A bold prediction for each SEC game in Week 7
Sure, 6 SEC teams are off this week. But that doesn’t mean that here in the Bold Predictions department, we don’t make hay when the sun shines, so to speak. We have 2 of the best teams matching up, probably the 2 worst, and a couple of odd-couple games that are intriguing. And here’s a bold prediction for each game.
Trask and the Gators do it on offense
Face it, the Cocktail Party is fascinating. The razor-sharp Gators passing game taking on the fast and furious Bulldogs defense. Or maybe the story is the incredibly hot and cold Bulldogs offense taking on the underachieving Gators defense.
Georgia is favored by roughly a field goal, but as the Bulldogs have struggled to play 4 consistent quarters all season (Auburn game aside), Florida seems like the better pick.
The key will be whether the Gators can keep QB Kyle Trask upright. The countering trends here are that Georgia leads the SEC in sacks (17), but Florida is 2nd-best in allowing the fewest sacks (4). The guess here is that Trask stays upright fairly often, and if that holds true, look for him to pass for 300 yards and the Gators to win by 10.
Will Rogers won’t meet a Commodore he doesn’t like
Mississippi State and Vandy is a game so ugly that only a mother could love it. The 2 worst teams in the league, the 2 worst in scoring, and 2 of the worst rushing teams in memory (they combine to rush for fewer yards per game than South Carolina, which is 7th in the SEC in rushing) will face off in Starkville.
How this game didn’t get moved back in time and become the noon Jefferson-Pilot game, I don’t know. With KJ Costello uncertain, backup QB Will Rogers will get the call. The good news for an interception-prone State team (12 picks this year) is that Vandy is horrible at defending the pass (1 interception this year). Rogers should be good for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns in an ugly 28-7 kind of Bulldogs win.
A&M wins battle of 100-yard backs
It’s easy for this to get lost in the shuffle, but the Texas A&M/South Carolina game features the SEC’s No. 2 (Kevin Harris) and No. 4 (Isaiah Spiller) rushers. Both guys are proving themselves to be NFL caliber players, and while both defenses are pretty good, this looks like a game where both Harris and Spiller can top the 100-yard mark.
The difference in this game is that Kellen Mond is a more efficient change of pace than Collin Hill will be for Carolina, and that should help A&M use the run to draw in the Carolina secondary, and then hit a couple of deep shots over them, which will make the difference in this game. Carolina will fight and cover the spread, but we’ll take A&M in a ground battle by a touchdown, as Spiller rushes for 150 yards.
Arkansas keeps the upset train rolling
It would have seemed unbelievable 2 months ago that we’d be in a spot where Arkansas not only could plausibly beat Tennessee, but that the Hogs were nearly favored to do so. Tennessee is the tiny (-1.5) road favorite, but if you’ve watched both teams play, you’d probably come to a different conclusion.
I think we see some Harrison Bailey in this game, but it probably comes too late. Arkansas leads the SEC in turnovers forced, and the prediction is that they grab a couple here to take an early lead which they hold for a late win, despite Bailey’s best efforts.