In & around SEC football

October 23, 2015 chris
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Alabama Week 7 Review

The Crimson Tide returned three interceptions for touchdowns en route to a 41-23 road win over Texas A&M last Saturday (Oct. 17). Freshman Min-kah Fitzpatrick had two of pick-sixes and Eddie Jackson had the third. Offensively, Derrick Henry exploded for a career high 236 yards. The Aggies had no answer for him in the first half. A few special teams blunders kept the game close for a while, but Alabama put the game away in the fourth quarter. The Tide improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Alabama hosts Tennessee this Saturday (Oct. 24). 

Auburn Week 7 Review

Auburn defeated Kentucky, 30-27, on Oct. 15  in Lexington, with the Tigers picking up their first conference win of the season. Peyton Barber rushed for two touchdowns and freshman Kerryon Johnson rushed for another. The Wildcats threatened to either tie the game or take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Tiger linebacker Justin Garrett sacked UK quarterback Patrick Towles on fourth down to preserve the win. Auburn improved to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in SEC league play. The Tigers travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas this weekend. 

SEC Rankings

  1. LSU (6-0, 4-0)

  2. Alabama (6-1, 3-1)

 3. Florida (6-1, 4-1)

 4. Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1)

  5. Tennessee (3-3, 1-2)

  6. Mississippi State (5-2, 1-2)

  7. Georgia (5-2, 3-2)

 8. Ole Miss (5-2, 2-1)

 9. Arkansas (2-4, 1-2)

  10. Auburn (4-1, 1-2)

  11. Kentucky (4-2, 2-2)

  12. Missouri (4-3, 1-3)

  13. South Carolina (3-4, 1-4)

  14. Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-3)

Week 8 Previews and Predictions 

Week 7: 5-2; season: 51-14

Game of the Week: Tennessee at Alabama (-15.5). Alabama has won eight straight games in this rivalry, and unless the Volunteers pull off a major upset on Saturday, the Crimson Tide will likely extend that streak to nine. Tennessee has the talent to beat Alabama. Butch Jones has recruited well but his team hasn’t been able to break through on the big stage just yet. Vols’ quarterback Josh Dobbs is a threat in the running game, and that has given Alabama some trouble in the past. Tennessee should be able to put points on the board, but does not have the depth on defense to hang with Alabama for four quarters. Prediction: Alabama 35, Tennessee 24.

Texas A&M at Ole Miss (-6). Both the Aggies and Rebels are coming off disappointing losses, but neither team is completely out of the SEC West Division race just yet. Texas A&M’s schedule sets up nicely if the Aggies can win on Saturday, and they’ve been great on the road under Kevin Sumlin. Prediction: Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 31. 

Kentucky at Mississippi State (-11.5). A year ago, Mississippi State was the biggest surprise in all of college football. In what was supposed to be a down year for the Bulldogs, MSU is quietly only one win away from becoming bowl eligible again. If the Bulldogs take care of business against Kentucky on Saturday, this team could reach eight or nine wins this season. Prediction: Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 23. 

Auburn at Arkansas (-6). Saturday’s matchup between the Tigers and Ra-zorbacks features a major contrast of style. Auburn features an up-tempo spread offense designed to score quickly and keep the same defensive personnel on the field, while the Arkansas offense is designed to have long sustaining drives that keep defensives fatigued throughout the game. Arkansas’s strategy nearly worked against Texas A&M but it hasn’t had much success against Auburn in the last two meetings. Arkansas desperately needs this win if the Hogs want to become bowl eligible. Prediction: Arkansas 34, Auburn 17. 

Western Kentucky at LSU (-16.5). Western Kentucky has already knocked off one SEC team this year, although it was Vanderbilt. The Hilltoppers are one of the best teams from the Group of Five conferences and should be able to put up some points on the Tigers. No team in the country has been able to stop Leonard Fournette, however, and LSU should be able to run the ball at will against WKU. Prediction: LSU 41, Western Kentucky 22. 

Missouri at Vanderbilt (+3). According to oddsmakers, this game is predicted to be one of the lowest scoring games in all of college football this year. Missouri has only eclipsed 13 points once over the past five games, while Vanderbilt has only managed more than 17 points just once, and that was against FCS member Austin Peay. Expect a defensive battle (or offensive struggle) on Saturday in Nashville. Prediction: Missouri 17, Vanderbilt 12.