In & around SEC football: Week 6 Previews and Predictions

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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent 

Alabama Week 6 Recap
Despite four turnovers, two missed field goals and a backup quarterback playing the entire game, Alabama still managed to escape with a 24-20 win over Texas A&M last Saturday. The Aggies had a chance to win the game on the final play of the game from the Alabama 2-yard line, but a pass attempt from Haynes King fell incomplete. In his first career start for the Crimson Tide, quarterback Jalen Milroe threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 83 yards. Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 154 yards as Alabama improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide travels to Tennessee for a top-10 showdown this Saturday (Oct. 15).
Auburn Week 6 Recap
Auburn’s defense held strong early on against No. 1 Georgia, but the Tigers fell apart in the second half and lost 42-10. Quarterback Robby Ashford threw for 165 yards and a touchdown on 38 attempts and added 52 yards on the ground. Jar-quez Hunter caught three passes for 73 yards and a score as Auburn dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The Tigers have now lost three of the past four games, with two of those defeats coming by four touchdowns or more. AU travels to Oxford on Saturday to take on No. 9 Ole Miss.
Week 7 SEC Rankings
1. Alabama (6-0, 3-0)
2. Georgia (6-0, 3-0)
3. Tennessee (5-0, 2-0)
4. Mississippi State (5-1, 2-1)
5. Ole Miss (6-0, 2-0)
6. Kentucky (4-2, 1-2)
7. LSU (4-2, 2-1)
8. Texas A&M (3-3, 1-2)
9. Arkansas (3-3, 0-3)
10. Florida (4-2, 1-2)
11. South Carolina (4-2, 1-2)
12. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2)
13. Auburn (3-3, 1-2)
14. Missouri (2-4, 0-3)
Week 7 Previews and Predictions
Week 6: 5-2; season: 41-7
Game of the Week: Alabama at Tennessee (+7.5). The last time Tennessee defeated Alabama, George W. Bush was two years into his second term as U.S. president, LeBron James had just won his first NBA playoff series and Bruce Pearl was entering his second season as the Volunteers’ head basketball coach. Much has happened since 2006, but one thing has been constant in college football – Alabama has dominated its rivals to the north. However, the Vols finally have a team capable of beating the Crimson Tide. Tennessee is undefeated and ranked in the top 10, while quarterback Hendon Hooker is playing like a Heisman contender. If UT is going to end its 15-game losing streak to Alabama, Hooker must be the best player on the field on Saturday. Bryce Young could return at quarterback for the Tide. If he does play, this game has the potential to turn into a shootout. If Milroe is back at quarterback, he’ll have to be much better than he was against Texas A&M if UA is going to leave Knoxville with a win. Prediction: Alabama 41, Tennessee 31.
Auburn at Ole Miss (-14.5). A prediction within a prediction: This Saturday will be Bryan Harsin’s final game as Auburn head coach. Once that inevitable move happens, whether it is this weekend or in December, there will be plenty of time for discussion on what went wrong for Auburn and Harsin. Many of the fail-ures of the last year and a half are not the fault of Harsin, who has not been given much of a chance by school administration. But the Tigers have been one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country since the middle of last season, and there are no signs indicating a turnaround is coming. Auburn has an open week after this game, and it is looking more and more likely that the Tigers will make a move if they lose to the Rebels. Several schools have already fired their coaches, and Auburn will want to make sure it does not fall behind on landing its next head coach. Prediction: Ole Miss 31, Auburn 10.
Vanderbilt at Georgia (-38). Georgia is the top-ranked team in the country and has one of the best wins of any team with how the Bulldogs dismantled Oregon in the season opener. However, Georgia looked sluggish in each of the last three games. The Bulldogs dominated Auburn on the scoreboard, but that had more to do with Auburn’s ineptitude than Georgia’s dominance. The Bulldogs should cruise against the Commodores, but Georgia has a tough four-game stretch starting on October 29. If they don’t pick up their level of play, the Bulldogs are ripe for an upset during the next month. Prediction: Georgia 48, Vanderbilt 13.
Arkansas at BYU (+1.5). No team in the country has played a tougher schedule over the last month than Arkansas, and the Hogs now are traveling to Provo for a challenging matchup against BYU. Arkansas has lost three straight games, but this is still a quality team if K.J. Jefferson is at quarterback. Jefferson missed last week’s loss to Mississippi State with a head injury suffered in the Alabama loss, but he could return on Saturday. If Jefferson is back, Arkansas will get back in the win column. Prediction: Arkansas 33, BYU 31.
LSU at Florida (-2.5). Two traditional powers in the SEC are looking to avoid falling to 4-3, and both programs have new head coaches leading the way. Brian Kelly’s team was dominated by Tennessee last week, while Florida escaped with a home win over Missouri. This annual series has been as unpredictable as any in the league over the last 20 years, and while neither team is a contender this year, there is strong possibility this matchup produces another wild finish. Prediction: LSU 34, Florida 31.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (+6.5). Perhaps the most underrated team in the SEC through half the season is Mississippi State. The Bulldogs dropped a road game at LSU earlier this season, but they’ve responded by blowing out Texas A&M and Arkansas at home. MSU now travel to Lexington for an annual rivalry game with Kentucky. A Bulldog win would set up a pivotal SEC West showdown at Alabama next weekend. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was out in the Wildcats’ loss to South Carolina, and he’s questionable for Saturday. If Levis plays, Kentucky has a good chance to catch Mississippi State looking ahead. If Levis is out, the Wildcats will struggle to keep up with the Bulldogs. Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 20.

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