Week 5 SEC Previews and Predictions
Jeremy Hill and LSU Travel to Georgia in SEC Game of the Week
Last week’s slate of SEC games left a lot to be desired as there was really only one game of significance with LSU and Auburn playing in Tiger Stadium in a matchup of two undefeated teams. The rest of the games last week were chock full of cupcakes with the exception of Arkansas traveling to Rutgers — the first time an SEC team played in Piscattaway — but could not leave with a perfect 4-0 record.
This week’s SEC schedule features one game that could end up being one of the best games of the season with No. 6 LSU traveling to Athens to take on No. 9 Georgia with ESPN’s College Gameday in attendance. This was the toughest game to call of the week. Oddly enough, two of the four games I’ve been wrong in my prediction involved Georgia.
The undercard for the weekend involves the upstart Rebels from Ole Miss heading east to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban and the two-time defending champions in Alabama. Ole Miss has the personnel to give the Crimson Tide defense some issues if they aren’t on the top of their game. Alabama is still the top team in the country, but they haven’t looked invincible as we have expected them to be. Could an upset be in order?
One of the more intriguing matchups this weekend that isn’t getting much talk is Texas A&M traveling to Arkansas. This is a total contrast in offensive philosophies and if the Hogs get Brandon Allen back at quarterback, they should have much more balance on offense and could dominate the time of possession and keep Johnny Manziel on the sideline. This is what Alabama was able to do for large chunks in the Aggies lone defeat this season. Bret Bielema will have his troops ready in what would go a long way toward the Razorback’s bowl aspirations.
Check out all the predictions and previews for this week. Last week, I went 8-1 after a perfect 10-0 the week before to bring my season total to 38-4. My four losses are represented by two teams, Georgia and Arkansas, so if you’re betting you may wanna go in the opposite direction.
South Carolina at UCF
South Carolina had a week to rest their bones after they lost to Georgia and face a UCF team coming off a win over Penn State with a talented quarterback in Blake Bortles. But the Gamecocks are too talented and too deep. South Carolina wins 34-16.
South Alabama at Tennessee
Tennessee desperately needed South Alabama on their schedule after two humbling losses in a row. Justin Worley is back at quarterback and has to show some more consistency and the ability to make a few plays down the field. Thus far, he has not been able to do either. However, Tennessee benefits from the home crowd and pulls out the win 27-13.
No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia
The game of the week features two top-10 teams and a loss by Georgia all but eliminates them from BCS Championship consideration. LSU has looked as good as any team in the nation through the first four games, but face their toughest offense they have faced all season. Can Zach Mettenberger keep up with Aaron Murray? Can Jeremy Hill repeat his performance vs. Auburn a week ago? If the answer is yes to one of these two questions, that bodes well for the road team. LSU wins 33-31.
No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama
Ole Miss traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama will be a tough test for the Rebels, but I think Hugh Freeze's club can give the Crimson Tide some problems in the passing game. Donte Moncrief and Laquon Treadwell have to have big performances to have a shot at the upset, and we've seen Alabama's secondary struggle against bigger receivers (Mike Evans). Bo Wallace must make plays with his feet as well as his arm and get Ole Miss in manageable third downs. Jeff Scott may have a tough time running against this front, but he's a threat to take it the house with the slightest crease as we've seen this year. Ole Miss has to play as close to a perfect game to ultimately pull the upset. While I think they keep it close into the fourth quarter, Alabama makes one or two more plays to win. Alabama wins 34-23.
No. 20 Florida at Kentucky
Could Florida be vulnerable with Tyler Murphy making his first career start for Florida? Perhaps, but they get the benefit of a rebuilding Kentucky squad to let him get his feet wet. Florida wins 28-6.
No. 10 Texas A&M at Arkansas
Arkansas should have their starting quarterback after Brandon Allen missed the loss at Rutgers last week, but the Hogs face a tough test in Texas A&M and their prolific offense behind Johnny Manziel. Arkansas keeps it close in the first half, but A&M pulls away in the second half and win 38-23.
Arkansas State at Missouri
Missouri looks like the most improved team in the SEC so far this season, but we won't know how good they are until they begin conference play. Missouri rolls to a 42-13 win over Arkansas State.
UAB at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt has looked good and they've looked a little sloppy through their first games, but the Commodores put together a solid four quarters to win at home vs. UAB. Vandy wins 31-17.
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