A bold prediction for every SEC game in Week 2
SEC Week 1, by and large, was football by the numbers. Auburn and Tennessee both won as relatively close favorites. Most of the big boys did fine — granted, Texas A&M struggled and Georgia played much worse than the score. But with the exception of Mississippi State’s upset, there weren’t many surprises in Week 1. How could Week 2 be different? Glad you asked — here’s a bold prediction for each SEC Week 2 game.
Late turnover gives Auburn the upset
After picking Auburn to get upset last week, we’ll flip the script. The Tigers weren’t flashy against Kentucky (with the exception of some gorgeous grabs by Seth Williams), but they were efficient, winning the turnover battle and protecting Bo Nix well. Georgia, particularly now that JT Daniels will presumably jump-start its malaise-ridden offense, should be flashy. But in a game of two top-10 teams in Week 2, it could well be that the one that doesn’t make the big mistake wins — which means Auburn cashes in on a Daniels mistake late for the upset.
Kadarius Toney shows out
After the impressive Week 1 performance from Florida, particularly the downfield passing to Kyle Pitts, look for the Gators to use Week 2 to diversify the offense a bit. Senior receiver Kadarius Toney is a nice complement to Pitts. He had a solid Week 1 (5 catches for 59 yards and 2 rushes for 55 more), and with Kyle Trask looking to add to the arsenal, don’t be surprised if Toney catches a couple of scores and rushes for another one — with about 150 total yards between the two, as the Gators roll by 20+.
Kentucky sharp out of the Gate(wood)
Guess here is that Kentucky will give some snaps to newly eligible QB Joey Gatewood. Given Ole Miss’ struggles in covering the pass, that might be the difference in a 10-point UK win. Says here that Matt Corral will again have a 300-yard passing day, but turnovers will be a key in this one.
Rushing duel in Knoxville
SEC Week 1 had only 1 100-yard rusher (Isaiah Spiller from A&M), but this game might have two. We like both Larry Rountree from Mizzou and Ty Chandler from UT to break the 100-yard rushing mark. Jarrett Guarantano can get more done through the air, and that allows the Vols to open up a close game late and pick up a 2-touchdown win.
40+ for Bama, as Mac Jones shines
Texas A&M at least played well defensively in Week 1 against Vandy, but given what Alabama’s offense showed in the first half of its game with Mizzou, don’t look for a repeat of that performance. The A&M offense was very pedestrian, and given the weapons available to Alabama on offense, frankly, A&M needs not only to score but to keep Bama off the field. Look for the Tide to grab a 3-score plus lead at intermission and to keep the gas pedal down a bit more than last week. Mac Jones gets to 300 passing yards this week and Bama wins a 45-10 kind of game.
LSU’s defense outscores Vandy
OK, so last week, we went with Alabama’s defense outscoring Mizzou’s offense. That didn’t happen, in part because Alabama called the dogs off. But were we chastened? Did we learn? Nope. Going to say that LSU pulls it off Saturday against Vandy. The Tigers had a defensive score last week against Mississippi State, and that was before Derek Stingley was healthy enough to play. Vandy’s defense might keep them in this one for a quarter or so, but Myles Brennan has to get LSU rolling sooner or later … doesn’t he? Says here that he does, with a big assist from the defense, which will see the end zone more than Vandy will.
Mississippi State struggles
Would it be crazier if Mississippi State had a harder time with Arkansas than it did with LSU? Well, we prefer bold … and for at least a while Saturday, don’t be surprised if it happens. Barry Odom’s influence on the Arkansas defense was evident until they wore down late against Georgia. Meanwhile, State has spent the week hearing about how great they are. State will beat Arkansas, but don’t be surprised if there’s another ugly first half to a game involving the Razorbacks, before State puts it away late.