NCAA SEC Roundup: After Wild Offseason, Alabama-Texas A&M Game Has Arrived

Week 6 SEC Schedule Includes Five Double-Digit Point Spreads


Tennessee-LSU Matchup Could Steal the Show in Week 6

With the back and forth between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas AM’s Jimbo Fisher after Saban accused Fisher and his staff of buying the best recruiting class in the country, one would have imagined that there would be those trying to stir things up as the teams are set to square off this weekend. That might still happen, but so far things are quieter than expected on that front. It is just one of the games of note in the NCAA SEC Roundup.

Some of that might have to do with the fact that the Aggies have already lost twice and dropped out of the top 25 in both national polls. Texas AM will look to become one of the rare teams to beat Saban’s Alabama team in back-to-back seasons.

That is not even the top game this week in the SEC. That honor goes to Tennessee and Louisiana State, one of three games on the Week 6 schedule between ranked teams and the only one of three involving two SEC teams.

Georgia (-110) and Alabama (even) top the odds to win the SEC title. Tennessee is next at +1000

Georgia (-110) and Alabama (even) top the odds to win the SEC title. Tennessee is next at +1000.
Alabama and Georgia (+200) are tied for the best odds to win the national title.


Tennessee Volunteers vs Louisiana State Tigers

Date, time, TV: (ESPN
Line: Tennessee -3

This is a interesting quarterback matchup as Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker and Jayden Daniels of LSU have combined for 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Hooker is the top-rated quarterback in the SEC. Daniels also leads the Tigers with 321 rushing yards.

Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 in the SEC standings football) is the lone SEC team to allow more than 300 passing yards per game.

LSU (4-1, 2-0) has allowed more sacks than any other team in the SEC other than Kentucky and the number could be even higher if not for the scrambling ability of Daniels. LSU defensive ends BJ Ojulari and Sai’vion Jones have combined for six sacks.

Tennessee has scored on all 22 red zone trips in the first four games with 19 of those drives ending in touchdowns. LSU has come up empty on three of 23 visits to the red zone.

The Volunteers and Tigers have combined to force 20 takeaways, but have also turned the ball over 12 times. In a week with so many games featuring double-digit point spreads, this is the game in the NCAA SEC Roundup that could be the most competitive.


Arkansas Razorbacks vs Mississippi State Bulldogs

Date, time, TV: (SEC Network
Line: Mississippi State -7.5

Mississippi State (4-1, 1-1) is gaining momentum following last week’s 42-24 win against Texas A&M. While quarterback Will Rogers understandably gets much of the attention, the Mississippi State defense came up with four turnovers in the victory. The Bulldogs are tied for second in the SEC with six interceptions. That is  a key part of what could be a compelling matchup as part of the NCAA SEC Roundup.

Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson has thrown just one interception. Rogers passed for 417 yards in last year’s loss to Arkansas and the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2) are just 12th in the SEC in passing yards allowed per game.

Arkansas goes lead the SEC with 21 sacks. With the way the Mississippi State passing offense is run, it can be hard to get to Rogers so keep an eye on that part of this matchup.

The Arkansas duo of Drew Sanders and Jordan Domineck have combined for 11 sacks. The Razorbacks’ Raheim Sanders has an SEC-best 609 rushing yards as he has already topped his total from his freshman season.


Missouri Tigers vs Florida Gators

Date, time, TV: (ESPNU)
Line: Florida -11

Both Missouri (2-3, 0-2) and Florida (3-2, 0-2) are looking to finish off drives better than they have in the first five games of 2022. Missouri has scored on just 14 of 19 trips to the red zone while Florida has come away with points in 16 of 20 possessions that reached the red zone.

Quarterbacks Brady Cook of Missouri and Anthony Richardson have combined for nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Missouri has the leading receiver in the conference as Dominic Lovett has 27 catches and 460 receiving yards.

Florida has some work to do on defense as the Gators are allowing 421 yards and 5.8 yards per play so far this season while Missouri is allowing near 100 fewer yards per game than they did a season ago.


Auburn Tigers vs Georgia Bulldogs

Date, time, TV: (CBS)
Line: Georgia -29.5

No. 2 Georgia (5-0, 2-0) has won the last four meetings with Auburn and is heavily favored to run the winning streak to five.

With five players selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Georgia’s defense isn’t quite as dominating as last year’s unit. Still, the Bulldogs are second only to Alabama in total defense among SEC teams. Georgia is allowing 264.4 yards per game. Auburn’s defense has shown signs of growth. This is the first time since 2019 that Auburn (3-2, 1-1) is giving up less than five yards per play.

Stetson Bennett of Georgia is second in the SEC with an average of 307 passing yards per game. However, he is looking to improve his average of one touchdown pass per game. Auburn’s Robby Ashford has just three TD passes and two interceptions.

Having to play Georgia the week after the Bulldogs nearly fell to unranked Missouri is probably not ideal timing  for Auburn as the Bulldogs figure to be fired up for this one.


Ole Miss Rebels vs Vanderbilt Commodores

Date, time, TV: (SEC Network)
Line: Ole Miss -18

No. 9 Ole Miss (5-0, 1-0) leads the SEC with 1,309 rushing yards and 17 TDs and the Rebels are facing a 3-2 Vanderbilt team that has surrendered more than 150 rushing yards in each of the last four games.

Neither Jaxson Dart of Ole Miss or AJ Swann of Vanderbilt are off to impressive starts throwing the ball. They are two of the four SEC starting quarterbacks to complete less than 60% of their passes. In an era when attempting 30 passes per game is commonplace, Dart is throwing 22 passes per game with Swann coming in at 18.

The game does feature two of the top runners in the SEC. Ole Miss freshman Quinshon Judkins is second in the conference with 535 yards and Vanderbilt’s Ray Davis is fourth with 402 yards.


South Carolina Gamecocks vs Kentucky Wildcats

Date, time, TV: (SEC Network)
Line: Kentucky -10.5

A year ago Spencer Rattler was featured prominently on the list of Heisman Trophy candidates early in his final season at Oklahoma. It would be hard to find his name in the Heisman Trophy odds this season as he has seven interceptions in his first five games at South Carolina (3-2, 0-2). He will be facing one of the two defenses in the SEC holding opposing passes to a passing rating under 100.

Kentucky’s Will Levis is completing 74% of his passes over the last three games. He has six touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games for the Wildcats (4-1, 1-1).

No. 13 Kentucky got Chris Rodriguez, who ran for 1,379 yards a season ago, back in last week’s loss to Ole Miss. He  ran for 72 yards in his season debut and his role figures to expand as the season moves on.

One issue that needs to be addressed for Kentucky is pass protection. The Wildcats have allowed an SEC-high 19 sacks. This might be the week to show some improvement considering that no SEC team has fewer sacks than South Carolina’s total of four.


Texas AM Aggies vs Alabama Crimson Tide

Date, time, TV: (CBS)
Line: Alabama -24

If things get as heated on the field as they did between the coaches during the offseason, the Texas A&M at Alabama contests could be one heck of a game

When the teams met a season ago, the Aggies pulled off the stunner with a 41-38 upset of Alabama. When looking at the college football injuries, there are questions about the health of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as the Heisman Trophy winner left last week’s game against Arkansas as a result of a shoulder injury.

Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1) is averaging just 160 passing yards in four games against FBS opponents. Now the Aggies face the No. 1 passing defense in the SEC. Alabama has allowed one touchdown pass and just 5.3 yards per passing attempt.

Alabama’s Will Anderson failed to record a sack in last year’s game. Expect him to make more of an impact in this year’s matchup for the top-ranked Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0). The Aggies have just 21 tackles for loss and six sacks in the first five games of 2022.

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