Plenty of teams on a bye this week – including the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs – but there are still a couple of interesting looking tilts on the schedule for Week 8.
By Steve Wright
Week Results: 5-2. Auburn beating Arkansas was a legit surprise – the Hogs need to burst out of this mini slump – and the LSU/Florida clash was just pure madness.
Closest Pick: I was actually in the ballpark in all four of five correct picks this week with the only miss being the Ole Miss/Tennessee game being a touch more defensive than imagined. My closest pick, however, was a five point miss as Georgia beat Kentucky 30-14 (I had it at 31-17).
Season Results: 56-15 (78.9%). Last week was 79.7%.
Arkansas Pine Bluff @ Arkansas – Arkansas needs this. The Hogs need to find a pass rush – no sacks in three games won’t cut it – while the offense just needs to keep on keeping on after rolling for almost 1200 yards over the last two weeks. This will be the game the Hogs need it to be. Arkansas 48, Arkansas Pine Bluff 13.
LSU @ (12) Ole Miss – How up for this one is an LSU team with a whole lot of stuff going on within the program? The running game was an absolute monster against Florida and feeding Tyrion Davis-Price early and often against an Ole Miss defense that has been gouged for over 1,500 yards in the last three games seems like the way to go. The LSU defense relied on the big play against the Gators – there were four turnovers – but Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral doesn’t make those mistakes and he has only thrown one pick on the season. Expect another shootout that the Rebels sneak out the right side of. Ole Miss 38, LSU 34.
Mississippi State @ Vanderbilt – If you stop the mid-range passing game you stop a Bulldogs team that has no downfield attack and that is last in the nation in rushing at 47 yards per game. Vanderbilt will stay in this one with an opportunistic defense that has eight takeaways over its last three games, but it won’t quite be enough to make up for an offense that isn’t getting it done. Mississippi State 27, Vanderbilt 21.
Tennessee @ (4) Alabama – Tennessee has the offensive tools to at least stay close to Alabama assuming that quarterback Hendon Hooker can play at anything close to 100%. If not it will be Joe Milton under center, something that could be either good or a disaster depending on which version of Milton shows up. ‘Bama has cranked out nearly 550 yards of offense as an average over its last four and Tennessee doesn’t have the defensive pieces to slow that train down. Alabama 48, Tennessee 21.
South Carolina @ (17) Texas A&M – Texas A&M has pretty much held everyone to their lowest points total of the season in 2021. South Carolina will be throwing Zeb Noland out again at quarterback in place of the clearly injured Luke Doty, but it won’t matter who is under center as the Aggies blast for 225+ rushing yards and control this one from the off. Texas A&M 31, South Carolina 10.