October 11th, 2013 01:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Current Line, Opening Line, SEC, TV
Week Seven of the SEC season is upon us and appropriately enough there will be seven games involving SEC squads. Below is our usual game previews complete with stats, opinions, TV listings, up-to-date odds and predictions.
Good luck to your favorite team this weekend…
#25 Missouri (5-0) at #7 Georgia (4-1)
TV: 12:00pm ET on ESPN
Opening Line: UGA -11
Current Line: UGA -8
One To Watch: Georgia QB Aaron Murray. With so many of the playmakers who surround him down for the game or down for the season, there will be more pressure than ever on Murray to carry his Dawgs to victory.
This And That:
1. James Franklin currently rates as the SEC’s fourth-best passer. It’s his running, however, that’s been the X factor for Mizzou this season. Once again healthy, Franklin has carried the ball 53 times for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Against Georgia, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd ran for 42 yards and two scores while South Carolina’s Connor Shaw logged 75 yards. Franklin can move the Tigers with his arm, but UGA defenders had better be wary of his legs as well.
2. Starting running back Todd Gurley is likely to miss his second straight game with an ankle injury. Backup Keith Marshall was lost for the season in last week’s win over Tennessee. That leaves offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to lean on freshmen JJ Green (17 carries for 129 against the Vols) and Brendan Douglas (10 for 25) in UGA’s ground game. Keep in mind, Mizzou’s run defense currently ranks third in the Southeastern Conference…
3. But. If Murray can quickly develop some chemistry with his new receivers — his top three pass-catchers are out of action — it could be a long day for the Tiger secondary. Missouri ranks dead last in the SEC in pass defense, allowing 293.8 yards per game through the air. Against BCS-level foes, MU’s secondary has been gutted for 357.5 yards per contest.
Prediction: Georgia 37, Missouri 34
#14 South Carolina (4-1) at Arkansas (3-3)
TV: 12:21pm ET on SEC TV
Opening Line: USC -7
Current Line: USC -6
One To Watch: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney. Will the man hyped as the SEC’s best defender actually suit up this week? The star’s status is still questionable due to a muscle strain. He did practice this week which is a good sign for the Gamecocks. If he plays, expect the Razorbacks to run it where he ain’t.
This And That:
1. Also keep an eye on what Hog offensive coordinator Jim Chaney does tomorrow. He’s leaned on the run game so far and quarterback Branden Allen had his struggles last week at Florida. Carolina, however, does not have Florida’s defense. And Chaney’s Tennessee offense a year ago lit up USC for 472 yards — 381 through the air — in a 38-35 failed upset bid in Columbia. Might the Razorbacks try to open up the passing game?
2. Though Clowney is the most well-known pass rusher in this game — if he plays — it’s actually the Arkansas pass rush that’s performed better this season. The Razorbacks have recorded a league-leading 17 sacks through six games. Carolina defenders have sacked opposing QBs 14 times through five games.
3. Will Bret Bielema drop a fourth straight game. His current three-game losing skid is just the second such streak of his coaching career. Carolina has gotten into the bad habit of letting foes creep back into games in the second half. On the road at Arkansas, the Gamecock might finally pay a price for nodding off post-halftime.
Prediction: South Carolina 31, Arkansas 24
Western Carolina (1-5) at Auburn (4-1)
TV: 2:00pm ET on Pay-per-view
Opening Line: AU -44
Current Line: AU -43
One To Watch: Auburn QB Nick Marshall. The Tigers’ starter has developed into a pretty good running threat. Though he ranks ninth in the SEC as passer, Marshall is the #3 rushing quarterback in the league behind only Dak Prescott and Johnny Manziel. Unfortunately, he hurt his knee late in last week’s game against Ole Miss. He’s expected to play tomorrow, but there are no guarantees he’ll start (or finish) the contest.
This And That:
1. Yet another game that should not have been scheduled. SEC administrators can whine and fret about dropping attendance numbers all they like. They’re partially responsible for lagging ticket sales due to their insistence in playing not only FCS squads, but bad FCS squads.
2. The only thing these types of games seem to be good for are injuries. With that in mind, Gus Malzahn might want to think about sitting Marshall even if he is healthy enough to play. Why put your starting quarterback at risk when a backup quarterback — or a hot dog vendor from the out of the stands — can lead the Tigers’ up-tempo attack to victory against WCU?
3. Auburn’s offense has turned the ball over 10 times through five games. Only Tennessee with 13 giveaways ranks worse in the SEC. If nothing else, tomorrow’s game could be an exercise in ball security for the Plainsmen.
Prediction: Auburn 52, Western Carolina 10
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