It’s time to break out our crystal ball and peek into the future. Even though Alabama and Florida have already sent back their RSVP’s for the SEC Championship game, the conference will wrap up its regular season this week with plenty of great storylines.
Here are a few headlines we foresee reading while standing in our half-open robes at the end of the driveway with the newspaper this Sunday (and Friday and Saturday) morning.
Defense the difference as LSU wins Thanksgiving thriller over Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With Jake Hubenak struggling to move the ball against the LSU secondary, Texas A&M was forced to rely heavily on its run game during a Thanksgiving evening tilt in College Station. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Tigers defense wasn’t going to lose two close games in a row. Derrius Guice wasn’t to be denied at the goal line for a second time in as many weeks and scored an insurance touchdown late in the game to seal a thrilling win for Ed Orgeron in his final regular season game as LSU’s interim head coach.
Arkansas downs Missouri in a slugfest
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Arkansas is no stranger when it comes to putting points on the scoreboard. Neither is Missouri. The result was a high scoring affair that witnessed the Razorbacks post more than 30 points for the ninth time this year. Neither team could contain each other’s rushing attacks as Hogs running back Rawleigh Williams III ran for the seventh 100-yard performance of the year en route to finishing the regular season with the highest total rushing yards in the SEC. …
Lamar Jackson, Louisville rebound to pummel Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky will limp into its first bowl game under Mark Stoops after a sound thrashing at the hands of a highly-motivated Louisville team. One week after being upset by Houston, Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson made his final case for the Heisman Award by throwing for 300 yards and rushing for the third 100-yard performance in his last four games. …
Georgia ekes past Georgia Tech on late field goal
ATHENS, Ga. — Rodrigo Blankenship made his case for a scholarship after the walk-on freshman hit his second game-winning field goal on the year to help Georgia squeak past in-state rival Georgia Tech between the Hedges. The win gives Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs four-straight victories to close the regular season — a streak that began with Blankenship’s walk-off field goal against Kentucky in Week 10. …
Alabama slows Auburn run game for Iron Bowl victory
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The ghosts of Iron Bowl past remained dormant in Week 13, deferring, to an Alabama run defense that stymied Auburn’s SEC-best rushing attack. The return of Kamryn Pettway, the conference’s leading rusher (138.3 YPG), to the Tigers’ lineup wasn’t enough to push No. 16 to a victory over the undefeated Crimson Tide. …
Ole Miss fends off Mississippi State to gain bowl eligibility
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss is going to a bowl game, after all. But not before the Rebels had to hold off rival Mississippi State and a Bulldogs squad bent on keeping Hugh Freeze’s squad on the outside of the postseason looking in. Shea Patterson picked up his second win since taking off his redshirt in Week 11 and led Ole Miss to a late score to claim the Rebels’ third-consecutive Egg Bowl.
Clemson outlasts pesky South Carolina squad
CLEMSON, S.C. — Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley and South Carolina caused No. 4 Clemson a fair share of headaches in the first half, but, in the end, Deshaun Watson and the Tigers proved too much for the young Gamecocks to handle. Watson took over the game in the second half with a performance that almost certainly assures the quarterback will, once again, sit on the Heisman Award dais on Dec. 10 in New York City. …
Dobbs, Tennessee down upset-minded Vanderbilt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt failed to pull off its second upset in as many weeks as Josh Dobbs and Tennessee dropped the Commodores with a second-half surge. The loss is particularly painful for Vanderbilt — who played the Week 13 home contest in front of a crowd of mostly Volunteer fans — because the Commodores fall a win shy of qualifying for a bowl game in head coach Derek Mason’s third season in Nashville. …
Florida State once again tops higher ranked Gators
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State upset the higher ranked Florida Gators for the second straight year to once again send Jim McElwain’s squad into the SEC Championship game on a losing note. Florida’s defense, which held the LSU run game in check in Week 12, was unable to limit the damage inflicted by the Seminole’s Dalvin Cook, who crested the 100-yard plateau for the eighth time this year.