In & around SEC football: Week 12 Previews and Predictions

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Auburn Week 11 Recap
The atmosphere in Jordan-Hare Stadium did not reflect that a pair of 3-6 teams were competing. Carnell Williams’ first home game as Auburn’s interim coach provided an electric atmosphere as the Attalla native led his alma mater to a 13-10 victory. Auburn outgained the Aggies by a 330 to 215 margin and managed to hold on for the win despite losing the turnover battle at 3 to 1. Quarterback Robby Ashford threw for only 60 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions but the Tigers controlled the game on the ground as Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter each rushed for 121 yards. Auburn improved to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the SEC. The Tigers host Western Kentucky on Saturday (Nov. 19).
Alabama Week 11 Recap
Alabama has struggled on the road this season but found a way to sneak out of Oxford with a 30-24 win over Ole Miss last week. The Rebels had a chance late to score a game-winning touchdown, but the Alaba-ma defense rose to the occasion and stopped the hosts at the Crimson Tide 20-yard line. Bryce Young threw for three touchdowns and Jase McClellan added 84 yards on the ground as the Tide improved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in conference play. Alabama returns home to take on Austin Peay this Saturday.
Week 12 SEC Rankings
1. Georgia (10-0, 7-0)
2. Tennessee (9-1, 5-1)
3. LSU (8-2, 6-1)
4. Alabama (8-2, 5-2)
5. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2)
6. Florida (6-4, 3-4)
7. Kentucky (6-4, 3-4)
8. Mississippi State (6-4, 3-4)
9. Arkansas (5-5, 2-4)
10. South Caolina. (6-4, 3-4)
11. Auburn (4-6, 2-5)
12. Missouri (4-6, 2-5)
13. Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-5)
14. Texas A&M (3-7, 1-6)
Week 12 Previews and Predictions
Week 11: 6-1; season: 62-16
Game of the Week: Georgia at Kentucky (+22.5). Georgia’s quest to repeat as national champions is coming closer to fruition, and the Bulldogs have already clenched the SEC East. Kirby Smart’s team is currently ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, so Georgia can afford one loss along the way and still make the playoffs. However, the Bulldogs want to be perfect entering the postseason, where they will take on LSU in the SEC title game. Kentucky is fresh off an upset loss to Vanderbilt and now they welcome a juggernaut to Lexington. Prediction: Georgia 28, Kentucky 6.
Austin Peay at Alabama. Alabama still has an outside chance to make the playoffs, but the Crimson Tide needs many upsets to occur across the country over the next three weeks in order for that to happen. In the meantime, UA gets a tune-up game this week before Auburn visits for the Iron Bowl next Saturday. Prediction: Alabama 56, Austin Peay 3.
ETSU at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were competitive in a loss to Georgia and can still finish the regular season with eight wins, an impressive number considering the difficulty of their schedule. Mississippi State should cruise on Saturday before the Bulldogs prep for the Egg Bowl next Thursday (Nov. 24). Prediction: Mississippi State 48, ETSU 13.
UMass at Texas A&M. From start to finish, it’s been a disastrous season for the Aggies. A&M has already been eliminated from bowl eligibility, and firing Jimbo Fisher would cost $85 million dollars, so he’ll almost certainly be back next year. However, the 2023 season will be a pivotal one for Fisher and the Aggies. Prediction: Texas A&M 33, UMass 13.
Florida at Vanderbilt (+14). The Gators played a complete game at home last week against South Carolina to earn bowl eligibility, and they’ll look to build on that win this week against a Van-derbilt team that is turning a corner. Clark Lea led the Commodores to their first conference win since 2019 last week against Kentucky, and the Nashville squad has looked more competitive in most games this season. Prediction: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 23.
Tennessee at South Car-olina (+21.5). The Volunteers are currently No. 5 in the playoff rankings, but the Volunteers might need some outside help to make it into the four-team field. If LSU wins out, UT might get passed by two-loss LSU, even though the Vols dominated the Tigers in Baton Rouge. It’s not outside the realm of possibility for three SEC teams to make the field, but it could also turn out to be just one depending on how things play out in other conferences. Either way, Tennessee must avoid an upset to the Gamecocks on Saturday in order to have a chance. Prediction: Tennessee 45, South Carolina 34.
Ole Miss at Arkansas (+2.5). The Rebels’ playoff chances ended with their six-point home loss to Alabama, and they might be in jeopardy of losing their coach at the end of the season. Lane Kiffin is the top target for Auburn’s coaching search, and while he very well might stay in Oxford, it will be an uneasy two weeks for Rebel fans. If Ole Miss doesn’t rebound from the Alabama loss quickly, the Rebels could lose their next two games. Prediction: Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 27.
New Mexico State at Missouri (-29). Despite a 4-6 record, Eliah Drinkwitz received a two-year contract extension. The Tigers were close in several games early in the year and found a way to win conference games over South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Drinkwitz will earn a lot of goodwill entering the 2023 season If he can get the Tigers to a bowl game. Prediction: Missouri 38, New Mexico State 17.
UAB at LSU (-14.5). LSU is three wins away from an SEC title and a potential playoff berth. No one expec-ted that of Brian Kelly in his first season, but the Tigers have already clenched the West and currently sit at No. 6 in the playoff rankings. LSU might need some help with a couple other teams losing, but the Tigers will be in position to clench a playoff berth in Atlanta in three weeks. Prediction: LSU 34, UAB 10.
Western Kentucky at Auburn. It’s been several years since Jordan-Hare Stadium was as boisterous as it was on Saturday night when Carnell “Cadillac” Williams won his first game as Auburn’s interim coach in front of a packed stadium. The Tigers now have a chance to start a winning streak before heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium for next week’s Iron Bowl. Western Kentucky’s potent offense could present some challenge for Auburn, but the Tigers should control the game on the ground with Robby Ashford, Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. Prediction: Auburn 27, Western Kentucky 17.

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