In & around SEC football


By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Auburn Week 4 Review
In the span of about two minutes last Saturday (Sept. 24), the Auburn Tigers went from believing they had just lost in heartbreaking fashion to LSU to discovering they had won. LSU quarterback Danny Etling appeared to have thrown a game-winning touchdown pass as time expired, but after a replay review by officials the call was overturned. LSU (2-2, 1-1) failed to snap the ball in time, and Auburn (2-2, 1-1) escaped with an 18-13 victory. Kicker Daniel Carlson connected on all six of his field goal attempts in the win, while the AU defense shut down the LSU offense for most of the night. Auburn hosts Louisiana-Monroe at Jordan-Hare Stadium this Saturday (Oct. 1).

Alabama Week 4 Review
The Crimson Tide breezed to a 48-0 victory over Kent State last week to remain unbeaten on the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 16 of 24 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, while running back Joshua Jacobs carried the ball 11 times for 97 yards and a touchdown. Alabama (4-0) now enters the meat of its schedule, which includes six SEC games in seven weeks. The Tide hosts Kentucky this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
SEC football rankings
1. Alabama (4-0, 1-0)
2. Texas A&M (4-0, 2-0)
3. Tennessee (4-0. 1-0)
4. Arkansas (3-1, 0-1)
5. Ole Miss (2-2, 1-1)
6. Florida (3-1, 1-1)
7. Auburn (2-2, 1-1)
8. Georgia (3-1, 1-1)
9. LSU (2-2, 1-1)
10. Mississippi State (2-2, 1-1)
11. Kentucky (2-2, 1-2)
12. South Carolina (2-2, 1-2)
13. Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-1)
14. Missouri (2-2, 0-1)

Week 5 Previews and Predictions
Week 4: 7-2; season: 35-8
Game of the Week
Tennessee at Georgia (+3.5). After falling behind Florida 21-3, the Volunteers rallied in the second half to defeat the Gators for the first time in over a decade. UT now turns its attention to another East Division rival. If Tennessee defeats Georgia on Saturday, the Vols have an excellent chance to win the East for the first time since 2007. Georgia was embarrassed by Ole Miss a week ago, but the Bulldogs are still talented enough to rally and upset the Vols. Prediction: Tennessee 31, Georgia 27.

Alcorn State at Arkansas (-50). The Hog offense couldn’t keep up with Texas A&M’s offense last week in the 45-24 loss, and Arkansas will look to re-group quickly before Alabama visits Fayetteville next weekend. Prediction: Arkansas 59, Alcorn State 10.

Florida at Vanderbilt (+10). Vanderbilt picked up its second win of the season in overtime against Western Kentucky after the ‘Dores stopped the Hilltoppers from converting a two-point conversion. The Gators are looking to bounce back after a tough road loss at Tennessee a week ago. Prediction: Florida 20, Vanderbilt 12.

Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn (-32.5). After the Tigers’ thrilling victory over LSU, they get what should be an easy win this week against the Warhawks. Auburn’s offense sputtered again in the red zone last week, and that will need to improve if the Tigers wish to remain competitive in the loaded SEC West. Prediction: Auburn 45, Louisiana-Monroe 13.

Texas A&M at South Carolina (+17.5). The Aggies were one of the most impressive teams in the country during the first month of the season, but that has been a common trend for Kevin Sumlin’s team in the last few years. In the past, Texas A&M began to falter in October. The Aggies should have no trouble disposing of the Gamecocks, but back-to-back games against Tennessee and Alabama will reveal everything about the current version of A&M. Prediction: Texas A&M 30, South Carolina 13.

Kentucky at Alabama (-35.5). The Crimson Tide should have an easy time handling the Wildcats, but the schedule picks up considerably next week. After this week, Alabama plays Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas A&M and LSU within five weeks. Running back Damien Harris injured his ankle against Kent State, and his action might be limited over the next few weeks. Prediction: Alabama 45, Kentucky 9.

Memphis at Ole Miss (-14.5). Memphis upset Ole Miss a season ago, but former Tiger quarterback Paxton Lynch is now in the NFL, and the Rebels still have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The Rebels should be able to exact revenge upon the Tigers on Saturday. Prediction: Ole Miss 48, Memphis 20.

Missouri at LSU (-13.5). After over 11 seasons, one national title, two SEC titles and a 114-34 overall record, LSU decided to part ways with head coach Les Miles. Miles nearly was fired after a 9-3 season a year ago but he was given another year to see if he could catapult the Tigers back into title contention. Instead, LSU started the year 2-2, including Saturday’s 18-13 loss at Auburn that sealed Miles’ fate. Ed Orgeron is taking over as interim head coach, and while the Tigers aren’t quite out of SEC title contention yet, they still have the talent to play spoiler this year. Prediction: LSU 26, Missouri 17.

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