In & around SEC football


Auburn Week 5 Review

Despite a slow start, Auburn defeated an overmatched Louisiana Tech team, 45-17, last Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The offense sputtered during the first half but the Ti-gers finally pulled away late in the third quarter. Nick Marshall passed for 166 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 105 yards rushing. Cameron Artis-Payne also topped 100 yards on the ground. Senior receiver Quan Bray had his best day as an Auburn Tiger, catching two touchdown passes and returning a punt 76 yards for a touchdown. Defensively, lineman Montravius Adams forced two turnovers, including an in-terception and a fumble. The Tigers, who improved to 4-0 overall on the season, welcome LSU to The Plains this weekend. 

SEC Rankings

1. Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0)

2. Auburn (4-0, 1-0)

3. Alabama (4-0, 1-0)

4. Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0)

5. Georgia (3-1, 1-1)

6. Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0)

7. LSU (4-1, 0-1)

8. Missouri (4-1, 1-0)

9. Arkansas (3-2, 0-2)

10. South Carolina (3-2, 2-2)

11. Tennessee (2-2, 0-1)

12. Florida (2-1, 1-1)

13. Kentucky (3-1, 1-1)

14. Vanderbilt (1-4, 0-3)

Week 6 Previews and Predictions 

Week 5: 6-1; Season: 44-4

Saturday, Oct. 4

Florida at Tennessee (-2.5). The Gators have defeated the Volunteers in nine consecutive meetings, but Tennessee has a great chance of ending that streak this weekend. Florida’s offense struggled mightily against Alabama, while Tennessee had success moving the ball against Georgia despite losing 35-32. It’s not too early to call this a must-win game for Will Muschamp’s squad. Prediction: Tennessee 31, Florida 26. 

Alabama at Ole Miss (+6.5). The biggest game of Hugh Freeze’s coaching career is just another road game for his counterpart, Nick Saban. Alabama has played in numerous games like this one several times under Saban, while the Rebels haven’t been on this stage under Freeze. The Rebel defense has been stingy all season but has not faced an offense as talented as Alabama. It might take a career day for Bo Wallace and the Rebels to pull off an upset in Oxford. Prediction: Alabama 34, Ole Miss 17. 

Vanderbilt at Georgia (-33.5). Georgia’s win over Tennessee certainly wasn’t easy, but Todd Gurley carried the Georgia offense for most of the game. Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards, and the Bulldogs are back in the driver’s seat in the SEC East. Vanderbilt can’t do much of anything well, and the ‘Dawgs should have an easy home win on Saturday. Prediction: Georgia 48, Vanderbilt 13. 

South Carolina at Kentucky (+5). The Gamecocks’ home loss to Missouri crushed their chances of winning the SEC East. South Carolina now must run the table and hope for several losses from their East Division foes. A road trip to Kentucky isn’t going to be easy for the Gamecocks. The Wildcats won their first SEC game under Mark Stoops last week against Vanderbilt. Prediction: South Carolina 34, Kentucky 31. 

LSU at Auburn (-8). Auburn’s lone conference loss a season ago came in Baton Rouge against LSU. Auburn’s offense has not been as good as it was last year, but the Tiger defense has elevated its play through four games. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris is making his first career start on Saturday and will need to play a turnover-free game if the Ba-you Bengals want to upset Auburn on the road. Prediction: Auburn 27, LSU 23. 

Game of the Week

Texas A&M at Mississippi State (-2). The Aggies narrowly defeated Arkansas last week and face another tough test this weekend in Starkville. The Bulldogs have had two weeks to get over their big win over LSU, and Dan Mullen’s team has another chance to prove it belongs at the top of the SEC West. Texas A&M should have some success throwing the football with Kenny Hill, but the Aggie defense will struggle to contain Bulldog quarterback Dak Prescott. Prediction: Mississippi State 41, Texas A&M 38. 

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