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SEC Football Week 3 Preview

SEC Football Week 3 Preview

SEC football heads right along into week 3 this weekend. Week 2 featured some big time matchups that did not quite live up to the hype. Two ranked games this weekend have big implications for the SEC East lead as at least one of their three undefeated teams will have a loss come Sunday.

Standings

SEC Football Week 3 Preview
SEC Standings

The standings are already looking a little strange in the young season. The SEC East has three undefeated teams in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Meanwhile they have four teams that are still in search of their first win of the season.

In the SEC West Alabama has once again emerged as the front runner. Every team already has a win under their belt after just two games, having all split at 1-1. The Crimson Tide are the only undefeated West team with wins against Missouri and Texas A&M.

The SEC West once again had a winning record against the SEC East. LSU and Ole Miss were winners for the West while Georgia took care of Auburn for the East.

Rankings

  • No.2 Alabama (2-0)
  • No.3 Georgia (2-0) +1
  • No.4 Florida (2-0) -1
  • No.13 Auburn (1-1) -6
  • No.14 Tennessee (2-0) +7
  • No.17 LSU (1-1) +3
  • No.21 Texas A&M (1-1) -8

The SEC takes seven ranked teams into their week 3. Mississippi State dropped out after their loss to Arkansas. Auburn and Texas A&M were dropped heavily after both teams were dominated. Georgia easily took care of the Tigers while the Aggies could not stop the powerful Alabama offense.

Georgia and Florida flipped spots despite both winning their games. Georgia’s domination of a highly ranked Auburn team bumped them above the Gators.

Tennessee saw quite the rise after cruising by Missouri. They were the beneficiaries of several big upsets over the weekend including UCF, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Texas.

Week 2 Recap

Several teams dominated their opponents in last weekends’ games. Florida handled South Carolina 38-24. A late run by Carolina brought the score closer towards the end of the game. Tennessee dominated Missouri 35-12. The Vols didn’t allow a touchdown until late in the third quarter. LSU didn’t miss a step against Vanderbilt, rebounding from last week to a 41-7 win.

Texas A&M lasted until a little under halfway through the second quarter against Alabama. They tied it 14-14 at the beginning of the quarter before Alabama closed the half on a 21-0 run. Alabama would end up winning 52-24.

SEC Football Week 3 Preview
Arkansas snapped their 20-game SEC losing streak against Mississippi State. (Photo courtesy of wreg.com).

Lane Kiffin got his first SEC win at Kentucky. While the defense still struggled mightily, the offense did just enough to pull of the victory. A missed field goal in overtime by the Wildcats allowed the Rebels to take the 42-41 overtime win.

The Saturday night games were the headline makers. Arkansas’s Sam Pittman joined the likes of Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin in earning his first SEC win. The Razorbacks gave Bulldog quarterback KJ Costello all kinds of problems forcing three interceptions en route to a 21-14 win. It was Arkansas’s first SEC win in 20 tries dating back to 2017.

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry was anticipated to be a defensive battle. Unfortunately for Auburn that was a one-sided prophecy. The Tigers were unable to score so much as a touchdown against Kirby Smart’s defense as Georgia won 27-6. And the Bulldogs are hopeful that they’ve found their quarterback in former walk on Stetson Bennett.

Week 3 Predictions

12pm SECN: South Carolina (0-2) @ Vanderbilt (0-2)

Two winless teams kickoff the afternoon for the conference. Either the Gamecocks or Commodores will find themselves with one in the win column for the first time in 2020.

South Carolina lost a close one to Tennessee to open up the season then were subject to a very good Florida offense last week. They showed fight in that game though and made the score respectable. Kevin Harris, who went for 100 yards against Florida, and Shi Smith are two big pieces to a very well balanced and effective offense.

Vanderbilt looked really good against Texas A&M to open the season but got obliterated by LSU last week. The Commodores have struggled mightily on offense, specifically in the passing game. They were held to just 113 yards against an LSU defense that allowed 623 the week before.

Prediction: South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 16

12pm SEC ALT: Missouri (0-2) @ No.17 LSU (1-1)

Missouri’s start to the 2020 season doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Baton Rouge this week. They’ve had back to back weeks of non competitive football against Alabama and Tennessee. The Tigers have struggled to have consistent offense this year as they’ve juggled their two quarterbacks trying to find some rhythm.

LSU bounced back nicely against Vanderbilt. Myles Brennan had a much better evening throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. The defense was much more effective as well, holding Vanderbilt to one touchdown and 266 total yards. This week should be another easy one for LSU.

Prediction: Missouri 13, LSU 37

12pm ESPN: No.4 Florida (2-0) @ No.21 Texas A&M (1-1)

SEC Football Week 3 Preview
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts has more touchdowns this season (6) than the Texas A&M offense. (Photo courtesy of si.com).

Florida has looked very good in their first two games. Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts have developed an almost Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski type connection. The defense hasn’t been shut down but has done enough for the Gators to win comfortably.

Texas A&M meanwhile has looked worrisome early. They scraped by in a win against Vanderbilt and then got dominated by Alabama last week. They’ve struggled with the turnover bug and the defensive was entirely futile last week. They have another big test in a game they hope is more competitive.

Prediction: Florida 41, Texas A&M 30

3:30pm CBS: No.14 Tennessee (2-0) @ No.3 Georgia (2-0)

Tennessee has looked very good so far in Jeremy Pruitt’s third year. Four year starter Jarrett Guarantano has done very well so far with no turnovers in the first two games. And the Vols bring a duel threat in the backfield with two backs that are averaging over five yards per carry.

If Tennessee has looked very good the Bulldogs look near perfect. It took a while to get going against Arkansas in week 1 but they left no doubt last week against Auburn, jumping out to a 24-0 lead in the first half. The offense looks comfortable with new quarterback Stetson Bennett and the defense is as good as always.

Prediction: Tennessee 13, Georgia 24

7:30pm SECN: Mississippi State (1-1) @ Kentucky (0-2)

Kentucky hosts for the second week in a row after a heartbreaker last week. They’ve played both games well and close but have fallen apart at the end. The trio of runningbacks has been effective as the Wildcats have ran for over 550 yards, averaging 5.8 per carry.

The Bulldogs had a major setback last week against Arkansas and are looking to right Mike Leach’s pirate ship. They have been very lazy with the ball as they had four turnovers for the second game in a row against Arkansas. KJ Costello will be hoping to turn around his three interception game.

The good thing for Mississippi State is their defense has been stout against the run. They allowed just 2.1 yards per carry against LSU and 1.7 against Arkansas. Meanwhile Kentucky has struggled against the pass in both games, and have yet to force an interception.

Prediction: Mississippi State 38, Kentucky 31

7:30pm ESPN: No.2 Alabama (2-0) @ Ole Miss (1-1)

SEC Football Week 3 Preview
Mac Jones is completing just under 75% of his passes with 684 yards in two games. (Photo courtesy of rollbamaroll.com).

Alabama has blown out their opponents in two games thus far. They’ve taken the other team out quickly, jumping to a 28-3 first half lead against Missouri and a 35-14 lead against Texas A&M. As always the Crimson Tide have been very well balanced on offense, and have been a terror on defense.

Ole Miss has had a lot of success on offense, specifically through the air. Their troubles have come largely on the defensive side of the ball. The Rebel defense allowed over 400 yards on the ground against Kentucky and are averaging 46.5 points per game. Even if the offense does produce, the defense won’t be able to hold the Alabama offense.

Prediction: Alabama 55, Ole Miss 21

 

 

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