In and around the SEC: Week 7

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

 Auburn Week 6 recap
    Auburn dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the SEC after a 24-7 home loss to Arkansas. Despite having two weeks to prepare for the Razorbacks, Auburn struggled to find any consistency on offense. Kiehl Frazier was benched in the second half in favor of Clint Moseley, and the quarterbacks combined for three interceptions on the afternoon. Auburn’s off-ense line was dominated all game, allowing eight sacks to an Arkansas defense that had only recorded seven sacks on the season entering the game. Defensively, the Tigers actually played well, but Auburn’s offense was unable to capitalize on its favorable field position.  Even the Tigers’ special teams made a couple of unusual mistakes. Cody Parkey missed his first field goal attempt of the year, and Onterio McCa-lebb dropped a kickoff in the end zone, which led to poor field position for the Tigers. Auburn will travel to Oxford this Saturday to take on the Ole Miss Rebels.

SEC Power Poll
    1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0)
    2. South Carolina (6-0, 4-0)
    3. Florida (5-0, 4-0)
    4. Mississippi State (5-0, 2-0)
    5. LSU (5-1, 1-1)
    6. Georgia (5-1, 3-1)
    7. Texas A&M (4-1, 2-1)
    8. Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)
    9. Ole Miss (3-3, 0-2)
    10. Vanderbilt (2-3, 1-2)
    11. Arkansas (2-4, 1-2)
    12. Missouri (3-3, 0-3)
    13. Auburn (1-4, 0-3)
    14. Kentucky (1-5, 0-3)

Predictions
(Week 6: 3-3, season: 47-8)
    Alabama at Missouri (+21.5) In Missouri’s inaugural SEC season, the Tigers are 0-3 in league play. The schedule does not get any easier, as the top-ranked Crimson Tide enter Columbia on Saturday. Alabama is coming off of a bye week, while Missouri is coming off of a disappointing 19-15 loss at home to Vanderbilt. The Tigers also lost starting quarterback James Franklin to a knee injury, and backup Corbin Berkstresser will be making his first SEC start this week against the number one defense in the nation. The Crimson Tide should have no trouble with the Tigers this Saturday. ALABAMA 38, Missouri 10.
    
    Auburn at Ole Miss (-6) Despite losing 16 straight SEC games, the Ole Miss Rebels will be favored entering Saturday’s matchup against Auburn. Ole Miss nearly knocked off Texas A&M last Saturday, while Auburn was dominated by a struggling Arkansas team. The Rebels have already surpassed last season’s win total, and head coach Hugh Freeze has his team playing with much more confidence. If Auburn has any shot at going to a bowl game this year, the Tigers will have to win in Oxford. OLE MISS 27, Auburn 17.

    Tennessee at Mississippi State (-3) Tennessee is still searching for its first SEC victory of the season, and head coach Derek Dooley desperately needs a win over a top 25 opponent. Mississippi State is 5-0 for the first time since 1999, but the Bulldogs’ strength of schedule has been anything but strong. The Bulldogs’ best win came against Auburn, so this will be their first real test of the season. The key matchup of the game will be between Mississippi State cornerbacks Jonathon Banks and Darius Slay versus Tennessee receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Dooley will be coaching from the press box after having hip surgery this week, but he insists that it will not be an issue. The cowbells will be in full force in Starkville, so look for the Bulldogs to prevail at home. MISSISSIPPI STATE 27, Tennessee 23.

    Florida at Vanderbilt (+8) The Gators are coming off of the biggest win in the Will Muschamp era, while the Commodores picked up a gutsy win on the road at Missouri. Florida will play South Carolina next week in the Swamp, so this game in Nashville feels like a potential trap game. Florida has been dominant in the second half in every game this season, so look for the Gators to pull away from Vandy in the fourth quarter. FLORIDA 31, Vanderbilt 13

Game of the Week

    South Carolina at LSU (-2.5) LSU’s 17-game re-gular season win streak came to end last week in a 14-6 loss against Florida. South Carolina now holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 10 games as they enter Saturday’s matchup in Baton Rouge. The Gamecocks dominated Georgia 35-7 last weekend, and Jadeveon Clowney is beginning to look like the best defensive player in the country. These teams have two of the best defenses in the nation, so expect a defensive struggle down on the bayou. LSU 20, South Carolina 17.

Other SEC games
    (-8) TEXAS A&M 45, Louisiana Tech 31
    (-17) ARKANSAS 31, Kentucky 17
Extra Points
Offensively, Auburn is averaging 302 yards per game, which is last in the SEC and 113th in the nation.

The Tigers are 117th in scoring offense, averaging only 15.4 points per game, and dead last in turnover margin.

The SEC has four teams in the top 10: Alabama (1), South Carolina (3), Florida (4) and LSU (9).

Those same four teams are all in the top 12 in the nation in total defense: Alabama (1), LSU (3), South Carolina (11) and Florida (12).

Ole Miss has lost 16 straight SEC games. Auburn has lost five straight. The Tigers’ last SEC victory came last season when Auburn defeated Ole Miss 41-23.

LSU has won 21 straight home games.

Missouri’s Gary Pinkel and Alabama’s Nick Saban both attended Kent State. Saban was a year ahead of PInkel in school, and both were assistants on the coaching staff.

Pinkel also took over the head-coaching job at Toledo after Saban left the position to become the defensive coordinator of Bill Belichick’s NFL Cleveland Browns.

 
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