In & around SEC football - Week 13 previews

November 21, 2018 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 12 Review
For the first time all season, Alabama didn’t lead at halftime last Saturday (Nov. 17). It’s not totally surprising the Crimson Tide’s first half streak came to an end, but it’s astounding that The Citadel was the team that ended said streak. Alabama won the game, 50-17, but it was tied 10-10 at the half, which likely gave Nick Saban enough ammunition to keep his team motivated down the stretch. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and looked much healthier than he did in previous weeks. Henry Ruggs caught six passes for 114 yards and Jaylen Waddle hauled in six catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama improved to 11-0 on the year, and host Auburn this Saturday (Nov. 24) in the Iron Bowl.
Auburn Week 12 Review
The Tigers dominated Liberty, 53-0, in their final tune-up before the Iron Bowl. The finally were able to generate offense, albeit against an inferior opponent. AU finished with 531 total yards, including 340 on the ground. Running back Kam Martin led the way with 116 rushing yards on 17 carries. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns in what likely was his last game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers improved to 7-4 overall and travel to Tuscaloosa this weekend for the 83rd Iron Bowl.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (11-0, 7-0)
2. Georgia (10-1, 7-1)
3. LSU (9-2, 5-2)
4, Florida (8-3, 5-3)
5. Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4)
6. Auburn (7-4, 3-4)
7. Kentucky (8-3, 5-3)
8. Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3)
9. Missouri (7-4, 3-4)
10. South Carolina (6-4, 4-4)
11. Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5)
12. Tennessee (5-6, 2-5)
13. Ole Miss (5-6, 1-6)
14. Arkansas (2-9, 0-7)
Week 13 Previews and Predictions
Week 12 record: 11-0 Season: 83-19
Game of the Week: Auburn at Alabama (-24). There isn’t the same level of drama surrounding this year’s Iron Bowl as there was in 2017, but it will still be an intense and physical matchup when the Tigers visit the Tide on Saturday afternoon. Alabama already clinched the SEC West Division and almost certainly will be in the playoffs once again. Auburn is simply playing for pride at this point, as the Tigers have not lived up to preseason expectations, but AU can still finish the sea-son on a strong note. The Tigers won the Iron Bowl, 26-14, last year en route to a berth in the SEC title game but have not been nearly as effective offensively this season. Auburn should be able to put some pressure on the Alabama offense but the Tigers simply won’t be able to score enough to keep up with the Crimson Tide. Prediction: Alabama 34, Auburn 12.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (+10.5). The Egg Bowl isn’t one of the more high-profile rivalries in college football, but it is certainly one of the most bitter. In recent years, the rivalry has been unpredictable and chaotic on both sides. Ole Miss pulled off the upset a season ago, and the rivalry escalated upon Dan Mullen’s arrival in Starkville. This will be Joe Moorhead’s first Egg Bowl, and while he has the better team, the better team hasn’t always necessarily come out on top when these two teams have met in the past. Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 17.
Arkansas at Missouri (-23.5). For the second straight season, Barry Od-om has done an excellent job turning Missouri’s sea-son around and finishing strong. The Tigers can still finish with nine wins and are heavily favored to pick up win No. 8 on Friday against the Hogs. Chad Morris has had a difficult first season in Fayetteville, and pulling off the upset against Missouri would be an excellent way to end the year. Prediction: Missouri 41, Arkansas 30.
Florida at Florida State (-6). A year ago, Florida was one of the worst teams in the SEC. Dan Mullen has turned the team back into a winner in his first season and has an opportunity to guide the Gators to 10-win season. Florida State has won five straight meetings against the Gators, and the Seminoles’ impressive 36-year bowl streak will be over if they lose on Saturday. Prediction: Florida 27, Florida State 20.
Georgia Tech at Georgia (-17). Regardless of Satur-day’s outcome against Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs will have a chance to win the SEC championship next Saturday against Ala-bama. A loss here would end Georgia’s playoff chances, regardless of how they fared against the Tide. Kirby Smart is 1-1 against the Yellow Jackets, including a dominating 38-7 victory in Atlanta a season ago. Prediction: Georgia 37, Georgia Tech 13.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (-3.5). It might not seem like it on paper, but Saturday’s game be-tween the Volunteers and the Commodores is very important for both pro-grams. Both teams are 5-6 and they need a win to reach a bowl game. Jeremy Pruitt is looking to take the Volunteers to a bowl game in his first season, while Derek Mason is trying to take Vandy to a bowl game for the second time in three years. Prediction: Vanderbilt 23, Tennessee 20.
Kentucky at Louisville (+17). Kentucky football has only won 10 or more games in a season twice in school history, and Mark Stoops has an opportunity to accomplish that feat this season. First, the Wildcats must beat in-state rival Louisville on Saturday. The Cardinals have been one of the worst teams in college football this season and recently fired head coach Bobby Petrino. Prediction: Kentucky 37, Louisville 13.
South Carolina at Clemson (-26.5). Will Muschamp is searching for a marquee win at South Carolina, and has an opportunity to pull off a major upset over his rival this weekend. The Tigers are ranked No. 2 in the country and appear to be the only major threat to Alabama repeating as champions. Clemson has won four straight meetings against the Gamecocks, and Dabo Swinney is undefeated against Will Muschamp. Prediction: Clemson 41, South Carolina 20.
LSU at Texas A&M (-2.5). Since joining the SEC in 2012, Texas A&M is winless against LSU. It’s been a lopsided series, and the Tigers have won four of the last five games against the Aggies by dou-ble digits. Jimbo Fisher is trying to change the cul-ture in College Station, and a win over LSU would accomplish that feat. Prediction: Texas A&M 22, LSU 20.