Here’s the schedule of SEC games in Week 7 of the college football season, along with some basics on each game, my predictions and analysis.
Schedule of SEC games
Schedule of Saturday, Oct. 15 Games
South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 SEC) at Mississippi State (3-3, 0-3 SEC)
12:21 a.m. ET • SEC Network / ESPN3.com
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field (55,082)
Series Record: USC leads, 7-6 • Last Meeting: Sept. 29, 2007 at Columbia (USC, 38-21)
Thoughts: South Carolina is 3rd in the nation in pass defense and 9th in total defense. South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore is 6th in the nation in rushing and 20th in all-purpose rushing. I know this game has some elements of an upset: a home underdog with some ability, skeptics of South Carolina, an early kickoff, etc. but I don’t think it’ll happen. South Carolina hasn’t just upgraded the QB position but the defense has drastically improved. MSU’s disappointments against lesser opponents don’t help.
Final Score: South Carolina 28 Mississippi State 14
LSU (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC)
3:30 p.m. ET • CBS Sports
Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium / Shields-Watkins Field (102,455)
Series Record: UT leads, 20-8-3 • Last Meeting: Oct. 2, 2010 at Baton Rouge (LSU, 16-14)
Thoughts: LSU’s Morris Claiborne is 6th in kickoff returns. LSU is fourth in rush defense and turnover margin; 5th in total defense and 8th in scoring defense. LSU will have to be incredibly disinterested, turn the ball over uncharacteristically and not win special teams where it has a huge advantage going in. The best chance for UT is to find a way to run a little bit and go to TE Mychal Rivera early and often. LSU is much too talented, deep, physical and focused to lose this game. How far behind Tennessee is from a talent standpoint will be crystal clear during this game, even at Neyland Stadium. Last year’s game means absolutely, positively nothing towards the outcome of this game. Zero. The schools are the same; the football teams are much different.
Final Score: LSU 38 Tennessee 10
Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2 SEC)
6 p.m. ET • ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium / Hollingsworth Field (60,580)
Series Record: UA leads, 44-9-3 • Last Meeting: Oct. 16, 2010 at Tuscaloosa (UA, 23-10)
Thoughts: Alabama is 3rd in the nation in total defense. Alabama’s Trent Richardson is fifth in the nation in scoring and ninth in rushing. Ole Miss’ Tyler Campbell is 8th in punting. Ole Miss’ Jeff Scott leads the nation in punt returns. Ole Miss traditionally plays Alabama tough, especially in Oxford. Ole Miss is hoping Randall Mackey can continue to play well. Houston Nutt had to suspend four players for this game. The gap between the two teams is significant. The margin of victory will be as well.
Final Score: Alabama 37 Ole Miss 6
Georgia (4-2, 3-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (3-2, 1-2 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • FS South / ESPN3.com
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (39,773)
Series Record: UGA leads, 51-18-2 • Last Meeting: Oct. 16, 2010 at Athens (UGA, 43-0)
Thoughts: Vandy’s strong start has quickly been forgotten after a step-up in competition and a woeful offense. Jordan Rodgers could have seized the QB reigns by now but he hasn’t played as well I expected. Georgia is a little banged-up but more than able to handle their business on the road in Nashville.
Final Score: Georgia 27 Vanderbilt 9
Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC) at Auburn (4-2, 2-1 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • ESPN / ESPN3.com
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium / Pat Dye Field (87,451)
Series Record: AU leads, 42-38-2 • Last Meeting: Sept. 29, 2007 at Gainesville (AU, 20-17)
Thoughts: Florida’s Caleb Sturgis is third in the nation in field goals. Florida’s offense finally gets away from Alabama and LSU. Can Charlie Weis get Rainey and Demps re-started against a weaker defense. I don’t think so. Auburn’s defense will do enough to compliment the Tigers running game that should have a big day to win the game.
Final Score: Auburn 24 Florida 17
OPEN: Arkansas (5-1, 1-1 SEC); Kentucky (2-4, 0-3 SEC)
Vince Ferrara has more than 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, in numerous SEC and Big 12 markets, working in sports radio, play-by-play and television. You can hear him host the “News Sentinel Sports Page” weekdays 10am-12pm ET on WNML - “The Sports Animal” in Knoxville and read more of his work at Examiner.com.