In & around SEC football - Week 7 previews, predictions

October 11, 2018 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 6 Review
Alabama didn’t particularly play well but still dominated Arkansas, 65-31, on the road. Tua Tagovailoa had another superb performance as he completed 10-of-13 passes for 334 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Damien Harris rushed for 111 yards and two scores, while Jerry Jeu-dy caught four passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
The Crimson Tide defense wasn’t at its best, and the unit lost defensive back Tre-von Diggs for the season after he broke his foot. The UA defense will be tested again on Saturday (Oct. 13) as the Tide host a Missouri team with a potent offense. For now, however, Alabama will be able to outscore any team it faces in the SEC.
Auburn Week 6 Review
It doesn’t get much uglier than how the Auburn offense performed in a 23-9 road loss at Mississippi State. The Tigers were ineffective in every way offensively, and the defense finally broke down late in the game due to being on the field for so long. There were several glaring miscues, including Jarrett Stidham missing a wide-open receiver for a touchdown and JaTarvious Whitlow fumbling a would-be touchdown before he crossed the goal line.
Auburn is now 4-2 overall and 1-2 in league play and welcomes in Tennessee on Saturday. If the Tigers lose that game, the season could quickly spiral out of control.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (6-0, 3-0)
2. Georgia (6-0, 4-0)
3. Florida (5-1, 3-1)
4. LSU (5-1, 2-1)
5. Kentucky (5-1, 3-1)
6. Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1)
7. Auburn (4-2, 1-2)
8. South Carolina (3-2, 2-2)
9. Missouri (3-2, 0-2)
10. Mississippi State (4-2, 1-2)
11. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2)
12. Ole Miss (4-2, 0-2)
13. Tennessee (2-3, 0-2)
14. Arkansas (1-5, 0-3)
Week 7 Previews and Predictions
Week 6 record: 6-1; season: 49-11
Game of the Week: Georgia at LSU (+7.5). There would be more buzz surrounding this game if LSU had beaten Florida last weekend. Nonetheless, this is still a marquee matchup in the SEC and a game that could have major playoff implications for both teams. The Tigers can’t afford to slip up two weeks in a row if they want to contend in the SEC West, so this is a must-win game for their postseason opportunities. Georgia can probably afford one loss – especially one out of the division – and still win the East. The Bulldogs have a challenging stretch ahead in the next few weeks, and this will be the toughest environment they have played in since Auburn last fall. Prediction: Georgia 27, LSU 20.
Florida at Vanderbilt (+7). Dan Mullen has led the Gators to back-to-back marquee victories over Mi-ssissippi State and LSU. Florida now travels to Nashville for a very tricky trap game. On paper, the Gators should win comfortably. However, it might be difficult for this team to hit the road after two very challenging and emotional games. Vanderbilt is good enough to pull off the upset on Saturday if Florida isn’t sharp. Prediction: Florida 23, Vanderbilt 20.
Tennessee at Auburn (-15.5). Auburn already is practically eliminated from SEC West Division contention only six games into the season. The Tigers were expected to contend for the division but they’ve struggled mightily offensively and stumbled to losses against LSU and Mississippi State. The Tigers can still have a solid season, but they need to turn things around quickly or someone will upset them in the next few weeks. Prediction: Auburn 20, Tennessee 13.
Texas A&M at South Carolina (+2). The Gamecocks survived a downpour and snuck away with a win over Missouri for their first conference victory of the season. While winning the East probably won’t happen, South Carolina can still have a very successful. The Aggies are still alive in the SEC West despite the loss to Alabama and they have been very impressive in Jimbo Fisher’s first season. Prediction: South Carolina 30, Texas A&M 27.
Missouri at Alabama (-28.5). Alabama’s offense hasn’t been contained as of yet, and Missouri doesn’t have the defense to slow down the Crimson Tide. The Tigers should be able to move the ball effectively on the Alabama defense but that won’t be enough to keep this one close. Don’t be surprised if Alabama puts up 50 points again this week. Prediction: Alabama 52, Missouri 24.
Ole Miss at Arkansas (+6.5). Both the Rebels and the Razorbacks are winless in SEC play, and this might be one of their few opportunities to earn a conference victory this year. The Hogs have played better in recent weeks but still have a long way to go before they will be able to compete regularly in league play. Ole Miss has been effective offensively outside of the SEC but the Rebels have struggled against the conference’s defenses. Prediction: Arkansas 34, Ole Miss 31.