In & around SEC football


Alabama Week 1 Review

The Crimson Tide dismantled Wisconsin, 35-17 last Saturday (Sept. 5) in Dallas. After leading 14-7 at the half, Alabama dominated the Badgers in the second half behind a dynamic performance from running back Derrick Henry, who carried the ball 13 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Jake Coker was very efficient in his first start at quarterback, throwing for 213 yards and one touchdown. The Tide defense shut down the Wisconsin ru-nning game, holding the Badgers to only 40 yards rushing. Alabama hosts Middle Tennessee State this Saturday (Sept. 12).

Auburn Week 1 Review 

After nearly surrendering a 24-0 lead in the second half, Auburn held on for a 31-24 victory over Louisville in Atlanta last Saturday (Sept. 5). The two most anticipated debuts for the Tigers produced mixed results. On the positive side, new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp had the Auburn defense playing much better than a season ago. On the negative side, new quarterback Jeremy Johnson struggled in throwing three interceptions. Running back Peyton Barber led the Tiger offense with 115 yards on 24 carries. Auburn hosts Jacksonville State this Saturday (Sept. 12). 

SEC Rankings

1. Alabama (1-0)

2. Texas A&M (1-0)

3. Auburn (1-0)

4. Arkansas (1-0)

5. Georgia (1-0)

6. Ole Miss (1-0)

7. Tennessee (1-0)

8. LSU (0-0)

9. Missouri (1-0)

10. Miss. State (1-0)

11. South Carolina (1-0)

12. Florida (1-0)

13. Kentucky (1-0)

14. Vanderbilt (1-0)

Week 2 Previews and Predictions 

Week 1: 12-1

Game of the Week

Oklahoma at Tennessee (+1). This year is supposed to be the year Butch Jones revitalizes the Tennessee program. If that’s going to be the case, the Vols need to knock off Oklahoma on Saturday. The Sooners aren’t ranked as highly as they have been in recent years but they’re still a very talented team. Oklahoma’s passing attack could give Tennessee’s secondary trouble, but OU will have a difficult time stopping the Volunteer offense. Prediction: Oklahoma 37, Tennessee 34.

East Carolina at Florida (-20.5). Jim McElwain easily won his debut against New Mexico State, and the Gators’ offense showed some promise throughout the game. Florida gets one more tune-up before conference play starts next week. Prediction: Florida 41, East Carolina 17. 

Fresno State at Ole Miss (-29.5). The Rebels embarrassed UT-Martin last week and should have another easy win on Saturday. Quarterback Chad Kelly showed potential in his first start but he’ll need to improve before the Rebels take on Alabama next weekend. Prediction: Ole Miss 48, Fresno State 10. 

LSU at Mississippi State (+4.5). This is the first SEC West battle of the season. The Tigers’ opening game against McNeese State was cancelled due to bad weather, so their first game of the season will be a road conference game. MSU submitted an uneven performance against Southern Miss last week but should have a much better game at home against the Tigers. Prediction: Mississippi State 27, LSU 23. 

Missouri at Arkansas State (+11). After losing to Indiana last season, Gary Pinkel’s squad should realize that it can’t afford to overlook unranked non-conference foes. If the Tigers let the Red Wolves hang around on Saturday, they could yet again fall victim to an upset. Prediction: Missouri 34, Arkansas State 20. 

Georgia at Vanderbilt (+20.5). Vanderbilt’s season began with a loss to Western Kentucky, and the Commodores are still inept on offense. Georgia’s question mark at quarterback was not answered last week, but that issue shouldn’t matter against Vandy. Prediction: Georgia 41, Vanderbilt 9. 

Toledo at Arkansas (-21). The Arkansas offense picked up where it left off last season last week against UTEP. Defensive questions in the secondary still remain, but the Razorbacks get another chance to improve this weekend with an easy win. Prediction: Arkansas 45, Toledo 17. 

Middle Tennessee State at Alabama (-35). Alabama’s offense is still relatively inexperienced, and this week’s game should give the Crimson Tide the opportunity to improve in that area. Prediction: Alabama 41, Middle Tennessee 7. 

Kentucky at South Carolina (-7.5). Both the Wildcats and Gamecocks won their opening games last week but each team narrowly escaped with a victory. South Carolina held on to defeat North Carolina, 17-13, while Kentucky avoided a late collapse against Louisiana-Lafayette in a 40-33 victory. Kentucky upset South Carolina last year, and this year’s version should be another close contest. Prediction: South Carolina 27, Kentucky 24. 

Ball State at Texas A&M (-30). A&M picked up an impressive win last week against Arizona State. The Aggies still aren’t settled on a quarterback, but both Kyle Allen and Kyle Murray were impressive in the opener. Prediction: Texas A&M 56, Ball State 16. 

Jacksonville State at Auburn (-37). Auburn’s offense was very inconsistent against Louisville, and Jeremy Johnson has a chance to make improvements before the Tigers travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU next weekend. Prediction: Auburn 59, Jacksonville State 17. 


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