Most of the SEC teams looked good in Week 1 and given that I picked all 14 of them to win that led to a good prediction week! Here is how it shook out.
By Steve Wright
Week Results: 12-2. Vanderbilt was a big giant fail and LSU forgot their rushing game on the West Coast.
Closest Pick: I missed both the Kentucky/ULM and Mizzou/Central Michigan games by a field goal. In all, I predicted six of the games within 10 total points which feels like a good job.
Season Results: 12-2 (85.7%)
(25) Auburn vs. Alabama State – Bo Nix was a beast in going 20-of-22 in the 60-10 win over Akron. Auburn plays Penn State next weekend so expect to see plenty of TJ Finley as the Tigers have this sewn up halfway through the second quarter. Auburn 52, Alabama State 3.
South Carolina @ East Carolina – There are a few intangibles here – the health of starting quarterback Luke Doty and starting running back Kevin Harris being the most notable – but it was the South Carolina defense and special teams units that took over the Week 1 game against Eastern Illinois. It won’t be a shutout this time, but the Gamecocks will roll. South Carolina 38, East Carolina 20.
Tennessee vs. Pitt – The Pitt front seven on defense gave up less than 50 yards rushing last week against UMass. Tennessee went for over 300 yards on the ground in a win over Bowling Green. Whichever team finishes closest to their mark this week will win what should be a tight contest. Pitt 28, Tennessee 24.
(13) Florida @ South Florida – South Florida is a mess and they went down 45-0 to NC State in Week 1 giving up almost 300 yards rushing. Florida went for 400 yards on the ground and their defensive line play will make this rough for the Bulls. Florida 48, USF 3.
(2) Georgia vs. UAB – If Georgia is healthy it will fight off the hangover from the Clemson game and win this one a little bit ugly in the second half. JT Daniels will look much better against a defense that is nothing like the wall that the Tigers erected in front of the Bulldogs in Week 1. Georgia 35, UAB 17.
(5) Texas A&M @ Colorado (at Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO) – A&M can’t give the ball up five times all season and expect to win games. They won by 31 regardless against Kent State – largely because of nearly 600 yards of offense – but Colorado is good enough to cause problems if the ball security isn’t there. Also be aware of the elevation issue and how that will factor into keeping this close. Texas A&M 31, Colorado 21.
(1) Alabama vs. Mercer – Mercer put up almost 800 yards of offense last week in a 69-0 win. The problem is that this happened in a game against something called Point University. Alabama is not Point University. This will get ugly fast. Alabama 70, Mercer 7.
Arkansas vs. (15) Texas – This is a sneaky good game between two teams with a lot of history. The Arkansas defense shone even as the offense took way too long to get going against Rice, while Steve Sarkisian had Texas stars like running back Bijan Robinson and quarterback Hudson Card rolling early. I’d love the Hogs to steal this – and it will be loud in Fayetteville – but the Longhorns will come through. Texas 31, Arkansas 20.
Mississippi State vs. North Carolina State – The NC State ground game is a worry here as they rolled for almost 300 yards in a 45-0 win against USF. Mississippi State is coming off of the biggest comeback in school history, but the six turnovers to start the season is a bad, bad sign. NC State 45, Mississippi State 34.
(20) Ole Miss vs. Austin Peay – Matt Corral and the Ole Miss passing attack is way too much for Austin Peay to handle. Dontario Drummond had 177 yards on nine catches last week and he will get right back to it here. Seeing better accuracy – 14 penalties is way too many – will be what head coach Lane Kiffin looks for in a rout. Ole Miss 55, Austin Peay 17.
Kentucky vs. Mizzou – The first conference game is a big one in the middle of the SE East. The Will Levis led downfield passing attack looked great against ULM and other than three turnovers it was a job well done. Mizzou will be balanced and their pass rush was monstrous with nine sacks against CMU, but these Wildcats are on a mission. Kentucky 38, Mizzou 17.
LSU vs. McNeese – Max Johnson threw for over 300 yards and three scores against UCLA and now he gets to pass on a defense that was ripped up in a 42-36 loss at the hands of West Florida. The running game needs to bed in some, but this will be a rout. LSU 61, McNeese 17.
Vandy @ Colorado State – Both these teams lost to FCS schools last week. Colorado State was -2 in turnovers and the three Vandy turnovers killed any chance the ‘Dores had. Clark Lea will drop to 0-2 as his rebuild gets off to a slow start. Colorado State 34, Vanderbilt 20.