A bold prediction for each Week 7 SEC game
It’s not unusual to have a bad week for the Bold Predictions department. Let’s be honest, we’re intentionally chucking long shots like a QB throwing deep balls on 4th-and-20. The only play in our playbook is the Hail Mary. We don’t expect to connect on them all. But last week? Well, it was ugly even by our standards.
No, Auburn did not crush Florida thanks to a big day from Bo Nix. No, Vandy did not rise to the occasion and beat Ole Miss. Even the one thing we kinda did foresee — that Georgia wouldn’t crush UT — well, UGA covered the point spread late.
But anyway, it’s a new week. We’re still staying bold, and dadgummit, we can’t do worse, which means we’ll do better.
Here is a bold prediction for every SEC game in Week 7.
Statement game for UGA
Yes, Georgia slogged through a bad half in Knoxville … but the Bulldogs will recognize that style points matter, and put together a big game on Saturday against South Carolina.
The resurgence of the Gamecocks’ running game (204 yards per game) has been newsworthy, but Georgia is allowing just under 60 rushing yards per game. When Georgia takes away the run, Ryan Hilinksi will show that for the moment, UGA is a tougher matchup than Bama.
Give us Georgia by 35, with 150 yards and 2 scores for D’Andre Swift.
Upset for UT
The other development of the week is that Tennessee found a quarterback. Brian Maurer will make his 2nd start against Mississippi State, and this looks like a great opportunity to UT.
State is struggling — look at the Auburn game tape again and watch how the Tigers absolutely carved them up. No, UT isn’t Auburn right now … but Maurer brings enough life to the passing game to allow the Vols to pick up a big victory Saturday. It comes down to a late field goal, but the first time in a while, the football gods are smiling on UT.
Tua breaks Alabama’s single-game yards mark
Is it bad form to keep including the same prediction for Alabama? Look, we all know that Tua Tagovailoa could break the Alabama single-game passing yards in any given week. (And he finally was afforded the opportunity to rewrite the single-game TD mark, which he set with 6 against Ole Miss.)
When you take on a Texas A&M defense that was diced by both Arkansas quarterbacks for a combined 297 yards a couple of weeks ago, you just might have the right week.
It feels like A&M can score enough points (21 or 24?) to keep Alabama’s offense churning long enough for Tua to pass for 485 yards. And if we’re wrong, we’ll keep calling for it.
40 for Vandy
What could make Vanderbilt feel better? Well, a win, for one thing. Another is for an offense that was supposed to carry the Commodores to emerge. Vandy has scored just 19.6 points per game, worst in the SEC and No. 117 in the nation.
But UNLV has no defense. They gave up 30 to a punchless Northwestern team, 53 to Wyoming and 38 to Boise, which could have easily scored more. This feels like a get-right game for Vandy and it’ll put up plenty of points. Feels like a 42-10 kind of game.
Ole Miss is dangerous … for a half
The reinvention of Ole Miss as a run-based offense has been one of the feel-good stories of the SEC season. The guess here is that the first half of their game with Mizzou will continue the good feeling. With Cale Garrett gone for the season, the Tigers’ defense will have some initial struggles in facing down Ole Miss’ speedy ground game, led by true freshman QB John Rhys Plumlee.
That said, the Tigers will rally late and grab a comfortable win.
Considering that they’d like to keep Kelly Bryant upright and safe, expect a big game from Larry Rountree — maybe 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Tigers win by 17 after an early scare.
Bowden finds a way for Kentucky
On the surface, Kentucky looks like it should be the underdog against Arkansas. The Razorbacks gave Texas A&M a handful in their last game while Kentucky stumbled through an ugly loss to South Carolina. Kentucky’s QB situation is somewhere beyond uncertain.
But great players make plays and Lynn Bowden will somehow find a way to carry Kentucky in this one.
It might be at quarterback, where Bowden could see significant action. It could be at receiver, assuming UK finds another upright body who can throw a forward pass. It could be in the return game, where Kentucky might be more inclined to gamble than usual.
In any case, it’ll be an ugly game, but Bowden will make a difference-making play late.
Burrow for Heisman campaign gains momentum after big week
Yes, Florida fans, I thought your defense would get bombed into submission last week. And I was wrong. But I’m doubling down. Those LSU offensive stats are unreal, and so is the talent behind them.
It’s not entirely clear how good the LSU defense is, but given Florida’s struggles in the running game (Lamical Perine’s 88-yard run tweaked the final stats, but it’s still not proof that Florida can run on 3rd down against a good defense), the Tigers’ should be good enough.
It all adds up to another week of 400 yards for Burrow, another week of 40 points for LSU and another week of more and more people talking about a Heisman QB in Baton Rouge.