In & around SEC football – Week 11 previews


By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Auburn Week 10 Review
Auburn did not play a home game in the month of October, so the Tigers expected to return home to play in front of a raucous crowd last week at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Instead, the crowd was anything but, and AU snuck away with a 20-14 win over Ole Miss. Auburn’s offense compiled over 500 yards, and Bo Nix threw for 340 yards. But it only resulted in 20 points, and the Rebels had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. It was an uncharacteristic showing from the Auburn home crowd, especially since the Tigers are 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. If Auburn is going to upset Georgia on Nov. 16, the fans must act much livelier and the Auburn offense will need to execute much better inside the red zone.
SEC football standings
1. Alabama (8-0, 5-0)
2. LSU (8-0, 4-0)
3. Georgia (7-1, 4-1)
4. Florida (7-2, 4-2)
5. Auburn (7-2, 4-2)
6. Texas A&M (6-3, 3-2)
7. Kentucky (4-4, 2-4)
8. Missouri (5-3, 2-2)
9. Tennessee (4-5, 2-3)
10. South Carolina (4-5, 3-4)
11. Mississippi State (4-5, 2-4)
12. Ole Miss (3-6, 2-3)
13. Vanderbilt (2-6, 1-4)
14. Arkansas (2-6, 0-5)
Week 11 Previews and Predictions
Week 10: 6-0; season: 64-17
Game of the Week: LSU at Alabama (-6). Eight years ago, these two teams met in Tuscaloosa for a 9-6 battle in what is commonly referred to as the “Game of the Century.” Since that LSU victory, the Crimson Tide has won eight straight games in the series, and the Tigers were shut out in three of those meetings. Now, LSU has arguably its best offense in school history and returns to Tuscaloosa for another high-profile matchup between two undefeated powerhouses. Joe Burrow leads an LSU offense that is averaging nearly 50 points per game, but the Tigers up against an Alabama offense that has been just as potent. Tua Tagovailoa is expected to play after missing Alabama’s last game against Arkansas with a high ankle sprain. This matchup has the potential to be the highest scoring game between the two rivals since a 41-34 shootout in 2007. The winner will win the SEC West Division, while the loser will need other teams to lose in order to have a chance to make the playoffs. Prediction: Alabama 38, LSU 31.
Vanderbilt at Florida (-26.5). Florida’s chances to win the SEC East took a hit after a 24-17 loss to Georgia. Now, the Gators need two more Georgia losses down the stretch in order to win the division. It’s still possible for Dan Mullen’s team to reach a New Year’s Six bowl bid but Florida cannot afford another setback. Vanderbilt needs four straight wins to reach a bowl game, but the Commodores have only won twice in Gainesville in school history. Prediction: Florida 37, Vanderbilt 13.
Western Kentucky at Arkansas (-1). The Razorbacks’ season has gone from bad to worse and the Hogs could be facing a second straight 2-10 season. Chad Morris still hasn’t won an SEC game and Arkansas is only short favorites at home against Western Kentucky. If the Hogs lose at home to former Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey, Morris might not last the season. Prediction: Arkansas 27, Western Kentucky 24.
New Mexico State at Ole Miss (-28.5). The Rebels put up a valiant effort and had a chance to upset Auburn last weekend but suffered their third straight defeat to drop to 3-6. Ole Miss now must win out to reach a bowl game, and that includes beating LSU and Mississippi State. The Rebels should handle the Aggies easily this weekend as long as they aren’t looking ahead to LSU next Saturday. Prediction: Ole Miss 48, New Mexico State 20.
Missouri at Georgia (-17.5). Georgia can go a long way toward wrapping up the SEC crown if the Bulldogs beat Missouri on Saturday. Despite losing to South Carolina earlier this season, Georgia is still in position to make the playoffs if the Bulldogs win out. The schedule is daunting down the stretch and the Bulldogs visit Auburn next weekend. But if it escapes this month unscathed, Georgia will have an opportunity to beat Alabama or LSU and make the playoffs. Prediction: Georgia 44, Missouri 17.
Appalachian State at South Carolina (-6). The Gamecocks have played one of the toughest schedules in college football, and it doesn’t get any easier down the stretch. Appalachian State is a very good team, and South Carolina also travels to Texas A&M next week before hosting Clemson. Will Muschamp’s team needs two wins to reach a bowl game, so the Gamecocks need to pull off an upset along the way. Prediction: South Carolina 31, Appalachian State 30.
Tennessee at Kentucky (-1). After a terrible start to the season, Tennessee has rebounded and put itself into position to make a bowl game. The Volunteers have won three of their last four games and need two wins in the next three games to make the postseason. Kentucky is in a similar position at 4-4 but has a more manageable schedule down the stretch. If the Wildcats can win this one, they could possibly reach eight wins. Prediction: Tennessee 23, Kentucky 20.

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