In & around SEC football


Alabama Week 2 Review

For the second consecutive year, Alabama lost an early season game to Ole Miss. The Rebels capitalized on five UA turnovers en route to 43-37 victory. The Crimson Tide fumbled the opening kickoff, and the turnover woes only continued from there. Cooper Bateman and Jake Coker combined for three interceptions, and the Tide trailed most of the game by multiple touchdowns. Defensively, Alabama had difficulty defending Ole Miss’s talented receivers, and Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly played a solid, mistake-free game. The Crimson Tide fell to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in league play and they host Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday (Sept. 26.). 

Auburn Week 2 Review 

Auburn’s struggles in the first two weeks of the season were accentuated in a crushing 45-21 defeat to LSU in Baton Rouge. Jeremy Johnson continued to turn the ball over and miss open receivers. LSU running back Leonard Fournette submitted three or four runs that will be on his Heisman Trophy highlight film at the end of the year. Auburn was a trendy pick to win the SEC, but unless they beat Mississi-ppi State on Saturday, the Tigers might not reach a bowl game. With the loss, Auburn dropped to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in conference play. 

SEC Rankings

1. Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0)

2. LSU (2-0, 2-0)

3. Georgia (3-0, 2-0)

4. Texas A&M (3-0)

5. Alabama (2-1, 0-1)

6. Tennessee (2-1)

7. Miss. State (2-1, 0-1)

8. Florida (3-0, 1-0)

9. Missouri (3-0)

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

11. Kentucky (2-1, 1-1)

12. Arkansas (1-2)

13. So. Carolina (1-2, 0-2)

14. Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1)

Week 3 Previews and Predictions 

Week 2: 6-4; season: 26-8

Game of the Week

Tennessee at Florida (-1.5). If Butch Jones is going to take the Volunteers to the next level, this is a game they must win. It’s been 10 years since Tennessee has beaten Florida, and the Vols haven’t won in Gainesville since 2003. The Gators held off Kentucky last week, and this will likely be a closely contested game. Tennessee is the better team but the Volunteers were better last year too and couldn’t knock off Florida. Prediction: Tennessee 27, Florida 23.

Missouri at Kentucky (-2.5). The Wildcats fell just short again against Florida, and the Gators have now beaten them 29 straight times. Saturday’s game against Missouri is also winnable, and the Tigers looked average in a 9-6 win over Connecticut. Kentucky needs a breakthrough SEC win, and this is the Wildcats’ second chance in a row to secure that victory. They cannot let this one slip away. Prediction: Kentucky 24, Missouri 20.

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (-25.5). The Rebels skyrocketed in the polls after Saturday’s road win at Ala-bama and should easily handle the Commodores. Prediction: Ole Miss 38, Vanderbilt 10. 

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Tex. (+7.5). Arkansas was supposed to be the team on the rise in the West Division. The Hogs finished last year on a strong note but have started 2015 with a whimper. Two straight non-conference losses to Toledo and Texas Tech have the Razorbacks’ season spiraling out of control. Texas A&M will light up the scoreboard on Arkansas’s weak defense. Prediction: Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 28. 

LSU at Syracuse (+24). LSU has looked like a title contender in its first couple of games and should roll to another easy win this week. Prediction: LSU 41, Syracuse 17. 

Mississippi State at Auburn (-3). This is for Auburn’s season on Saturday. A home loss to Mississippi State would end the Tigers’ chances of competing for the West Division title before the calendar even turns to October. A win against the Bulldogs wouldn’t cure all of Auburn’s many ailments, but it would at least be a start. Prediction: Mississippi State 30, Auburn 20. 

Louisiana-Monroe at Alabama (-38). The Crimson Tide has some issues on both sides of the ball that need to be ironed out before next week’s road game at Georgia. The last time the Warhawks visited Tuscaloosa, they upset Alabama during Nick Saban’s first season in 2007. This one won’t be close. Prediction: Alabama 51, UL-Monroe 6.

UCF at South Carolina (-14.5). Since Steve Spurrier led South Carolina to three straight 11-win seasons from 2011-2013, the Gamecocks have regressed back to the bottom of the SEC East. The talent level in Columbia is lacking, and it’s been noticeable on the field the last two seasons. Spurrier might be able to get six wins out of this team, but unless they dramatically improve in the next few weeks, it might be a long season for the Gamecocks. Prediction: South Carolina 23, UCF 10. 

Southern at Georgia (-59). The Bulldogs dominated South Carolina last week, and quarterback Greyson Lambert was nearly perfect on the day. He had only one incompletion while throwing for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Nick Chubb submitted another impressive day on the ground, and the Dawgs look like the team to beat in the East Division. Prediction: Georgia 58, Southern 0.  

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