It’s time once again to break out our crystal ball and look into the future. Week 7 in the SEC promises to be replete with plenty of story lines. Here are a few we foresee happening when the newspapers go to print on Sunday morning.
Mississippi State drops first trip since 2002 to the West
PROVO, Utah — The altitude of Provo, Utah, proved too much for Mississippi State to handle, giving way to Brigham Young in a game that came down to a fourth-quarter collapse for the Bulldogs. The Cougars running game, which entered the tilt ranked No. 36 in the nation in rushing, outlasted the Bulldogs run defense, which, coincidentally, ranked No. 36 in the country. The loss drops Mississippi State to 2-4 (1-2 SEC) in a contest that Dan Mullen’s program sorely needed for bowl eligibility.
Georgia defeats Vanderbilt on five days’ rest
ATHENS, Ga. — A shortened week because of Hurricane Matthew didn’t prevent Georgia from winning its third straight over Vanderbilt. Jacob Eason — who connected on just 5 of 17 passes for 29 yards in Week 6 against South Carolina — rebounded to pace the Bulldogs against a tough Commodore defense that entered the tilt ranked No. 4 in the SEC in pass defense (215.3 YPG). Vanderbilt kept the game close through the first half but couldn’t muster enough offense to stave off a Georgia squad that improves to 5-2 (3-2 SEC).
LSU leans on Guice as Tigers power past Southern Mississippi
BATON ROUGE, La. — At this rate, LSU might not need the injured Leonard Fournette to return to the starting lineup any time soon. Backup tailback Derrius Guice shouldered the load once again as the Tigers barreled their way to a convincing win over Southern Mississippi under the lights in Baton Rouge. The sophomore Guice rushed for his third 100-yard performance of the season and fourth of his career to keep Ed Orgeron undefeated in his first two games as interim coach.
Florida denies Missouri in return to action after Hurricane Matthew
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The old axiom that defense wins championships proved true on a smaller scale in Week 7 as Florida, owners of the SEC’s top-ranked defense, slowed Missouri, the conference’s second-most potent offense. The Gators defense, led by cornerback Teez Tabor’s 2 interceptions, held Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock, who’s thrown for two 400-plus yard games this season, to his lowest yardage of the season — giving the sophomore signal caller less than 200 yards for consecutive weeks.
Ole Miss thwarts Arkansas’ quest for 3 straight wins over Rebels
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ole Miss avenged last year’s overtime loss to Arkansas by downing the Razorbacks on the Hogs’ home turf and dropping Bret Bielema’s program to 0-3 in the SEC West. Quarterback Chad Kelly and the Rebels failed to establish an aerial assault against the vastly-improved Arkansas secondary, and instead relied heavily on their defensive front to pressure Austin Allen and the Razorbacks’ weakened offensive line into several devastating turnovers. The win breaks a streak of consecutive losses for Ole Miss to Bielema and the Hogs, while improving the No. 12 Rebels to 4-2 (2-1 SEC) on the year.
Alabama fends off yet another furious Tennessee comeback
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Like so many times already this season, Tennessee found itself frantically clawing back from what seemed like an insurmountable deficit. For the second time in as many weeks, however, the comeback fell short as top-ranked Alabama fended off Josh Dobbs and the No. 9 Vols at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) trailed at the half by more than 10 points for the fifth time this season, and fourth time in the last four games, before chipping into the Crimson Tide lead. But the Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) defense proved too much for the Vols to handle, pressuring Dobbs into throwing a late interception in the fourth quarter to send Butch Jones’ squad to its second-straight loss.