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. And the Bulldogs clearly took Tennessee's anointing to heart.  
 
In just the 25th-ever regular season meeting between the top two teams in the AP Poll, Georgia controlled the action from the beginning. If not for inclement weather, the score could have ended up a lot worse than 27-13.
 
Prior to Saturday, the Vols lowest-scoring output of the season was 34 points. They compiled just 289 total yards. And Hendon Hooker's Heisman campaign took a major hit as he finished 23-33 for 195 yards, zero touchdowns, and interceptions, and just 17 rushing yards on 18 carries. 
 
Despite all the doom and gloom, losses by Alabama and Clemson later in the day kept Tennessee in the thick of the playoff race. They very well may get a second shot against Georgia. 

Vandy unable to overcome early South Carolina lead

The Commodores (3-6, 0-5) once again failed in the quest to get their first SEC win of the season on Saturday at home vs South Carolina. 

A pair of second-quarter Gamecock touchdowns pushed South Carolina's lead to 31-14 at the break and it was too big a deficit for Vanderbilt's two-quarterback offense to overcome.

AJ Swann and Mike Wright once again split time under center for the 'Dores. Swann was 10-18 for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, while Wright was 8-15 for 101 yards, one score, and one pick. It is still unclear who the better choice is.

What is clear is that running back Ray Davis deserves more praise. The senior compiled 167 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown on his only catch. 

TSU shutout at home by OVC-leading SEMO

Tennessee State (3-6, 2-2) ran into a buzzsaw SEMO squad on Saturday, who shut out the Tigers 42-0 at Nissan Stadium. 

The Redhawks ran for 310 yards and five touchdowns on 43 carries, including 18 rushes for 136 yards and three touchdowns from star running back Geno Hess. TSU could not stop SEMO on the ground.

Despite the loss, the Tigers are still in decent shape in the OVC standings. Currently, they're in third thanks to a tie-breaking win over Tennessee Tech. But a meeting with second-place UT-Martin next week looms. 

DieLiello leads Austin Peay past UNA

The lone team we cover in this column to win on Saturday, Austin Peay (6-3, 2-2) defeated North Alabama 38-35 on the road after a three-touchdown, zero-interception performance from Mike DieLiello. 

The senior quarterback was 19-31 for 326 yards, while top target Drae McCray had five catches for 106 yards and one touchdown to help lead the Govs to an important ASUN win.

With just one conference game to go (on the road at Kennesaw State), Austin Peay is just one win behind first-place Jacksonville State, who still has to play the second and third-best teams over the final two weekends of the regular season.

Second-half struggles plague MT in road loss vs Louisiana Tech

Middle Tennessee (4-5, 1-4) was able to cut Louisiana Tech's lead to 27-21 just seconds before halftime thanks to a Chase Cunningham touchdown toss to Jaylin Lane. But it was as close as the Blue Raiders would get.

The Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered points in the third quarter to take control of the game en route to a 40-24 win. Overall, Cunningham struggled, finishing 15-27 for 136 yards and three interceptions to go along with the score. 

Despite the bad C-USA record, MT can still become bowl eligible with wins in two out of their last three games. With last-place Charlotte coming to town next week, the goal seems fairly attainable.