After a perfect 9-0 two weeks back, I took a beating in the SEC prediction business last Saturday, missing on six of the nine games. Time for a rebound.
New Mexico State at Ole Miss (12:00/SEC): Ole Miss will try to pick itself back up after being mashed 38-10 last Saturday at Florida. Ole Miss forced five Alabama turnovers and beat the Crimson Tide. (Ole Miss hasn’t forced a turnover in the two games since.) The Rebels turned it over four times at Florida and lost to the Gators. Spot a trend here? New Mexico State has a trend of its own. The Aggies are 0-4. They’ll be 0-5 after the trip to Oxford. Ole Miss 45, New Mexico State 10.
South Carolina at LSU (3:30/ESPN): This game was moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge because of the flooding in South Carolina. Gamecocks are 2-3 overall and already 0-3 in the SEC. They aren’t likely to have an answer for the wrecking ball that is Tigers running back Leonard Fournette, who is stacking 200-yard rushing games. On offense, South Carolina gained just 298 yards in last week’s 24-10 loss at Missouri. And LSU has held each of its last three opponents under 300 yards. This has the look of No. 4. LSU 23, South Carolina 3.
Georgia at Tennessee (3:30/CBS): Tennessee lost 24-20 at home to visiting Arkansas last Saturday. Georgia lost 38-10 to visiting Alabama last Saturday. Mark Richt’s quarterbacks completed just 11 of 31 passes for 106 yards with three interceptions against Bama. Not good. Tennessee’s offense has had problems of its own. The Vols gained just 254 yards in the loss to Oklahoma and just 365 last Saturday against Arkansas. Tennessee might need it more, but Georgia is the better team. Georgia 27, Tennessee 21.
For Friday, we’ve combined the SEC and Big Blue Links. Kentucky football will enjoy a Saturday off as the Cats prepare for next Thursday’s home game with Auburn under the lights at Commonwealth Stadium for ESPN.
As for the SEC, a big game in Knoxville, where it’s a must-win game for both Georgia and Tennessee. Injury is forcing South Carolina to change quarterbacks at LSU, and Florida’s sack attack worries Missouri.
Meanwhile, of course, there is Kentucky basketball recruiting news.
Kentucky football might be off this week, but not the podcast. My Herald-Leader colleagues Jennifer Smith and Mark Story joined me Thursday to talk about the ups and downs of UK’s season so far. We also took a look ahead to what we can expect for the Cats.
Click the continue line to hear the podcast.
Big Blue Links for Thursday:
With Auburn preparing for next Thursday’s trip to Lexington, Tigers’ coach Gus Malzahn is using the extra time to re-evaluate his quarterbacks. Malzahn’s move and more in the SEC links for Wednesday:
Big Blue Links for Tuesday:
The news came Monday night that UK guard Dominique Hawkins fractured a bone in his right hand during practice over the weekend and will miss four weeks. Allen Feldhaus, Jr., Hawkin’s high school coach at Madison Central, told the Herald-Leader’s Jerry Tipton that he stressed to Hawkins that it’s the pre-season and there is plenty of time to heal.
UK has been planning for the traffic and parking problems presented by playing host to a Thursday night football game on ESPN, reports Morgan Eads of the Herald-Leader. Among the changes, “Commuting students will be expected to park at Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road under a collaboration among the university, Southland and the neighboring Home Depot, according to the plan laid out on the UK website.”
ESPNU will televise UK’s “Pro Day” basketball practice on Sunday night, reports the H-L. Doris Burke, Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg will work the ESPNU telecast. Andy Katz will do sideline reports.
Over at Louisville, can Rick Pitino survive another sex scandal? asks Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. While Mark says he believes Pitino when the coach says he didn’t know what was going on, “He is paid a ridiculous amount of money to know what is going on within the Louisville basketball program. If McGee was doing what Powell claims, the ultimate responsibility rests on the person who hired McGee as his director of basketball operations.”
SEC links for Tuesday:
A little over a week before it comes to Commonwealth Stadium for a Thursday night ESPN game, Auburn announced Monday night it has booted senior wide receiver D’haquille “Duke” Williams from the team. Considered to have NFL potential, Williams had been suspended twice before, reports Michael Niziolek of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
“When individuals fail to meet the expectations of our program, there has to be consequences,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said, in the statement. “I gave D’haquille the chance to prove himself. I am disappointed that it did not work out.”
Former Florida basketball great Neal Walk has died at age 67. Walk had been battling a blood disease, reports Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. Walk, who played from 1966-69, was the first basketball All-American in UF history. He was the second player taken in the NBA draft behind a fellow named Lew Alcindor.
After a rough outing against Alabama, Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert is turning his attention to Tennessee. Lambert completed just 10 of 24 passes in the Bulldogs’ 38-10 drubbing by the Tide. Mark Richt announced Sunday that he is sticking with Lambert, who set a school completion percentage record against South Carolina earlier this season.
John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel says the Tennessee’s coaches are not making the grade. The Vols are off to a disappointing 2-3 start. “The more I watch this team, the more convinced I am that its biggest problem is coaches, not players,” writes Adams. “My guess is you have reached the same conclusion.”