After a rough opening week, the SEC bounced back with an undefeated 10-0 record in non-conference games. This week, conference play begins in earnest with 4 matchups, including major showdowns in Oxford and Auburn. Now, on to the picks…
Last Week’s Record: 4-2
Overall Record: 8-4
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech
Kickoff: 12:30 PM EDT (ACC Network)
Vandy’s hard-nosed defense stymies the Yellow Jackets’ triple option running attack, but Georgia Tech escapes with a close victory.
Predicted Final Score: Georgia Tech 20, Vanderbilt 17
Alabama at Ole Miss
Kickoff: 3:30 PM EDT (CBS)
Alabama looks to avenge back to back losses to Ole Miss, while the Rebels attempt to get their season back on track following their opening loss to Florida State. The storyline to watch is the performance of Alabama’s true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts in his first road test. While Chad Kelly makes his share of plays, this Alabama defense is better equipped to stop Ole Miss’s spread offensive attack than the past two units. The Tide rolls but closer than the experts think.
Predicted Final Score: Alabama 26, Ole Miss 24
East Carolina at South Carolina
Kickoff: 4:00 PM EDT (SEC Network)
East Carolina is coming off an upset win over NC State last week, while South Carolina put up a dreadful performance in a blow-out loss to Mississippi State. The Gamecocks will not overlook the Pirates, but the reality is that these two teams have similar talent. South Carolina squeaks out a win behind a late field goal from Elliott Fry.
Predicted Final Score: South Carolina 24, East Carolina 21
Texas A&M at Auburn
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EDT (ESPN)
Which Auburn offense will show up: the group that struggled to make a first down against Clemson or the unit that racked up over 700 yards against Arkansas State? The last time that we saw Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight competing against an SEC opponent, he was lighting up Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. In an enormous game for both programs and head coaches, the Aggies prevail.
Predicted Final Score: Texas A&M 24, Auburn 23
Mississippi State at LSU
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EDT (ESPN 2)
At LSU, Danny Etling gets the start at quarterback over the struggling Brandon Harris. In Starkville, Nick Fitzgerald is still fuming over not being selected Todd Talley’s Player of Week following his phenomenal performance against South Carolina (195 rushing yards, 178 passing yards, 2 TDs). Leonard Fournette is the difference in a sloppy, low-scoring affair.
Predicted Final Score: LSU 24, Mississippi State 10
Georgia at Missouri
Kickoff: 7:30 PM EDT (SEC Network)
Like in the Bama-Ole Miss game, the major story here is Georgia true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason making his first road start. After an impressive opening win against North Carolina, Georgia took a few steps back last week in a narrow win over Nicholls State. Behind a solid performance from Eason, the ‘Dogs get back on track.
Predicted Final Score: Georgia 30, Missouri