In & around SEC football - Week 5 previews

September 27, 2019 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Auburn Week 4 Review
Auburn scored on a 57-yard touchdown run from Anthony Schwartz on the fifth play from scrimmage and never looked back en route to a 28-20 road win over Texas A&M last Saturday (Sept. 21). The Tigers led 14-3 at the half and built an 18-point lead at two different stages of the game. Texas A&M scored late to close the lead to eight points with 2:12 remaining but the Tigers earned a first down and iced the game on the following drive.
The offense statistics were not exactly a revelation, but Auburn was precise and methodical with the ball. Bo Nix threw for 100 yards and a touchdown and Joey Gatewood tossed a touchdown pass. Led by JaTarvious Whitlow’s 67 yards and a touchdown, the Tigers rushed for 193 yards. Auburn improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play and welcomes Mississippi State to Jordan-Hare Stadium this Saturday (Sept. 28).
Alabama Week 4 Review
Alabama cruised to a 49-7 victory over Southern Miss last weekend and have not been particularly challenged through the first four weeks of the season. Tua Tagovailoa, who has been razor-sharp in each contest, threw for 293 yards, five touchdowns and only four incompletions against the Golden Eagles. The UA running game looked as good as it has all season, and Najee Harris rushed for 110 yards on 14 carries. Alabama moved to 4-0 on the year and hosts Ole Miss on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
SEC football standings
1. Georgia (4-0, 1-0)
2. Alabama (4-0, 1-0)
3. LSU (4-0, 1-0)
4. Auburn (4-0, 1-0)
5. Florida (4-0, 2-0)
6. Texas A&M (2-1)
7. Missouri (3-1, 1-0)
8. Mississippi State (3-1, 1-0)
9. Kentucky (2-2, 0-2)
10. South Carolina (1-3, 0-2)
11. Vanderbilt (0-3, 0-2)
12. Ole Miss (2-2, 1-0)
13. Arkansas (2-2, 0-1)
14. Tennessee (1-3, 0-1)
Week 5 Previews and Predictions
Week 4: 6-3;season: 35-10
Game of the Week: Mississippi State at Auburn (-10.5). Through four games, no team in college football has a pair of wins better than Auburn’s two victories over Texas A&M and Oregon. The schedule only gets tougher from here, however, including a matchup this weekend against a Mississippi State team that physically dominated Auburn a season ago. The Tigers should have the advantage on the line on both sides of the ball, and the Bulldogs will have a difficult time scoring on a stout AU defense. Prediction: Auburn 27, Mississippi State 13.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-23.5). After disappointing starts to the season, both teams are in desperate need of a win on Saturday. Arkansas is 2-2 but just suffered an embarrassing home loss to San Jose State. The Hogs were 2-10 in Chad Morris’ first season and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement so far this year. A&M is also 2-2, and while the Aggies lost to a pair of top-10 teams, they don’t look anywhere near a contender. Prediction: Texas A&M 38, Arkansas 17.
Northern Illinois at Vanderbilt (-6.5). It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Commodores, but they have an opportunity to turn things around in the next few weeks. This is a must-win game, however, because if Vandy loses at home to Northern Illinois, the Nashville squad almost certainly won’t qualify for a bowl game. Prediction: Vanderbilt 27, Northern Illinois 23.
Ole Miss at Alabama (-37.5). It might be a while before the Crimson Tide are in a close game in the fourth quarter. Ole Miss is better than it has been the past two years, and the Rebels were close to beating Memphis and Cal, both of whom were quality opponents. Ole Miss is nowhere near Alabama’s talent level, however, and the Tide won’t have much trouble dissection the Rebel defense. Prediction: Alabama 55, Ole Miss 13.
Towson at Florida (-36.5). The Gators put together their most complete performance of the season in dismantling Tennessee, 34-3, last Saturday. Kyle Trask played well in his first start, and he gets another week to improve before Auburn visits Gainesville next week in a highly-anticipated showdown. Prediction: Florida 48, Towson 10.
Kentucky at South Carolina (-3). Neither the Wildcats nor Gamecocks have found their footing yet in 2019, and both squads are 0-2 in conference play. The two teams are also starting backup quarterbacks due to injuries to starters, and that certainly has not helped. Kentucky has won five straight in this series, and Mark Stoops is undefeated against Will Muschamp. Prediction: South Carolina 23, Kentucky 20.