Week Two was fairly unpredictable in the SEC — a couple of schools struggled with FCS opponents, and some eggs were laid (Why, hello, Auburn offense). But never fear. We don’t learn easily here in the bold predictions department. We’re calling for some crazy stuff again in Week 3. Here’s a bold prediction for each SEC game.
Rocky Top that
The most overrated 3-0 team in the country? Well, it’ll probably be Tennessee on Saturday night. Not drinking the big orange Kool-Aid, but not buying in on this identity-challenged Florida team either. Tennessee will make some mistakes but Quinten Dormady and John Kelly are both too experienced to lose to a Florida team that might as well punt on first down. UT by a touchdown in The Swamp. And count the Gators out in the East in 2017.
Hayden Hurst goes off
South Carolina’s offense has been pretty modest so far — 13th in the conference in total yardage at the moment. Meanwhile, Kentucky’s defense has been surprisingly decent. But the loss of Jordan Jones changes this game. Honestly, Kentucky was a decent upset pick with Jones. Without him? The inexperienced UK linebackers who replace him will lose Hayden Hurst in coverage on about six key catches. Hurst gets 100 yards and two scores, and Carolina wins by 10.
A&M backpedals on Mond
Kellen Mond was going to be the next great young Texas A&M quarterback. Well, he is young. But after two starts, Mond is just 15 for 38 passing for 132 yards. If Jake Hubenak had been under center, A&M would be looking at 3-0. Instead, Kevin Sumlin finally pumps the breaks on the Kellen Mond era in an unsuccessful effort to save his job. A&M will run for 300 yards on Louisiana Lafayette, but none of that will change the UCLA game from two weeks ago.
The Rodney Dangerfield of the East gets some respect
That would be Vanderbilt, which beats Kansas State in Nashville on Saturday. The Commodores haven’t played any real competition yet, but Derek Mason’s guys are the forgotten contender in the East. The schedule really shapes up too well for anybody to get a good run at Georgia, but Vandy could well end up second in the East. Kyle Shurmur passes for 250 yards again and Vandy wins by a touchdown.
Auburn gets so mad at Clemson, it scores 70 on Mercer
Seriously, after a week when Auburn’s offense looked completely lost, it’s hard not to imagine Gus Malzahn putting up some yardage and points — 700 yards and 70 points is the prediction here.
Down goes Mizzou … again
It was a rough week for Missouri, firing its defensive coordinator two weeks into the season. It’ll look even sillier when Jeff Brohm’s outmanned-but-fighting Purdue squad passes for enough yardage to squeak out a win in Columbia on Saturday. Purdue has a major lack of talent, but Brohm had his charges hanging with Louisville two weeks ago. They can upset a rudderless Tigers team.
We love Fitzgerald, but we love LSU more
LSU vs. Mississippi State does look like it could be a great game. But as impressed as we’ve been with the Bulldogs’ first two games ,the Tigers are the clear No. 2 team in the SEC. LSU gets ahead early and has the defensive horses to slow Fitzgerald. Says here that Danny Etling ends up with more total yardage than Nick Fitzgerald. LSU by three scores.
Pump the breaks on Ole Miss
Don’t get us wrong, they’re still the most fun to watch mediocre team in the SEC. But the Rebels are a mediocre team, and losing at Cal will prove it. Sure, Cal doesn’t play much defense. How are people who aren’t Alabama, LSU or Auburn going to defend Shea Patterson anyway? But the same Rebels who struggled with UT-Martin aren’t going across the country and beating anybody. This feels like a 47-42 kind of game, but the Golden Bears take it.
Bo knows Colorado State
Alabama is the one team that it’s hard to get bold with. Because what is there to be bold about in a series of blowouts? Here’s one though. Bo Scarbrough has been pretty quiet this season, but he goes for 150 yards in this one. Here’s another wrinkle for the year that we’ll throw out — Bama will end up with three 1,000 yard rushers this year — Hurts, Damien Harris, and Scarbrough.
Georgia pitches a shutout
The UGA defense showed up late against Notre Dame when needed. Week 3 is a statement game for that defense, which hangs a goose-egg on its fellow Bulldogs from Samford.
Source: Saturday Down South