SEC WEEKLY FEATURES
Co-Owner Mike Nowoswiat is joined by SEC Expert Ryan Tourial to provide weekly game previews each Wednesday, and a look back at the league's top performers each Monday. Be on the look-out for additional feature articles, and we invite you to join the discussion and follow us on Twitter:
SEC Game Previews - WEEK 13 By Ryan Tourial, SEC Staff Writer
Charleston Southern vs Georgia
The Nick Chubb era officially begins this Saturday in Athens. The freshman running back from Cedartown, Ga, was a more than capable understudy during Todd Gurley’s suspension, and was the better back this weekend against Auburn. Gurley might have been rusty, but Chubb looked like an elite rusher even when sharing the load with Gurley. After suffering a torn ACL late in the game, Gurley’s career is all but finished at UGA. In two years, Gurley has missed nine full games, but has still managed to be second on the Georgia’s all-time rushing list. Kind of makes you think what could have been with this one time Heisman contender. But Georgia has its next big thing in Chubb, a bruising running back that also has speed. Chubb and the UGA starters should be out by the third quarter and will be resting up for a big home game against arch rival Georgia Tech. The Dawgs remain alive in the East but need a Missouri loss.
Eastern Kentucky vs Florida
The hammer finally fell on the Will Muschamp regime-make that lightly tapped on the Will Muschamp regime. Muschamp will finish out the regular season with the Gators but will part ways with Gainesville at the end of the season. If the Gators make a bowl game, Muschamp will not coach. Florida had had a strange season, full of ups, downs and everything in between. The Gators had veteran and young talent and an experienced head coach in Will Muschamp. Still even with all of that talent and an experienced head coach the Gators could only muster a .500 SEC record. They pummeled SEC East rival Georgia and Vanderbilt, and could have beaten LSU but were embarrassed against Missouri and Alabama. They should come out on top against the Colonels but will be a huge underdog when they travel to Doak-Campbell Stadium to square off against the undefeated Noles. Before that, Muschamp will coach his last game in the Swamp and should notch one more win.
South Alabama vs South Carolina
The Ol’ Ball Coach does have some magic left in that visor after all. Sooner or later he’ll be able to pull a rabbit from it. After being down a 17-10 in the 4th quarter the South Carolina special team made its biggest plays of the year, blocking a Florida field goal to keep to keep the game to one possession and blocking a punt giving the Gamecocks another chance at the end zone. South Carolina has greatly under achieved this year but has gained some momentum after beating Florida that momentum should carry into this South Alabama game before the Gamecocks meet up with Clemson in the Palmetto State showdown.
35-14 South Carolina
Ole Miss vs Arkansas
Arkansas finally did it. After going 763 days without an SEC win, the Razorbacks shut out the 17th ranked LSU Tigers and moved back to .500 overall. After routing Presbyterian and having a week off, the Rebels prepare for their last two SEC games. Like Mississippi State, the Rebels are still alive in the West but will need a bit of help to reach the title game in Atlanta. The Hogs aren’t the pushover team of last year, and will give fits to the Rebels this Saturday. The key matchup will be the Land Shark defense against the Running Hog attack of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Whoever can win the ground game battle and control the tempo of the game will have the best chance to win. Arkansas is riding a wave of momentum but Ole Miss is well rested and has the superior defense to stop Collins and Williams.
28-24 Ole Miss
Western Carolina vs Alabama
The Tide are back on top of the College football World. The Playoff Committee were impressed enough to put Alabama at the number one seed ahead of undefeated Florida State and one loss Oregon. Alabama controls its own destiny in the West and is the favorite to win the SEC title. The Tide can slip up against Auburn in the Iron Bowl but with the Tigers looking vulnerable Alabama will be the clear favorite to win the West and soundly beat any team from the East. Alabama basically has a week off against the Catamounts but have the clearest path to Atlanta and New Orleans.
Samford vs Auburn
The Tigers need to rebound quickly. Gus Malzahn’s boys were once right in the thick of the College Football Playoff hunt but are now all but eliminated from playoff contention. The Tigers were shocked after losing to Texas A&M, were embarrassed by Georgia last weekend, and travel to Tuscaloosa in two weeks to face off with the number one Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Before that, happens, Auburn has a nice little cupcake to munch on. Auburn might put 50 up on Samford to vent out a couple weeks of frustration. Their starters should be out of the game by the beginning of the third quarter and will rest up for their collision course with the Tide.
Missouri vs Tennessee
Missouri begins its second of the three game SEC gauntlet. The Tigers control their own destiny in the SEC East but must win this weekend against Tennessee and also against Arkansas next weekend to repeat as East champion. Maty Mauk has played much better since having an abysmal stretch of games against South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Running back, Russell Hansbrough, is coming off of a career game against A&M, and looks to continue his success against an A.J. Johnson-less Tennessee defense. The Vols lose arguably their best player in Johnson and defensive back, Michael Williams. Both players were suspended after being accused of sexual assault. If Mauk and Hansbrough can get going against the Vols defense then this game could be a shootout. Josh Dobbs has been lights out in his two starts at quarterback for the Vols but will face his toughest challenge against the Tiger front four led by Shane Ray and Markus Golden. Without Johnson on defense, Tennessee will have a tough time slowing down the Missouri offense, while Ray and Golden give fits to Dobbs and the rest of the Volunteer offense.
Vanderbilt vs Mississippi State
After sitting atop of the college football world for a few weeks, the Mississippi St Bulldogs were unseated by the Alabama Crimson tide in Tuscaloosa. The Playoff Committee still has the Dawgs at the number four spot so there is still a chance for Dan Mullen’s squad to be in the inaugural playoff. There is also still a chance that the Dawgs can make it to Atlanta, although they no longer control their own destiny. The Dawgs need to win out and need Auburn to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Easy enough, the Dawgs start with Vanderbilt who is still looking for an SEC win. Vanderbilt’s defense will be no match for the mighty Dak Prescott. Johnny McCrary is a solid starter at quarterback or at least better than Stephen Rivers, Wade Freebeck. But Vanderbilt has no other offense besides that and will struggle to move against the Dawgs defense. State can still achieve its goals and make the playoff by beating Vanderbilt, which shouldn’t be a problem. Come next weekend though…well, we can crack that egg open later.
35-14 Mississippi State
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