By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Alabama Week 10 Review
Alabama passed its first test of the season with flying colors as the Crimson Tide smothered LSU, 29-0, in Baton Rouge last Saturday (Nov. 3). The UA offense sputtered early on but the de-fense submitted a brilliant performance in blanking the Tigers. LSU finished with only 12 yards rushing on 25 attempts and were outgained 576 to 196 margin. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not have his best performance but was impressive overall on the evening. He threw for 295 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, which was his first pick of the season. Tagovailoa also ran for a 44-yard touchdown in the second half. Damien Harris rushed for 107 yards and a score, while Jerry Jeudy caught eight passes for 103 yards. The Crimson Tide improved to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play as they clinched the SEC West Division. Alabama will face Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in a rematch of last year’s national title game. The Tide returns home this Saturday (Nov. 10) to take on Mississippi State.
Auburn Week 10 Review
Trailing 24-14 late in the fourth quarter, it seemed as if Auburn was heading for its fourth loss of the season. The Tigers had struggled offensively all afternoon and the defense was losing the battle at the line of scrimmage. Auburn defensive back Noah Igbinoghene intercepted Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond, however, and the Tigers promptly marched down the field on a touchdown drive to cut the lead to 24-21. The Auburn defense made another stop and quarterback Jarrett Stidham led the AU offense back down the field. Stidham found freshman Seth Williams in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown that held up as the game-winner, and the Tigers improved to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in league play. Stidham had his best game of the season as he threw 239 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn only rushed for 19 yards and was outgained 421 to 278. The Tigers hit the road this weekend to take on Georgia in Athens. Last year, the two rivals split a pair of meetings, though the Bulldogs won the more important matchup in the SEC Championship Game.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (9-0, 6-0)
2. Georgia (8-1, 6-1)
3. LSU (7-2, 4-2)
4. Auburn (6-3, 3-3)
5. Florida (6-3, 4-3)
6. Kentucky (7-2, 5-2)
7. Miss. State (6-3, 2-3)
8. Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3)
9. South Car. (5-3, 4-3)
10. Missouri (5-4, 1-4)
11. Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-4)
12. Ole Miss (5-4, 1-4)
13. Tennessee (4-5, 1-4)
14. Arkansas (2-7, 0-5)
Week 11 Previews and Predictions
Week 10 record: 5-2; season: 65-19
Game of the Week: Auburn at Georgia (-14.5). The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East for the second straight year with an impressive 34-17 win at Kentucky last weekend. Georgia will take on Alabama in the SEC title game, and the Bulldogs still have a chance to make the playoffs if they finish 12-1. Auburn can play spoiler for both of its rivals over the next three weeks, and if the Tigers pull off the upset at Georgia, they likely will eliminate the Bulldogs from playoff contention. Auburn beat Texas A&M despite being outgained by a substantial margin and must be much more efficient offensively to win in Athens. Auburn hasn’t won in Athens since 2005, and the Tigers have lost 10 of the last 13 meetings with Georgia. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 58-56-8. Prediction: Georgia 26, Auburn 16.
Vanderbilt at Missouri (-14.5). Barry Odom’s team finally broke through against a quality opponent as Missouri dismantled Florida, 38-17, last weekend in Gainesville. It was an impressive performance by the Tigers, who now are only one win away from returning to a bowl game. Vanderbilt had an extra week to prepare for the Tigers and is capable of pulling off the upset if Missouri isn’t ready to play. Prediction: Missouri 31, Vanderbilt 23.
Mississippi State at Alabama (-25.5). Alabama’s offense was tested for the first time this season, and the unit produced more than enough in a 29-0 victory over LSU. Now, the Crim-son Tide returns home this weekend to take on perhaps the best defense in the league when Mississippi State visits Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Bulldogs have not allowed more than 20 points in their last five games, and it’s only happened once all season. Mississippi State has struggled at times offensively, and if Nick Fitzgerald is careless with the football, the Ala-bama defense will force several turnovers. Prediction: Alabama 27, Mississippi State 3.
LSU at Arkansas (+13.5). Ed Orgeron has guided the Tigers to a very solid 7-2 record this year, but his team once again failed the Alabama test. It’s clear that LSU is no match for the Crimson Tide, and the gap between the two feels larger than ever. LSU has a chance to finish 10-2 but cannot afford a letdown game on the road against an Arkansas team desperate for its first conference win of the season. Prediction: LSU 24, Arkansas 13.
South Carolina at Florida (-6). The Gators were still reeling from their loss to Georgia as they dropped another conference game at home to Missouri last Saturday. Now, Florida cannot let those two losses turn into another one as South Carolina visits Gainesville this Saturday. The Gamecocks won a 48-44 shootout over Ole Miss on the road and are searching for their sixth win of the season as they visit the Gators. Prediction: Florida 27, South Carolina 24.
Kentucky at Tennessee (+4). Kentucky lost the biggest game in recent program history last weekend at home to Georgia, and now must hit the road to take on rival Tennessee. The Volunteers defeated Charlotte, 14-3, last week in an uninspiring effort, but head coach Jeremy Pruitt can earn a massive victory if UT pulls off the upset on Saturday in Knoxville. Prediction: Tennessee 19, Kentucky 16.
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-12). Texas A&M had every opportunity to knock off Auburn on the road, but the Aggies blew a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter for their fourth loss of the season. It was a disappointing outcome for a program seemingly on the upswing, and A&M is now 5-4 on the year in Jimbo Fisher’s first season. The Aggies host a reeling Ole Miss team on Saturday and should be able to get back on track. Prediction: Texas A&M 41, Ole Miss 24.