Now that blowout weekend is over in the SEC …

Saturday Down South’s Brad Crawford and Christopher Smith make their weekly picks with a decent sample size on each team heading into college football’s third Saturday.

Season totals

  • Brad (@BCrawfordSDS) — 7-5 (against the spread); 12-0 (straight up)
  • Christopher (@csmithSDS) — 6-6 (ATS); 12-0 (straight up)

Readers can make their Week 3 picks here.

RELATED: SEC power rankings 

We’ll start with the Game of the Week …

No. 5 Georgia (-6.5) at No. 24 South Carolina

Brad: For South Carolina, this is unfamiliar territory. The Gamecocks have been considered one of the hunted as a Top 10 team since winning their only SEC East title during the 2010 season, but the loss to Texas A&M dampened the fanbase and overall buzz a bit. Tackling been the primary issue early and the personnel isn’t as strong either. There is one player talented enough to be the best on the field while he’s out there — healthy — and that’s Mike Davis. An early touchdown from Davis or big play in the passing game would re-ignite a sellout crowd at a venue that has haunted Georgia the last several meetings. A season-definer for the Gamecocks, I think South Carolina plays one of its best games of the season with its back against the wall, but it’s not enough: Bulldogs 31, Gamecocks 24.

Christopher: Georgia blew away Clemson in the fourth quarter and Texas A&M stomped South Carolina in the first half. Granted, the Gamecocks defense has major issues, especially in the secondary. But the context of the home loss to A&M tainted what otherwise was an OK performance against East Carolina last week. CG Technology opened South Carolina as a 4.5-point favorite this summer. Have we seen enough to move that number more than 10 points? The Gamecocks haven’t played as a home underdog since SDS employee Stephen Garcia and company upset Alabama in 2010. Georgia’s defense should be improved, but I’m not ready to crown the Bulldogs as SEC East champs just yet. This matchup should be more of a physical grinder, which helps Steve Spurrier’s crew. I still give Georgia the slight edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gamecocks won. Georgia 31, South Carolina 28.

UCF at No. 20 Missouri (-10)

Brad: This isn’t last year’s UCF, but the Knights are still a legitimate opponent from one of the non-Power 5s. Maty Mauk’s tied for the SEC lead in touchdown and he’ll add three more to his season total in this one. Mizzou covers, wins its third straight and should take another before traveling to Columbia, S.C. in two weeks. Mizzou 35, UCF 24.

Christopher: The Knights went with the wrong quarterback after an offseason competition, but coach George O’Leary realized it by the second half of the Penn State game. Justin Holman is at least capable of getting the ball to the deepest and most talented group of receivers Missouri has faced to this point in the season. Will Stanback produced last season backing up seventh-round NFL pick Storm Johnson, and he’s healthy after missing the opener in Ireland. UCF’s veteran secondary also has the ability to leverage any gunslinger mistakes from Maty Mauk. The Knights aren’t the same team that won the Fiesta Bowl in January, but they’re good enough to be competitive and won’t be at all shy on the road. I’ll take Missouri 31, UCF 27.

Massachusetts at Vanderbilt (-15.5)

Christopher: Expecting Vanderbilt to score double digits is a bit like staring at the sky and hoping $100 bills start raining down on your lawn. Rumor has it the team could turn to a fourth quarterback in the team’s third game. UMass cornerback Randall Jette, after watching film of the Commodores, sounded confused: “It’s hard. I don’t know exactly what they’re trying to do or who will even be there Saturday.” Still, the Minutemen are one of the worst programs in all of FBS. Bad enough that they’re basically getting evicted from the MAC. Derek Mason is fighting to keep some positivity, and he’ll avoid a winless season here: Vanderbilt 24, Massachusetts 7.

Brad: Vanderbilt’s a two-touchdown favorite in this one which means UMass is really bad. The Commodores will quadruple their offensive touchdown output — currently zero — this season and win big over the Minutemen. A fourth quarterback is now in the mix to start for an offense falling deep into quick sand. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Vanderbilt 28, UMass 7.

Arkansas at Texas Tech (-2)

Brad: Get ready for a shootout in Lubbock during what I consider the most fun game to watch this weekend. Arkansas should pile up the yardage on the ground while the Red Raiders’ Air Raid won’t be stopped. Texas Tech gets the nod because it has the luxury of playing at home, but a Razorbacks victory wouldn’t be a total shock. Texas Tech 41, Arkansas 34.

Christopher: The Red Raiders have gotten past the five-game losing streak that tainted the end of wonder boy Kliff Kingsbury’s first season, first by clubbing Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl and then by rolling up 72 points in two games to start 2014. However, Texas Tech did allow NCAA rushing leader Aaron Jones to rush for 147 yards last week, while Nicholls State still may be waking up in the middle of the night screaming, images of Razorbacks jerseys with churning legs flashing through their consciousness. This game means little from a national perspective, but for two programs trying to scratch and claw up the conference food chain, it’s vital. I don’t trust this Arkansas defense. Texas Tech 38, Arkansas 28.

Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 14 Ole Miss (-27.5)

Christopher: The Ragin’ Cajuns laid an egg last week against Louisiana Tech. But coach Mark Hudspeth, who bench-pressed 370 pounds earlier this offseason, has caught the attention of some NFL executives with three consecutive nine-win seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette. Senior quarterback Terrance Broadway has thrown for more than 6,000 yards and rushed for 18 touchdowns in his career. Broadway held a players-only meeting this week. I haven’t bought into the offense yet, but the Ole Miss defense is tough. The Rebels have a clear advantage in this game. However, this isn’t a pushover opponent. The Ragin’ Cajuns are going to claw their way under the big spread. Ole Miss 35, Louisiana-Lafayette 10.

Brad: So far, so good for the Rebels. Ole Miss is hoping to avoid the patented slip up pre-Alabama with a Top 15 ranking and unblemished record. The Ragin’ Cajuns have an exciting offense with Broadway, but nothing the Rebels won’t be able to shut down. Hugh Freeze’s defensive line has been a constant force and frustrating Louisiana-Lafayette’s dual threat facilitator is the key. The other side of the football’s been a different story as the Rebels have struggled to protect Bo Wallace. Ole Miss 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 13.

RELATED: Lafayette coach benches 370

Mississippi State (-14) at South Alabama

Christopher: The Bulldogs ran into one of the country’s hottest offenses in UAB last weekend. Dan Mullen may or may not rotate his quarterbacks again in the first half, and is known to substitute liberally against non-conference foes early in the season. But this Mississippi State team could compete for a top-half finish in the SEC West with a little luck and health. State scored 49 and 47 points in its first two games. Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., should contain plenty of cowbell-wielding faithful Saturday. There’s no chance the Jaguars offense keeps up with MSU. Mississippi State 38, South Alabama 14.

Brad: What happened to that elite MSU defense we saw in the opener? UAB gashed the Bulldogs through the air with 435 yards last weekend, much of that attributed to soft coverage and players getting beat in 1-on-1 situations. That’s not a good look heading into SEC play, but Mississippi St. still has a week — pre-LSU — to fix its holes in the secondary against South Alabama. Dak Prescott’s filling up the stat sheet and he’s not stopping anytime soon against another rollover non-conference opponent. Mississippi State 42, South Alabama 21.

Southern Miss at No. 3 Alabama (-48)

Christopher: The once-proud Southern Miss Golden Eagles became an embarrassment to Conference USA in recent years, and though the team vanquished its 23-game losing streak by knocking off UAB near the end of last season, the team from Hattiesburg, Miss., will live in the FBS cellar for at least this season. Alabama, though, is 1-7 against the spread since 2011 when favored by at least 38 points. These games seem like death traps in gambling terms, as Alabama could lead 49-0, give up a late field goal with its third-team defense and lose. Still, I feel like this Tide offense is explosive enough to get 28 or more in the bank by halftime. Alabama 52, Southern Miss 3.

Brad: I’m not calling Lane Kiffin’s hire a good one until he starts hand-delivering footballs to tight end O.J. Howard. It’s mind-boggling that the All-American candidate is catchless after two starts as a sophomore. A simple 5-yard out would suffice and perhaps develop a different option for Blake Sims or Jacob Coker in the passing game. Based on film I’ve watched, Southern Miss likely won’t score in Saturday’s game and the Crimson Tide will look impressive, again. Alabama 52, Southern Miss 0.

Louisiana-Monroe at No. 10 LSU (-31)

Brad: ULM’s responsible for kickstarting the current tailspin at Arkansas during the 2012 season when the Warhawks upset the eighth-ranked Razorbacks in overtime. Louisiana-Monroe was a 30-point underdog and escaped with the win after quarterback Kolton Browning rushed for a 16-yard touchdown on 4th-and-1 during the extra session. Could history repeat itself against a different heavily-favored SEC West foe? No chance. LSU 45, Louisiana-Monroe 7.

Christopher: The Warhawks are better than the ACC’s worst team, beating Wake Forest earlier this season. They also have a bad-apple mascot, but that’s not enough. Travin Dural is expected to play after getting stitches in his head. The LSU offense won’t duplicate its 56-point output, but the Tigers should feel comfortable late in the game. LSU 49, Louisiana-Monroe 10.

Kentucky at Florida (-18.5)

Christopher: This is one of the most difficult games to project this weekend. We’ll be able to calibrate each team much better after this game. For now, I submit that Florida’s offense has improved, but not as much as last week may have indicated. Losing Jake McGee is no small thing, as he would’ve been among the team leaders in catches. The Stoops family knows defense, and Kentucky may have some semblance of a running game this year. I expect a defensive game. Florida 27, Kentucky 13.

Brad: My preseason SEC East pick showed zero flaws in their season opener, but the Gators have a long way to go before being crowned. The league opener for both teams Saturday night in Gainesville could come down to an exciting finish if Kentucky manages the game and limits turnovers. Jojo Kemp did his team no favors with the early smack talk and Florida’s taking it to heart with a 34-14 win.

Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma (-20.5)

Brad: Tennessee’s early-season litmus test comes in the form of Oklahoma, the Big-XII favorite and potential College Football Playoff participant. More than half of the Vols’ team has never taken a college road trip, so you can expect some early jitters in their initial big-game environment. If the Vols cover, more of us will start believing in Butch Jones’ turnaround. Bob Stoops doesn’t like the SEC all that much and he’ll prove it with a late score to cover. Sooners 38, Vols 17.

Christopher: Tennessee won two games easily, but as odd as it sounds, I think the Vols underperformed against a hapless Utah State team in the opener and let Arkansas State make it respectable last week. Tennessee fans are certain the program is headed in a good direction, and it’s hard to argue with them. But this game should show UT just how far it is from national contention. This Oklahoma team is good in every aspect. I expect the Sooners defense to force Justin Worley back into his usual mistake-prone play. OU’s offense won’t have it quite as easy, but the powerful running game will wear down Tennessee late. Oklahoma 31, Tennessee 10.

Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M (-32)

Christopher: Until further notice, the Aggies, one of the most public teams in college football right now, will blow away any and all spreads against teams outside the power conferences. Expect Texas A&M’s backups to get some run against the Owls, which have taken a step back since winning Conference USA last season. Texas A&M 52, Rice 17.

Brad: Rolling right along, the Aggies move to 3-0 with a convincing win. True freshman Myles Garrett has the SEC lead with three sacks and he’ll add two more to his total Saturday night. Jake Spavital’s offense has produced points on 26 out of 33 possessions since he took over as coordinator prior to last season’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Texas A&M 63, Rice 20