SEC Football: Predicting Every Game of Week 5
It was a wild weekend in the SEC. Labeled by some as "Put Up or Shut Up" weekend, top-ranked Alabama survived a stiff test at Arkansas, Auburn earned a top-ten ranking by stopping South Carolina's gravy train, and Florida found an offensive weapon against upset-minded Kentucky.
Last week, I went 5-2, missing on Alabama and Ole Miss. Do I dare have the nerve to pick against Alabama for the second consecutive week? Is LSU on upset alert?
Here are my predictions...
Alcorn State Braves (3-0) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-2)
This game will be over from the moment this happens.....
Would you look at that...Alcorn State is undefeated, winning its first three games by a combined score of 118-57. However, this was against the likes of Langston, Mississippi Valley State, and Alabama State.
Mississippi State is riding high after that 24-12 thrashing of Georgia that wasn't even as close as the score.
True, Ole Miss lost to Jacksonville State, so it isn't crazy to think an SEC team from Mississippi is bullet-proof in these games. But...MSU and Ole Miss aren't on the same planet so far this season.
Dawgs win BIG in Starkvegas.
Mississippi State 59, Alcorn State 10
SWING GAME OF THE WEEK: Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2) at UConn Huskies (2-2)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Vanderbilt picked up an emotional win over Ole Miss two weeks ago in Oxford to pick up their first win under Robbie Caldwell.
UConn has been a huge disappointment so far this season. They opened the season with a 30-10 loss to Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines. After a win against some FCS team from Texas, they were shocked by Al Golden's Temple Owls. Last week, they beat Buffalo 45-21 to advance to 2-2.
Vandy had a bye week last week, but I don't think it'll be too big of a difference. Vandy has to travel all the way to Connecticut to play this game. I don't see the Dores pulling this one out.
UConn 24, Vanderbilt 16
UL-Monroe Warhawks (1-2) at No. 10 Auburn Tigers (4-0)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
This one shouldn't be very pretty.
Auburn is riding high right now, ranked No. 10 after rushing for 334 yards against formerly No. 12 South Carolina and winning 35-27 to advance to 4-0. The defense has been much improved and is stout against the run, and speaking of run, Cam Newton is running wild.
UL-Monroe (who lost to Arkansas State by 14, who lost to Arkansas by 26) got their first win of the season against Southeast Louisiana, 21-20, because of a missed PAT by the Lions.
Cam only plays one half in this game. It's not even close.
Auburn 63, UL-Monroe 14
Kentucky Wildcats (3-1) at Ole Miss Rebels (2-2)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Despite giving up 390 passing yards to Fresno State, Ole Miss' offense didn't have much trouble themselves, beating the Bulldogs 55-38 for their first win at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this season.
Too bad this is Kentucky instead of Fresno State.
UK was beaten soundly by the Gators last week, 48-14. But that is their only loss to this point.
The Rebels, as we all know, lost to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt.
Look, the Rebels can score points. They even did that against Jax State. The problem for them is defense. Especially the secondary. Kentucky has a pretty strong defense themselves (except for being exposed against Florida).
I believe the offensive threats for Kentucky such as Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb will just be too much for the Rebs.
Kentucky 38, Ole Miss 20
Georgia Bulldogs (1-3) at Colorado Buffaloes (2-1)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Before the season, if I asked you if Georgia or Colorado would have more wins after three weeks, if you had a brain, you would have said UGA.
That is not the case.
Colorado got stepped on by Cal, 52-7, but they are 2-1 with wins over Hawaii (by MORE points than Southern Cal) and Colorado State.
Georgia...we all know.
Saturday night was a new low for UGA. It seems that ever since they were down 31-0 at halftime to Alabama in that big game in 2008, they've been downhill since that 30 minutes.
They've only gotten worse and worse, and now they're probably the worst team in the SEC.
They'll play like it for a half Saturday night in Boulder, but they finally get a win...by coming back from a 20-point third-quarter deficit.
Georgia 24, Colorado 23
Tennessee Volunteers (2-2) at No. 12 LSU Tigers (4-0)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Tennessee may not have wanted two OTs to beat a UAB team that couldn't make a FG if life and death was in the balance.
But it was a win, and by now, UT fans will appreciate that.
Besides, if there's any fan base you want to ask about winning games closer than it should ever be, that would be the fan base of the Louisiana State Tigers. LSU almost blew a 30-10 lead against North Carolina and it came down to the final second.
Then they led Vanderbilt just 10-3 after three quarters against Vandy before scoring 17 in the fourth. Then they played dominant defense against Mississippi State, yet out of all six scores they had, only one was a TD. Then they almost blew a 17-0 lead against West Virginia and won 20-14. LSU has been anything but impressive.
UPSET ALERT: LSU might be in Death Valley and have more talent, but the coaching edge in this game is definitely favoring Tennessee. However, I just don't see them pulling out the W. Tennessee plays to a 7-7 tie going into halftime before LSU finally finds an offense rather than having Patrick Peterson account for almost everything.
LSU 23, Tennessee 7
SEC GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 7 Florida (4-0) at No. 1 Alabama (4-0)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Ah, the big one. The Gators travel to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide who have won 28 consecutive regular season games and the past 18 games overall.
Florida looks to avenge the thrashing Bama put on them last year, when No. 2 Alabama walloped No. 1 Florida like nobody thought was possible, 32-13.
UF doesn't have Tebow anymore, and outside of the Kentucky game last week, it's been obvious that's been bad news for Florida's offense.
Bama, who won last week at Arkansas, plays host, looking to win yet again at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Florida's defense has been one of the best in the nation, but their offense might not take off on the road struggling like they are (outside of Trey Burton).
This is no Kentucky. This is Alabama. I expect a low-scoring game because of these factors.
Game Prediction: Under the lights at Bryant-Denny Stadium, this game will be a dandy.
In the first quarter, Alabama and Florida trade field goals for a 3-3 tie. In the second, after another FG for Alabama, the Tide's offense gets the ball, and ten plays later, Mark Ingram is in the end zone, giving Alabama a 13-3 lead over Florida.
Bama gets the ball right before halftime, and they nail another FG as time expires to take a 16-3 lead over Florida into the locker room.
In the second half, Bama's offense moves again, but once again is limited to a field goal. Alabama now leads 19-3 in the third quarter.
Here comes Florida.They sustain a drive, and before the quarter's over, John Brantley finds Trey Burton in the end zone for a Florida touchdown. They go for two and get it, cutting Alabama's lead to just eight, 19-11. But in the fourth, Bama moves the ball, chews clock, and tacks on another FG to make their lead 11, 22-11.
Florida comes back down the field, but John Brantley is picked off by Mark Barron in the end zone. I'm not picking against the Tide two weeks in a row. Alabama wins!
Alabama 22, Florida 11