In & around SEC football - Week 2 previews and predictions

October 8, 2020 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Staff Correspondent

Alabama Week 2 Recap
A 35-point first half catapulted Alabama to a 52-24 victory over Texas A&M last Saturday, with quarterback Mac Jones throwing for 435 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver John Metchie III hauled in five passes for 181 yards and two scores, while Jaylen Waddle recorded 142 yards and a touchdown with five receptions. The Aggies tied the game 14-14 after a Kellen Mond touchdown pass shortly after Mac Jones’ lone interception, but the Crimson Tide responded with 21 straight points to end the second quarter and never looked back. Alabama improved to 2-0 on the year and takes on Ole Miss this Sa-turday (Oct. 10) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
Auburn Week 2 Recap
Auburn’s last few visits to Athens, Georgia, have yielded the same results. The Tigers lose and play very poorly in the process. Auburn’s offense mustered only two field goals in a 27-6 loss, and the Tigers looked lost against the elite Bulldog defense. On the other side of the ball, the Georgia rushing attack dominated Auburn’s front seven and quarterback Stetson Bennett played mistake-free football in his first start. AU quarterback Bo Nix threw for 177 yards and an interception on 40 attempts, and the Tigers were outgained 442-216. Auburn dropped to 1-1 on the year and return home to host Arkansas on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
SEC rankings
1. Alabama (2-0)
2. Florida (2-0)
3. Georgia (2-0)
4. Tennessee (2-0)
5. Auburn (1-1)
6. Texas A&M (1-1)
7. LSU (1-1)
8. Ole Miss (1-1)
9. Arkansas (1-1)
10. Mississippi State (1-1)
11. Kentucky (0-2)
12. South Carolina (0-2)
13. Missouri (0-2)
14. Vanderbilt (0-2)
Week 2 Previews and Predictions
Week 2: 4-3; season: 10-4
Saturday, Oct. 10
Game of the Week: Tennessee at Georgia (-12). It’s unclear if Tennessee is “back” after wins over South Carolina and Missouri, so this week’s game at Georgia will be a major test for the Volunteers. Jeremy Pruitt has certainly started to turn things around in Knoxville, but his program has yet to win the proverbial statement game. Georgia looked like a contender against Auburn, and the Dawgs’ defense will give them a chance every week. The Bulldogs are in the midst of their toughest part of the schedule but should improve to 3-0 as long as they avoid turnovers. Prediction: Georgia 23, Tennessee 16.
Florida at Texas A&M (+6.5). Through two weeks, no offense has looked better than Florida’s with the exception of perhaps Alabama. Kyle Trask has been the best quarterback in the SEC thus far, and Kyle Pitts has been unstoppable at tight end. The Gators struggled at times defensively in wins over Ole Miss and South Carolina and will need to improve as they travel to College Station this weekend. Texas A&M has not looked good in either of its first two games – including the win over Vanderbilt – and must make major improvements this week or the Aggies will drop to 1-2. Prediction: Florida 38, Texas A&M 30.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (+13). Both these teams desperately need a win, and the losing coach might find himself on the hot seat. Derek Mason probably has a bit more leeway in Nashville than Will Muschamp does if the Gamecocks fall to 0-3, but both of these teams need a strong performance this week. South Carolina nearly upset Tennessee in Week 1 but regressed in a loss to Florida. Another loss would be disastrous with Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M on deck. Prediction: South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 20.
Arkansas at Auburn (-14). Over the last four years, Auburn has outscored Arkansas 193-36. The Razorbacks are coming off of a 21-14 upset victory over Mississippi State – the Bulldogs’ first conference win since 2017 – and played Georgia much more competitively than did Auburn. Nevertheless, this is a favorable matchup for the Tigers and there should be substantial improvement from the AU offense this week. Freshman running back Tank Bigsby was the lone bright spot last week and likely will be featured more heavily as the season progresses. Prediction: Auburn 34, Arkansas 16.
Alabama at Ole Miss (+24). Lane Kiffin earned his first win as Ole Miss head coach last week in a thrilling overtime victory over Kentucky, and his reward is a matchup against his former employer. Nick Saban has never lost to a former assistant, and it’s highly unlikely that changes this weekend in Oxford. The Ole Miss offense might cause some trouble for the Alabama defense, but the Rebels have no chance at slowing down Mac Jones and the Tide offense. Prediction: Alabama 55, Ole Miss 27.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (-2.5). A missed extra point against Ole Miss kept Kentucky from earning its first win of the season, and the Wildcats are a surprising 0-2. Mississippi State followed up its upset win over LSU with a stunning home loss to Arkansas in Mike Leach’s home debut in Starkville. Kentucky is the more desperate team here – and perhaps the better one – and should earn its first win of the season on Saturday. Prediction: Kentucky 31, Mississippi State 24.
Missouri at LSU (-14.5). LSU atoned for its season-opening loss to Mississippi State with a bounce-back win over Vanderbilt. The Tigers now host struggling Missouri, which dropped to 0-2 after a blowout loss to Tennessee. This is another opportunity for LSU to get back on the right track before visiting Florida next weekend. Prediction: LSU 41, Missouri 24.