In & around SEC football: Week 7 Previews and Predictions


By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Alabama Week 6 Recap
In perhaps the most shocking result of the season, Alabama fell to Texas A&M, 41-38, for its first defeat of the season. The Crimson Tide fell behind 24-10 in the first half and did not retake the lead until Bryce Young hit Jameson Williams for a 7-yard touchdown to make the score 38-31 with five minutes remaining in the game. However, Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada led the Aggies on a six-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in two minutes to tie the game, and Alabama (5-1, 2-1) went three-and-out on the following possession. The Aggies marched down the field again in eight plays, and Seth Small connected on a 28-yard field goal as time expired to seal the victory. Young threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns, while Brian Robinson rushed for 147 yards on 24 carries. Williams caught 10 passes for 146 yards and two scores as he has emerged as Alabama’s top target at receiver. UA travels to Starkville on Saturday (Oct. 16) to face Mississippi State.
Auburn Week 6 Recap
No. 2 Georgia methodically dismantled Auburn 34-10 in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and the Bulldogs are now the favorites to win the national title. The Tigers (4-2, 1-1) took an early 3-0 lead but Georgia capitalized on several Auburn mistakes to build a 17-3 lead at the half. A Tank Bigsby touchdown cut the Georgia lead to 24-10, but that was as close as the Tigers would get to Kirby Smart’s squad. Bo Nix threw his first interception of the season, and it bounced off Shaun Shivers’ hands to set up Georgia’s opening field goal. Auburn receivers had several drops on the afternoon, and the Tigers struggled maintaining drives against the Bulldogs’ top-ranked defense. AU travels to Fayetteville on Saturday
to take on Arkansas.
Week 7 SEC Rankings
1. Georgia (6-0, 4-0)
2. Alabama (5-1, 2-1)
3. Kentucky (6-0, 4-0)
4. Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1)
5. Auburn (4-2, 1-1)
6. Arkansas (4-2, 1-2)
7. Florida (4-2, 2-2)
8. Tennessee (4-2, 2-1)
9. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1)
10. Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2)
11. LSU (3-3, 1-2)
12. Missouri (3-3, 0-2)
13. South Carolina (3-3, 0-3)
14. Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-2)
Week 7 Previews and Predictions
Last week: 6-1
Season: 52-10
Saturday, Oct. 9
Game of the Week:: Kentucky at Georgia (-23.5). The SEC East Division will likely be decided on Saturday afternoon in Athens. Kentucky is 6-0 for the first time since 1950 and has beaten Florida and LSU in back-to-back weeks. The Wildcats now take on the best team in the country on the road. Georgia’s defense has dominated every opposing offense through six games, and both teams have shown they have elite defenses. Mark Stoops has had success against every SEC East team except Georgia. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight in this series, and they’ve held the Wildcats to three points total in the last two meetings. Prediction: Georgia 23, Kentucky 6.
Auburn at Arkansas (-3.5). Both the Tigers and Razorbacks are looking to shake off losses from a week ago, and this is a pivotal matchup between these two SEC West foes. If Arkansas loses a third straight game, they will be practically eliminated from contention in the division. A two-loss team is still in the mix to win the West, but Auburn has tougher games upcoming and needs to win this one on the road. The Tigers have won five straight in this series, including last year’s controversial 30-28 home win over the Hogs. This will likely be another Auburn game that comes down to the wire. Prediction: Auburn 23, Arkansas 20.
Florida at LSU (+10). In 2010, Auburn won the national championship in Gene Chizik’s second season. Two years later, Chizik was fired after an abysmal 3-9 year. In 2019, Ed Orgeron won a national title at LSU. Right now, the Tigers are 3-3 and the rest of the schedule includes Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M. The Tigers are 10-10 since winning that 2019 national title, and this group will struggle to make a bowl game. Unless LSU has a complete turnaround, Orgeron’s days might be numbered. Florida lost to LSU a season ago in a game that knocked the Gators out of playoff contention, so revenge will certainly be on their minds as they visit Baton Rouge on Saturday. Prediction: Florida 31, LSU 20.
Texas A&M at Missouri (+8.5). Jimbo Fisher just scored the biggest win of his tenure at Texas A&M a week after perhaps his worst loss. Not many teams have lost to Mississippi State the week before beating Alabama, but now the Aggies are back in contention in the West provided they win out and have Alabama lose another game. This could be a let-down spot for Texas A&M, but it’s more likely that the Aggies carry the confidence from last week’s win over Alabama into Columbia versus a reeling Missouri squad. Prediction: Texas A&M 38, Missouri 31.
Vanderbilt at South Ca-rolina (-18.5). This is the best chance for either of these teams to win a conference game this season, and both desperately need a victory. Clark Lea and Shane Beamer are rebuilding, and it will take a few years before either is ready to compete. Prediction: South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 17.
Alabama at Mississippi State (+17). Despite the loss to Texas A&M, Alabama is still in solid position to make the playoffs and contend for a national championship. In fact, Georgia is the only team favored in front of Alabama in the championship race. Alabama has not lost back-to-back games since the 2013-14 season, and it’s unlikely they lose on the road in Starkville. Mississippi State should have some success through the air, but the Alabama offense should have another explosive performance while the Tide gets back on track. Prediction: Alabama 41, Mississippi State 17.
Ole Miss at Tennessee (+3). Lane Kiffin makes his return to Tennessee as a head coach 12 years after he bolted Knoxville to take the head coaching position at USC. Kiffin brings one of the best offenses in college football to Neyland Stadium, where his former school also features a dynamic offense. This matchup should be a shootout similar to the Rebels’ 52-51 win over Arkansas a week ago. Ole Miss is the better team, but this will be even more of a hostile environment than Alabama was two weeks ago for the Rebels. Prediction: Ole Miss 48, Tennessee 44.




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