SEC Week 2: Previews and Predictions

South Carolina VS Florida (-16.5)

Kyle Trask was exceptional last week throwing for 416-yards and six-touchdowns. While I am becoming a believer, I am not ready to book his NY ticket just yet. While it is hard to criticize a 30-for-42 effort, but there is still room for improvement when you rewatch the game. Will he be able to be elite if any team can take Kyle Pitts out of the game? I think so but I am not ready to fully commit.

This week will be a slightly tougher challenge for the Gators offense. South Carolina’s defense isn’t elite, but they do have two future NFL cornerbacks in Israel Mukuamu and Jaycee Horn. It sounds like Isreal might be able to play, and Horn didn’t allow a single yard passing against Tennessee.

Florida defense was as horrific as I have seen them in my ten years of covering the SEC. They gave up over 600 yards and 35 points to the Rebels.

Mike Bobo did a respectable job with South Carolina last week and he was creative in finding ways to get the ball as he caught ten passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Graduate transfer Colin Hill played a pretty good game throwing for a respectable 290 yards. He will need to take another step this week for South Carolina to have a shot.

Score Prediction: Florida 38 South Carolina 20

 

Missouri VS Tennessee (-12)

The Missouri Tigers are heading to Knoxville after a better than expected performance versus Alabama. Yes, they did most of their scoring against the second team, but they fought all night. Probably most impressive for the Tigers was outside linebacker Tre Williams and defensive lineman Kobie Whiteside. Both played solid all night.

They will need some help to stop this Jim Chaney offense. I have often said that Chaney is the best in the business at hiding his quarterbacks’ flaws. Jarrett Guarantano was far from perfect, but he did not make any killer mistakes as he threw for 259-yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. Eric Gray struggled running the football against South Carolina, but Ty Chandler covered his clack rushing for 86-yards on 13 carries.

Score Prediction: Tennessee 27 Mizzou 13

 

Texas A&M VS Alabama (-18)

While watching Mac Jones play last week, one song came to mind – I told you so by Randy Travis. Jones did just what I thought he would -dominate the game. Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith were once again spectacular, and John Metchie proved he was ready to be the new No. 3. Najee once again was a bully, and the starters looked the part.

The Aggies, on the other hand, were awful on offense. Kellen Mond was the most disappointing as he looked like he regressed on passes over 10 yards as he completed just three of 11 such attempts. Isaiah Spiller was the one bright spot for the Aggies offense, rushing for 117-yards on only eight carries.

Alabama and Texas A&M both looked good on defense, but both were facing anemic offenses. We should get a better idea of where they both are after this weekend.

Score Prediction: Alabama 35 Texas A&M 13

 

Ole Miss vs Kentucky (-7)

Kentucky was very disappointing last week as the collapsed against Auburn in the second half. Ole Miss, on the other hand, gave up over 600 yards but also put up over 600 yards.

For Kentucky, it was all about mistakes from the QB position. Terry Wilson Jr. got off to a good start but was horrific in the second half. The good news is the offensive line and running backs played pretty well overall. If Wilson can shake off the cobwebs, they should be in good shape.

For Ole Miss, quarterback Matt Corral was excellent completing 22-of-31 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns, and WR Elijah Moore caught ten passes for a career-high 227 yards.

I hope I do not regret this, but Kentucky should be able to grind the ball and control the clock.

Score Prediction: Kentucky 24 Ole Miss 21

 

Auburn vs UGA (-6.5)

In Auburn’s last five trips to the state of Georgia to play the Bulldogs, they have only averaged 7.6 PPG. Making things more interesting, this will be the best UGA defense they have faced during that time. Bo Nix and company did have moments where they looked the part last week against what should be a very good Kentucky defense.

Nix should have a ton of confidence coming into this game, not only because of how he played against Kentucky but because he will have wide receiver Seth Williams who bullied his way to six passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. With that said, the Tigers will need to get much better in the rushing game, and Williams will need more help.

We all know how good this UGA secondary should be this season led by Richard LeCounte who has had four interceptions in his last two games. If they can keep Auburn receivers in front of them, it should be a fun game for the defense.

On offense, who knows? Despite the terrible start, I will say the play-calling looked much improved. Once Monken found his groove, he just started dialing them up. Will it be Stetson Bennett or JT Daniels? I think either is good enough to win this game, but they cannot play musical chairs with them. Auburn is not Arkansas, and this could get ugly quick if they come out slow.

Score Prediction: UGA 24 Auburn 17

 

Arkansas Vs Mississippi State (-17)

Arkansas leading Georgia in the first half had more to do with the spotty offensive line and D’Wan Mathis’ play than anything else. Outside of the second drive of the game, the Razorbacks were flat. Obviously, Mississippi State defense is not as talented as UGA’s defense, but they can still play. Rakeem Boyd was a non-factor but should have more success this game.

Also problematic for Arkansas, they will not be facing an inexperienced QB this week. In fact, last week against LSU, Bulldogs QB K.J. Costello was historically good throwing for 623 yards and five touchdowns in that 44-34 win against LSU. Mississippi State’s offense as a whole recorded 15 plays that resulted in at least a 20-yard gain. The closest to them last week was 11.

Score Prediction: MSU 35 Arkansas 20

Vanderbilt VS LSU (-21)

The Coomodores were impressive last week defensively against the Texas A&M Aggies and that was without their leading tackler from last season Dimitri Moore. Yes, Kellen Mond played bad but some of that was because of Vanderbilt. This defense should get better and beter as the season goes on.

LSU is not going to just move the ball up and down the field on this defense early. However, the lack of playmakers on offense for Vanderbilt will be problematic because the dam will eventually break and this offense will get going in the second half.

Score Prediction: LSU 30 Vandy 7

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