Week 3: SEC Previews and Predictions

Florida (-5) vs Texas A&M

Headed into this week’s matchup between the Aggies and the Gators, it seems like a tale of two teams headed in very different directions. Florida must remain focused because the Aggies still have a ton of talent. Florida’s offense does look the part, but for all the offensive fireworks, they only outgained Ole Miss and South Carolina 989 to 942 yards.

I said last week, and I still remain skeptical that the Gators offense will continue to operate with this efficiency as the competition gets tougher. Kyle Trask has been great statistically this season, but there are still some areas of concern. PFF notes, “Of his 21 completions, 18 were to a receiver with more than a couple of steps of separation from the defender. On throws to receivers who weren’t charted as “open” by our graders, Trask went 3-of-10 for 66 yards and one interception.” In other words, he still has some cleaning up to do.

That might not be an issue this week if the Aggies defense does not play much better in the secondary than they did last week against Alabama. Florida does not go over the top as much as Mac Jones and the Tide, but they have to do a better job of pressuring the QB.

On offense, the Aggies need to give the Gators an early and often dose of running back duo Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith. Coach Jimbo Fisher has only had them carry the ball 34 total times in their first two-game. Despite limited carries, they totaled 222 yards for a 6.5 YPC average. Alabama limited the duo, but the Gators are not Alabama on defense.

Score Prediction Florida 38 Texas A&M 28

 

LSU (-14) vs Missouri

LSU secured a bounce-back win last week against Vanderbilt who looked improved in week one against Texas A&M. Derek Stingley Jr. returned to the lineup after missing the opener against Mississippi State and the results were instant.

The Missouri offense, on the other hand, has looked anemic in the first two weeks as they scored just 31 points in losses to the Crimson Tide and Volunteers. After rotating quarterbacks Shawn Robinson and Connor Bazelak the first two weeks, Coach Eli Drinkwitz has decided to start Bazelak after he went a respectable 13-of-21 for 218 yards against Tennessee.

At this point in the season, no one is going to confuse the 2020 LSU offense for the 2019 version. However, they are averaging 37.5 PPG and startting to find their identity. Quarterback Myles Brennan has thrown over 300 yards in each of his first two starts and the three headed monster at running back is getting healthy.

Missouri is slowly finding some weapons but three straight weeks of top 25 teams is going to take a toll.

Score Prediction: LSU 41 Missouri 17

 

South Carolina (-13) vs Vanderbilt

After a solid performance in week one by the Commodores they got throttled last week against LSU. Their offensive line is just not jelling yet and that is a bad combination when you have the first freshman quarterback to start a season opener in the SEC since 1972.

South Carolina’s offensive line has not been much better to start the season. So when you look at Collin Hill’s stats and see 502 yards and three scores, it is impressive with what he has dealt with. Vanderbilt has not shown the ability to get after the quarterback .

This game will come down to who controls the clock, and South Carolina will make a few big plays when needed.

South Carolina 27 Vanderbilt 13

 

Tennessee vs UGA (-12.5)

Jim Chaney loves balance and the ability to use multiple running backs to carry the load. The Vols are passing for 225.5 YPG and rushing for 182.5 YPG and are 5th in PPG in the SEC at 33.

The offense, however, will have their biggest test of the season with the Georgia Bulldogs defense ready to shine in another prime time game. For Tennessee to be able to win this game, they have to be able to run the football. It won’t be easy as UGA is only giving up 2.32 YPC and hasn’t let a running back rush for a TD in 678 days?

I will be surprised if the Bulldogs have much trouble limiting the Vols running game and while Chaney is the best in the business at hiding his quarterbacks flaws, he will have to let Jarrett Guarantano try to make some plays if the want to win this game.

The big question mark for the DAWGS is can Stetson Bennett keep up the level he has been playing at? For all of the talk of wide receivers not getting seperation for the Bulldogs last season, Bennet has thrown to more open receivers in attempts over 10-plus-yards than any other QB in the SEC.

If Bennett and the offense don’t turn the ball over more than twice, UGA rolls.

UGA 27 Tennessee 14

Arkansas vs Auburn (-14)

This will either be a bounce back win for Auburn or the beginning of the 2021 HC search for the Tigers. The Razorbacks shocked the world by upsetting Mississippi State in week one. However, it is time for people to realize that this Arkansas defense is the most improved unit of this young season.

The question for Auburn is will we get good Bo (Kentucky) or bad Bo (UGA). The Auburn offensive line were manhandled last week and I think Arkansas could find some success against them as well.

The Razorbacks offense has to take a step forward this week if they are going to win this game. Last week against MSU they only gained 1.7 yards per carry. Rakeem Boyd left the game with an ankle injury but has not looked like the running back we expected early in the season. FSam Pittman says he should be ready to go against Auburn but they will need to find more creative ways to get him involved.

I think Auburn gets the win but I don’t think Bo Nix will play well enough to cover the spread.

Auburn 24 Arkansas 17

Alabama (-23) vs Ole Miss

Let me start by saying that Mac Jones and John Metchie III are who I thought they were. My No. 1 breakout pick (Jones) and my No. 6 break out player (Metchie) had another big game last week. Jones has thrown the most catchable ball of anyone this season in college football according to PFF. I would like to see Najee a little more explosive this week as he is averaging 1.3 yards less per carry this season than his career average headed into the year.

As you should know by now, Ole Miss has some true playmakers on their team. Matt Corral has been exceptional the first two weeks of the season and has been lethal when targeting WR Elijah Moore. Jerrion Ealy has also been efficient when called upon.

After this game, we will know if the Alabama defense is as good as they have looked the first two weeks. They will have their work cut out for them but they will make adjustments early.

Alabama 45 Ole Miss 24

Kentucky (-3) vs Mississippi State

I am 10-4 on the season straight-up and 11-3 ATS. However, all four games that I have loss have involved Kentucky and Mississippi State – So take this prediction with a grain of salt.

With as bad as the Kentucky secondary has been and with the Air raid in town, there is plenty of reasons to believe the Wildcats will drop to 0-3.

However, I think their offensive line can help control the clock. The question is can they create turnovers. So far this season, they don’t have one.

To be honest, I am so confused by these two teams right now, I am going to flip a coin.

Kentucky 29 MSU 24

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *