2018 SEC Football Predictions | Week 6
Week 5 Record (7-1), Overall Record (44-9)
Week 6 of the 2018 SEC Football season has arrived, and I am prepared to throw predictions at you like Tua Togovailoa throws the football… once a week and accurate beyond comprehension.
All Times Eastern | Utilizing AP Rankings until the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings are released in October.
Saturday, October 6th, 2018
#1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at Arkansas (1-4, 0-2 SEC)
Noon ET | ESPN
- Let’s put Alabama’s offense in perspective. Drew Lock is a fantastic quarterback at Missouri. He’ll probably be an early pick in the NFL draft and has been racking up bloated numbers for the Tigers since his freshman year. In 2018, Lock is 101-for-161 for 1,283 yards and 11 touchdowns.
- Tua Tagovailoa is 66-of-88 for 1,161 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tua has yet to throw a pass in the fourth quarter and has thrown a grand total of 19 passes in the second half. One has to assume these numbers will level off and Tua will become human at some point, but it probably won’t be before November 3rd in Baton Rouge.
- Arkansas appeared to show some heart against traditional rival Texas A&M in a closely contested 24-17 loss inside the Jerry Dome. Considering opponents are scoring almost nine points per game more than the Hogs, this is practically a win.
- The first team brave enough to trust the run game against Alabama’s defense might have a shot at being successful on offense. Opposing defenses aren’t the only ones having a tough time adjusting to Bama’s newfound explosive offense. Alabama’s defense ranks 43rd nationally against the run. Opposing offenses are running for nearly four yards per play. It’s important to note that 444 of the 634 rushing yards by opposing offenses have come with Alabama leading by 15 or more points.
PREDICTION: Alabama 59, Arkansas 3
Missouri (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at South Carolina (2-2, 1-2 SEC)
Noon ET | SEC Network
- As mentioned above, Drew Lock is a fantastic quarterback. He has thrown for 1,283 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions. His leadership on and off the field has Missouri at 3-1, with the only loss coming to Georgia. Although these things are said way too many times, it’s worth noting that Missouri lost by 14 points while turning the ball over three times early in the game in moments where the game was tied or within one possession.
- South Carolina is possibly the least definable team in the SEC heading into the sixth week of the season. The Gamecocks have defeated Coastal Carolina and Vanderbilt, while losing to Georgia and Kentucky.
- Missouri should be explosive enough to win comfortably if they can avoid shooting themselves in the foot.
PREDICTION: Missouri 34, South Carolina 17
#5 LSU (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at #22 Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC)
3:30 PM ET | CBS
- LSU junior transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has thrown for 1,023 yards in five games. These stats must read like an Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning stat line in Baton Rouge. Although Burrow doesn’t have the impressive arm of a Zach Mettenberger, Tigers fans are excited to have a quarterback that they feel can at least hold the ‘game manager” title. The Tigers’ signal caller has yet to throw an interception the entire season.
- Florida’s only loss is to Kentucky. This statement is beginning to sound more and more impressive each week.
- Joe Burrow’s numbers are not very impressive, but the early impression is he can put up big numbers in the biggest moments. Burrow threw for a season-high 249 yards in LSU’s last-second, 22-21, win over Auburn. Those numbers came on only 15-of-35 passing and one touchdown. Conventional wisdom says those numbers won’t be sufficient enough to hold up an undefeated season, but defenses like Dave Aranda’s at LSU have a way of punching conventional wisdom in the mouth.
- Dan Mullen and the Gators appear to doing what good programs do under new leadership; they are improving every week and developing an identity. Mullen and his staff understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team and he’s already putting them in position to win each week.
- The aforementioned Gators identity may be the fact that they are finding different ways to win each week. Florida doesn’t rely on any one scheme on any given Saturday. The identity of this Gators team is flexible, multiple, and resilient. LSU will find out the hard way.
PREDICTION: Florida 17, LSU 9
UL Monroe (2-3) at Ole Miss (3-2, 0-2 SEC)
4:00 PM ET | SEC Network
- Ole Miss is good on offense and awful on defense. The players love head coach Matt Luke and will never stop playing for him. That is why they will continue to improve as the year goes on. They may not win every game, but they’ll play hard and not give up. At this point in Oxford, that has to be enough while Luke rebuilds the NCAA mess Hugh Freeze left behind.
PREDICTION: Ole Miss 44, UL Monroe 24
#13 Kentucky (5-0, 3-0 SEC) at Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1 SEC)
7:00 PM ET | ESPN
- Mark Stoops is using the never-fail formula to winning in football, even in the current days of high flying offenses; run the ball on offense and play dominant defense. It’s not pretty but it works. Kentucky’s rushing offense ranks 10th nationally and the defense ranks third.
- Texas A&M ranks sixth nationally in rushing defense, giving up only 85 yards per game. This defense has faced Clemson and Alabama already, by the way.
- The Aggies are six-point favorites heading into Saturday night’s matchup. To say Kentucky will wear out the “disrespect” card would be the understatement of 2018. To not use the “disrespect” card when it actually applies would be stupid, so play on, Kentucky.
- Texas A&M defeated Arkansas by seven in Arlington last week. Arkansas is being outscored by its opponents by almost nine points per game.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 27, Texas A&M 17
Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-1) at #2 Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC)
7:30 PM ET |SEC Network
- Georgia is good. Vanderbilt is trying to keep the season from falling apart following a near upset of Notre Dame in South Bend. The ‘Dores stole a win over OVC member and crosstown opponent Tennessee State Saturday in Nashville. Continued thoughts and prayers to critically injured TSU Tigers linebacker, Christion Abercrombie.
PREDICTION: Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 3
#8 Auburn (4-1, 1-1 SEC) at Mississippi State (3-2, 0-2 SEC)
7:30 PM ET |ESPN2
- Mississippi State may have hit a wall. New head coach Joe Moorhead is in danger of falling into a full-speed snowball rolling down the hill that is SEC football. After losing to the man he replaced at head coach last week, Moorhead could begin to subconsciously force the issue and try a little too hard to make something happen. The Bulldogs are only two-point underdogs headed into Saturday night’s home matchup against No. 8 Auburn, but trying to make too much happen too soon in a game like this could turn the season sour.
- Auburn is beginning to looked like a team playing inside a pressure cooker. Whichever team can handle the pressure caused by their season being on the brink will win. Auburn has more experience, but is experience what you want in this situation?
PREDICTION: Mississippi State 16, Auburn 12
Eric Taylor is a contributor to FBSchedules.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricFromSpfld or contact him via email at Er[email protected]. Be sure to Like the Facebook page Facebook.com/EricTaylorWritesStuff for the latest on the 2018 SEC Football Predictions as well as all the things.