Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Adrian Hubbard, a Norcross grad, stands on the sidelines against the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Colorado State 31-6. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
After a 7-2 performance in Week 4, Daily Post staff correspondent Andrew Hall is now 36-6 in predicting SEC football games this season. Here is the breakdown of this week’s schedule.
No. 12 South Carolina at Central Florida
UCF popped up on everyone’s radar following a three-point victory over Penn State on Sept. 14, and the Knights will be looking to make another statement against the Gamecocks. Ultimately, however, South Carolina has too much in the form of athleticism. Look for South Carolina’s young defense to demonstrate improvement (thanks to a bye last week) and expect Mike Davis to run for 150-plus yards.
Our pick: South Carolina by 14
South Alabama at Tennessee
Saturday, 12:21 p.m./SEC-TV
South Alabama is not a terrible team, and if you believe in the transitive property this Jaguars squad may be better than one of the SEC’s bottom feeders, Kentucky. After all, Kentucky lost to Western Kentucky by nine points and Western Kentucky lost to South Alabama by a touchdown. All that being said, Tennessee will move above .500 this week heading into a matchup with Georgia.
Our pick: Tennessee by 21
No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia
Saturday, 3:30 p.m./CBS
Georgia played host to the nation’s sixth-ranked team just three weeks ago and came away with an impressive win against South Carolina. This sixth-ranked team, however, boasts an offense that is capable of exposing Georgia’s young defensive backs and a defense that is significantly more advanced than the Gamecocks’ unit. UGA will need a perfect game and a little luck to pull off a win against LSU. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, the recent track record has been plagued by mistakes, not defined by perfection.
Our pick: LSU by 10
No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 9 Alabama
Saturday, 6:30 p.m./ESPN
If there’s one thing you don’t tell Nick Saban, it’s that you’re going to score points on his defense. That’s exactly what Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace implied earlier this week. One has to respect his confidence, but his judgment may be questionable given Saban’s recent national championships and all. Ole Miss is a better team than many (myself included) anticipated at this point, but the Rebels won’t push the Crimson Tide past the second quarter.
Our pick: Alabama by 20
No. 20 Florida at Kentucky
Saturday, 7 p.m./ESPNU
The bad news for Florida’s Tyler Murphy is that his first start in place of injured quarterback Jeff Driskel will be a road game in the SEC. The good news is that game is being played in Lexington, Ky. The bad news continues with the notion that this Kentucky defense is pretty decent (allowing just 23 points per game, held Louisville to just 27 points). But, good news prevails: This is still Kentucky.
Our pick: Florida by 12
No. 10 Texas A&M at Arkansas
Saturday, 7 p.m./ESPN2
After jumping out to a 24-7 lead last weekend, Arkansas squandered a win against Rutgers by allowing 21 unanswered points in the game’s final 17 minutes. The Razorbacks are now rewarded for that heartbreaking loss with four consecutive games against top-25 opponents (A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama). If Arkansas can get back to its pounding ground attack, this game could be closer than some expect. But either way, Texas A&M wins.
Our pick: Texas A&M by 17
Arkansas State at Missouri
Saturday, 7:30 p.m./CSS
Missouri has quietly rolled to a 3-0 record while outscoring its opponents by more than 25 points per game. This game will likely be more of the same for the Tigers as they improve to 4-0 in anticipation of eight consecutive SEC matchups.
Our pick: Missouri by 21
UAB at Vanderbilt
Saturday, 7:30 p.m./Fox Sports Net
Vanderbilt got back on track last weekend with a 24-7 victory over UMass. Look for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and the rest of the Commodore offense to take full advantage of a weak UAB defense. The Blazers have allowed nearly 40 points per game this season and rank 118th in the nation in scoring defense.
Our pick: Vanderbilt by 24