In and around the SEC: Week 6

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Alabama Week 5 recap 

The Crimson Tide improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC after a 33-14 win over Ole Miss last Saturday. The Rebels provided more of a challenge to the top-ranked Crimson Tide than most people expected, but Alabama capitalized on several Ole Miss errors and miscues to secure the victory. Ole Miss took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, but Alabama responded with a Christion Jones touchdown on the ensuing kickoff. Alabama’s defense forced three interceptions, which alleviated some of the pressure off of the struggling Crimson Tide offense. While the offense sputtered throughout the night overall, freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper had an enormous presence in the passing game as he caught eight passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama has the week off before traveling to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers.
    

SEC Power Poll

1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0)

2. Georgia (5-0, 3-0)

 3. LSU (5-0, 1-0)

     4. South Carolina (5-0, 3-0)

5. Florida (4-0, 3-0)

6. Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0)

 7. Texas A&M (3-1, 1-1)

8. Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)

9. Missouri (3-2, 0-2)

10. Auburn (1-3, 0-1)

11. Ole Miss (3-2, 0-1)

12. Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2)

13. Arkansas (1-4, 0-2)

14. Kentucky (1-4, 0-2)

Week 6 Predictions (Week 5: 6-0; Season: 44-5)
Arkansas at Auburn (-9.5)  

Coming off of a bye week, the Auburn Tigers are looking to start the month of October with a victory over the reeling Razorbacks. The Hogs lost their first two SEC games by a combined score of 110-10, and a loss to Auburn might effectively ruin any chance for a bowl bid this season. After a brutal month of September, the Tigers are looking to rebound with a home win. Auburn’s October schedule is very favorable, especially compared to September, but a loss on Saturday would be a damaging blow to the Tigers. Look for the Tigers’ offense to be much more productive this Saturday, and for Auburn to pick up its first conference victory of the season. AUBURN 34, Arkansas 23

Mississippi State at Kentucky (+10)
    For one half on Saturday, it seemed as if Kentucky might be able to pull off a monumental upset over South Carolina, as the Wildcats led the Gamecocks 17-7 at halftime. However, South Carolina pulled away to win 38-17, sending Kentucky to a 1-4 start. Joker Phillips is quickly running out of time in Lexington, but an upset over the undefeated Bulldogs might quiet some of the “hot seat” rumors for Phillips. Look for Mississippi State, fresh off of a bye week, to pick up an SEC road win Saturday in Lexington. MISSISSIPPI STATE 38, Kentucky 20

LSU at Florida (+2.5)
    LSU is 5-0, but the Tigers have looked sluggish the last two games. The Tigers knocked off Auburn 12-10 two weeks ago on the road in a defensive battle before struggling with Towson at home in a 38-22 win last Saturday.  On the other hand, Florida has two impressive SEC road wins on its resume, and Jeff Driskel has emerged as an elite quarterback for the Gators. Florida and LSU have two of the best defenses in the conference, but look for Driskel and the Gator offense to prevail in the fourth quarter. FLORIDA 23, Louisiana State 20

Vanderbilt at Missouri (-7)
    Missouri is still searching for its first SEC victory, and the Tigers have a great opportunity to accomplish that feat on Saturday as they welcome the Commodores to Columbia. Vanderbilt has struggled with consistency on offense, and a quarterback controversy has not helped the situation. Missouri barely squeaks by Vandy for the Tigers’ first SEC victory. MISSOURI 26, Vanderbilt 17

Texas A&M at Ole Miss (+12)
    Texas A&M routed Arkansas 58-10 for the Aggies’ first-ever SEC win last Saturday. Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for a school-record 453 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
Manziel also rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown, and he broke the SEC and school records for total yards with 557. Ole Miss is coming off of a 33-14 loss to Alabama, but the Rebels played well for most of Saturday’s matchup against the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Rebels coach Hugh Freeze is unsure of whether Bo Wallace or Barry Brunetti will start at quarterback after both struggled to move the ball against Alabama. Look for this game to be a high scoring contest and for the Aggies to come out on top. TEXAS A&M 41, Ole Miss 30

Game of the Week - Georgia at South Carolina (-1)
Two of the best teams in the nation will square off Saturday in Columbia. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs will look to end a two-game losing streak to Connor Shaw’s Gamecocks, and the Dawgs will rely heavily on freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. South Carolina workhorse Marcus Lattimore looks healthy after tearing his ACL last season, and the Gamecocks will call his number early and often. This game has SEC championship implications for both teams, and it also might be a catalyst for a national title run for either of these squads. Both the Gamecocks and the Bulldogs will come ready to play, but look for the Dawgs to sneak out of Columbia with a huge SEC road victory. GEORGIA 34, South Carolina 31 

Extra Points 

* Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has thrown 206 straight passes without an interception, passing Brodie Croyle’s mark of 190. After Ole Miss took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, it was the first time Alabama had trailed in regulation since last year’s game against Tennessee. 

* Ole Miss has now lost 15 straight SEC games, dating back to 2010.

* Georgia’s 51-44 win over Tennessee was the fifth-highest-scoring game in SEC history that ended in regulation. 

* This Saturday will be the 59th meeting between Florida and LSU. The Gators lead the series 30-25-3.

* The top two offenses in the SEC belong to Georgia and Texas A&M. The Bulldogs are averaging 536 yards per game, while the Aggies are gaining 526 yard per game. Both teams are scoring 48.2 points per game. 

* Alabama has the No. 1 scoring defense in the country. The Crimson Tide is allowing only seven points per game. 

 
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