In & around SEC football: Week 13 Previews and Predictions

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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent 

Auburn Week 12 Recap
Auburn controlled the second half and pulled away from Western Kentucky for a 41-17 victory on Senior Day as Carnell Williams won his second game as interim head coach. The Tigers were especially dominant on the ground. Tank Bigsby rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while Jarquez Hunter added 109 yards and a score while also throwing for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Auburn improved to 5-6 and finish the year with the Iron Bowl this Saturday (Nov. 26) against Alabama.
Alabama Week 12 Recap
It was not as dominant as Crimson Tide fans are accustomed to, but Alabama cruised to a 34-0 victory over Austin Peay in its final tune-up before the Iron Bowl. Alabama led 17-0 at halftime, with Bryce Young throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Jase McClellan rushed for 156 yards and two scores, while Jermaine Burton caught seven passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama imp-roved to 9-2 overall and host Auburn on Saturday.
Week 13 SEC Rankings
1. Georgia (11-0, 8-0)
2. LSU (9-2, 6-1)
3. Alabama (9-2, 5-2)
4. Tennessee (9-2, 5-2)
5. Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3)
6. Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4)
7. Arkansas (6-5, 3-4)
8. South Carolina (7-4, 4-4)
9. Auburn (5-6, 2-5)
10. Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5)
11. Florida (6-5, 3-5)
12. Kentucky (6-5, 3-5)
13. Missouri (5-6, 2-5)
14. Texas A&M (4-7, 1-6)
Week 13 Previews and Predictions
Week 12: 7-2; season: 69-18
Game of the Week: Auburn at Alabama (-22). This season’s Iron Bowl is a rarity since neither team has championship aspirations. There is a very slim chance Alabama could sneak into the playoff field, but the Crimson Tide needs four or five upsets to occur at least over the next two weeks. Alabama is undefea-ted at home this season, and this will be Bryce Young’s final home game as UA quarterback. Auburn’s sea-son turned around when Carnell Williams was promoted to interim coach. The former AU and Etowah High standout running back is 2-1, with his only loss coming in overtime against Mississippi State. Williams was 3-1 in the Iron Bowl as a player, but the Tigers will have to play its best game of the season to even have a chance to pull off the upset on Saturday. Alabama leads the series 48-37-1, and they’ve won two straight, including last year’s 24-22 overtime thriller in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Prediction: Alabama 34, Auburn 13.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (-2.5). The Egg Bowl is always filled with both intrigue and hate, and this year’s matchup is no different between the Rebels and the Bulldogs. While both teams have had successful seasons, this year’s central storyline centers around whether or not Lane Kiffin will leave for Auburn. Kiffin has a contract extension on the table from Ole Miss, but Auburn can offer more money, more years and a bigger NIL pool. No one knows what Kiffin will do, but Ole Miss fans will expect a much better performance than what the Rebels displayed in a 42-27 loss to Arkansas last week. Ole Miss has won two straight in this series and leads 64-46-6 overall, but there might be too many distractions surrounding the program to beat the Bulldogs for a third straight season. Prediction: Mississippi State 34, Ole Miss 31.
Arkansas at Missouri (+3). Arkansas earned its sixth win for bowl eligibility with the win over Ole Miss, and now Missouri has an opportunity to do the same against the Razorbacks. Eli Drinkwitz has already been rewarded with a contract extension, but a sixth win would be very beneficial for him entering the offseason. Prediction: Missouri 24, Arkansas 20.
Florida at Florida State (-9.5). Not many teams in the country are playing better than Florida State right now. The Seminoles had a disappointing three-game stretch in the middle of the season with losses to Clemson, North Carolina State and Wake Forest, but FSU might be one of the 10 best teams in college football right now. Meanwhile, Florida just lost to Vanderbilt on the road, and Billy Napier has his work cut out for him going into his first full offseason as Florida’s head coach. Florida’s won three straight in this series and leads the all-time record 37-26-2, but this one could get ugly in the other direction. Prediction: Florida State 41, Florida 24.
Georgia Tech at Georgia (-35.5). Only two wins stand in the way from Georgia entering the playoffs as No. 1 seed, and even if the Bulldogs lose to LSU in the SEC title game, they’re likely to remain in the four-team field. A loss to Georgia Tech would be the most shocking defeat in recent college football history, but don’t expect this one to be competitive for long. Georgia has won four consecutive games in the series and leads 69-41-5 overall. Prediction: Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 3.
South Carolina at Clemson (-14.5). Shane Beamer has the signature win of his young career as his Gamecocks dominated Tennessee. Now, Beamer has a chance to make an even bigger statement if he can upset Clemson and eliminate South Carolina’s in-state rival from playoff contention. Clemson has won seven consecutive games and have dominated the series under Dabo Swinney, leading 72-42-4 overall. Prediction: Clemson 31, South Carolina 13.
Louisville at Kentucky (-3). These two rivals have seen their seasons go in complete opposite directions over the past two months. Kentucky was ranked in the top 10 at one point this season, but now the Wildcats sit at 6-5 and lost to Vanderbilt a week ago despite having a projected top 10 quarterback for next year’s NFL Draft in Will Levis. Meanwhile, many thought Louisville would fire head coach Scott Satt-erfield if he did not have a good season. Those talks heated up after the Cardinals dropped to 2-3 after losing to Boston College. Louisville has won five of its last six games, however, and they’re sitting at 7-4 as they head into Lexington this weekend. Kentucky has won three straight in the series and leads 18-15 overall. Prediction: Louisville 26, Kentucky 23.
LSU at Texas A&M (+10). LSU is still alive for the College Football Playoff but has no margin for error. The Tigers nearly lost to Arkansas two weeks ago, and now face the worst team in the league in Texas A&M. The Aggies have the talent to pull off the upset if LSU is not ready to play. Prediction: LSU 27, Texas A&M 13.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (+14). Tennessee’s playoff hopes ended last week with an embarrassing 63-35 loss to South Carolina, during which the Volunteers lost star quarterback Hendon Hooker for the remainder of the season to a knee injury. UT must regroup for a surging Vanderbilt team that has won two SEC games in a row and is fighting for bowl eligibility. Expect this one to be close throughout. Prediction: Tennessee 31, Vanderbilt 24.

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In & around SEC football: Week 13 Previews and Predictions