The bulk of SEC teams play out of conference this week, leading to a not so exciting slate of games. However, there are a few match-ups in the East division to savor as we head into week four of the season.
Vanderbilt @ Georgia
Georgia hasn’t played a complete game all season but hasn’t had to so far, as opponents have wilted in the second half. Part of that is the teams the Bulldogs have beaten aren’t that good and part of it is Georgia’s pass rush is much improved over recent campaigns.
Vanderbilt is a team led by a defense that can and will force turnovers. The problem is the Vandy offense is just as likely to turn it back over or stall on the ensuing drive. Vandy went on the road already once, losing to Northwestern. The hedges of Athens, GA will be no friendlier. Georgia QB Aaron Murray will have to limit his mistakes but in the end, the Bulldogs are the more talented team and should win the game.
Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 19
Missouri @ South Carolina
South Carolina vs. Missouri is a match-up of wounded QBs as both teams’ primary signal callers have missed significant time this year with injuries. Missouri was a team touted as having the kind of spread offense that could hang with SEC competition but so far they’ve barely been able to hang with themselves and the defense isn’t all that special.
South Carolina is yet to get all-star RB Marcus Lattimore uncorked coming off a knee injury last year, and with QB issues, expect a heavy dose of the run game this week. The Gamecocks’ defensive line will be the difference in the game, though. They can create havoc in the backfield and Missouri hasn’t demonstrated the ability to hold off a strong pass rush. It may be close early but expect the Gamecocks to pull away late.
South Carolina 27, Missouri 17
LSU @ Auburn
LSU holds an advantage at every single position in this game and barring a colossal meltdown should win with ease. Auburn doesn’t need to let what is sure to be a lopsided loss derail the rest of the season and will try to get out of the game without sustaining injuries to an already thin lineup. LSU doesn’t score tons of points because they aren’t flashy on offense. They don’t have to be with that defense.
LSU 34, Auburn 6
Kentucky @ Florida
Kentucky is a mess – a real mess. Florida, on the other hand, seems to have found itself in the game against Tennessee and that power run game, along with attacking defense spells bad news for the visiting Wildcats. The basketball games between these two in the not too distant future will be way more competitive than this contest. Expect the Gators to win big.
Florida 38, Kentucky 9
Out Of Conference Games
Rutgers @ Arkansas
Arkansas is a dumpster fire waiting to get worse. Who knew Bobby Petrino’s mere presence on the sideline would mean so much to the Razorbacks? Rutgers isn’t special but they are steady and they have a power run game, which spells problems for an Arkansas team that has done very little to stop any team from moving the ball at will. I generally will always pick the SEC team against a Big East opponent but Arkansas’s problems aren’t the kind that get fixed in one week.
Rutgers 22, Arkansas 16
Florida Atlantic @ Alabama
This Florida Atlantic squad hung around with Georgia for a bit last week but don’t be fooled – this isn’t an upset looming. In spite of obliterating each opponent so far, Alabama still has a lot to work on, and the coaching staff there lives for moments like that. Watching grass vs. the lawn mower would be more competitive this week.
Alabama 42, FAU 3
South Alabama @ Mississippi State
South Alabama is still finding its footing as a new program. Mississippi State almost let the hangover from a big win against Auburn catch them against Troy, but the Bulldogs got the win and stayed relatively healthy in the process. Mississippi State shouldn’t have too much trouble putting away So. Alabama as they get ready for the conference stretch.
Mississippi State 26, South Alabama 7
Akron @ Tennessee
Tennessee will be looking to heal some wounds from the Florida loss and the Zips from Akron won’t be able to put up much of a fight to stop it. Expect Tyler Bray to have a big day in a rebound game.
Tennessee 44, Akron 14
Ole Miss @ Tulane
Ole Miss should enjoy the trip to New Orleans because outside of this game or a pointless December bowl invite, it’s the closest they’ll get to the Superdome for a long time to come.
Ole Miss 26, Tulane 13
South Carolina State @ Texas A&M
Texas A&M gets one last chance to tune up the band before heading back into conference play. It’s just what a young team like this needs.
Texas A&M 35, SC State 13