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What we learned from Week 8 in the SEC

Here are our top takeaways from Week 8 in the SEC:

1. Clowning Richardson

The much-criticized Jadeveon Clowney made mincemeat of Tennessee's star left tackle Antonio Richardson on Saturday, and's College Football 24/7 kept as close a track of the matchup as you'll find anywhere. Once again, Clowney failed to deliver a sack, but his constant presence in the UT backfield delivered his best performance of the season. Sacks? None. Impact? Immeasurable.

2. Catching clinic

Exciting freshman receiver Marquez North of Tennessee made a spectacular catch against South Carolina in the Vols' 23-21 home upset of the Gamecocks, but based on whispers coming off the UT practice field, it won't be his last.

3. Stake through the Heart of Dixie

Be glad, Troy, be very, very glad, that Texas A&M is not on your schedule. South Alabama? Jacksonville State? You count your blessings, too. Because apparently, Aggies receiver Mike Evans can't play a team from Alabama without rolling up more than 250 yards. Then again, maybe you want a piece of A&M after all. Because Evans hasn't won one of those games, either.

4. Wear and tear

Johnny Manziel, for the second consecutive week, briefly came out of a game with an injury, only to return to the lineup before the game was over. Last week, it was a knee injury against Ole Miss, and this week, a shoulder injury against Auburn. In both cases, Manziel played well after the injury, although on Saturday against Auburn, he was noticeably wincing in pain after returning.

5. Back to school

Wondering who might be a top left tackle prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft? Here's a good place to start.

6. Targeting times three

Three targeting calls in the three early SEC games Saturday resulted in ejections that were upheld by the replay booth, and all three hampered the teams that eventually lost. This week's zebra victims: Georgia's Ray Drew, South Carolina's Kadetrix Marcus and Florida's Cody Riggs.

7. Sack master -- sometimes

Missouri's Michael Sam delivered his third three-sack game of the season on Saturday against a Florida offensive line that struggled mightily in pass protection. Call it a hat trick of hat tricks. Oddly enough, however, Sam doesn't have any sacks in any other games this season.

8. Off his Metts

Would the real Zach Mettenberger please stand up? The LSU quarterback, after a stellar first half to the season, looked a lot more like the Mettenberger of early 2012 Saturday night in a loss to Ole Miss. Enough to cost him draft status? Given his consistency all season up to this point, probably not. But against a Rebels defense that entered the game tattered by injuries, it wasn't a night to remember for Mettenberger.

9. Back in the saddle

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix got a little more playing time than he expected Saturday night, and ended up making his first pick of the season in front of scouts from at least two NFL clubs. So which clubs were on hand to watch the star junior? Come inside.

10. Moncrief makes good

Donte Moncrief, one of the nation's top junior receivers, caught five passes for 107 yards for Ole Miss Saturday to help lead a 27-24 upset win. It was just the second time this season that Moncrief has crossed the 100-yard mark, something he did with more regularity as a sophomore. Still, the big game came at the biggest time for the Rebels, who earned their first true signature SEC win over Hugh Freeze.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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