SEC football: Bold predictions for Week 11
As SEC Week 11 approaches, the weather may be getting cold, but we’re still going bold at SDS. Only two of this week’s games have point spreads 0f less than 13 points, but we’ll take our best shots at pointing out some likely surprises of the week to come.
Florida’s bad break turns out to be a good break
Kyle Trask was looking to win Florida’s starting QB job before he suffered a season-ending injury. But Florida needs direction more than controversy at quarterback, and while Feleipe Franks hasn’t been sharp, he’ll at least know he’s the man again. South Carolina has allowed 222.6 passing yards per game, and UT scored relatively easily on them. A good defensive team could handle the Franks-led Gators, but in this one, we’ve got UF having a big second half to win by two scores.
An under-the-radar POTW candidate? Try Rountree
Given Mizzou’s win last week in the Swamp, few will pick Vandy to upset the Tigers. We won’t, either. Missouri defends the run too well to allow Vandy to diversify and give Kyle Shurmur enough support to pull this one off. Instead, watch the Tigers’ ground game. Missouri can jump out early and will want to control the clock, so we’ll take Larry Rountree to have a nice 150-yard game on the ground as Mizzou rolls.
A low scorer in College Station?
The over/under on Mississippi at A&M is around 66½. We’ll take the under. Sure, the Rebels have put up yards and points in bunches … and A&M’s offense is capable of explosion, particularly against the porous Rebels defense. But Jimbo Fisher’s teams are increasingly grinding these games out, and after failing to do so against Auburn, A&M will drain the clock as well as Ole Miss’s hopes. This feels like a 28-21 kind of game, with the Aggies winning.
And a shootout in Knoxville?
Okay, so shootout is a strong word. But just as everybody seems to assume Ole Miss-A&M is a 49-42 kind of game, the logic assumes that UK-UT will be a 17-14 kind of game. The over/under is around 42, and we’d go for the over. Tennessee’s offense has been steadily improving, and Kentucky will want to get its athletes (Benny Snell, Lynn Bowden) into some big plays. We’re not seeing anything crazy, but a 31-21 UK win sounds reasonable.
Alabama doesn’t cover
Why? They’ll be a little deflated from LSU and historically have struggled a bit with the Bulldogs, and Joe Moorhead’s guys are hitting their stride now. Don’t get crazy about this, I’m not saying they’re losing. I’m saying they’re up only 17-10 at halftime and end up with a solid 20-point win that would make most coaches happy. Nick Saban will be furious.
Just In Case
We don’t see Auburn pulling off an upset on Georgia … but we do see the Bulldogs going to the backup QB a bit more. Jake Fromm has had some minor leg issues this week, and with the battle with Alabama officially looming, look for Kirby Smart to try to get Justin Fields more snaps, which will only further enhance Georgia’s robust running game. UGA by 24, and Fields plays more than he has all season.
Ugly early for LSU
The Tigers are beaten up, physically and emotionally. Meanwhile, Arkansas has managed to look like an actual SEC team at times. Imagine the shock waves when the Razorbacks hold a halftime lead in this game. Now forget all that because LSU will still win the game relatively easily, but they’re going to have a rough start off an even rougher week.