SEC Week 5 Preview

SEC Week 5 Preview

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Last week completely turned the conference upside down. Week 4 started with Auburn’s exciting Thursday night win over Kansas State in Manhattan, followed by Alabama steam rolling the Florida Gators, Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs completely dominating LSU in Baton Rouge and finally getting a signature SEC win, Missouri taking one on the chin with a loss to Indiana, and while the Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt their defense and special teams took a beating in the process. How’s it all going to shake out in Week 5 in the SEC? I’m not sure…that’s what Saturday’s are for…but I’ll give my take on the key games in the SEC for Week 5.

Vanderbilt at Kentucky

kentucky

Despite losing to Florida in overtime I think it’s clear by now that Kentucky is a much improved football team on both sides of the ball. Vanderbilt finally showed signs of life against South Carolina making several big plays on offense and special teams keeping them in the game against a far more talented team. If Derek Mason’s Commodores play inspired like they did against South Carolina, this will be a good football game but at the end of the day I still think Kentucky is way ahead of Vanderbilt and the Wildcats get their first SEC win.

Tennessee at #12 Georgia

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Tennessee had a bye in week 4 to rest up and prepare for their trip to Athens and while the Volunteers put up a good fight against the 4th ranked Oklahoma Sooners in week 3, they did lose a couple of players to injuries and depth will be an ongoing issue for a young Tennessee team. Georgia had no troubles blowing out Troy 66-0 last week but will face a much tougher challenge with Butch Jones’ hungry Tennessee Volunteers. Georgia QB Hutson Mason hasn’t shown he can play to the standards that Aaron Murray did, not to say he hasn’t been effective but he’s not on the same level as Murray was during his time in Athens. Tennessee’s offense will have to find a way to run the ball effectively against Georgia and the Volunteer defense will need a solid game plan to stop running back Todd Gurley. When it’s all said and done though Tennessee will put up another good fight but I don’t think it will be good enough to go into Athens and steal a victory from Georgia.

Missouri at #13 South Carolina

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An interesting game when you consider that both teams struggled against lesser opponents last week with Missouri actually losing to Indiana at home. I initially thought of Missouri as a sleeper in the East Division, and they can still win the division if they play to their potential but they can’t have another lackluster performance, especially in conference play. South Carolina was an early favorite to win the East until it came time to actually play football…getting beat 52-28 at home by Texas A&M in week 1 tempered everyone’s expectations. You still can’t count the Gamecocks out yet though because they bounced back with a win over Georgia which put them in the driver’s seat in the East despite struggling against a weak Vanderbilt team in week 4. With this game being at home though and the recent history between the Gamecocks and Missouri Tigers I think Steve Spurrier has his team ready to go and pulls out a close win.

Arkansas at #6 Texas A&M

arkansas

Probably the most intriguing match-up out of the SEC this week, Arkansas’s rampant running attack vs Texas A&M’s Air Raid assault will be fun to watch. Both offenses are putting up big numbers but in very different ways. With the exception of the second half against Auburn, the Arkansas Razorbacks have run wild against every team they’ve faced. Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have helped the Arkansas offense average more than 300 rushing yards per game and played a big part in their road win against Texas Tech in week 3. Texas A&M on the other hand is averaging over 400 yards of passing offense per game led by quarterback Kenny Hill and the Aggies already have a conference win over South Carolina in week 1. The Razorback defense will have a tough time with Kenny Hill and the Aggie’s Air Raid attack, but can Arkansas get their ground game grinding enough to keep the ball away from the Aggie’s high powered offense? We’ll find out Saturday and I’m putting Texas A&M on upset alert…



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