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Vince’s Vibe: Week 3 Picks

Vince Ferrara

Here’s the complete schedule of SEC football games this weekend with details, analysis and a score prediction for each game. My record last week was 9-2. My record after week 2, straight-up, is 19-3.

 

Saturday, Sept. 15 Games

Louisiana-Monroe (1-0) at Auburn (0-2, 0-1 SEC)

12: 21 a.m. ET / 11:21 a.m. CT • SEC Network

Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium / Pat Dye Field (87,451)

Vince’s View:

Winner: ULM deserves a ton of credit and attention for shocking the college football world with an overtime win at Arkansas last week. But, let’s be honest, Arkansas’ lack of focus and respect for their opponent (see Nick Saban) is the biggest reason why ULM pulled the upset. Despite Auburn’s major issues throwing the football, the Tigers will be focused and desperate. An Auburn loss and the Tigers may wave goodbye to any bowl game hopes this season. ULM QB Kolton Browning was outstanding for the Warhawks last week. The most amazing stat from last weekend’s game: ULM was 14 of 30 on 3rd and 4th down combined. That, along with 2-to-1 time of possession should tell you why ULM came back from 28-7 down to win the game. Back-to-back wins at SEC schools should warrant another billboard (or 10) in Monroe, Louisiana. I don’t see that happening.

Winner: Auburn 30-16

 

Presbyterian (1-1) at Vanderbilt (0-2)

12:30 a.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT • CSS

Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (40,550)

Vince’s View:   Next game, please.

Winner: Vanderbilt 56-10

 

Alabama (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1)

3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS Sports

Fayetteville, Ark. • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)

Vince’s View:   Boy, how different does this game look from less than a week ago. QB Tyler Wilson is out and no one behind him is close to his level right now. No team leaves injured players in their wake more than Alabama. The Razorbacks defense has been on the field for 184 plays in the first two games, and now they have to face the bruising Bama run game? Yeah, good luck with that.

Winner: Alabama 41-10

 

Texas A&M (0-1) at SMU (1-1)

3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT • FSN

Dallas, Texas • Ford Stadium (32,000)

Vince’s View: This is the first time these two teams will play at SMU since 1990. After making progress on defense the last few years, SMU is off to a bad start on that side of the ball. The Mustangs will have difficulty with A&M’s fast-paced offense. Look for QB Johnny Manziel and RB Christine Michael to have big games in Dallas.

Winner: Texas A&M 42-20

 

Florida (2-0, 1-0 SEC) at Tennessee (2-0)

6 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. CT • ESPN

Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium / Shields-Watkins Field (102,455)

Vince’s View: The heat and criticism will be at an all-time high for the loser of this game. The winner will be at the highest point in their tenure at that school and a legit contender for the SEC East title. The stakes are extremely high. This appears to me to be a much different Tennessee team than the one that started in similar fashion last year. This team is better-coached, more experienced, confident, aggressive and dynamic. New schemes and new players make the Vols look like they belong. There are still plenty of things for Tennessee to prove. Can Derek Dooley beat a ranked team and finally get that signature win? Will Tyler Bray play well against a good team? How will the team handle adversity? If Tyler Bray and the offense goes 3-and-out or can’t move the ball for 3-4-5 straight possessions, will he start forcing throws that leads to INTs and easy points for UF? Florida’s defense is outstanding, but they are banged-up. Florida isn’t as inept offensively as UT fans think they are. Jeff Driskel, Jordan Reed and Mike Gillislee can make plays and move the chains. How healthy is Gillislee? If he’s not able to go or be effective, that could be a big problem for the Gators. Will Driskel hold the ball too long as he has or will he be coached-up to run quicker? OC Brent Pease hasn’t given Driskel full-field reads yet. Will Tennessee DC Sal Sunseri scheme to make Florida pay for their simplicity? The one clear advantage Florida has is the kickers. I see Tennessee getting up big early and not needing a critical field goal. With a new kicker for the Vols, look for Dooley to go for it on 4th and manageable in Florida territory rather than try long field goals. Both teams have great return games.

Winner: Tennessee 34-17

 

Mississippi State (2-0, 1-0 SEC) at Troy (1-1)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • ESPN3

Troy, Ala.  • Veterans Memorial Stadium (30,000)

Vince’s View:   Mississippi State is #1 in the country in turnover margin after two weeks. Troy throws the ball a lot, and looks to be a willing participant in the turnover-fest. A sluggish post-Auburn performance is possible, but MSU will still win.

Winner: Mississippi State 37-20

 

Arizona State (2-0) at Missouri (1-1, 0-1 SEC)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • ESPN

Columbia, Mo. • Memorial Stadium / Faurot Field (71,004)

Vince’s View:   Missouri’s James Franklin needs to play better. He hasn’t been bad but he needs to be dynamic for the Tigers to have great success. Missouri better win this game because SEC wins in the week-to-week grind will be tough to come by late in the year. Arizona State has looked fast and explosive this season. I’ll give Mizzou the benefit of the doubt that it bounces back from the loss to Georgia last week. I think this will be a wild, high-scoring game.

Winner: Missouri 45-38

 

Western Kentucky (1-1) at Kentucky (1-1)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • ESPNU

Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium / C.M. Newton Field (67,942)

Vince’s View:   Western Kentucky showed it has ability by playing Alabama tough last week. WKU had six sacks against arguably the best offensive line in the country. Their problem is turnovers (108th in the country.) Kentucky played as well as we’ve seen them in years on offense versus Kent State. QB Max Smith and the boys should play much better than they did the last time these two teams met a year ago in Nashville.

Winner: Kentucky 34-21

 

UAB (0-1) at South Carolina (2-0, 1-0 SEC)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • FSN

Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)

Vince’s View: The HBC will get his 200th career coaching win. The Blazers rebuilding project is a big one that’s a long way away from being a threat to the Gamecocks. Question is, who plays QB for SC (Connor Shaw or Dylan Thompson), how will they look and how will Spurrier handle it moving forward if Thompson is effective again.

Winner: South Carolina 45-13

 

Florida Atlantic (1-1) at Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC)

7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT • CSS

Athens, Ga. • Sanford Stadium (92,746)

Vince’s View: FAU barely beat FCS team Wagner 7-3 and lost to Middle Tennessee, who did lose to a FCS school. Georgia gets players back from suspension and injuries. The Bulldogs should win big.

Winner: Georgia 42-0

Idaho (0-2) at LSU (2-0)

8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT • TigerVision PPV

Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,542)

Vince’s View:  Losing four academically ineligible players and Jordan Allen to injury won’t affect LSU considerably. The only difference is many of those players would have played a lot with the score out of hand in this game.

Winner: LSU 38-3

 

Texas (2-0) at Ole Miss (2-0)

9:15 p.m. ET / 8:15 p.m. CT • ESPN

Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium / Hollingsworth Field (60,580)

Vince’s View:   This is one of only eight games of 2-0 FBS teams squaring off. This is a more intriguing match-up now than what we may have thought before the season. Ole Miss is 9th in the country in rushing, and QB Bo Wallace has played well to this point. Texas’ defense has been strong, and QB Davis Ash has been efficient. I trust Texas in turnovers and special tams a little more, so I’ll go Longhorns on the road.

Winner: Texas 27-17

 

Follow me @VinceSports on Twitter and see everything I’m working on in sports. Download the WNML App for your mobile device, so you can hear the “News Sentinel Sports Page” radio sports talk show that I host (weekdays 10am-12pm ET/9-11am CT) at www.sportsanimal99.com.

 

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