1 bold prediction for every SEC team in Week 4: Sorry, Vols ...
Just as the SEC is rounding into form, so is the Old Prognosticator. I hate to play the “I told you so” card, but I made good on a few last week (Mark Thompson leading Florida in rushing, Tennessee was flat, Boom Williams had 180 rushing yards, the Aggies rolled, and LSU won ugly).
Sure, I missed a few. UGA didn’t impress (but did win), Arkansas did (Coach Rigg must have not been in attendance for Texas State), and East Carolina didn’t upset USC. But that’s all out the window now. Let’s get bold, Week 4 style.
Florida? Or Tennessee? Give me UNDER! (And Florida): Again, I don’t advise gambling, but if I did, the under of 43.5 for this game would look sterling. Neither offense has shown a ton of spark, aside from a few Josh Dobbs scrambles and the isolated big play pass.
Florida is on its backup QB. This is a 16-14 kind of game. And Florida wins it. On the road. With a backup QB. Last year showed, this streak isn’t about talent on the field. It’s about the Gators beating the Vols between the ears. They’ll find a way to do it again, maybe with a late Eddy Piniero field goal?
Forgive me if I don’t get on the Ole Miss bandwagon. Georgia wins: I have said that Ole Miss might be the best 1-2 team in the country. But how they got to 1-2 has to be discouraging. Good football teams don’t hemorrhage 20-some point leads twice in three weeks. And UGA has been underwhelming, but I have a funny feeling that this is the week that Jacob Eason and Nick Chubb get on the same page, and it all starts clicking.
The winner of A&M and Arkansas will finish second in the SEC West: How’s that for a bombshell? I don’t believe in Ole Miss, I don’t believe in LSU. A&M and Arkansas are balanced teams with surprisingly efficient defenses. I’ll take the Aggies, but I think it’s close enough that they don’t cover. I’d buy stock in both of these teams.
Damien Harris leads SEC in rushing, Bo Scarbrough has 3 TDs: There’s no surprise in predicting ‘Bama to win, or to crush an absolutely awful Kent State team. So I had to get creative. Harris is the next great Alabama back, and Scarbrough is the next great Alabama short-yardage back. With Kent State and Kentucky in the next two weeks, the Tide will work on the run game. Big days for both backs are inevitable, but I’m calling for super-big days: 150-plus yards for Harris, three scores for Bo.
Auburn will win the total yardage battle … but lose the game: This LSU offense is frighteningly mediocre. Watching Leonard Fournette play is physically painful. Auburn has at least a shell of a passing game, and it’ll move the ball better than LSU, but the Tigers’ defense and special teams will pull out enough plays to win the game.
Damian Williams grabs the Mississippi State QB job: It’s really not in Dan Mullen’s DNA to switch QBs all the time. A few weeks back, Nick Fitzgerald was looking pretty solid. Now, not so much. Guessing Williams stakes his claim to the job — if not here, then after the off week which follows this game.
J’Mon Moore (who will be all-SEC) leads the SEC in receiving yards, as Mizzou rolls: I admit, I was wrong to doubt Drew Lock’s passing bona fides. Maybe Josh Heupel really is a QB whisperer. Delaware State isn’t imposing, and Mizzou will have its way. J’Mon Moore is the best receiver who isn’t getting any publicity, but he’ll have another huge game, and maybe go over 500 receiving yards for the year — in Week 4!
Kentucky sneaks past South Carolina, somehow: The South Carolina offense and the Kentucky defense is a battle of an immovable object meeting an irresistible force. But with mobile QB Stephen Johnson at the helm, the Wildcats will find just enough offense to grind this one out. In regard to the somehow, my latest theory is Mark Stoops bringing in graduate transfer Lattimer of The Program fame. At least then somebody would be excited about starting on defense for Kentucky.
Western Kentucky will throw all over Vandy, win by two scores: Vandy’s battle with the triple option went badly, and so did making its schedule. Nothing like going from a grind-it-out ground team that somehow put up over 200 yards passing on them to facing off with Western Kentucky and former South Florida QB Mike White, who has passed for 920 yards in three weeks. Western will win and won’t have that hard of a time pulling it off.