In & around SEC football

November 14, 2014 chris
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Auburn Week 11 Review

Auburn followed up last week’s impressive victory at Ole Miss with a demoralizing home loss to Texas A&M. The Aggies won 41-38 after two Auburn fumbles late in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M led 35-17 at half time but Auburn closed the gap to three points late in the game. The Tigers were driving to potentially take the lead when quarterback Nick Marshall fumbled a handoff on the Texas A&M 2-yard line. Auburn forced a punt and threatened to score again with less than two minutes remaining, but a miscommunication on the snap between Marshall and center Reese Dismukes resulted in another fumble and turnover. The Tigers dropped to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in SEC play. Auburn travels to Athens to take on Georgia on Saturday (Nov. 15) in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. 

Alabama Week 11 Review

Despite trailing by a field goal with less than 90 seconds remaining, Alabama found a way to knock off LSU in Baton Rouge, 20-13. With the score tied at 10 late in the game, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon fumbled the ball and LSU recovered. However, the Crimson Tide held the Tigers to a field goal, and Alabama quarterback Blake Sims led the Tide on a field goal drive to force overtime. In overtime, Alabama scored quickly to make it 20-13, then stopped the Tigers on four consecutive plays to pick up a much-needed road win. The Crimson Tide improved to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in league play. Alabama hosts top-ranked Mississippi State on Saturday. 

SEC Rankings

1. Mississippi State (9-0, 5-0)

2. Alabama (8-1, 5-1)

3. Auburn (7-2, 4-2)

4. Georgia (7-2, 5-2)

5. LSU (7-3, 3-3)

6. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2)

7. Texas A&M (7-3, 3-3)

8. Missouri (7-2, 4-1)

9. Florida (5-3, 4-3)

10. Arkansas (4-5, 0-5)

11. Tennessee (4-5, 1-4)

12. Kentucky (5-5, 2-5)

13. South Carolina (4-5, 2-5)

14. Vanderbilt (3-7, 0-6)

Week 12 Previews and Predictions 

Week 10: 5-1; Season: 73-14

Saturday, November 15

South Carolina at Florida (-6.5). After two consecutive conference victories, the Gators are still in the mix for a SEC Championship Game berth. Florida needs to catch a few breaks, including an Auburn win over Georgia and at least two Missouri losses, but the Gainesville squad still has a chance to play for something meaningful this season. On the other hand, South Carolina is merely playing for a bowl berth. After lofty preseason expectations, the Gamecocks now must win two of their final three games to reach a bowl. A win over Florida would go a long way in solidifying their chances of making a bowl game, and Steve Spurrier would most assuredly like to defeat his alma mater in Gainesville. Prediction: South Carolina 34, Florida 31.

Kentucky at Tennessee (-7.5). Both of these rivals are competing for a bowl bid. If Kentucky wins, the Volunteers will be bowl eligible for the first time under head coach Mark Stoops. Tennessee is still two wins away, but the Volunteers have winnable games against Missouri and Vanderbilt remaining on the schedule. Prediction: Tennessee 27, Kentucky 23. 

Auburn at Georgia (-2.5). The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry features a pair of two-loss teams this year, although both teams still have a chance to make it to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Auburn needs a lot of help to make it, and a win over Georgia is a must for the Tigers. If Georgia wins, the Bulldogs simply need one Missouri loss to win the SEC East. However, a loss for the Bulldogs certainly would complicate matters in the East. Prediction: Auburn 41, Georgia 34. 

Missouri at Texas A&M (-5.5). The formula for Missouri repeating as East Division champions is pretty simple: win and they’re in. However, with upcoming games against Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Arkansas, it’s unlikely the Tigers will run the table. Texas A&M had a rough three week stretch in October, but the Aggies made up for those losses with an upset win over Auburn. The Aggies can’t win the West, but a strong finish to the season would benefit them in the future. Prediction: Texas A&M 45, Missouri 38. 

LSU at Arkansas (-2.5). The Razorbacks haven’t won a SEC game under Bret Bielema. That losing streak finally comes to an end on Saturday. LSU is coming off of a tough, physical game against Alabama and now must play another physical running team on the road. A win puts the Hogs only one game away from reaching a bowl game. Prediction: Arkansas 21, LSU 17. 

Game of the Week

Missisippi State at Alabama (-7). The Bulldogs put their undefeated season on the line against the Crimson Tide on Saturday afternoon. A win would basically clinch the SEC West for Mississippi State. If Alabama wins, the Crimson Tide would be in the driver’s seat for the SEC West crown and a playoff berth. Alabama will look to exploit the Bulldog secondary, which is statistically the worst in the SEC. Amari Cooper should have a huge game for the Tide but Alabama needs to have some success running the football to win the game. Controlling Dak Prescott will be difficult, but Alabama has been dominant defensively this season. Prediction: Alabama 31, Mississippi State 20.