The Robertson Report - 10/6

Another separation Saturday is upon us and several big games highlight the week. With only three home teams favored to win, it should prove to be a very exciting weekend around the SEC.

Arkansas vs. Auburn

The breakfast offering this week features Arkansas fresh off of a bye week visiting SEC west leader Auburn.

The league's top two rushers, Kenny Irons and Darren McFadden, will do battle in the latest in a series that has been anything but predictable.

Auburn had a struggle last week with an improving South Carolina team on Thursday night. They face a Razorback team growing in confidence after knocking off Alabama two weeks ago.

As legend will have it, most people will forget about the multitude of misses Mitch Mustain had against the Tide. They will always remember the one that mattered most, the touchdown pass in overtime to win the game.

The Tiger defense may be the toughest test to date for young Mustain. He will win several more big games, but this week it is asking to much to win on the Plains against a team as good as the likes of Auburn.

Auburn 31 Arkansas 17

Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss

Rumor has it that Rebel head man told the Red and Blue faithful during the walk of champions that they would not lose against Georgia. The young Rebs did not make good on Coach O's promise, but they did play much better and had a chance to pull the upset.

A competitive game against a highly ranked opponent is not uncommon for an Orgeron coached team. Last season the Rebs hung in with Tennessee and out played Alabama before falling to the Tide on a late field goal.

The problem has been against teams that are not as heralded. A loss to Wyoming, an ugly win over the Citadel, a good old fashioned tail whipping in the Egg Bowl by Mississippi State and a manhandling by Wake Forest have the Ole Miss folks wondering. The inconsistency has been the one constant in the Ed Orgeron era.

This week Vanderbilt visits Vaught-Hemingway stadium as a road favorite. Which Rebel team will show up? One team will get their first SEC win, but for the Rebs to emerge victorious they must improve on offense. The Rebs have scored an SEC worst 61 points.

Based on recent history and the Commodores' ability to get up for Ole Miss they should be able to get a much needed SEC road win.

Vanderbilt 27 Ole Miss 24

LSU vs. Florida

If you can't get excited about a game like this then your next of kin may want to call the coroner. You have the SEC's best offense, Florida, against the SEC's best defesne, LSU. It's a matchup made in heaven.

Since a tough loss to Auburn, LSU has been playing their best football. A loss to Florida would all but end the Tiger's hopes of winning the west and making it Atlanta unless the Peach Bowl ends up taking LSU.

Florida must protect Chris Leak from an LSU defense that has recorded a league best 19 sacks. Granted LSU has not played a tough slate to date, but they are a very dangerous team.

A loss to the Tigers does not end Florida's title hopes. The Gators would still control their own destiny. Because of the intangibles and the must win mentality LSU must have I am taking the Tigers.

LSU 24 Florida 17

Duke vs. Alabama

Alabama is reeling and the natives have become increasingly restless after two straight SEC losses. A contest against a hapless non-conference opponent could not come at a better time.

The Blue Devils have only managed thirteen points on the year and have been shutout three times in four games. Expect a similar result this week.

John Parker Wilson has proven to be a physically tough Quarterback for Alabama, but he has the habit of throwing off his back foot and appears to get rattled when he gets pressure in the pocket. The mental toughness will come, but it may be next year.

Alabama 31 Duke 0

South Carolina vs. Kentucky

The Gamecocks appear to be getting well. Despite a tough loss to Auburn a week ago, South Carolina appears ready to compete behind the play making ability of Syvelle Newton.

Kentucky is much better on offense, but defensively they have a lot of issues. The passing game has given them all sorts of problems and that is not good news when facing a Steve Spurrier coached team.

Newton and Rice should have a nice day, but watch for the Wildcats to make a game of it for a while. If it boils down to a battle of field position South Carolina is good hands with Ryan Succop who may garner All-SEC honors as a freshman punter. Ryan is averaging 43.5 yards pre punt.

South Carolina 31 Kentucky 24

Tennessee vs. Georgia

Georgia has some problems on offense. An Ole Miss team that got shelled by Wake Forest pretty much had their way with a Georgia offensive line that on paper was more talented.

With the points Tennessee is putting up in David Cutcliffe's offensive scheme, Georgia cannot afford to let the offensive production of the last two weeks persist.

Georgia will be up for the game, but will they have an answer for Erik Ainge and Bobby Meachem? Ainge is having an all conference type of year and should have another good week this week.

I like Tennessee as a road favorite. Georgia will probably add a wrinkle or two to the special teams after last week's dissappointing results. They will need more than a questionable flag or two this week. Tennessee is back.

Tennessee 27 Georgia 17

West Virginia vs. Mississippi State

West Virgina struggled last week in their first road trip. A win is a win, but the Mountaineers saw East Carolina score early in the contest. The WVU defense had not allowed a first quarter point until the Pirates put a touchdown on the board.

MSU has had all kinds of trouble scoring early. The Bulldogs have yet to get a goose egg off the board in the first stanza. A slow start this week could result in another case of the "here we go agains".

Mississippi State has been salty against the run and have contained Kenny Irons among others on the season. Another tall task will be in the offing in the name of Steve Slaton.

Slaton is garnering national attention from the media and is expected to be on several post season awards list.

The Bulldogs must contain Slaton and improve their 3rd down pass defense to have a chance to be the lead story on the highlight shows.

With Anthony Dixon and Arnill Stallworth both getting some work at tailback it bodes well for the future. The reps will be split even further this week with the return of Brandon Thornton. Thornton, the opening day starter, has been on the shelf since the Auburn game and could prove to be a factor.

The main thing MSU cannot do is let the game get out of hand early. If they can contain the run and force Daphne, Alabama native Pat White to throw the ball they have a chance.

Can the Bulldogs pull the upset? There is always a chance, but MSU needs some early turnovers or big plays on special teams to give them some momentum and confidence. The LSU/WVU piggyback was expected to be a tall order for an MSU team looking hard for wins. The schedule becomes a bit more manageable after this week.

West Virginia 31 MSU 21

Well, that's the week. It should be a great day around the league. Last week we went 7-0 to improve our record to 41-4 on the season. With seven games on the schedule it could be another week to pad the stats, but there is an upset or two I wouldn't mind seeing.

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