A bold prediction for each Week 9 SEC game
With over a third of the SEC back from bye weeks, it’s time to go bold again. We’ve got historical rivalries, a showdown that impacts the pecking order in the West, and we’ve got Mizzou about to blow out another awful team. We’ll take you through all of the games, one bold prediction at a time.
Florida upsets Georgia (in point spread)
No, we’re not insane enough to pick the Gators to actually pull the upset. Georgia’s defense is almost as good as Alabama’s, and meanwhile, Florida’s offense is essentially a couple of big linemen added to a decent high school attack. Florida and Tennessee are last in the SEC with 15 total offensive touchdowns.
But here’s the thing. The Georgia-Florida rivalry (likely winner gets its name first) does odd things to teams. Florida has had a week off, and a coach who might be making up death threats. The Gators will bring a good game at Georgia. Kirby Smart might actually be pleased with a close win, because there won’t be too many close games left on the schedule.
The Bulldogs win, but the Gators cover the two-touchdown spread.
Hall leads Mizzou to 50
Need an under-the-radar SEC offensive star? How about Missouri’s Emanuel Hall? He’s third in the SEC in receiving yards per game, but you probably never heard of him. Hall uses his size (6’3”) and the excellence of J’Mon Moore across the formation to sneak behind defenses for big plays.
Says here he leads the SEC in receiving Saturday with a couple big-play bombs, and Mizzou drops 50 on UConn.
Aggies win as a home dog
Somehow, Texas A&M has become the SEC’s Rodney Dangerfield. The Aggies are actually a home underdog to a Mississippi State team that lost to Auburn and Georgia by 67 combined points.
State lacks big-play ability in the passing game but grinds out yardage with power running and a line that doesn’t give up sacks (three all year). The problem is that the SEC’s top team in dropping opposing QBs is … A&M, with 28 sacks so far.
John Chavis’s defense will get the drop on Dan Mullen’s offense, and the Aggies win a 27-14 kind of game.
Jordan Ta’amu lights up Arkansas
Sure, the Shea Patterson show is finished for 2017. But Ole Miss might not be.
So what is the key to this game? Jordan Ta’amu will be able to scramble, throw, or make himself a tasty sandwich in the pocket. Arkansas is last in the SEC in sacks with 10. The Hogs also happen to be last in sacks allowed, having given up 24. The faulty Razorbacks’ defense will give Ta’amu enough time to beat them, and he’ll do it.
Ole Miss wins by 10, with Ta’amu throwing for 200 yards and rushing for 75 more.
UK shows glimmer of 2016 ground game
One of the odder developments in the SEC this season is that the Kentucky rushing attack, which was third in the SEC in 2016, has been MIA for much of the season. They Wildcats are 10th in the SEC this season, and are averaging 3.7 yards per carry.
Enter Tennessee to help things out. The Vols allow 247 yards per game on the ground and 5.1 yards per carry. Tennessee has allowed 16 rushing touchdowns this year. The Wildcats have only scored nine. They’ll add a couple more to that total, and deliver a two-score win over Tennessee, which in any other year would be an insane upset.
Vandy springs an upset
How on Earth? Either the Vandy from the first three games was a fluke or the one from the last four games was a fluke. Meanwhile, Carolina is somehow 5-2 despite being outgained by almost 40 yards per game.
The key here is that while Kyle Shurmur isn’t a dazzling passer, he avoids big mistakes. On the season, Shurmur has 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions. Neither offense is explosive, but Vandy won’t beat itself, and delivers the upset of the week via the passing game.