Published October 11, 2012 - 9:15am
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Coming off of Separation Saturday, several teams are trying to bounce back and others are trying to further display their dominance. Here’s the week 7 schedule with all game times and viewing channels.
Here are the storylines for the SEC in week 7:
A clash of two top ten teams and nasty defensive lines on the Bayou: #3 South Carolina meets #9 LSU in Baton Rouge for what should be a fantastic showdown that has both conference and national implications. The one thing both teams are known for is their stout, physical and fast defensive linemen who will be playing on Sundays for years to come. Both teams boast nasty bookends. South Carolina leads the SEC in sacks, and Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor will try and hit Zach Mettenberger early and often. On the other side for the Tigers, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo will try to prove they are still the top defensive end duo, although that title is slipping fast if not gone already.
This should line up as a low-scoring, heavy defensive-minded game, just like the SEC is known for. Both quarterbacks, Zach Mettenberger and Connor Shaw, will try and make some plays through the air to keep the defenses honest. It will come down to which team’s offensive line holds up the best going against future NFL stars on the defensive line.
A track meet in Shreveport: Before the season, neither #22 Texas A&M or #23 Louisiana Tech were ranked. This game was initially supposed to be played in week one, but Hurricane Isaac had other plans. Both offenses are hovering around the 50-points-per game mark, with LA Tech over the mark at 52 points per game. The Bulldogs feature a high-octane offensive attack, and a tenacious defense that is +11 in the country in TO margin. On the contrary, TAMU features one of the best raw football players in America in Johnny Football and an underrated defense. But hold on to your hats, because this could turn into a track meet, folks – Big 12 style.
#1 gets back to work: After a week off celebrating their dominance and dominion, Nick Saban and Alabama return on the road in Columbia to take on the Tigers, who are currently licking their wounds coming off a loss to Vanderbilt. Missouri is still searching for their first SEC win, and Bama has other ideas. The Tide are looking to make a statement against the Tigers, who will be without their starting quarterback James Franklin. This is just another game for the Tide, the team who seems to never have a letdown no matter who they play. I expect bigger numbers from the Bama offense this week.
Programs on completely different paths: Ole Miss and Auburn are two totally different programs on opposite paths. The Rebels look new, physical and fun, while the Tigers looked broken down and pitied. Hugh Freeze took a 2-10 roster, outside of Bo Wallace, and turned them into a team that should be bowl eligible by the end of the season. Auburn always has top recruiting classes, but they have nothing even close to an identity on offense. Gene Chizik’s back is against the wall, but in order to find some breathing room, he’ll need to find an offense before Ole Miss. The Rebels’ defense is much improved and a physical bunch. Both are fighting for their first conference win.
Avoiding the trap: Coming off an emotional victory against LSU, Florida will try to avoid looking ahead to an East showdown with South Carolina next week. On paper, Florida-Vanderbilt may not be all that sexy or even a close matchup. But Vanderbilt usually finds a way to play the Gators tough. Florida eked out a 26-21 win last year in Gainesville, and Vandy still has a bitter taste in their mouths. Vanderbilt sees that #4 in front of Florida and wants to make national news for James Franklin’s brand. The Commodores are 11th in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 179 yards per game. They are going to have to step up their game against Mike Gillislee and company, because Florida averages over 214 yards per game on the ground. Florida will try and remain unbeaten on the road.
A march towards a bowl berth: After last week’s win over Auburn, Arkansas inched closer to making a run at six wins and a bowl berth. Can they get there? They should get their third win against Kentucky this week, with Ole Miss and Tulsa the next two weeks. So, if the Hogs can keep it rolling this week against the Wildcats, it puts them in a great position to make a serious run at a bowl game. SMILE!
Trying to stay perfect: The sleeper game of the weekend features two teams heading in different directions. However, if you were to swap the schedules for both teams, MSU could be 3-2 and Tennessee could be 5-0. So, we’ll know more about the Bulldogs after this game against Tennessee. This is the first real team the Bulldogs have faced thus far. Tennessee, on the other hand, has to minimize turnovers against an MSU defense that’s +11 in TO margin. Mississippi State will try and stay perfect for yet another week.
Jobs security: All three coaches on the SEC’s hot seat list – Derek Dooley, Gene Chizik and Joker Phillips – have pivotal games this weekend. This is Derek Dooley’s most important game as the Vols’ coach, and this is his best shot to get a win in the next three games. Chizik is playing the improving Rebels in Oxford, and he will have to win one of the next two against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. If he loses both, watch out. And Joker Phillips has to find some good luck sometime, right? The Wildcats just want to be competitive, and they are nothing of the sort. All three are must-win situations. The heat is on.