SEC Football: 5 Bold Predictions for Week 2
SEC Week Two Bold Predictions
Week One of the SEC football schedule brought out many unexpected breakout performances to the 14 fan bases. Alabama receiver/punt returner Christion Jones became the first Crimson Tide player to score a touchdown on a kick return, punt return and reception in the same game. Alabama's offensive lineman were supposed to bridge back to their dominant themselves from the last two seasons, yet that was far from the case. Alabama went under 100 yards in a game for the first time since 2011. Arkansas' offensive line became a balancing act with the team's SEC top three defensive line. The Hogs turned out two different 100-yard rushers in Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins during their 34-14 defeat of Louisiana last Saturday, good for a team that supposedly needed two recruiting classes to get the caliber of athletes needed in a physical smash-mouth physical run game.
The Missouri Tigers are healthy, and that's not good for the rest of the SEC East Division. Tigers quarterback James Franklin and running back Henry Josey showed what the team missed during their time away in 2012. Franklin had three passing touchdowns and 362 total yards in Mizzou's defeat of Murray State. It would have been bold to say that Ole Miss freshman Laquon Treadwell would already be the team's leading receiver after only his first game. Treadwell caught a Rebel freshman single-game reception record nine passes for 182 yards. Treadwell's performance paid off with a SEC Freshman of the Week Honor.
They say that teams and players make the most improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, so which teams and players will surprise fans with their performances on Saturday?
5. Texas A&M gets torched by BearKats offense
The defense that Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder put out on the field last Saturday was exposed more than they ever could have imagined. A&M is facing a Bearkats group that has been highly efficient with their option-run game on offense, mainly from their running back Tim Flanders. This offense will be too much for this reshaped A&M defense to handle, remember that the Aggies had 11 true freshman playing on that side at some point vs. Rice. A&M will at least give up 30 again. Everybody will hear Nick Saban laughing in the background. The Aggies' defensive effort will have tons of critics when Monday comes.
4. Arkansas will have the most rushing yards by any team in Week Two
Last week, the nation's leaders in rushing was Arkansas State. This Saturday, it will be the team from the western side of the state, Arkansas. Arkansas proved to their skeptics that Bret Bielema's style is built to last in year one. The emergence of Hogs running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins signaled one of the best tandems in the SEC. Both combined for 39 carries and 282 yards. Arkansas is committed early to their physical presence on offense, evidenced by their seven straight runs to start the game. Look for at least 400 yards from the Razorbacks on Saturday.
3. Arkansas State will beat Auburn comfortably
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was a part of Arkansas State's current nine-game win streak approaching this non-conference seesaw battle. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall looked troubled threading the needle against a less than impressive Washington State pass defense.
When push comes to shove, who will Auburn or Marshall go to? Auburn doesn't have anything close to a no. 1 receiver, and an offensive line that can't run Malzahn's offense all the way through. The Red Wolves will give Aubie a heavy dose of their aerial assault of receivers J.D McKossic and Julian Jones. Arkansas State will get their first-ever victory over a power conference opponent.
2. Tennessee will be down double figures at halftime to Bobby Petrino
Western Kentucky vs. Tennessee is an interesting matchup for one reason only: the Bobby Petrino factor. Petrino showed last week that it's not surprising for him to outsmart a totally revamped team and win, no matter what stage.
Tennessee has a youthful secondary with one true freshman starting. I expect Western Kentucky to shock everybody when this 7-6 team from 2012 bursts out on top with a shaky and untested secondary.
1. Jadeveon Clowney will have an average performance against Georgia
The South Carolina defensive end threw Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray around like a ragdoll in the last meeting of this rivalry. Clowney was disruptive with everything Georgia threw at him that night.
Georgia's top-five offensive line will fine tune what went wrong with them last year. Even if Clowney plays standing up, Georgia still has senior guards Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette to sweep him up. Georgia's offensive line will pitch a shutout against what Mark Richt said is possibly the best football player right now at any level.