In Week 1 of the 2018 SEC college football season, the conference went 13-1 with the only loss being Tennessee. Here are few things we learn in Week 1 of SEC:
Ole Miss– The Rebels have a great offense, but that run defense still needs work. Ole Miss is going to be a problem as the season progress.
Auburn– The Tigers’ defense is stout. The offense did just enough to secure the win against Washington.
LSU– The Bayou Bengals looked like they have a solid QB and RB. LSU’s defensive front played well. The Tigers went from ranked #25 to #11 in the AP Poll by knocking off #8 Miami. Miami looked averaged at best without creating any turnovers to help them score points. However, LSU still has some formidable SEC games on the schedule to see if their offense is legit.
Florida– The Gators looked good against Charleston Southern. Felipe Franks even recreated the Tim Tebow jump pass for a touchdown. Coach Dan Mullen is at his dream job in Florida and was even dancing on the sidelines. However, the first SEC opponent Kentucky is up next and will be trying to break a 31-game losing streak to Florida.
Kentucky– The Wildcats started out the gate slow and turned the ball over 4 times to Central Michigan. They regrouped in the second half and came away with a victory. However, this week Kentucky visits Florida in “The Swamp” and if the Wildcats turn the ball over, it will cost them.
The rest of the SEC handled their Week 1 games in great fashion.
Here are my best SEC games of Week 2:
Mississippi State vs Kansas State: Mississippi State opened the Joe Moorhead era with a 63-6 win over Stephen F. Austin. It was the most points scored by a Bulldog team in a season-opener. QB Keytaon Thompson accounted for 7 touchdowns. The defensive front of Bulldogs played excellently with Jeffrey Simmons, Montez Sweat, and Gerri Green. State looked like a sleeper pick in the SEC West. This week Mississippi State starting QB Nick Fitzgerald returns to action after being suspended for the season opener. This week we will see what this Joe Moorhead’ offense looks like with Fitzgerald at the helm.
On the other side, Kansas State had to rally from behind to beat South Dakota in a close victory of 27-24. With 13 penalties and four turnovers, this wasn’t the type of Wildcat team that’s supposed to be a factor in the Big 12 title chase.
This is the third time the two teams have faced each other, with Mississippi State winning 24-21 in 1977 and 21-16 in 1974.
This is a true road test for the Bulldogs, who are looking to make a statement this year. Kansas State will be ready to play against Mississippi State. However, the Bulldog defense will hold firm. It’ll be great at getting behind the line, stopping a Wildcat offense that won’t be able to hit the deep shot even if it does have time to work.
Prediction: Mississippi State
Georgia vs South Carolina: This is the SEC Game of the week. Georgia did not have any resistance from Austin Peay last week. South Carolina took care of Coastal Carolina. This will arguably be the biggest game of the Gamecocks’ 2018 season. Few experts have picked South Carolina to finish second in the SEC East behind Georgia. The Gamecocks were hardly bad last season – at least compared to Florida and Tennessee – but this year, they’ve got a revamped offense, a veteran talent on defense, and a coaching staff that settled in.
And they have Georgia in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Georgia’s roster is more talented than South Carolina, but the Gamecocks does have some talented playmakers on the offensive side of the ball which could cause some problems for the Bulldogs defense.
QB Jake Bentley will need to have the game of his life. This is a good Gamecocks offense to challenge Georgia defense with playmakers such as Rico Dowdle, Ty’Son Williams, and Deebo Samuel.
South Carolina will give an inspired effort on both sides of the ball. However, Georgia will showcase why there are in the hunt for another SEC East title and a potential College Football Playoff run again.
Clemson vs Texas A&M: It’s Dabo Swinney vs Jimbo Fisher again except this time Fisher is the head coach at Texas A&M. The Aggies looked promising in their victory over Northwestern State. This week Texas A&M is going to be challenged with facing probably the best defensive front in all of college football with Clemson. It’s time for Texas A&M to put on its big boy pads and see how this Aggies program performs with college football elite.
The these two last played in the 2005 opener, a 25-24 Tiger win, but A&M is 3-1 in the all-time series.
This might not be Dabo Swinney’s best Clemson team yet. This team does have two good quarterbacks, a very great defensive front, and speed and talent to be just as strong.
This Aggies running game is about to deal with a Clemson defensive front that wants to make a national statement that they deserve to be #1 in the nation. The Clemson defensive line is going to own this thing.
It’s not that the Texas A&M offensive line isn’t okay, and it can certainly get physical, but it’s going to lose the war against – arguably – the best unit in all of college football.
Kentucky vs Florida: Kentucky will be searching for its first win over Florida since 1986 and its first win over the Gators in Gainesville since 1979. Is it going to happen in 2018? The Gators appear to be good offensively, but playing Charleston Southern will do that. This will be the first test to see if Florida’s offense has improved from being non-existent last year.
Kentucky will be trying to break the curse of a 31- game losing streak to Florida. For that to happen, UK running game will need to be dominant from the start. Benny Snell is one of the SEC best running backs and UK QB Terry Wilson can move out the pocket to gain yards. However, that the Wildcats passing game was almost non-existent last week and they turn the ball over 4 times to Central Michigan.
That will not work against the Gators defensive front. Florida’s great defensive front is going to be all in on stopping the Wildcat runners, and the secondary is in place to keep the passing game from taking flight.
QB Felipe Franks threw for 219 yards and the Gators scored five times against Charleston Southern. I expect Franks to have a solid command of the offense and let this Gators’ defense take care of getting the win.
The rest of SEC Slate for Week 2:
Nevada at Vanderbilt- 12:00 pm, SEC Network
Arkansas State at Alabama- 3:30 pm, ESPN2
Southern Illinois at Ole Miss- 4:00 pm, SEC Network
East Tennessee State at Tennessee- 4:00 pm, SEC Network
Southeastern Louisiana at LSU- 7:00 pm, ESPN2
Wyoming at Missouri- 7:00 pm, ESPNU
Alabama State at Auburn- 7:30 pm, SEC Network
Arkansas at Colorado State- 7:30 pm, CBS Sports Network