In & around SEC football - Week 3 review, Week 4 previews and predictions

September 20, 2018 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 3 Review
After Ole Miss scored on its first play from scrimmage, it appeared Alabama would be in for a shootout against the Rebels. However, the Crimson Tide scored the next 62 points and did not allow another point. The Alabama offense was unstoppable, regardless of whether Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts was at quarterback. Tagovailoa connected on 11-of-15 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns, while Jerry Jeudy caught three passes for 136 yards and two scores. Alabama outgained Ole Miss 516 to 248 and led 49-7 at halftime. UA improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Alabama hosts Texas A&M this Saturday (Sept. 22) at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Auburn Week 3 Review
For the second straight season, Auburn dropped a game to LSU it should have won. The Tigers fell behind 10-0 but stormed back to take a 21-10 lead in the second half. While Auburn had chances to put the game away, LSU kept within striking distance after making a field goal to trim the lead to 21-13. The Auburn defense had several opportunities to stop the LSU offense, but the visiting Tigers continued to make plays when it mattered most. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw an impressive 71-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Dillon late in the fourth quarter to close the gap to two points, and LSU forced an Auburn three-and-out on the next drive. LSU closed the game with a 14-play, 52-yard drive that culminated with a game-winning field goal as time expired for the 22-21 victory.
Auburn dropped to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Tigers host Arkansas in another SEC West matchup on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0)
2. Georgia (3-0, 1-0)
3. Mississippi State (3-0)
4. LSU (3-0, 1-0)
5. Texas A&M (2-1)
6. Kentucky (3-0, 1-0)
7. So. Carolina (1-1, 0-1)
8. Florida (2-1, 0-1)
9. Missouri (3-0)
10. Vanderbilt (2-1)
11. Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1)
12. Tennessee (3-0)
13. Arkansas (1-2)
Week 4 Previews and Predictions
Week 3 record: 9-2; season: 30-7
Game of the Week: Texas A&M at Alabama (-26.5). So far this season, no team has had an answer for Alabama’s offense. The Crimson Tide scored at least 50 points in all three games, and it might be a while before any defense can stop them. Texas A&M nearly knocked off Clemson two weeks ago, and head coach Jimbo Fisher is very familiar with Nick Saban. Fisher was a Saban assistant for several years, though none of Saban’s former assistants have ever beaten him. That trend won’t change on Saturday as Alabama cruises to another victory. Prediction: Alabama 48, Texas A&M 20.
Kent State at Ole Miss (-28.5). The Ole Miss offense was stymied against Alabama, and the Rebels look to get back on track against Kent State. Ole Miss been atrocious all season defensively, and the Rebels need to fix some of their issues on that side of the ball before they resume conference play. Prediction: Ole Miss 51, Kent State 27.
Georgia at Missouri (+14). Georgia passed its first road test with flying co-lors as the Bulldogs demolished South Carolina two weeks ago. Georgia now travels to the other Columbia in Missouri to take on one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Lock. It’s tough for any team to play on the road so early in the day, but the Bulldog offense should have no trouble piling up points on the Tigers. Prediction: Georgia 41, Missouri 23.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (+2). Vanderbilt nearly pulled off a major upset against Notre Dame but fell just short in South Bend. Nevertheless, it was an impressive showing from the Commodores, and Van-dy is capable with playing with almost any team in the SEC. South Carolina’s game against Marshall was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, so the Gamecocks enter this matchup well rested after the loss to Georgia. Prediction: South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 23.
Florida at Tennessee (+4.5). Dan Mullen’s first SEC game with Florida didn’t go very well, as his Gators lost to Kentucky for the first time in over three decades. Florida hits the road this weekend to take on another SEC East foe in Tennessee. The Volunteers are undergoing a rebuilding season under new coach Jeremy Pruitt, and beating Florida would be a signature win for Pruitt. This game should come down to the wire in Knoxville. Prediction: Florida 26, Tennessee 20.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (+10). Mississippi State has rolled through all three opponents so far this season and is hitting the road for its conference opener. Kentucky al-ready pulled off an upset as a two-touchdown underdog at Florida, and Mark Stoops will look to sneak away with another big win against the Bulldogs. Prediction: Mississippi State 34, Kentucky 23.
Louisiana Tech at LSU (-21). No team in the country has a better resume than LSU after three games. The Tigers dominated Miami on a neutral field in the season opener and went on the road in a difficult environment to beat a quality Auburn team. LSU returns home for what should be an easy win over Louisiana Tech before a very challenging stretch of games. Prediction: LSU 38, Louisiana Tech 13.
Arkansas at Auburn (-30). One loss doesn’t disqualify a team from making the playoffs, but Auburn just made it much more difficult to contend for a national title. The schedule is very challenging, especially the road slate, so the loss to LSU at home was the last thing the Tigers needed. However, AU should bounce back this weekend against a putrid Arkansas team. Prediction: Auburn 37, Arkansas 9.