A bold prediction for each SEC game in Week 8
Week 8 will be a week to catch our breath here in the bold predictions department. With five teams on their off week, we don’t have as much boldness to crank out as we usually do. But we’ll make up for it by going even bigger on this week’s bold predictions. Itching to see something wild? So are we — and here’s a bold guess at some of the surprises we’ll see Saturday:
Alabama gets historical
The biggest point differential in the Alabama-Tennessee series? 51 points, in Bama’s 51-0 win over UT in 1906. That changes this weekend. This is the UT team that lost to Georgia by 41 … in Knoxville. Jarrett Guarantano will turn the ball over three times, and before the blood-letting is finished, the final is Alabama 52, UT 0. Not bold enough? How about this — Bama has three 100-yard rushers. (We’ll go with Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Jalen Hurts.)
LSU handles Ole Miss easily
In the history of inexplicable point spreads, LSU being favored by just a touchdown or so at Ole Miss is one of the stranger ones. Two weeks ago, the Rebels lost by 21 to the Auburn team that LSU just defeated. And the game wasn’t that close. LSU is second in the SEC in pass efficiency defense and second in sacks. Shea Patterson won’t be able to keep the Rebels close. LSU by 24.
Lock goes for 500 … again
If Shea Patterson has a down week, it’s the perfect time for the SEC’s other pass-happy offense to shine. Drew Lock had 500 yards in Week 1 against an FCS opponent and he’ll do it again against the Idaho Vandals. Josh Heupel’s offense puts up monstrous offensive numbers against inferior opponents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much in the SEC.
Kentucky upsets Mississippi State
Much like the LSU comment above, the point spread on this game (UK +12.5) makes very little sense. Sure, Kentucky has been a bit underwhelming. But they’re coming off a bye week. And the key to this game is that UK can slow the State ground game. State averages 5.7 yards per carry and 261.7 yards per game on the ground. The Bulldogs are 13th in the SEC in passing efficiency. Kentucky’s problems defensively are against the pass. Kentucky is third in the SEC in run defense, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry. UK grinds State’s running attack to a slower speed and squeaks out just enough offense to win by three.
Auburn puts the hammer down
Arkansas has some room for optimism this weekend against Auburn. But they shouldn’t. This Auburn team is coming off a painful loss when it led 20-0 over LSU. The message this week from Gus Malzahn will be to not let up. Arkansas is 12th in the SEC in scoring defense, and Auburn will pour it on. We’re seeing 300 yards rushing for Auburn, and a 35-point win.