SEC Game Predictions- Week 5

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, September 27th, 2019

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ROBERT CORTINEZ
RCORTINEZ2@HOTMAIL.COM

The Arkansas Razorbacks are the story du jour of the SEC for all
the wrong reasons. While the SEC’s elite are wallowing in their 5
teams in the top 10 for the third straight week, the rest of college
football took note of the Hogs 31-24 home loss to 21-point underdogs,
San Jose State. The Spartans had won three games total in the last two
seasons and hadn’t won a road win since 2016, not to mention they have
never beaten an SEC team in program history. The Razorbacks have had
one road win and one SEC win since 2017. Last Saturday San Jose got
both a road win and an SEC win. WOE Pig Sooie!
The bottom of the SEC barrel (Arkansas Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole
Miss, South Carolina) are as bad as the top is good (#2 Alabama, #3
Georgia, #4 LSU, #7 Auburn, #9 Florida). That’s good news for the
elite teams but a horrible look for the entire conference. As
mentioned in this year’s preview, the Big 12, Big 10, Pac 12 and ACC
are all patiently waiting for attrition to take its toll on the SEC
top-10’s to keep the college football playoffs from having two SEC
teams come December..
#3 Georgia, #4 LSU, Missouri and Tennessee all get to rest up in week 5.
Last week results: Straight 7-2 / ATS 4-5
Season results: Straight 37-8 / ATS 23-19-3

#23 Texas A&M (2-2) vs Arkansas (2-2)
Line: Aggies -23 / 60.5
Time/TV: 11:00 a.m, ESPN
These two SEC teams are both 2-2 and winless in the SEC. They
both have fan bases that are disenchanted with their respective
coaches, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Arkansas’s Chad Morris. But
thats where the similarities end. The Aggies two losses were to #1
ranked Clemson and #7 ranked Auburn. A&M has not lost against
Arkansas since joining the SEC. Arkansas’s two losses were an ass-
whupping by Ole Miss, the second worst team in the SEC West, and an
institutionally embarrassing loss last week, 31-24, to San Jose State.
That loss stunned the college football world. A&M couldn’t find a
rhythm with QB Kellen Mond last week against Auburn until it was too
late, but rallied in the fourth quarter before losing 28-20. The
Aggies will not lose this game, dubbed the “Southwest Classic” in
Arlington, Texas, aka “Jerry World.”
Pick: Texas A&M 34  Arkansas 20

N. Illinois (1-2) at Vanderbilt (0-3)
Line: Commadores -6.5 / 51.5
Time/TV: 11:00 a.m., SECN
Vanderbilt is 0-3 for the first time since 2006 after getting
beat by #3 Georgia,
#4 LSU and a road loss to Big 10 conference member Purdue. Northern
Illinois’s only win of the season is against Illinois State. The
Huskies losses are to Nebraska and #19 Utah. Although the Huskies are
an FBS school out of the MAC conference they are considered cellar
dwellers for mid-major programs. Vandy was beaten 66-38 by LSU last
week, but had one bright spot with RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn gashing LSU’s
defense for 130 yards and 2 TD’s on twenty carries. Rumors are that
fan apathy has taken hold in Nashville but Vanderbilt should get their
first win and cover in this game.
Pick: Vanderbilt 35  N. Illinois 20

Ole Miss (2-2) at #2 Alabama (4-0)
Line: Tide -38 / 61
Time/TV: 2:30, CBS
CBS sports is scraping the bottom of the SEC barrel for its
national game of the week. The Rebels are coming off a
coaching/reffing disaster in a home loss to #15 California. An Ole
Miss victory in that game could have turned Rebel headcoach Matt
Luke’s season around. Rebel’s starting QB Matt Corral is hurt and Ole
Miss’s defense takes on an Alabama defense that is allowing 10 points
a game with all the starters resting by the 4th quarter. Last week,
Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa threw more TD’s than incompletions for
the fourth time in his collegiate career, a new, if somewhat obscure,
record. Bama’s HC Nick Saban will treat this contest as a “statement”
game and leaves his starters in until halfway through the 4th. Ole
Miss’s chances to win require miraculous intervention to upset the
Tide in Tuscaloosa.
Pick: Alabama 45 Ole Miss 17.

Towson (3-1) at #9 Florida (4-0)
Line: Gators -36.5 / 62.5
Time/TV: 3:00, SECN
Florida HC Dan Mullen is on an eight game winning streak going
back to 2018 which includes a Peach Bowl win over Michigan. The Gators
routed Tennessee last week, 34-3, with new QB, redshirt junior, Kyle
Trask, taking over for injured Feleipe Franks. Trask was steady in
his first start throwing for 298 yards and two touchdowns but had two
interceptions and a fumble. His miscues didn’t hurt against a terrible
Tennessee team. Florida’s defense is manning up this year already
recording 20 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. Towson is an FCS team out
of the Colonial Conference whose only loss this year was in overtime
to Villanova. Towson is ranked #10 in this week’s FCS national
rankings. Towson’s defense is salty, with eight picks and over 20 pass
break-ups on the year. The Tiger’s offense is led by QB, Tom Flacco,
who is the younger brother of current Denver Bronco quarterback, Joe
Flacco. That NFL pedigree won’t help in the swamp but Towson should
cover against a Florida team that may be looking ahead to #7 Auburn
next week.
Pick: Florida 35  Towson 10

Mississippi State (3-1) at #7 Auburn (4-0)
Line: Tigers -10 / 47
Time/TV: 6:00 / ESPN
Mississippi State was methodical in last week’s home win over
Kentucky, 28-13.  The Bulldogs were led by the SEC’s leading rusher,
Kylin Hill (137.5 ypg) who had 120 yards and 3 TD’s in the victory.
State’s freshman QB Garrett Schader, besides sporting the best QB
beard in college football, kept several drives alive with his legs and
has rushed 23 times for 223 yards after taking over from injured
senior QB, Tommy Stevens.  Auburn’s frosh QB sensation, Bo Nix, passed
his first SEC road game test with flying colors in College Station,
leading his Tigers to a 29-20 win over Texas A&M. Auburn’s defense was
stifling and its special teams play, especially the punt return unit
allowed, the Tigers to maintain field position the whole game.
Auburn’s defense forced A&M to settle for short field goals and should
be able to stymie Mississippi State’s offense as well. Not to mention
that Auburn HC Gus Malzahn seeks revenge for last year’s 23-9 thumping
he got from State’s newly minted headcoach Joe Morehead.
Pick: Auburn 31  Mississippi State 17

Kentucky (2-2) at South Carolina (1-3)
Line: Gamecocks -3 / 53
Time/TV: 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
South Carolina has had a rough start to 2019. The Gamecocks got
beat by 24 points at Alabama and by 20 points at Missouri. Not to
mention the opening season loss to neighboring North Carolina. Adding
salt to the wound, that same Tar Heel team got beat by FCS Appalachian
State. Kentucky has beaten the Gamecocks five straight years. The
Wildcats second string QB, freshman, Sawyer Smith, was pressed into
service when their starting QB, Terry Wilson went out with a season
ending knee injury.  Smith had shoulder issues in the Wildcats loss to
Mississippi State last week, going 15 for 41, 0 TD’s and 1
interception, but HC Mark Stoops says his true freshman is healed. The
loser of this game will be hard pressed to get to a six- win bowl
game.
Pick: South Carolina 24  Kentucky 20

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