In & around SEC football


Auburn Week 8 Review

Drops, missed tackles, and lack of pressure on the quarterback all contributed to Auburn’s 54-46 quadruple overtime loss to Arkansas last Saturday (Oct. 24). The Tigers had several opportunities to win the game in overtime, but the defense failed to keep the Razorbacks from scoring touchdowns. The Tigers trailed 24-21 with about a minute left in the game when quarterback Sean White led the offense down the field and into field goal range with a pair of long passes to receiver Ricardo Louis. Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first three overtimes, and in the fourth, Arkansas scored on its first play. Following a successful two-point conversion, Au-burn’s offense took the field with a chance to tie the game. Instead, Louis dropped two passes from White and the Tigers fell to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Auburn hosts Ole Miss this Saturday (Oct. 31) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. 

Alabama Week 8 Review

Alabama knocked off Tennessee, 19-14, in a defensive slugfest last Sa-turday (Oct. 23) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Derrick Henry bulled his way into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon late in the fourth quarter, and the Alabama defense forced a Joshua Dobbs fumble on the ensuing possession to secure the win. The Crimson Tide offense sputtered throughout most of the game and was twice forced to settle for field goals in the second half. Tennessee scored a quick touchdown to briefly take the lead in the fourth quarter then put pressure on the Crimson Tide offense to respond. On the game’s final possession, however, Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart hauled in two impressive catches to keep the drive alive, and Alabama’s offensive line dominated the Tennessee front four. Alabama improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Tide has the week off before LSU comes to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 7. 

SEC rankings

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

2. Alabama (7-1, 4-1)

3. Florida (6-1, 4-1)

4. Ole Miss (6-2, 3-1)

5. Mississippi State (6-2, 2-2)

6. Georgia (5-2, 3-2)

7. Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2)

8. Arkansas (3-4, 2-2)

9. Tennessee (3-4, 1-3)

10. Auburn (4-3, 1-3)

11. Kentucky (4-3, 2-3)

12. South Carolina (3-4, 1-4)

13. Vanderbilt (3-4, 1-3)

14. Missouri (4-4, 1-4)

Week 9 Previews and Predictions 

Week 8: 4-2; season: 55-16

Game of the Week

Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville, Fla. (-2.5). The SEC East race is pretty simple for Florida – win this game and represent the division in Atlanta. The Gators have conference games against Vandy and South Carolina following this contest and should win both. So this is the last hurdle for Jim McElwain’s team, and it’s a game his team should win. Georgia is without its best player, Nick Chubb, for the rest of the season. The Bulldogs are still very talented but have struggled tremen-dously over the last three games. Mark Richt’s job shouldn’t be in jeopardy, but this is probably the third straight year his team should’ve won the East and fell short. A loss to Florida to cap a 1-3 month will not sit well in Athens. Prediction: Florida 27, Georgia 21.

South Carolina at Texas A&M (-17). Two weeks ago, the Aggies were considered to be a playoff contender. In the last two games, A&M has been beaten by Alabama and Ole Miss by a combined score of 64-26. The Aggies looked even worse last week against the Rebels, with the offense scoring only three points despite Ole Miss being without its best defensive player, Robert Nkemdiche. A&M should be able to get back on track against a struggling South Carolina squad, but this has been a disappointing stretch for Kevin Sumlin’s team. Prediction: Texas A&M 38, South Carolina 17.

Ole Miss at Auburn (+7.5). Has any team in the country been more inconsistent than Ole Miss? The Rebels have submitted two dominant performances against good teams (Alabama and Texas A&M) but also suffered losses against Florida and Memphis due to lackluster performances. It’s impossible to predict what version of the Rebels show up this Saturday on The Plains. Ole Miss should be able to score at will but might have some trouble stopping the Tigers’ offense, which has improved with Sean White at quarterback. This game might be Auburn’s best chance to win in the conference the rest of this season. Prediction: Auburn 34, Ole Miss 31. 

Tennessee-Martin at Arkansas (-33). The Razorbacks’ win over Auburn was crucial for their bowl eligibility chances. The Hogs have an easy win ahead on Saturday (Oct. 30) before they travel to Ole Miss next week. Prediction: Arkansas 48, Tennessee-Martin 10. 

Vanderbilt at Houston (-11.5). Derek Mason picked up his first career SEC coaching victory last week when his Commodores defeated Missouri, 10-3. Vanderbilt’s defense has been very good for most of the season and shut down Missouri’s struggling offense. The Tigers didn’t convert a single third down all game, and Vandy stopped them from scoring a game-tying touchdown as time expired. Now tasked with slowing down an explosive Houston offense, the Commodores have a chance to hand the Cougars their first loss of the season. Prediction: Houston 27, Vanderbilt 17. 

Tennessee at Kentucky (+7.5). The Volunteers lost their fourth one-possession game of the season last week at Alabama but they can make amends on Saturday (Oct. 23) against Kentucky. The Wildcats were dominated by Mississippi State on the road last week and need two wins to reach bowl eligibility. The Vols dominated Kentucky last year and possess the talent to do so again unless the Wildcats play their best game of the season. Prediction: Tennessee 38, Kentucky 20. 

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