Clary's Week Four SEC Predictions
Going 3-4 last week is absolutely embarrassing... unacceptable... and it won't happen again. I'm still 19-8 on the year, but last week was my first losing week since beginning this article series. This week I've worked harder and longer, just like a team coming off a loss. So here are this week's picks:
Arkansas St. at Tennessee:
For the first time this year, Tennessee gets to play a cupcake. Starting the year with Cal, Southern Miss, and Florida will make anyone look weak early. I expect Tennessee's defense to bounce back this weekend and work out some kinks. Don't expect Tennessee to turn the ball over since Ainge has only thrown one INT in three games. The Vols look strong this week and roll.
Tennessee 35 Ark. St. 13
Gardner Webb at Mississippi State
The only thing that will beat the Bulldogs this week is the Bulldogs. Mississippi St. is coming off of their biggest win in years and will need to regain their focus this week. The Bulldogs have struggled all year turning the ball over, and the fact that quarterback Michael Henig is out this week I believe is a good thing. Running back Anthony Dixon should have another 100+ yard day, and the Bulldogs will cruise.
Miss. St. 24 Gardner Webb 7
New Mexico St. at Auburn:
There's no better team to play than New Mexico St. when you can't seem to win a game. Carolina knows all too well about that. Auburn is terrible, and it's time for the Brandon Cox era to whistle away in the dust. Expect a very motivated Auburn team this week, and the Tigers would like to run up the score to gain some confidence. However, New Mexico St. QB Chase Holbrook is for real, as he ranks 4th in total offense in the country. Quentin Groves will need to get in his face all day to slow them down. Auburn wins a close, high scoring ball game.
Auburn 34 New Mexico St. 31
Florida at Ole Miss:
So now we get to see how Tim Tebow plays on the road. It's too bad this isn't really a test, playing the worst team in the league. Expect Florida to play well, but Ole Miss always gives teams fits at home. I don't think this one will be close, but it may be for a half. Tebow will have another big game. The physical brand of running by B.J. Green-Ellis will be a very good test for the Gators' front seven.
Florida 42 Ole Miss 10
Kentucky at Arkansas:
This will be the game of the week in the SEC. I expect this one to have lots of scoring and should be very entertaining. Arkansas running, back Darren McFadden will have a very big game as he will carry the Hogs on his back after the tough loss to Alabama. The young offensive line of Arkansas has answered the challenge so far and should look good again this week. Kentucky is also looking very sharp on offense, but can they come back down to earth after the upset win over Louisville? All signs point to Kentucky since they have the momentum, however good teams bounce back.
Arkansas 41 Kentucky 38
Georgia at Alabama:
Georgia is struggling. Alabama is smoking. Take the Tide, right? Well, maybe. Alabama is off to a great start. They are clicking on offense, but I'm concerned about that defense. They struggled down the stretch and looked very tired chasing after McFadden. If Georgia can keep it close for a while, they may wear down the Tide in the 4th quarter. However, Carolina did that to the Dogs as well. So whoever is in the best shape should come out on top. If Terry Grant can continue to shine, the Bulldogs will be staring at 0-2 in SEC play.
Alabama 27 Georgia 17
South Carolina at LSU:
The Gamecocks will play very well. Spurrier's teams always do play well against good teams. Which LSU team shows up will be the question. If they struggle early, a USC lead in the 1st half is not unlikely. If LSU is perfect out of the gate like they were against Virginia Tech, it won't really matter what the Gamecocks do. I expect Spurrier to find the weakness early on in LSU's defense, and yes if there is one, no matter how small, he'll find it.
LSU will have to make mistakes, and they'll need to make them early for USC to get in the game. Carolina's got to get some sort of passing game going, and maybe one of the freshman receivers can shock them since there isn't much to study on them. Hopefully the Gamecocks can move the ball through the air to back their safeties off the line. There's so many things that need to fall into place for USC to win, and although I think this one will be closer than others, it's just too much to overcome. The Gamecocks will play good, maybe even great, but only perfection will beat LSU. Once again, let's hope I'm wrong.
LSU 28 USC 10
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