By Cole Frederick
Alabama Week 8 Review
Alabama used an explosive second half to pull away from Texas A&M in a 33-14 win to remain unbeaten on the season. The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0) rushed for 287 yards as a team and Damien Harris led the way with 17 carries for 128 yards. Jalen Hurts turned the ball over twice but threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards and another score. Alabama has the week off before traveling to Baton Rouge on Nov. 5 to take on LSU.
Auburn Week 8 Review
The Auburn offense scored a touchdown on its first play from scrimmage and the Tigers never looked back in a 56-3 rout over Arkansas. AU dominated in every phase of the game and set an SEC record with 544 rushing yards in a single game. Kamryn Pettway led the way for Auburn (5-2, 3-1) in carrying the ball 27 times for 192 yards and two scores. Eli Stove rushed three times for 94 yards and a touchdown, including a 78-yarder on the first play from scrimmage. The Tigers travel to Oxford this Saturday (Oct. 29) to take on Ole Miss.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (8-0, 5-0)
2. Texas A&M (6-1, 4-1)
3. Auburn (5-2, 3-1)
4. LSU (5-2, 3-1)
5. Tennessee (5-2, 2-2)
6. Florida (5-1, 3-1)
7. Arkansas (5-3, 1-3)
8. Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3)
9. Georgia (4-3, 2-3)
10. Kentucky (4-3, 3-2)
11. Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-3)
12. Mississippi State (2-5, 1-3)
13. South Carolina (3-4, 1-4)
14. Missouri (2-5, 0-3)
Week 9 Previews and Predictions
Week 8: 6-1; season: 57-12
Game of the Week
Georgia at Florida (-7.5). After Tennessee lost back-to-back games to Te-xas A&M and Alabama, the Gators are now control of their own destiny in the SEC East Division. The schedule is daunting, however, especially with games versus the Bulldogs, Arkansas and LSU still upcoming. Kirby Smart’s debut season in Athens hasn’t been particularly impressive, but there is still plenty of time to get back on track. A win over Florida would be a statement win for Smart’s program. Prediction: Florida 20, Georgia 17.
Auburn at Ole Miss (+4.5). Auburn started the season 1-2, and rumors suggested Gus Malzahn might be on the hot seat. The Tigers have won four straight games, since then, including last Saturday’s dominating 56-3 victory over Arkansas. Auburn has played like one of the best teams in the country on both sides of the ball over the last few weeks and is catching a reeling Ole Miss team this week. Prediction: Auburn 31, Ole Miss 20.
Samford at Mississippi State (-16). The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker on the road at Kentucky, and bowl eligibility is a longshot for Dan Mullen’s team. The Samford game might be the last chance for a win for Mississippi State this season. Prediction: Mississippi State 41, Samford 16.
New Mexico State at Texas A&M (-43.5). The Aggies suffered their first loss at the season at Alabama last week but still have life in the SEC West. They’ll need Alabama to lose at least once and po-ssibly twice in order to reach Atlanta, but an 11-1 Texas A&M team would have an outside chance of making the playoffs. Prediction: Texas A&M 52, New Mexico State 9.
Tennessee at South Ca-rolina (+13.5). To win the SEC East, the Volunteers will likely need to win out. They face the bottom half of the East Division, but with as many injuries as they’ve suffered this season, the Vols are susceptible to an upset. South Ca-rolina has been a difficult matchup for Tennessee the past few years, but the Gamecock offense is too inept to keep up with UT. Prediction: Tennessee 27, South Carolina 13.
Kentucky at Missouri (+4.5). Despite a slow start to the season, Kentucky is still alive in the SEC East. The Wildcats likely need to win out to win the division, and a win over Missouri on Saturday is a must for Mark Stoops’ team. A victory over the Tigers would also likely secure a bowl bid for the Wildcats. Prediction: Kentucky 23, Missouri 20.