Mississippi State at LSU
Mistakes in the red zone cost Mississippi State a game most had already counted in the win column. What's surprising is that MSU had been perfect in the red zone prior to last Saturday's debacle. The Bullies marched with some confidence between the 20s, but sputtered before failing to record points in three red zone attempts.
Will Prosser has emerged as MSU's most consistent receiver. Just a sophomore, Will has shown great hands and the ability to make the clutch catch. Prosser will need a career game to give his team a chance at a victory this weekend.
LSU has had some big problems on offense. They aren't nearly as effective on the ground as they were forecasted to be. The offensive line hasn't shown the grit and aggressiveness of year's past.
To further compound the existing problems, the Tigers have not decided on a quarterback. Marcus Randall has started every game and has had his moments, but when the game was on the line against Oregon State and Auburn, it was JaMarcus Russell taking the snaps.
MSU's defense has played well in two of the three games this season, but the offense they will see this weekend will be nearly as talented as the Auburn offense that embarrassed the Dogs in the SEC opener.
Justin Vincent and Ally Broussard are just as potent as the tandem of Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown from Auburn. Considering how successful the Auburn game plan was, one would expect Vincent and Broussard to get plenty of chances to make plays.
There's a lot of speculation that Russell may start this weekend for the Tigers, but both QBs should play. If MSU can contain the running game, and that's a huge "IF", they could force the two-headed QB monster to beat them.
MSU will need to run the ball with some authority to have a chance and keep the LSU offense off of the field. LSU has yet to yield a rushing touchdown this year, so some plays must be made in the passing game.
I expect MSU to come out ready to play and with some exuberance, but the deck is clearly stacked in LSU's favor. The fact that MSU has not won in Baton Rouge since Sleepy Robinson ran all over the Tigers in 1991 shows how tough tall an order this truly is.
Nick Saban is not the type of guy to score seventy points on an opponent and that may help the Bulldogs save a little face.
LSU 42 MSU 14
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I expect Vandy to have a bit of a hangover after giving the game away last week in Oxford. Navy is averaging 28 points per game and they chew up the clock with a fierce ground game.
The Commodores have been bit by the injury bug along the offensive front. The injuries will only make matters more difficult. The option game has shown some promise and probably will be utilized a bit more, but this week it won't be enough.
Navy 27 Vandy 21
Mississippi vs. Wyoming
It appears the Rebels have found their quarterback in Ethan Flatt. Despite some struggles in the first half, Flatt generated just enough offense to gain the victory. Flatt will be without last week's hero Bill Flowers due to a lacerated kidney. This could be a huge factor.
Wyoming has the home field advantage and the altitude. The Cowboys rolled up 53 points in their home opener over Appalachian State, but got shut out last week at A&M. This is a game the Rebels should win, but sooner or later they have to get some better production out of their running game.
Mississippi 27 Wyoming 17
Troy vs. South Carolina
Troy's BCS buster bubble may have burst last week with a surprising loss at New Mexico State. Perhaps they were looking ahead to their last non-conference tilt with the Gamecocks. After winning against Marshall and Missouri, the Trojans seemed to have just one true hurdle left, South Carolina.
Troy's fifteen minutes of fame may run out this weekend in Columbia. The Gamecocks have played well in every contest and their defense has been awful stingy around the goal line. This trend should continue and the Gamecocks pull away late despite not having Demetrius Summers available.
South Carolina 28 Troy 10
The Cats came on strong after falling behind early to Indiana. Florida is probably still smarting after a controversial loss in Knoxville. Despite the missed calls the Gators had the chance to win and probably should have.
The Gator defense still has some issues and that should help Kentucky keep it close for a while. The Swamp has been a house of horrors for the Big Blue Nation and this year will be no exception.
Florida 31 Kentucky 17
This weekend may be the last one Phil Fulmer can breath easy for a while. After this weekend's contest, the Tennessee plays host to SEC West leader Auburn and then travels to SEC favorite Georgia. Those two games will define the season.
Two weeks after the trip to Athens, the Vols will host Alabama. The off-the-field drama should dominate the media that week. And even if the game isn't much of a contest it will be a stressful week. No stress this week. These two young QBs are becoming more enjoyable to watch as the weeks go by. Who do you name as the starter?
Tennessee 35 La. Tech 10
The Citadel vs. Auburn
It's hard to emphasize how huge last week's win over LSU was for Tommy Tuberville. You have to think he was privately snickering to himself after the fiasco that occurred last season that nearly saw Tubby moving on.
Auburn has a pretty manageable schedule in parts, but with Tennessee, much improved Arkansas and Georgia left on the slate, it's tough to book the Tigers tickets to Atlanta just yet. LSU has a chance to climb back into this thing, but they must be two games better with the rest of the schedule since Auburn holds the tiebreaker.
Auburn 38 The Citadel 3
Alabama vs. Arkansas
Despite a 3-0 start many of the Tide faithful are holding their collective breath over this weekend's contest. What first looked like a game the Tide should win now looks like a game the Tide will need some help to stay in.
With Brodie Croyle done for the season, Coach Shula will hand the ball to Miami transfer Marc Guillon. Guillon was efficient a week ago after Croyle went down, but this week brings a much tougher challenge.
Arkansas won a barnburner last year, but this year's game should not be as competitive. If Croyle were healthy the Tide would probably win a hard fought contest, but with a new QB going into hostile territory you have to like the Hogs' chances.
Arkansas 24 Alabama 13
Well, that's the week. We were looking great in a lot of games last week until the final minutes. The Vols last second win, the Rebs comeback in OT, and the shocker in Starkville ruined what should have been a good weekend. What can you say? Sometimes the bad guys win.
Until next week,
Steve Robertson writes The Robertson Report for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website. Steve's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.