Game of the Week: #1 LSU at #17 Kentucky
LSU comes into this game with a near loss in Death Valley to the Florida Gators on Saturday. Now, they must leave their friendly confines in Baton Rouge to travel to unfamiliar territory known as the "Bluegrass" state. Kentucky lost to USC in a big game in which star quarterback Andre Woodson was a letdown as he didn't impress as much as people thought he may. Well, that game he was going up against the best pass defense in the Nation on the road. This game, he will be going up against a pass defense which is not quite as good, at home. Overall, Kentucky is as good, if not better than the Florida Gators on offense, a team that put up a very good fight against the Tigers on the road. Now, Kentucky gets the chance to host the Tigers, who will be playing their first major road game this season. The key for the Tigers will be to stop Woodson. The Gamecocks did so, and they won the game. If the Tigers can do this, as well as maintain their strong rushing defense, they should win this game. Key for the Cats will be to move the ball on offense. Woodson needs to have a strong showing if the Cats want to win. If Kentucky can move the ball better than they did against South Carolina, they can win this game. I expect LSU to win this game, but Kentucky will play them very close, and have a great shot at the upset.
Alabama at Mississippi
Ole Miss won their first game since opening week this weekend with a convincing win over Louisiana Tech, while Alabama comes into this game with a near loss to Houston. This game can go either way. If John Parker Wilson can limit his mistakes, and the Tide have a good game on the ground, then Alabama should win this game. But, Ole Miss' offensive combination of BJGE and Seth Adams will give the Rebels a shot to win. The Rebels' offense will need to score a lot of points if they want to win, because their defense will have a hard time stopping any kind of attack the Tide put on them. I think Alabama will put up a lot of production on this soft Ole Miss offense, and will hold off the Rebels' offense enough to win this game.
#25 Tennessee at Mississippi State
The Vols come into this game after an outstanding performance against the Georgia Bulldogs with a seeminly rejuvinated defense, and a new breath of life in the SEC East race. But, it's time to prepare, because Tennessee faces another tough challenge as they travel to face Mississippi State, a team with upset on their mind. Ainge isn't facing an easy pass defense, so he'll need to play smart and limit his mistakes. The Vols best bet to winning this game will be to keep swarming to the ball and making good tackles like they did against Georgia, or Dixon will have a big game, which could mean possible upset. The key for Mississippi State will be to play good defense. Good defense is how they beat Auburn, by forcing turnovers. If they do that this game, and turn those turnovers to points, they can upset the Vols.Tennessee should win this game, but they can't be overly confident, as this is a very dangerous Mississippi State team. The Vols needs to keep building on their win against Georgia.
#7 South Carolina at North Carolina
South Carolina faces a dangerous North Carolina team on the road this week. If the Gamecocks can limit their turnovers, they should win this game. USC is coming off of a big win against the Cats to take the lead of the SEC East. If they're too hung over, it could be a long day for this team. If the Tar Heels can force some turnovers and swing some momentum their way at home, they have the potential to pull out an upset.I like the Gamecocks to come out of North Carolina by a couple of scores.
#24 Georgia at Vanderbilt
The Bulldogs come into this game with a bang after their loss in Knoxville. Thomas Brown is out, but Lumpkins should be back in, and will be teamed with Moreno to make a dangerous running back duo. Vandy's defense seemed to buckle down to Auburn's running game last week, so Georgia should try to attack their front 7. Stafford also needs to have some consistency to balance out the offense. If Vandy can stop the run like the Vols did, they can win this game.I think Vandy will stay in this game in the first half, with Georgia pulling away behind their running game in the last half.
#22 Auburn at Arkansas
Arkansas comes into this game with the best rushing offense in the SEC. Passed that though, they haven't had much production, while Auburn has had success stopping the run, where they rank 3rd in the conference. This is the best rushing defense the Hogs have played thus far. Auburn also seems to have a rejuvinated rushing attack with the return of Lester. The key for Auburn will be to slow down the Razorback rushing attack. The running game is what keeps Arkansas is close games, so slowing that down will give Auburn the best shot to win. Arkansas needs to work to pressure Cox. Cox has proven at times he can buckle under pressure, but has shown consistency the last few weeks. I think Auburn wins this game by a score or two, scoring in the mid twenties.