In & around SEC football

October 12, 2017 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 6 Review
After winning its first two SEC games by a combined score of 125-3, Alabama had its closest game of the season in a 27-19 win over Texas A&M. The game was never really in doubt, but the Crimson Tide let the Aggies hang around for longer than many expected. Jalen Hurts threw for 123 yards and a touchdown and ran for 56 yards and a score. Damien Harris rushed for 124 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown run for Alabama’s first score of the game. Nick Saban’s team improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Alabama returns home this Saturday (Oct. 14) to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Auburn Week 6 Review
It only took one half for Auburn to assert its dominance over a struggling Ole Miss team as the Tigers took down the Rebels by a score of 44-23. AU led 35-3 at halftime, led by Kerryon Johnson’s three first half touchdowns. Johnson carried the ball 28 times for 204 yards, while quarterback Jarrett Stidham threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Tigers travel to Baton Rouge on Saturday for a pivotal SEC West matchup against LSU.
SEC Rankings
1. Alabama (6-0, 3-0)
2. Georgia (6-0, 3-0)
3. Auburn (5-1, 3-0)
4. Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1)
5. Miss. State (3-2, 1-2)
6. LSU (4-2, 1-1)
7. Florida (3-2, 3-1)
8. Kentucky (5-1, 2-1)
9. South Car. (4-2, 2-2)
10. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3)
11. Arkansas (2-3, 0-2)
12. Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)
13. Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2)
14. Missouri (1-4, 0-3)
Week 7 Previews and Predictions
Week 6 record: 4-2; season: 46-12
Saturday, Oct. 14
Game of the Week
Auburn at LSU (+7). LSU’s road win over Florida took some of the pressure off of first-year head coach Ed Orgeron, who needed the win over Florida after the Ti-gers’ loss to Troy. Orgeron and his team can set now their sights on a major SEC West Division showdown against Auburn this week. Auburn hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1999, and LSU won the previous meeting in Baton Rouge, 45-21. Or-geron became the interim head coach last season after Auburn defeated LSU and Les Miles was fired. A win over Auburn this year would keep Orgeron’s team in the mix for the SEC West title. Auburn has looked like one of the best teams in the country over the last three weeks, and this is a must-win game for Gus Malzahn’s team if they want to remain in the national title conversation. Prediction: Auburn 27, LSU 13.
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (-3.5). The Rebels return home for their SEC home opener after a pair of blowout losses on the road to Alabama and Auburn. It’s a tough spot for interim coach Matt Luke – his team is ineligible for a bowl game while every other team that the Rebels play this season has something bigger at stake. For Vanderbilt, Derek Mason is trying to get his team into a bowl game for the third straight season. The Commodores have lost three straight games, and this could be a huge swing game if they want to make another bowl game. Prediction: Vanderbilt 26, Ole Miss 24.
BYU at Mississippi State (-23.5). The Bulldogs had the week off after back-to-back blowout losses and should be able to get back on track against BYU. The Cougars are 1-5 and they’ve struggled to score all season. Prediction: Mississippi State 34, BYU 10.
Arkansas at Alabama (-29). Alabama didn’t exactly look pedestrian in a win over Texas A&M, but the Tide did let the Aggies hang around into the fourth quarter. UA welcomes in an Arkansas team that was blown out by South Carolina a week ago, and the Razorbacks likely won’t pose a threat to Alabama on either side of the ball. As long as Alabama doesn’t turn the ball over and provide the Hogs with easy scoring opportunities, the Tide should roll easily over the Razorbacks. Prediction: Alabama 48, Arkansas 6.
South Carolina at Tennessee (-3). Tennessee coach Butch Jones likely sits on the hottest seat in college football, and this is a must-win game for Jones if he wants to keep his job. The Vols have Alabama on deck in what will almost certainly be another loss, so a home loss to the Gamecocks might be difficult to overcome for Jones. South Carolina played well in a blowout win over Arkansas a week ago, and Will Muschamp nearly has his team eligible for a bowl game halfway through the season. Prediction: South Carolina 24, Tennessee 20.
Missouri at Georgia (-30.5). Georgia continued to roll last week in a dominating win over Vanderbilt, and Kirby Smart’s team looks like one of the best in the country at the moment. The running game has been explosive, and Nick Chubb is currently leading the SEC in rushing. The defense is playing like one of the best in the country, and the Bulldogs should have no trouble with a struggling Missouri team. Prediction: Georgia 38, Missouri 10.
Texas A&M at Florida (-3). After Texas A&M’s heartbreaking collapse in the season opener against UCLA, it appeared as if Kevin Sumlin’s days were numbered in College Station. But the Aggies have rallied since then, and even last Saturday’s eight-point loss to Alabama could be seen as a positive. If Sumlin and the Aggies can win in The Swamp against Florida, the pressure might be shifted to Jim McElwain for the second half of the season. The Gators have won two straight SEC East titles under McElwain but they’ve yet to show any signs of improvement on offense in his third year in Gainesville. Last Saturday’s home loss to LSU wasn’t a good look, and the Gators will need a better showing this week against Texas A&M to alleviate some of the pressure on McElwain. Prediction: Florida 23, Texas A&M 20.