Week 7 analyses and picks
Great matchup at Auburn as the Tigers face Arkansas on CBS. Can Cam Newton outduel Ryan Mallett? Which defense can make the most stops? Can either team get a running game going? And of course, who wins the turnover battle. Alabama plays Ole Miss at 8 p.m. Taking my daughter and a couple of friends. Wish the game was a little earlier, but looking forward to it anyway.
Here are analyses of this week’s SEC games and my predictions:
Record last week: 6-3. Overall: 68-19
Arkansas @ Auburn 2:30 p.m., CBS:
Can Cam Newton dominate with his arm and his legs? Can Ryan Mallett take over with his arm? Both qbs have standout receivers. Darvin Adams is one of SEC’s best catching 21 passes for 385 and two tds. Averages 18 yards per catch. T Zach 17-252 1td and Emory Blake has become a playmaker with 7 catches for 173 yards (24.7 average) and 3 tds. Phillip Lutzenkirchen is a weapon with 8 catches for 75 yards and two tds.
Arkansas counters with Greg Childs who has 28-368 and 3 tds, D.J. Williams 22-259, Joe Adams 22-408 3 tds and Ronnie Wingo Jr. 15-166 3 tds.
Mallett has thrown for 1,748 yards and 13 tds but has six ints. Newton has run for 672 and nine tds and has thrown 12 tds with five picks.
The quarterback and receivers who make the most plays will win this game. And the qb who takes care of the ball the best. Mallett and Newton can throw interceptions, but their playmaking ability far overshadows their mistakes. Still they both have to take care of the football.
Auburn’s and Arkansas’ defense will be tested. Jerry Franklin leads Arkansas with 37 tackles. AU is led by Zac Etheridge with 38 and Josh Bynes with 34. Nick Fairley has been dominant with 5 sacks on the season.
Arkansas played pretty good defense against Texas A&M last week holding the high scoring Aggies to 17 points. They’ve improved a lot on defense and are pretty opportunistic on turnovers. AU needs to play better defense against the Hogs than they did last week against Kentucky. Kentucky scored 34 points against the Auburn defense. The defense needs to get pressure on Mallett and force him to throw on the run out of his comfort zone.
The running game could be a factor for both teams. Arkansas’ Knile Davis is a pretty good back averaging 6.8 yards per carry with 208 on the season. Broderick Green has 192 on the ground. Auburn will counter with Michael Dyer and Mario Fannin to see if they can establish balance in the offense. Of course, Newton is a huge weapon running the ball.
This game looks like an offensive shootout, but I thought some other AU games were going to be shootouts and they weren’t. Arkansas has improved on defense and Auburn is better than they looked last week. Still like the offenses will put points on the board. Going with the home team and Cam to make a couple of more plays than Mallett and Hogs.
Auburn 35, Arkansas 31
Ole Miss @ Alabama 8 p.m., ESPN2
This game would have started earlier if Alabama could have beaten South Carolina last week. ‘Bama just finished a brutal stretch of games and it’s not too easy this week either. Ole Miss can move the ball and score. Jeremiah Masoli has thrown for 823 yards and six tds. Brandon Bolden is a stellar running back with 518 yards on the season and five tds. He’s also caught 11 passes and two tds. Masoli has run for 262 and three tds and Enrique Davis is a very good back with 144 yards and three tds.
‘Bama will counter with Ingram and Richardson who need to pick it up this week after being held for under 100 yards combined last week. Ingram has six tds and 396 yards on the season and Richardson has 442 yards and 4 tds. Greg McElroy has thrown for nine tds and completed 72% of his passes. Julio Jones, who looks like he might play with a broken hand which is pretty tough, has 32 catches on the season for 440 and 3 tds. Darius Hanks is becoming a real go-to guy for McElroy with 16 for 285 and two tds. Marquis Maze has caught 14 balls and Preston Dial has 13 catches; both of them are weapons.
Markeith Summers leads Ole Miss with 11 catches for 242 and 2 tds.
Jonathan Cornell leads Ole Miss (what the Black Bears now?) with 40 tackles. D.J. Shackelford has 2 1/2 sacks. Mark Barron leads the Tide with 40 tackles followed by Dont’a Hightower, who has 31. Hightower has kind of had a quiet season. He should be ready to step up. It’s time for him to start dominating. Robert Lester leads the Tide with 4 ints, followed by Dre Kirkpatrick with three.
A couple of Ole Miss players, linebacker Jerrell Powe being one of them, called Alabama predictable and “one dimensional.” I think that’s going to fire Alabama up. He may have made a mistake there as Alabama probably has that on their bulletin board.
Ole Miss has gotten better, but Alabama is angry and ready to take it out on the Rebels.
Alabama 42, Ole Miss 21
Vandy @ Georgia 11:21 a.m. SEC Network:
The key for Vandy is getting out of the blocks and scoring first. If they can do that, they can make this game interesting and maybe pull off the upset. Larry Smith has to take care of the football and the Vandy line needs to keep up their good work of the last three weeks. The line is getting better and better. Another key for Vandy is, if Smith makes a mistake can he come back from it? He loses confidence when he throws an interception, so for him and Vandy to succeed, he needs to maintain his poise and confidence. Georgia took a little hit this week when they suspended running back Caleb King for avoiding a court date on a traffic ticket. But they have Washaun Ealey who’s good but can fumble. Still with Aaron Murray, A.J. Green and Georgia at home, it’s hard to pick against the Dawgs as much as I’d like to.
Georgia 31, Vandy 24
South Carolina @ Kentucky 5 p.m., ESPN2:
Gamecocks coming off a huge victory need to guard against a letdown because if they don’t play well, they could lose. They have the talent edge on the Wildcats, but the Wildcats can score points. But Ky defense can’t stop anybody in the SEC. Lattimore, Jeffrey, Garcia and the SC defense get it done though it could be kind of tough.
SC 35, Ky 28
Mississippi State @ Florida 6 p.m., ESPNU
This should be a really good football game. Florida coming off a very tough loss to LSU. State on a high after a big win over Houston. Dan Mullen has State going in the right direction and they could knock off the Gators. Vick Ballard emerging as a top flight running back in the SEC for Bulldogs. Just think the Gators are in the Swamp and they do just enough to get by a pretty good Bulldogs team.
Florida 31, State 28
McNeese @ LSU 6 p.m., Fox Sports South:
LSU just needs to show up for this game and they will win. They’ll probably be a letdown from this talented but inconsistent team. But they don’t need to do a lot. Probably will be looking ahead to Auburn next week. Still, they should have a good night if they put in the effort.
LSU 42, McNeese 3
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24
Nebraska 21, Texas 10
UAB 35, UTEP 34
Oklahoma State 38, Texas A&M 31
Iowa 31, Michigan 21
(Josh Bynes and AU defense will try to slow down Mallett and Hogs enough to get the victory.)
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