In & around SEC football

October 5, 2017 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Alabama Week 5 Review
Alabama continued its do-minance with a 66-3 rout of Ole Miss last Saturday, and it was clear from the start that the Rebels weren’t going to threaten the Crimson Tide like they had the past few seasons. UA gained over 600 yards on offense, while the defense held Ole Miss to only 253 yards. Jalen Hurts threw for 197 yards and two scores and ran 10 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Even backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa both threw and ran for a touchdown. Nick Saban’s team improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play. Alabama hits the road this Saturday (Oct. 7) to face Texas A&M.
Auburn Week 5 Review
After looking sluggish on offense over the first three weeks of the season, the Tigers found their groove over the last two weeks. Auburn defeated Mississippi State, 49-10 last Saturday, and the Tigers have scored 100 points combined in the last two weeks to open up SEC play. Gus Malzahn’s team might have the best defense in the league at this point in shutting down a potent Mississippi State offense. Kerryon Johnson rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns against the Bulldogs, while Jarrett Stidham threw for 264 yards and two scores. Auburn improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in league play. The host Ole Miss Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
SEC Rankings
1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0)
2. Georgia (5-0, 2-0)
3. Auburn (4-1, 2-0)
4. Florida (3-1, 3-0)
5. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-2)
6. Kentucky (4-1, 1-1)
7. Texas A&M (4-1, 4-0)
8. LSU (3-2, 0-1)
9. Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-2)
10. South Carolina (3-2, 1-2)
11. Arkansas (2-2, 0-1)
12. Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)
13. Ole Miss (2-2, 0-1)
14. Missouri (1-3, 0-2)
Week 6 Previews and Predictions
Week 5 record: 6-2; season: 42-10
Saturday, Oct. 7
Game of the Week
LSU at Florida (-3). The Ed Orgeron era is off to the worst possible start in Baton Rouge. Two weeks after being blown out by Mississippi State, the Tigers lost at home to Troy last weekend. Orgeron isn’t even halfway through his first full season with LSU and there already are rumblings about whether the school can afford to part ways with him after the season. The Tigers face a Florida team that is an unspectacular 3-0 in the SEC, and it’s a pivotal game for Orgeron’s squad. The Gators haven’t been flashy in their three league victories but Jim McElwain’s team is still finding ways to win games, and the Gators have a chance to reach Atlanta for the third straight year. Prediction: Florida 22, LSU 16.
Arkansas at South Carolina (+2). The loss of star receiver Deebo Samuel has taken its toll on the South Carolina offense, and the Gamecocks have dropped two straight conference games. They have a chance to get back on the right track this week against Arkansas, but the Hogs are in need of a win just as much as the Gamecocks. The Razorbacks had issues defensively in an overtime loss to Texas A&M, so look for them to attempt to control the clock with the ground game on the road in Columbia. Prediction: Arkansas 23, South Carolina.
Georgia at Vanderbilt (+17.5). Not only do the Bulldogs look like one of the best teams in the conference; they appear to be one of the best teams in all of college football. Georgia dominated Tennessee, 41-0, last weekend, and beat both of its SEC opponents by a combined score of 74-3. The SEC East will likely come down to the showdown between Georgia and Florida, but don’t expect the Bulldogs to overlook Vanderbilt after the Commodores beat them in Athens last season. Prediction: Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 6.
Missouri at Kentucky (-10). Outside of Georgia and Florida, the Wildcats might have the best chance of any other team in the East of challenging for the division title. Kentucky didn’t look particularly great in last week’s 24-20 win over Eastern Michigan, but the Wildcats can get back on track this weekend against a struggling Missouri team. Prediction: Kentucky 34, Missouri 20.
Ole Miss at Auburn (-21.5). The Rebels and Tigers are trending in opposite directions, and Auburn should be able to control this game on both sides of the ball. Auburn historically has not played well in games that have kicked off at 11 a.m., but Ole Miss has been atrocious on both sides of the ball in its last two games. Since the Rebels have one of the worst rushing defenses in the SEC, look for Auburn’s running game to dictate the flow of the game. Prediction: Auburn 45, Ole Miss 13.
Alabama at Texas A&M (+25.5). Through two SEC games, Alabama has defeated opponents by a 125-3 margin. Granted, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are not exactly title contenders, but the Crimson Tide is on another level from anyone else in the conference at this point. Kevin Sumlin is one of two coaches in the SEC to have beaten Nick Saban and the Tide (the other being Gus Malzahn), but this version of the Aggies won’t be able to keep up with Jalen Hurts and the Alabama offense. Prediction: Alabama 48, Texas A&M 10.