In & around SEC football


By Cole Frederick

Alabama Week 3 Review
Ole Miss took a 24-3 lead on Alabama late in the first half last Saturday (Sept. 17), and it appeared as if the Rebels would knock off the Crimson Tide for the third consecutive season. Alabama proceeded to go on a 45-6 run over the next two quarters, however, eventually defeated Ole Miss, 48-43 to remain perfect on the season. Jalen Hurts threw for 158 and ran for 146 more to lead the Tide (3-0, 1-0), while Damien Harris rushed 16 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. Alabama hosts Kent State this Saturday (Sept. 24) at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Auburn Week 3 Review
The Tigers once again were plagued by offensive woes in a 29-16 loss to Texas A&M. After a scoring a first quarter touchdown, Auburn (1-2, 0-1) failed to reach the end zone again until the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. Kamryn Pettway led the Tigers with 20 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown, while Kerryon Johnson added 60 yards and another score. Auburn hosts LSU this Saturday (Sept. 24) at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0)
2. Texas A&M (3-0, 1-0)
3. Tennessee (3-0)
4. Florida (3-0, 1-0)
5. Georgia (3-0, 1-0)
6. Arkansas (3-0)
7. LSU (2-1, 1-0)
8. Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1)
9. Auburn (1-2, 0-1)
10. Mississippi State (1-2, 1-1)
11. South Carolina (2-1, 1-1)
12. Missouri (1-2, 0-1)
13. Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1)
14. Kentucky (1-2, 0-1)
Week 4 Previews and Predictions
Week 3: 9-1; season: 28-6
Game of the Week
Florida at Tennessee (-7). Florida has beaten Tennessee in 11 consecutive meetings, including last year’s 28-27 come-from-behind victory. After quarterback Luke Del Rio suffered an injury last week against North Texas, However, the Volunteers are finally expected to end the streak. The winner of this game will have an early upper hand in the SEC East. Prediction: Tennessee 23, Florida 15.
Kent State at Alabama (-43.5). The Crimson Tide have one final tune-up game before they face six straight conference opponents. Nick Saban defeated his alma mater, 48-7 in the only other meeting between these two schools in 2011. Prediction: Alabama 52, Kent State 3.
Georgia at Ole Miss (-7.5). The Rebels already have blown a pair of 21-point leads this year in losses to Florida State and Alabama, and their lack of a consistent running game has hurt the offense’s effectiveness in the second halves of games. Georgia narrowly defeated Missouri on the road, but quar-terback Jacob Eason’s late touchdown was a very promising sign for the Bulldogs moving forward. Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Georgia 24.
Mississippi State at UMass (+22). The Bulldogs’ comeback effort against LSU came up just short in a 23-20 loss, but there were plenty of promising signs throughout the game. Mississippi State was already upset by South Alabama earlier in the year but should be able to avoid falling to another group of five team this weekend. Prediction: Mississippi State 41, UMass 10.
Delaware State at Missouri (-50). Barry Odom nearly won his first SEC game last week against Georgia, but he’ll have to wait until next week on the road at LSU for his next chance. Prediction: Missouri 51, Delaware State 9.
Vanderbilt at Western Kentucky (-7.5). The Commodores’ chances of reaching a bowl game took another serious hit in a loss to Georgia Tech last week. Derek Mason’s job isn’t likely in jeopardy if Vandy fails to reach a bowl game, but he probably needs to at least come close to six wins to feel safe after the season. Prediction: Western Kentucky 31, Vanderbilt 24.
LSU at Auburn (+3.5). This might be a “loser leaves town” matchup between Les Miles and Gus Malzahn. Another loss for LSU would take them out of contention for a playoff spot and likely the SEC West Division race. Another loss for Auburn would have the Tigers at 1-3 with games against Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama still remaining. The stakes are high for both coaches and teams entering this pivotal week four matchup in the SEC. Prediction: LSU 16, Auburn 13.
South Carolina at Kentucky (-2.5). Mark Stoops picked up his first win of the season against New Mexico State last week and needs another win this weekend to take some pressure off of himself. The Wildcats have an outside chance of reaching a bowl game, but a loss to South Carolina would likely end that chance. Prediction: Kentucky 22, South Carolina 17.
Arkansas at Texas A&M (-6). In recent years, the Aggies’ defense has been the issue keeping them from becoming contenders for a SEC title. This year, it appears as if they have a championship-level defense. John Chavis is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country, and A&M shut down Auburn’s offense last week. Arkansas is also undefeated, and the winner of this game will be squarely in the mix for the SEC West Division entering October. Prediction: Texas A&M 33, Arkansas 28.

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