Week 2 SEC - Arkansas St at Auburn & More
Week 2 Fearless Predictions - Arkansas State at Auburn & More
UAB (0-1) at LSU (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:00, ESPNU
Why You Should Give A Hoot: LSU didn't play all that well against TCU. The run defense was a little soft at times, there were a few mistakes, and the offense wasn't all that consistent, but the Tigers still won by ten. It should be a little bit easier this week, and the sailing should be smooth against Kent State and Auburn before the showdown at Georgia, but UAB has improved and should make this interesting for a little while. The Blazers lost an overtime heartbreaker to Troy, but the passing game was explosive and there were signs that this might be a decent Conference USA season.
Why UAB Might Win: Can LSU convert drives into touchdowns? It should've been able to put away TCU easily in the first half, but the offense had to settle for three Colby Delahoussaye field goals in deep trips. UAB didn't do a strong job on third downs against Troy, but it was able to force a few mistakes and generate a decent pass rush. Can the D get to LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger? It had better, because …
Why LSU Might Win: UAB gave up one of the greatest passing games in the history of college football. Troy's Corey Robinson completed 30-of-32 passes for 319 yards and a score, setting the NCAA record for the highest completion percentage by anyone attempting 30 passes or more. That means the spotlight will once again be on …
Who To Watch Out For: Mettenberger, who threw for 251 yards and a score against TCU, but he only completed half of his passes. His receivers still need to be a bit sharper on routes and a bit more productive, but now with quarterback guru Cam Cameron giving him pointers, it's time to come up with a brilliant performance to show that he can be the type of quarterback who can carry the team to really, really big things. All the tools are there, and now he has to show he can be as effective as the Troy starting QB.
What Will Happen: LSU won't do anything crazy. Run the ball, use the defense to stuff the Blazer ground game, hit a few third down throws, repeat, win.
Prediction: LSU 44 … UAB 10
Line: LSU -34.5 o/u: 61
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2
SE Missouri State (0-1) at Ole Miss (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:30, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: Call this the eye of the storm. Ole Miss went through a thrilling battle against Vanderbilt with a late score bringing a very, very necessary opening night win. This is a good, dangerous Rebel team with a ton of young talent and athleticism across the board, but fun time ends after this week with at Texas, at Alabama, at Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU up next. SE Missouri State kicked off the season with a 45-7 loss to SE Louisiana. The word you're looking for is uh-oh.
Why SE Missouri State Might Win: If there was ever a letdown, sandwich game this is it. You'll have to forgive Ole Miss if it's not fully focused. The Redhawks didn't get anything against SE Louisiana out of QB Scott Lathrop, but they have a good running game that was able to come up with 206 yards. The problem was the defense that allowed 309 yards.
Why Ole Miss Might Win: The Rebels moved the ball well against Vanderbilt, but they didn't do too much on the ground until Jeff Scott pulled off the game-winner on his thrilling 76-yard dash. This is the game to get the offensive line into a lather. SE Missouri's defensive line is about to get flattened, and Ole Miss should b able to empty the depth chart and get other backs involved to keep Scott healthy.
Who To Watch Out For: While everyone focused on super-recruit Robert Nkemdiche - who looks from the start like he'll be a special, special player – but it was fellow star pickup Laquon Treadwell who had scouts buzzing. He didn't come up with any huge plays, but the 6-3, 215-pounder looked the part of a No. 1 target with good route-running, nice hands, and the size to be a matchup nightmare. He caught nine passes for 82 yards, but he's going to become a very big deal, very fast.
What Will Happen: Ole Miss goes through the motions and gets the backups some live reps before prepping for the brutal stretch to come.
Prediction: Ole Miss 52 … SE Missouri State 0
Line: Ole Miss -50 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1
Sam Houston State (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:00, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: What's Johnny going to do this week? What gestures will he give the crowd? What taunts will he give the opponent? What way will he come up with to disrespect his head coach? It's a week before Alabama, and everyone just wants to get through this game alive, but San Houston State isn't just another FCS team. The Bearkats squeaked by Houston Baptist 74-0, and they should be the class of the Southland. At the very least, they have the offense to make A&M try.
Why Sam Houston State Might Win: The offense returns loaded. Seven starters are back from a juggernaut that came out roaring, cranking out 365 yards on the ground and scoring at will on the hapless on the Huskies. The skill players are there to push the Aggie defense a wee bit led by Brian Bell, who wasn't needed much last week with the running game rolling for 365 yards. Meanwhile, the defense swarmed, allowing just 90 yards of total offense. However …
Why Texas A&M Might Win: … the Bearkats are rebuilding up the defense. Texas A&M should provide a wee bit more of a challenge than Houston Baptist, and it already proved it can get things rolling without Johnny Manziel going nuts. Yes, Sam Houston State will be able to move the ball a bit, but the A&M offensive line shouldn't have a problem pounding away for the ground game. The bigger problem is a Bearkat secondary that's in rebuilding mode and is about to be pushed really, really hard.
Who To Watch Out For: All of Manziel's antics took the focus off a great day from the Aggie receivers. Mike Evans is the established star, and he looked nice and comfortable with his quarterback back catching two Manziel touchdown passes and leading the way with six catches for 84 yards. However, the future, and the present, could be superstar recruit Ricky Seals-Jones, who made a splash in his debut with three catches for 84 yards.
What Will Happen: This will be more of a shootout than Aggie fans might like. A&M will fire at will, but the secondary is about to have a long, long day. Manziel will be needed for more than a half.
Prediction: Texas A&M 55 … Sam Houston State 27
Line: Texas A&M -40 o/u: 68
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2
Arkansas State (1-0) at Auburn (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:30, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: Who knows Arkansas State better than Gus Malzahn? The new Auburn head coach is facing his former team, and no one knows better than he does that this might be a fight. The Red Wolves steamrolled over Arkansas Pine-Bluff 62-11, and while there's some rebuilding to do, the ground game is dangerous and the talent is in place to give the Tigers a hard time. Auburn hung on for dear life against Washington State, proving the lower half of the SEC really might be better than the lower half of the Pac-12, but there's still plenty of work to be done. After last year, any win Auburn can come up with is a good one, but all the fun of a 1-0 start would go bye-bye in a hurry if Arkansas State leaves with a big upset.
Why Arkansas State Might Win: Auburn, Arkansas State would like to introduce you to its friend, the running game. The Red Wolves lead the nation in rushing after cranking up 509 yards on the ground with four backs coming up with 100 yards or more. ASU hit home run after home run, averaging 8.9 yards per carry with eight touchdowns. Auburn's run defense looks good on paper, but that's because it faced a Washington State offense that blows off the ground game. The veteran ASU line is going to give the Tiger front four problems. Maybe, because …
Why Auburn Might Win: The Auburn defensive line could become the team's biggest strength. It came up with two sacks against the pass-happy Cougars, and it did a nice job of getting behind the line and being disruptive when needed. The Tigers have to get to the ASU backs before the ground game can start, and they have to force Adam Kennedy to try to throw. Of course, there's the Gus Malzahn factor. It's a new Arkansas State with a new coaching staff that's tweaking things a bit, but it's still Malzahn's team, to a point.
Who To Watch Out For: In his first start, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall was fine, but he didn't exactly push things completing 10-of-19 passes for just 99 yards. He didn't set the world on fire, but he didn't have to with the running game controlling things early on, but he didn't make any big mistakes. However, the star turned out to be kicker Cody Parkey, who bailed out the offense with three field goals including shots from 47 and 42 yards out.
What Will Happen: Watch out. Auburn's offense struggled to find any consistency against a mediocre Washington State defense, and it needed a Tre Mason kickoff return for a touchdown and a long Corey Grant scoring run to get by. Arkansas State will keep up in the shootout, but the Tigers will hang on for a tight win for the second straight week.
Prediction: Auburn 34 … Arkansas State 30
Line: Auburn -13 o/u: 62
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 3
Austin Peay (0-1) at Vanderbilt (0-1) Sept. 7, 7:30, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: Vanderbilt has to get up off the mat after a devastatingly painful SEC loss to Ole Miss, and it needs to get right with a trip to South Carolina up next. Austin Peay spent last week getting destroyed by Tennessee 45-0, so this now becomes a measuring stick for the Commodores to see where they stack up in the SEC East.
Why Austin Peay Might Win: The sandwich factor. The loss to Ole Miss was a major emotional letdown considering the Commodores let the game slip through their fingers, and they're going to be looking ahead to the showdown against the Gamecocks. So what went right for the Governors in the blowout loss to Tennessee? The special teams weren't bad with the punting game stretching the field a bit.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: Austin Peay is truly in rebuilding mode. Expected to be the Ohio Valley's worst team, everything is starting over after a few rough seasons. As long as the Commodores can keep the turnovers to a minimum, a slight problem against Ole Miss, they should be able to move the ball at will on a Governor secondary that was picked clean by the Tennessee passing game.
Who To Watch Out For: Austyn Carta-Samuels threw two picks, but he also showed the moxie and late game toughness the Vanderbilt offense needs. The former Wyoming starter threw for 300 yards, helped by a huge day from Jordan Matthews, who caught ten passes for 178 yards and a score. Considering Tennessee's Justin Worley did whatever he wanted, Carta-Samuels should have a coldly efficient and effective day.
What Will Happen: Vandy head coach James Franklin will never let his team take any game lightly. The Commodores will put this away after two drives.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 56 … Austin Peay 6
Line: Vanderbilt -47.5 o/u: 59
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1