SEC Picks Week 2: Kiffin, Tennessee Seek Revenge Against UCLA

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SEC Picks Week 2: Kiffin, Tennessee Seek Revenge Against UCLA
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Week one is behind us now. I went 11-1 in the only week that will present a slate of 12 SEC teams all playing non-conference foes.

 

So, here is the Week One Recap:

 

Arkansas won 48-10 over Missouri State, while I predicted a 38-10 victory.

 

Auburn impressed many with a 37-13 thrashing of LA Tech. I had them winning 22-16.

 

I almost nailed the Florida score, 62-3 over Charleston Southern, with my 60-6 prediction.

 

As much as I wanted to see the Dawgs win, I knew that it would be a tough feat for UGA to pull this one off. Oklahoma State won 24-10, while I had the Cowboys 31-20.

 

Kentucky had no problem with Miami of Ohio, running away with a score of 42-0. I had them winning 35-17.

 

I thought LSU would show more muscle against Washington, but the Huskies were tough. My projected score was 37-14, but the actual score was 31-23.

 

Ole Miss is still a question for many, already accomplished by some Rebel fans. Winning 45-14 over Memphis looks better than my anticipated 35-13 score.

 

Mississippi State won by the final of 45-7 over Jackson State. I had them winning 27-10.

 

The South Carolina prediction was my lone loss for the week. I thought NC State could handle them 21-17, but Spurrier and the Gamecocks clambered through an ugly one, winning 7-3.

 

Tennessee blew the doors off Western Kentucky, prevailing by the score of 63-7. I had them winning 48-6.

 

Vanderbilt hosted Western Carolina, beat them 45-0, and I’m sure felt no remorse for that beat down.  I had them winning 30-9.

 

 

 

The Game of the Week

 

Bama was impressive in many ways, unimpressive in three particular spots: Defending the kickoff return, defensive backs coverage, and committing penalties. In spit of this, the Tide defense dominated the Hokie offense, ran through the highly rated Tech defense, and out-gained Beamer’s crew 498 yards to 155.

 

Not too shabby for the first game of the season. They have much to work on if they plan on making a second trip to Atlanta this fall. I predicted a close 23-20 victory for the Tide, but they poured it on in the fourth quarter and won 34-24.

 

Summary: Georgia was the lone SEC team to fall this weekend, and South Carolina was the only team to put a blemish on my week one record. Now, on to…

 

Week Two Picks

 

The following teams have byes this week: Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Kentucky.

 

 

 

Florida International 0-0 (0-0) at No. 4 Alabama 1-0 (0-0)

 

Not much to elaborate here. If the Tide wish to remain in the Top 5, they need to prove they can put away the weaker opponents. This is a good week to work on special teams.

 

Prediction: Bama 48, FIU 6

 

 

Mississippi State 1-0 (0-0) at Auburn 1-0 (0-0)

 

Last year’s game was an odd one, ending 3-2 in favor of the Tigers. I believe more points will be put up by these two improved offenses.

 

Both teams started off the season last week much better than they ended last year’s campaigns. Alas, one must fall this week.

 

Prediction: Auburn 26, MSU 13

 

 

 

Troy 0-1 (0-0) at No. 1 Florida 1-0 (0-0)

 

Though Troy is step up from Charleston Southern, Florida flexes its muscle again this week against a weaker foe.

 

Prediction: Florida 38, Troy 10

 

 

 

South Carolina 1-0 (0-0) at No. 21 Georgia 0-1 (0-0)

 

Georgia’s trip out to Stillwater wasn’t what they hoped it would be, but neither was Carolina’s trip to visit the Wolfpack of NC State.

 

Both offenses struggled, to say the least, in week one. I predict a bit more scoring for both teams in week two.

 

Prediction: UGA 21, South Carolina 10

 

 

Vanderbilt 1-0 (0-0) at No. 11 LSU 1-0 (0-0)

 

The Tigers had their hands full with the Huskies of Washington last Saturday night. Vandy handled Western Carolina with ease. I predict the opposite for both squads this week.

 

Prediction: LSU 30, Vandy 14

 

 

 

Game of the Week: UCLA 1-0 (0-0) at Tennessee 1-0 (0-0)

 

After falling behind 14-10 early last week, the Bruins scored 23 unanswered points to put away San Diego State. Their numbers were not great: three turnovers, 7-of-16 on third down conversions, and a mere 359 total yards against the Aztecs.

 

One area in which UCLA proved they can perform well is special teams.

 

Two field goals by Kai Forbath, from 49 and 50 yards, a 65-yard kickoff return that set-up the first UCLA touchdown, as well as a 70-yard touchdown off a blocked field goal, were some of the highlights that proved UCLA can execute in areas other than just on the offense.

 

Sophomore Rahim Moore picked off three Aztec pass attempts to help seal the deal for the Bruins.

 

However, had that final Aztec field goal attempt sailed through the uprights, the score would have been 26-17. That is a huge difference in the final score of 33-14.

 

Tennessee started off sluggish as well, going into the second quarter tied at 0 with the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. However, the second quarter was a different story as Tennessee quickly scored four touchdowns and never looked back.

 

In spite of three turnovers, including two interceptions by Jonathan Crompton, UT racked up over 650 total yards on offense, including 380 on the ground.

 

A lone touchdown in the third quarter by Western Kentucky was the only blemish on an eventful day for Lane Kiffin’s debut as the Volunteer head coach.

 

Tennessee looks to avenge last year’s overtime loss in Pasadena, and I think they will do just that come Saturday afternoon.

 

Prediction: UT 33, UCLA 20

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