Thursday, September 5, 2013
SEC predictions: Week 2
By Chris Low
It wouldn’t be the SEC without some type of investigation.
And sure enough, a week into our SEC picks competition, a full-scale investigation has been launched into whether or not the ATL Kid (some know him as Edward Aschoff) is adjusting his picks after getting an early look at mine.
I know it sounds like whining (OK, it is whining), but I’m just saying
Begrudgingly, I will admit that he took an early one-game lead on me. He picked Clemson to beat Georgia, and I didn’t. The Tigers may be in the ACC, but they're for real. We both missed Western Kentucky’s 35-26 win over Kentucky.
So after smoking me last season and rubbing it in my face like he'd just won the World Cup, the ATL Kid is already out front, and he's chirping so loud that it can be heard all the way from Buckhead to Athens.
Then again, maybe that’s just his cat.
We’ll line up and play again this weekend. As they say in college football, every week counts.
On to our picks:
ALCORN STATE at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Chris Low: The Bulldogs are still looking for their first touchdown of the season after being held out of the end zone in the opener. That won’t be a problem this week, even without Tyler Russell.
Mississippi State 48, Alcorn State 7
Edward Aschoff: Dak Prescott makes his first career start with Russell sidelined with a concussion. The hope is that he adds a nice change-of-pace to an offense that was just plain offensive last week.
Mississippi State 34, Alcorn State 10
AUSTIN PEAY at VANDERBILT
Chris Low: The Commodores are still smarting after letting one get away last week against Ole Miss. They get to take out their frustration on an Austin Peay team that will be fortunate to keep it within 40.
Vanderbilt 49, Austin Peay 6
Edward Aschoff: After a heartbreaking opener, the Commodores should be refreshed and ready to knock heads with another team. Judging from what Tennessee did to the Governors last week, Vandy shouldn't have any trouble lighting up the scoreboard.
Vanderbilt 48, Austin Peay 3
MIAMI (OHIO) at KENTUCKY
Chris Low: Reality set in last week for the Big Blue Nation in the loss to Western Kentucky, although first-year coach Mark Stoops already knew what kind of challenge he was facing this season. The Wildcats will get a much-needed reprieve this week.
Kentucky 34, Miami (Ohio) 17
Edward Aschoff: This is a win that the Wildcats -- and Stoops -- absolutely have to get. The passing game needs a spark, and that defensive line has to tighten up. I think you'll see both happen on Saturday.
Kentucky 27, Miami (Ohio) 17
SAMFORD at ARKANSAS
Chris Low: Arkansas looked sharp in the opener against a Louisiana-Lafayette team that wasn’t shabby. You can already see the Bret Bielema influence on the Hogs, who will move to 2-0 this week with ease.
Arkansas 42, Samford 14
Edward Aschoff: Bielema got the physical play he wanted out of his running game last week, and he even saw a pretty good passing game. Both of those trends continue Saturday.
Arkansas 41, Samford 10
SE MISSOURI STATE at OLE MISS
Chris Low: After giving its fans one heart attack after another in the thrill-a-minute win over Vanderbilt in the opener, Ole Miss will give them reason to leave Vaught-Hemingway Stadium by the end of the third quarter in this rout.
Ole Miss 50, SE Missouri State 7
Edward Aschoff: After expending so much energy last week in that thrilling win over Vanderbilt, the Rebels have to come back down to Earth for another football game. Fortunately for this team, the Redhawks shouldn't pose much of a threat.
Ole Miss 45, SE Missouri State 13
SAM HOUSTON STATE at TEXAS A&M
Chris Low: Just a hunch, but here’s betting that Johnny Manziel doesn’t get any taunting penalties in this one. But he will have a few more (a lot more) touchdowns.
Texas A&M 58, Sam Houston State 14
Edward Aschoff: Manziel is starting again, and something tells me he'll look even better with more time on the field. This is also a chance for the defense to make some adjustments before taking on Alabama next week.
Texas A&M 56, Sam Houston State 17
TOLEDO at MISSOURI
Chris Low: Toledo is not a team to mess around with, which means Missouri had better come to play. Having a healthy James Franklin and Henry Josey will be the difference for the Tigers.
Missouri 30, Toledo 20
Edward Aschoff: It was good to see Franklin and Josey back on the field and healthy. They put up good numbers last week and shouldn't have a problem doing it again on Saturday.
Missouri 45, Toledo 17
UAB at LSU
Chris Low: Based on what we saw in the opener, LSU might be the most impressive team in the SEC right now. They’ll get a breather this week at home against a UAB team that lost in overtime to Troy in Week 1.
LSU 45, UAB 13
Edward Aschoff: LSU moved the ball on offense and flew around on defense against TCU in Week 1. This is just a quick tuneup for the Tigers, as players look to pad their stats early.
LSU 41, UAB 3
ARKANSAS STATE at AUBURN
Chris Low: This one has danger written all over it for Auburn, and nobody needs to tell that to Gus Malzahn. He knows Arkansas State won’t be intimidated, but the Tigers will make enough big plays on offense to survive.
Auburn 38, Arkansas State 28
Edward Aschoff: Malzahn faces his old team on the Plains. The good news for the Red Wolves is that they won't see anything too foreign. The bad news is that it won't matter.
Auburn 38, Arkansas State 20
WESTERN KENTUCKY at TENNESSEE
Chris Low: Can Bobby Petrino go 2-0 against the SEC? The Vols also had a chance to hire him and passed. Regardless of what you think about him, the guy can flat out coach. But the difference in this game will be Tennessee’s big, veteran offensive line.
Tennessee 31, Western Kentucky 23
Edward Aschoff: Fresh off beating an SEC team that snubbed him, Bobby Petrino faces another one that said no. Tennessee made some exciting plays in the running game, and that will keep the Vols from being Petrino's second SEC victim. ... Tennessee 27, Western Kentucky 20
FLORIDA at MIAMI
Chris Low: This may be the last time we see Florida and Miami play in the regular season again for a long time. The Gators still have a lot to prove on offense, but they’re good enough on defense to get out of South Florida with a win.
Florida 24, Miami 20
Edward Aschoff: We know both of these teams can run, and the Canes will carry a pretty big chip on their shoulders into this one. Stopping running back Duke Johnson will be Florida's top priority, and the Gators' front seven should hold its own. The return of Loucheiz Purifoy, Antonio Morrison and Matt Jones will be too much for the Canes.
Florida 23, Miami 13
SOUTH CAROLINA at GEORGIA
Chris Low: Georgia attempts to avoid the Palmetto State sweep against South Carolina after losing at Clemson in Week 1. Getting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons back will help the Bulldogs on defense, but they’ll win it thanks to the one-two punch of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in the running game.
Georgia 31, South Carolina 27
Edward Aschoff: We knew Georgia's defense would struggle early, but tackling issues have to be very concerning to this team. South Carolina will make the Bulldogs pay for another performance like that. The Bulldogs should adjust and fix things defensively, but South Carolina's pounding ground game and ferocious defensive line will just be too much. ... South Carolina 30, Georgia 24