In & around SEC football - Week 12 previews and predictions

December 11, 2020 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 11 Recap
Alabama’s Revenge Tour continued last Saturday with a dominating 55-17 over LSU victory in Baton Rouge. The Crimson Tide made amends for last year’s home loss to Joe Burrow’s Tigers, who eventually won the national title. Quarterback Mac Jones and the UA offense were spectacular, scoring 45 first-half points while leading 45-14 at the break. Jones threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while DeVonta Smith hauled in eight passes for 231 yards and three scores. Najee Harris added 145 yards and three touchdowns on the ground as Alabama racked up 650 yards of total offense. The Tide, which improved to 9-0 on the year, travel to Arkansas for the regular season finale on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Auburn Week 11 Recap
Auburn could not hold on to a second half lead and they dropped to 5-4 following a 31-20 loss at home to Texas A&M. The Tigers led 20-14 after opening the third quarter with 10 straight points, but the Aggies responded with 17 unanswered points on three scoring drives to put the game away. The AU offense sputtered in the fourth quarter, while quarterback Bo Nix only threw for 144 yards on 23 attempts. The Tigers did run the ball successfully, led by Tank Bigsby’s 76 yards on nine touches. Nix rushed for 49 yards and two touchdowns, while Shaun Shivers added 68 yards on the ground. In addition to the offensive inconsistency, the Auburn defense allowed 509 yards and did not force a turnover. Auburn finishes out the regular season on Saturday with a road game at Mississippi State.
SEC rankings
1. Alabama (9-0)
2. Florida (8-1)
3. Texas A&M (7-1)
4. Georgia (6-2)
5. Auburn (5-4)
6. Missouri (5-3)
7. LSU (3-5)
8. Arkansas (3-6)
9. Ole Miss (4-4)
10. Kentucky (4-6)
11. Tennessee (2-6)
12. Mississippi State (2-6)
13. South Carolina (2-8)
14. Vanderbilt (0-8)
Week 12 Previews and Predictions
Week 11: 4-1; season: 48-12
Saturday, Dec. 12
Game of the Week:Georgia at Missouri (+13). Eli Drinkwitz’s squad keeps finding ways to win close games, and his Tigers are now a Top 25 team. Missouri has not played a great team since traveling to Florida on Oct. 31, and the Tigers need a sharp performance to hang with Georgia. The Bulldogs are out of contention in the SEC East but remain a Top 10 team with a chance at a New Year’s Six bowl game. J.T. Daniels has given Georgia a spark at quarterback, and the Bulldogs are still one of the most talented teams in college football. Prediction: Georgia 31, Missouri 17.
Alabama at Arkansas (+32). Alabama has one final regular season tune-up before the real season begins. Once the Crimson Tide handles Arkansas, it is essentially a three-game stretch against some of the best teams in college football. Alabama faces Florida next week in the SEC title game, and while Nick Saban’s team would still likely make the playoffs with a loss to the Gators, they don’t want to give the committee any reason to leave the out of the field. Saban won’t let his team overlook the Razorbacks, but the Hogs have had suffered too many injuries to compete with Alabama on Saturday. Prediction: Alabama 41, Arkansas 10.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (+15). The Volunteers are on a six-game losing streak. If that mark stretches to seven after Saturday, Jeremy Pruitt might be out of a job. For now, Pruitt is likely safe. He’s in his third year and he has a strong recruiting class coming in this offseason. However, Pruitt might be in trouble a loss to Vanderbilt, which has already dismissed head coach Derek Mason. Tennessee should not have much trouble with the Commodores, but every one of the Vols’ six losses have been by double digits. Prediction: Tennessee 34, Vanderbilt 20.
LSU at Florida (-23). Much like Alabama, the Gators have one more hurdle before the SEC championship game. Florida must beat Alabama and LSU to have a chance to reach the playoffs, and depending on what happens elsewhere, even that might not be enough. Dan Mullen’s squad currently is No. 6 in the playoff rankings behind Texas A&M, which beat Florida earlier this season. However, a win over Alabama would be hard for the committee to ignore. LSU has already punted on this season as the Tigers announced a self-imposed bowl ban. LSU already is 3-5, so the bowl ban was not exactly necessary. At any rate, the Tigers likely won’t put up much of a fight at Florida. Prediction: Florida 52, LSU 23.
Auburn at Mississippi State (+6.5). It’s been a disappointing season for Auburn, to say the least, and Gus Malzahn’s seat has grown considerably warmer. A loss to Mississippi State might not be the final nail in the proverbial coffin since Malzahn’s buyout is so hefty, but it certainly would not do him any favors. Considering the wide gap between the Tigers and their biggest rivals, a win in Starkville might not be enough for Malzahn. Saturday night’s outcome will determine if Malzahn’s team has quit on him. If it has, the university administration might bite the bullet and make a coaching change. Prediction: Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20.