A Spooky SEC Weekend Primer

A Spooky SEC Weekend Primer

Off this week: Tenneesee and South Carolina

The SEC showcased only half of the league last weekend with half of the teams on bye, so we should see some high quality SEC football this weekend!

Going into Halloween Weekend, the SEC is boasting a whopping 4 teams in the Top 10 including #2 Alabama, #3 Georgia, #8 Texas A&M, and #10 Florida in the AP poll. 

The main story this week?

Of the 6 SEC games, only 1 game has a spread that is closer than 12 points and that is LSU @ Auburn with LSU favored by 3. Look for offenses to show up and show out this week as we enter the half-way point to this shortened season.

#5 Georgia (3-1) @ Kentucky (2-3): UGA -15.0

The Bulldogs out of Athens are coming off of a bye this week and are heading to Kentucky to see if they can take care of business.

It shouldn’t be too hard since their only loss so far has been to #2 Alabama and Kentucky is underperforming their pre-season projections. Georgia’s defense does a good job of limiting big scores and is a main factor keeping them games.

When looking at this offense, they are lead by QB Stetson Bennett who is 71/124 for 958 yards, 7 TDs, and 3 INTs. He is more of a pocket presence and he does a good job spreading the ball around.

Zamir White handles the ground game rushing 64 times for 266 yards and 5 TDs.

The Georgia WR to watch this game will be Kearis Jackson who has 21 receptions for 323 yards and 1 TD. This Georgia team is going to succeed by controlling the clock and having long, sustainable drives to limit the amount of times that Kentucky QB Terry Wilson has the ball.

Now that suggests Wilson is this monumental threat, which he isn’t necessarily, but when he gets going he is hard to stop. Whether it is passing the ball or taking off and running, Wilson can help his team get down the field in a variety of ways.

In last week’s 20-10 loss to Mizzou, Wilson only passed 11 times and he was stuffed at the line. A dual-threat QB, Mizzou’s game plan was to slow him down on the ground and that ended up being to the tune of 5 carries for -2 yards.

If Georgia’s defense shows up and they are able to chew clock and slow down Terry Wilson? This is going to be a long game for the Wildcats. Give me Georgia in this one, but I think they win by 2 TDs, not more.

LSU (2-2) @ Auburn (3-2): LSU -3.0

What a difference a week off can make. Three weeks ago, LSU lost to Mizzou, then they had an off week, and then they played South Carolina who was rolling after a victory over Auburn. LSU decided to call the name of true freshman TJ Finley to make his first career start.

Easy win for a hot Gamecocks team right? Wrong.

LSU ended up taking out frustrations on the Gamecocks winning the game 52-24.

So how did they win?

Finley had a solid first game going 17/21 for 265 yards, 2 TDs, and only 1 INT. They also ran the ball extremely well with 3 TDs on the ground and a combined 223 yards rushing from their top 2 runners.

The real story? They kept South Carolina from gaining any momentum.

Anytime the Gamecocks got a stop or scored a TD, the momentum wasn’t even in their favor for very long. A pick-6 and a Kickoff returned for a TD helped LSU set the pace, and maintain it.

If they are able to have this same mentality and can pull it off against Auburn? GGs in the chat.

Auburn sure knows how to run the ball.

In their win over Ole Miss, They ran the ball over 45 times for 249 yards and 4 TDs. Tank Bigsby living up to his name as he accounted for 129 yards and 2 of those TDs and coming into this week he ranks 3rd in rushing yards in the SEC.

Seth Williams will be the wideout to watch this week as he is coming off of an 8 reception, 150 yards, and 1 TD game last week.

From the game last week, LSU can be hurt on the ground, but they are stout at limiting yards through the air.

Look for Bo Nix and Tank Bigbsy to run a lot of options, with Williams on the side waiting for a screen.

This one is going to go one of two ways. It is either going to be a defensive slugfest, or it is going to be very high scoring. I think that LSU keeps riding high and leaves Auburn with a win and they will cover.

Ole Miss (1-4) @ Vanderbilt (0-3): Ole Miss -16.5

Do you know what team has the 2nd best total offense, 5th best passing offense, and the best rushing offense in yards per game?

Surprisingly it isn’t Alabama, it is the Ole Miss Rebels.

Whether you chop it up to a bad defense making the offense exist on the field more, or whether this is the effect of new head coach Lane Kiffin, it’s wild to me that Ole Miss can be so good at moving the ball, but be sitting at 1-4.

In their most recent game against Auburn, Matt Corral went 16/27 for 154 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs which was a forgettable game through the air.

On the ground though, Corral had 10 rushes for 88 yards and 2 TDs. Also, the main running backs had 30 carries for 149 yards and a TD. Vandy isn’t good, plain and simple. That being said, look for Ole Miss to capitalize on their solid ground game to try and win here.

Vandy has had a weird season. Week 1, they lost by 5 to then ranked #10 Texas A&M which maybe inspired some hope that they may be more competitive than previously thought.

In week 2 they played LSU and in week 3 they played South Carolina. In BOTH games they lost 41-7. Their Week 4 game was postponed and last week was an off week. That’s probably the most interesting thing about this team.

They have scored 26 total points on the year so far and have given up 99. They struggle to move the ball down the field, and their defense can’t stop their opponents from doing just that.

Ooof.

Give me Ole Miss here and while I hope for Vandy’s sake that they don’t let Ole Miss cover, with an average point differential of 24 points in their games, give me Ole Miss to also cover.

Mississippi State (1-4) @ #5 Alabama (5-0): Alabama -31.0

Hopefully the week off did Mike Leach and the Bulldogs some much needed time to reset.

After coming out firing on all cylinders and upsetting then #6 LSU, the bulldogs have lost three straight. Mississippi State appeared to have its QB situation figured out for the 2020 season when Costello threw for 623 yards in week 1, but in their last game against Texas A&M, he split reps with freshman back-up Will Rogers.

Even with the off week last week, reports are still saying that this QB situation will still be split rep in game and so I guess they are going to use this Alabama game to see who they should roll (tide) with in the future?

You know how I didn’t have much to say about Vandy. What else is there to say about Alabama that hasn’t been said? Alabama is fielding yet another team of superstars with Mac Jones leading the way who is 4th in the NCAA for passing yards heading into the weekend.

Alabama is sporting the #1 rusher in the SEC and 3 of the top 5 wide receivers in the SEC. The only gripe that they may have is at times their defense hasn’t been dominant. But, sitting at 5-0, that really feels like forcefully splitting hairs.

Alabama is an obvious choice here, but even with the QB competition happening in game for the Bulldogs, I don’t think the Tide cover the huge spread.

Arkansas (2-2) @ #8 Texas A&M (3-1): Texas A&M -12.5

Don’t look now, but Arkansas has beaten 2 SEC opponents this year and is sitting at 4th in the Western Division of the SEC. The Razorbacks earned their week off last week coming off of a W against Ole Miss. Former Florida QB Felipe Franks is 82/128 for 974 yards, 8 TDs, and 3 INTs on the season.

Junior running back Trelon Smith has 56 carries for 221 yards on the ground, but hasn’t found the endzone.

The #1 wide receiver for Arkansas so far has been Treylon Burks who has 249 yards and 2 TDs, but he isn’t far in front of their #2 De’vion Warren who has 231 yards and 3 TDs.

If Arkansas has a chance in this one, Franks is going to have to sling the football and get his top receivers into space.

If you lose to Alabama, it isn’t going to tank your season.

The Aggies are heading into this game at 3-1 and ranked #8 in the country. They had an off week last week, and are most recently coming off wins against then #4 Florida and then Mississippi State. Even though it feels like he is too old to be there, Kellen Mond is still the QB for the Aggies and he is 80/130 for 984 yards, 9 TDs, and 2 INTs so far this year.

Lead back Isaiah Spiller has 430 yards rushing which has him sitting 4th in the SEC for yards. Backup running back and star receiver Ainias Smith has 155 yards on the ground, but leads the team with 223 yards receiving. Only a yard behind, true receiver Chase Lane has 222 yards and 2 TDs.

Texas A&M should come out of this one with a win, but look for Arkansas to keep it close enough that they don’t let the Aggies cover the near 2 TD spread.

Missouri (2-2) @ #10 Florida (2-1): Florida -13.0

Do we even fully know yet what to expect out of this Mizzou team? They lost their first two games to then-ranked opponents, and then they beat LSU, had a game PPD, and then beat Kentucky last weekend.

I think this weekend, heading to The Swamp, we find out a lot about what this team’s potential is this season. Look for Bazelak to continue on his strong performance last week, but look to see if he can find someone through the air in the endzone.

The thing to watch here is going to be superhuman, senior RB Larry Rountree III.

Why is he superhuman?

Only because he had 37 carries for 126 yards and 2 TDs. If the Tigers are able to grind out long drives on the ground, it will only benefit them in this one.

The Gators had some Covid-19 troubles and had their game against LSU PPD before heading into their off week this past weekend. Most recently, they lost to Texas A&M a few weeks ago.

This season, Kyle Trask is 74/130 for 996 yards, 14 TDs and only 1 INT. Junior RB Dameon Pierce has 25 carries for 130 yards and a TD, so the Gators have really looked to Trask airing out the football to succeed so far.

Tight End Kyle Pitts leads the team in receiving with 274 yards and 7 TDs so far so look for him to get targeted early and often.

The Gators have gotten a lot of flack for how they have handled Covid-19, but with the extra weeks to prepare, this shouldn’t be much of a fight. Again, I think we learn more about Mizzou’s potential than Florida dominance in this one, but give me Florida and I think they cover.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and give me your opinion on this preview and follow along with all things sports at Shooting The Sports Ish!

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