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The SEC West holds both premier matchups this weekend, with Ole Miss hoping to get out of LSU’s ‘Death Valley’ with its perfect record intact. In Tuscaloosa, Mississippi State will have a hard time with an agitated Alabama team that’s coming off the Tennessee loss.
We can’t forget one of the sleeper games of the day taking place in Columbia. No, not Vanderbilt and Missouri, but Texas A&M traveling to South Carolina.
Ole Miss Looking To Stay Undefeated Against LSU
Currently 7-0 on the season, #7 Ole Miss travels to Death Valley for a pivotal game against LSU. This one has major implications in the SEC West race, with both teams controlling their own destiny. Lane Kiffin has picked up right where he left off last season, which is pretty incredible considering who he lost after last season.
QB Jaxson Dart has been impressive for most of the 2022 season, taking charge of this Rebel offense over the last month.
One of the biggest matchups within this game will be the Ole Miss passing attack against the Tigers secondary. We all witnessed what Hendon Hooker did in Baton Rouge, so if QB Jaxson Dart can find success through the air, it could be tough sledding for LSU. Add the fact that the Rebels are rushing the football consistently, which could open things up downfield more often.
For LSU to win this game, they’ll need another stellar performance from QB Jayden Daniels, who was in command against Florida. Brian Kelly could certainly use a nice win at home. If the Tigers defensive line can pressure Jaxson Dart enough and the running game gets going, this one could come down to late score in the fourth. Ole Miss 31, LSU 27
SEC Pick: Can Mississippi State Keep It Close With Wounded Alabama?
I find it very hard to believe that Alabama doesn’t come out fired up for this game against Mississippi State. After the loss to Tennessee, where QB Bryce Young played extremely well, the Tide’ is due for a bounce-back performance on defense. Getting after Bulldogs QB Will Rogers is key, as we all know he can sling the football. After last Saturday’s loss to Kentucky, this Mike Leach team is underachieving.
Questions regarding the health of Bryce Young were put to bed last week. Now, it comes down to Nick Saban getting the most out of his defense that gave up over 500 yards last week. Also, the Tide’ secondary looked like burnt toast against Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, who tallied 5 touchdowns. I don’t expect the Bulldogs to give Alabama that kind of trouble on offense, but we’ve seen this Mike Leach squad put up points against Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Overall, I think Alabama will look to exercise some demons on Saturday and the Bulldogs are standing in the way. Alabama 41, Mississippi State 23
South Carolina Could Add To Texas A&M Problems
If we get the same type of performance from the Gamecocks like the one they put on against Kentucky, this one will be close. Call me crazy, but I still feel as if Jimbo Fisher is struggling to call the right plays on offense. Yes, it comes down to execution, but we can’t put it all on the players. Both teams are coming off bye-week’s, so they should be well rested.
It starts with Marshawn Lloyd for South Carolina, who had over 100 yards rushing against Kentucky. If Shane Beamer and his staff can balance out the play calling with QB Spencer Rattler, the Gamecocks can hang with the Aggies. This could turn into a battle of rushing attacks, with Devon Achane carrying the load for Texas A&M.
It’s pretty simple. If Aggies QB Haynes King can find success through the air, I’m pretty sure they get out of Columbia with a win. The Gamecocks will try to make life miserable for King on defense, with different blitz packages. I think it will be enough. South Carolina 27, Texas A&M 24
Other Games Of Note.
Tennessee will host UT-Martin, coming off the massive win over Alabama. Expect the up-tempo offense to put this away quickly, giving the backups enough playing time. We’ll get another look at QB Joe Milton this weekend, after Hendon Hooker gets his five touchdowns.
Vanderbilt will travel to Missouri for a game that features two teams looking for its first SEC win. The quarterback matchup between Brady Cook and AJ Swann could be compelling, but it’s hard to get excited for this one, outside of each fan base. Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz certainly doesn’t need to lose this game, for obvious reasons.
Non-SEC Games Of Intrigue
Give me Syracuse and the +13.5 at Clemson. Also, I am taking UCLA straight-up on the road at Oregon, which should be a very intriguing game. As for Texas and Oklahoma State, I am rolling with the Cowboys to win, giving the Longhorns their third loss of the season.
Enjoy the weekend of College Football and follow @TreyWallace_ for all the latest news.