There are a couple of decent conference games this week and one good out-of-conference game, while the rest of the league plays the last tune-up games for the time being.
Listen to my football podcast The Gridiron Breakdown live on Tuesdays @ 10 p.m. The podcast is available for download from the show site after it airs.
LSU @ Mississippi State
This Thursday night affair comes at a bad time for Mississippi State. They roll up a ton of offense on Auburn only to lose on the last play of the game. They pile up injuries and now have to turn around and play one of the most physical defenses in the league. LSU got a week to rest by playing Northwestern State after a big opening win against Oregon, and the game plan should be the same – disrupt the backfield which will throw MSU’s offense into disarray. On offense, LSU won’t try anything fancy. Just line up and run the ball at the Bulldogs rather suspect defense.
A short week and injuries even playing at home make this too tough a hill for Mississippi State to overcome. LSU buries their hopes of an SEC West crown with a big win here.
LSU 28, Mississippi State 14
Tennessee @ Florida
Tennessee is young and certainly improving under head coach Derek Dooley but the cupboard is not nearly as full as what Will Muschamp and his staff inherited at Florida. The Gators have been clicking on just about every side of the ball against paltry competition and now get a decent test but one they are more than able to pass. Tennessee may make a game of this early but will fade down the stretch in the Swamp.
Florida 41, Tennessee 20
Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt
Ole Miss bounced back from an opening week loss nicely and Vanderbilt showed they have the “don’t quit” attitude with a come-from-behind win against UConn last week. Neither of these teams will dazzle you with offense and the defenses are virtually the same through two games. The same Vanderbilt team handed a 14 point loss to the Rebels last year and with 99% most of that team returning I don’t expect the Commodores to fall back this year. Houston Nutt’s run at Ole Miss starts coming to an end as the Rebels fall this week.
Vanderbilt 24, Ole Miss 16