It feels as if the season is moving at warp speed as we enter week five of SEC football, but the games continue to produce. Kentucky has a chance at another quality win, while Arkansas is looking for an upset against Alabama. Time for SEC Predictions.
Home teams are looking to cause chaos in the conference. So, here are my picks for the weekend.
SEC Predictions: Alabama @ Arkansas
Can the Razorbacks bounce back from the tough loss in Arlington to Texas A&M? Absolutely, while also potentially pulling the upset. Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman will have his squad ready, but they shouldn’t need much motivation with Nick Saban and the Tide coming to town. If KJ Jefferson can get outside the pocket and force Alabama to put a spy on him, this could create open lanes across the middle of the field for receivers.
We can’t look past the Hogs rushing attack, with Rock Sanders continuing to be a problem for opposing defenses. The Razorbacks’ secondary matching up with Alabama receivers is a concern. Getting pressure on Bryce Young will be key, but thatmight not be enough. The elusiveness of Bama’s QB is a cause for concern, but we’ll see what blitz packages Arkansas DC Barry Odom draws up.
Alabama is good, but they were on the brink of defeat during their last road game, so Arkansas must force them into mistakes. This feels like a four quarter battle, with Saban’s team barely escaping. Alabama 27, Arkansas 23
SEC Predictions: Kentucky @ Ole Miss
Get ready for a party in Oxford, hopefully inside the stadium for Lane Kiffin’s sanity. I’ve heard more about attendance problems at Ole Miss this week than the actual game. The return of Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez is massive, especially lining him up beside Will Levis. This duo should present multiple problems for the Rebels, especially if they get hit with the play-action.
Can Jaxson Dart make enough throws against the Wildcats defense? This, along with the health of running back Zach Evans, ais a concern for Ole Miss. The biggest threat for the Rebels is Evans out of the backfield, so how Kentucky decides to guard him will be key. Kiffin will certainly have a few tricks for Mark Stoops, but going toe-to-toe with Will Levis is going to be entertaining to watch.
When you have a QB (Will Levis) who can beat you with his arm and legs, along with Chris Rodriquez returning, the Rebels defense is going to have its work cut out for them. This will be the first test for Ole Miss, while Kentucky has already won a tough matchup on the road in Gainesville. Kentucky 31, Ole Miss 24
SEC predictions: Texas A&M @ Mississippi State
This has the makings of a 2021 repeat, which saw the Bulldogs prevail in College Station. The Aggies are coming off a huge win against Arkansas, but they’ll be facing a hungry Mississippi State team, led by QB Will Rogers. Already passing for 16 touchdowns in four games, Rogers has the chance to spread the Texas A&M defense. He’s going to throw the ball, a lot, so the Aggies putting pressure on him to make mistakes is key.
A&M is certainly talented at running back with Devon Achane, but the quarterback situation is unstabble. Max Johnson has taken over the spot, but has thrown the ball 45 times in three games, for two touchdowns. Will the Aggies have enough ground power to keep State’s offense off the field for long periods of time? This is certainly one way to beat Mike Leach.
The Bulldogs will pull off the upset in Starkville. I know Leach’s squad is a three-point favorite, but make no mistake, this would be an upset for Jimbo Fisher. Mississippi State 30, Texas A&M 23
LSU @ Auburn
The second battle between Tigers in two weeks for Auburn, as they barely escaped Missouri last weekend. LSU is an eight-point favorite over the Bryan Harsin led Tigers. Auburn is struggling, and that is putting it nicely. The quarterback situation is a mess, with Robby Ashford most likely to get most of the snaps Saturday night, while running back Tank Bigsby is struggling for yards. The Tigers had 11 rushing yards after the first quarter against Missouri.
As for Brian Kelly and his group of Tigers, the play of quarterback Jayden Daniels continues to get better every week. Running back Noah Cain and the offense look to continue progressing. The LSU defense line shouldn’t have many problems with a statistically bad Auburn O-Line, which will present multiple problems for QB Robby Ashford.
This matchup usually brings out some weird voodoo. Whether it’s in Death Valley or on the Plains there have been plenty of nail biters between these two teams. Are we going to get another classic between these two? Only if Bryan Harsin’s offense decides to appear like a magic trick. LSU 27, Auburn 17
Other Games Of Note
Georgia @ Missouri
This one should be over by halftime. Missouri might’ve put up a fight at Auburn, but it’ll need half of Georgia’s team to come down with food poisoning if it’s going to keep this within 27 points.
Eastern Washington @ Florida
This game was pushed back a day because of Hurricane Ian, but I don’t expect it to hurt the Gators, besides fan attendance. It will be intrigueing to see how Florida responds from the loss to Tennessee. Billy Napier handles business.