ITAT SEC East Picks: Week Two

Inside The Auburn Tigers takes a look at this week's games involving SEC Eastern Division teams.

Editor's Note: The winner of our weekly Inside the Auburn Tigers prediction contest will receive an invitation to join staff members to give their takes in the SEC picks column. Last week's winner, 5xTiger, is our guest. To enter this week's ITAT contest, click on the link: Your Picks

Thursday Night's Game

South Carolina (1-0) at Vanderbilt (1-0), 7:30 p.m. CDT ESPN
Jason's Take: The Commodores come into this nationally televised contest on a roll after winning on the road last week. While the offense is improved it's still not good enough to beat a solid Gamecock defense. South Carolina 23, Vanderbilt 16

Mark's Take: Nickson's The One again in Nashville and that was a good thing for the Commodores in the opener. Chris Nickson, the senior quarterback from Brundidge, Ala., lost his starting job last year, but has made a comeback for 2008 and did it in style winning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in a surprisingly easy road win at Miami of Ohio. South Carolina wasn't exactly a well-oiled machine on offense in the opener, but Spurrier's Gamecocks were impressive defensively and that should be the edge they need to improve to 2-0. South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 17

Stephen's Take: Even though Georgia is on the horizon, the Gamecocks won't be caught looking ahead after last year's debacle. A second consecutive loss to Vanderbilt would raise serious questions about Steve Spurrier's future in Columbia, but the defense is strong enough to hold the ‘Dores in check. South Carolina 20 Vanderbilt 10

5xTiger (Shannon) Pick CSS has an outstanding defense and with the emergence of Smelley at QB, I'm looking for the offense to start being more Spurrieresque. USC 24, Vandy 14

Saturday's Games

Central Michigan (1-0) at Georgia (1-0), 3:30 p.m. CDT FSN South
Jason's Take: Georgia takes on perhaps the best quarterback nobody knows in CMU's Dan LeFevour without two of its top defensive linemen with Jeff Owens out for the season and Kade Weston out for the week. It may make this one closer than most think. Georgia 31, CMU 23

Mark's Take: Although the Bulldogs are a heavy favorite, the Chippewas are expected to win their third straight Mid-American Conference Western Division title so this game might not be a walk-over. LeFevour is a talented quarterback who could test the UGA secondary, but the Bulldogs should take care of business between the hedges. Georgia 38, Central Michigan 17

Stephen's Take: Quarterback Dan LeFevour may give the Bulldogs a scare for a quarter or two, but the Chippewas are ultimately outmatched. Georgia 41 Central Michigan 20

5xTiger (Shannon) Pick: Central Michigan will collect its check, take its beating, and go home. UGA 45, Central Michigan 14

Norfolk State (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0), 5 p.m. Pay Per View
Jason's Take: This one is the no-brainer of the week. Kentucky's defense performed very well and the offense should pick up the slack this week. Kentucky 56, Norfolk State 10

Mark's Take: Norfolk State gave up just 103 total yards in a 41-7 opening game victory over Virginia State while UK had a surprisingly easy time knocking off in-state rival Louisville last Sunday. Even with one fewer day than normal to prepare for this game, the Wildcats should win without much stress. Kentucky 48, Norfolk State 14

Stephen's Take: Kentucky opened the season with a solid win over Louisville while Norfolk State routed Virginia State 47-7. I didn't know Norfolk was a state, nor did I know that Virginia State sported a football team. The ‘Cats' defense is going to surprise some folks this year. Kentucky 27, Norfolk State 3

5xTiger (Shannon) Pick: UK should be 4-0 when they visit Tuscaloosa. UK 38, Norfolk St. 10

Miami, Fla. (1-0) at Florida (1-0), 7 p.m. ESPN
Jason's Take: This game has all the makings of a runaway in Gainesville as the Hurricanes still aren't ready to challenge for the ACC title much less step out of conference on the road against one of the SEC's best. Florida 38, Miami 14

Mark's Take: The Hurricanes have been downgraded to tropical depressions in recent years. This season's group could pack a little more punch, but shouldn't cause major stress for a high-level SEC team like the Gators. Florida 31, Miami 14

Stephen's Take: Miami has beaten Florida in each of the last six meetings dating back to 1986. Times have changed, and the Gators will leave no doubt as to who is currently the dominant program in the Sunshine State. Florida 45 Miami 17

5xTiger (Shannon) Pick: I'm just not a Randy Shannon believer. UF 31, Miami 13

2008 Inside the Auburn Tigers Football Guide

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