Bold predictions for Week 13 SEC games
One more time, we’re going bold. And we’re not giving up. Just because so many of our longshot predictions came up short, we’re going all in one more time. Here’s a bold prediction for each SEC Week 13 game (with the exception of the Egg Bowl, which is over by the time you read this column, sorry!).
Big day for KJ
Missouri did a great job getting to 6 wins after a rough start, but this game isn’t a good matchup for the Tigers. Meanwhile, KJ Jefferson has quietly been one of the most efficient QBs in the SEC, with 20 touchdowns against just 3 interceptions. Missouri’s run defense struggles are known, but the Tigers are also giving up just under 250 yards passing. We’ll take Jefferson for 350 passing yards and the Hogs to pick up a 42-21 win.
The return of JT
What could make Georgia even more formidable? How about some more work for JT Daniels? There’s nothing wrong with the work that Stetson Bennett has done leading the Georgia attack, but Daniels gives the Bulldogs another offensive level. Just because they haven’t needed that level yet doesn’t mean that they won’t. Watch for Daniels to throw for 150-200 yards off the bench as Georgia rolls … and watch for Daniels to pop up again in the next 3 games.
Gators get chopped at The Swamp
A 5-6 Florida State team against a 5-6 Florida team is almost unspeakably weird. Frankly, neither of these teams is worth watching right now, but the Seminoles would have more to gain from a 13th game, so we’ll take FSU in the road upset with a 27-21 kind of win. The only people happier than the ‘Noles might be the Gators fans who don’t have to watch them again until they’ve got a new coach in 2022.
Auburn scares Bama early
As Auburn showed a couple of weeks ago against Mississippi State, when it’s on a roll, it can stack up points in a hurry. Of course, Auburn also showed that the opposite is also true. But the guess here is that an Alabama team that has played a pair of 1-score games in its last 3 matchups will find another early struggle. The guess here is that Auburn leads at halftime before Alabama pulls away in the 2nd half but doesn’t cover the point spread.
50 for UT
Is this even a surprise? Tennessee is firing on all cylinders, and Vanderbilt … well, it has played better the last few weeks. But Josh Heupel’s series of statements is certain to include retaking the Volunteer State, and when the Vols offense puts up 50 on the Commodores, it will have less to do with picking up a higher-echelon bowl game than with reclaiming a non-rivalry that UT’s struggles had turned into a rivalry.
Kentucky’s Rodney Dangerfield win
Kentucky is 8-3 and playing at its 6-5 in-state rival that it hammered for the last 2 years … and is a field goal underdog. Granted, Louisville’s Malik Cunningham can cause UK some trouble in the air and on the ground. But it’s not like Louisville’s been tearing up the ACC, either. Kentucky’s developing bundle of offensive weapons (and a healthy chip on the Wildcats’ shoulders) will have enough mojo to hold off Louisville, 31-24, for UK’s 9th win of the year.
A drive to remember for A&M
LSU could have folded like a cheap taco when the Ed Orgeron announcement went down, but it has continued to battle. The guess here is that the Tigers bring the same spirit to their matchup with A&M, which has had its own offensive issues. In fact, we’ll take the Tigers to hold a lead well into the 4th quarter, but Zach Calzada runs a 2-minute drive to remember as the Aggies win in the final seconds.
A few weeks back, this game looked like a possible upset for South Carolina. But a couple of things changed. For one, the Gamecocks don’t need this one for bowl eligibility, which was a key motivator that is no longer in play thanks to their win over Auburn. Also, Clemson appears to have discovered offense again. Back when a hungry 5-6 Carolina team was playing an offensively challenged Tigers squad, the upset looked great. At this point, this feels more like a 35-21 Clemson win that won’t actually be as close as the score.