In & around SEC football: Week 11 Previews and Predictions

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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent 

Alabama Week 10 Recap
The Crimson Tide avoided a massive upset in escaping with a 20-14 home victory over LSU last Saturday. Alabama was held under 30 points for the first time since losing to Clemson, 44-16, the 2019 national title game. It was a sloppy performance all around for the Tide. LSU had opportunities to emerge with the upset, but the Alabama defense made several key stops in the fourth quarter. Bryce Young threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but Alabama rushed for six total yards. Nevertheless, Nick Saban’s team remained at No. 2 in the playoff rankings and improved to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC. UA hosts New Mexico State this Saturday (Nov. 13).
Auburn Week 10 Recap
Auburn had its worst offensive outing of the year in a disappointing 20-3 road loss at Texas A&M. The Tigers and Aggies were tied 3-3 at halftime, and neither offense had success moving the ball for nearly three quarters. The game turned after Bo Nix fumbled on a rollout, and the Aggies picked up the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Nix threw 41 times for only 153 yards and an interception, while Tank Bigsby was held in check for 69 yards on the afternoon. Auburn was outgained 409-226 and dropped to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. The Tigers return home to host Mississippi State on Saturday.
Week 11 SEC Rankings
1. Georgia (9-0, 7-0)
2. Alabama (8-1, 5-1)
3. Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2)
4. Auburn (6-3, 3-2)
5. Ole Miss (7-2, 3-2)
6. Arkansas (6-3, 2-3)
7. Mississippi State (5-4, 3-3)
8. Tennessee (5-4, 3-3)
9. Kentucky (6-3, 4-3)
10. LSU (4-5, 2-4)
11. Florida (4-5, 2-5)
12. Missouri (4-5, 1-4)
13. South Carolina (5-4, 2-4)
14. Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-5)
Week 11 Previews and Predictions
Last week: 5-2; season: 72-13
Saturday, November 6
Game of the Week: Texas A&M at Ole Miss (+2.5). There aren’t many teams in the country playing better than Texas A&M right now. The Aggies have quality home wins over Ala-bama and Auburn in the last month and have an outside chance of winning the SEC West if Alabama drops another conference game. This week will be another challenge for Texas A&M, but the Aggies are catching an Ole Miss team that is battling injuries on both sides of the ball. Prediction: Texas A&M 31, Ole Miss 24.
Mississippi State at Auburn (-5.5). Auburn’s offense had its ugliest performance of the season in last week’s road loss to Texas A&M, and the Tigers return to The Plains looking for answers entering the last three games of the season. The Auburn defense was excellent in College Station, and if Bryan Harsin can get both sides of the ball playing well at the same time, AU can still be a threat down the stretch. Prediction: Auburn 34, Mississippi State 24.
New Mexico State at Alabama (-51.5). After an ugly win over LSU, Alabama welcomes a vastly inferior opponent that will basically serve as a glorified scrimmage entering the home stretch of the season. If Alabama wins out, the Crimson Tide will be in the playoffs. While this UA squad is not as dynamic as last year’s team, Alabama is still a contender to win the national title. Prediction: Alabama 59, New Mexico State 3.
Samford at Florida. It’s been an ugly few weeks for Dan Mullen and the Gators, who desperately need a few wins to end the year. Last week’s performance at South Carolina was abysmal, and now Florida takes on Samford in Gainesville, where they should be able to make improvements heading into the final two games of the year. Prediction: Florida 51, Samford 13.
Georgia at Tennessee (-20). Georgia’s last test of the regular season comes this Saturday in Knoxville. The Volunteers have been clicking on offense in Josh Heupel’s system and feature an explosive offense capable of moving the ball and scoring on Georgia’s top-ranked defense. On the other side of the ball, Georgia should have no problem running on Tennessee, and the Bulldogs should be able to pull away in the second half and avoid the upset. Prediction: Georgia 38, Tennessee 20.
South Carolina at Missouri (-1). If Shane Beamer can get South Carolina to a bowl game this year, his first season will be a massive success. Beating Florida was impressive, and the Gamecocks have another winnable game this Saturday in the SEC’s other Columbia. Missouri has struggled all season, especially on defense. This should be a very close game, as both teams look to become postseason eligible this month. Prediction: Missouri 31, South Carolina 27.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt (+21). The Wildcats have lost three straight games after their 6-0 start but have a good opportunity this week to get back on track and finish 9-3. While Vanderbilt has shown flashes of improving in some of its games, Kentucky should be able to handle the Commodores as they right the ship. Prediction: Kentucky 24, Vanderbilt 3.
Arkansas at LSU (+2.5). LSU very nearly pulled off a massive upset in Tuscaloosa last week. It felt like the final stand for Ed Orgeron as his tenure comes to an end in three weeks. Perhaps the Tigers have one more valiant effort left in them, but they might save that for the Texas A&M game to end the year. Meanwhile, Arkansas won its sixth game of the season last week and are now bowl eligible in Sam Pittman’s second season. The Razorbacks’ win over Mississippi State was dramatic, and now the Hogs go on the road to try and win in Baton Rouge. LSU has won five straight in this series. Prediction: Arkansas 37, LSU 33.

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