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Best SEC Games Week 7

PHOTO: USA Today Sports

The leaves are changing color and the weather is finally turning cooler.  The second half of the SEC college football season is in play.   Week 7 of the SEC is headlined by a huge cross-division showdown between No. 2 Georgia and No. 13 LSU in Baton Rouge.   These teams have not played each other in Baton Rouge since 2008.  The first meeting between the two teams since 2013.

Here are my best SEC games of Week 7:

Florida vs Vanderbilt: Florida is surging, with wins in four straight games- most notably against Mississippi State and last Saturday against previously unbeaten LSU.  The Gators defense is playing “lights out” right now.  Over the last three games against Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, the Florida defense has allowed no touchdown passes and came up with four picks.  Dan Mullen is coaching the offense to be in games in the 4th quarter. Vanderbilt is coming off two straight losses against South Carolina and Georgia. The Commodores looked pretty good against Notre Dame.  Since then, Vanderbilt’s defense is struggling, QB Kyle Shurmur is struggling, and the Commodores can’t establish a run game.  Florida’s defense will be effective in stopping the Commodore offense.

Prediction: Florida

Texas A&M South Carolina: South Carolina beat Missouri in a thriller with QB Michael Scarnecchia first career start. This week QB Jake Bentley is expected to start against the Aggies. Texas A&M knocked off previously unbeaten Kentucky in overtime on Saturday, limiting star tailback Benny Snell to a season-low 60 yards. The Aggies lead the SEC in third down conversions and time of possession, the pass rush is good enough to screw up the Gamecock backfield.  South Carolina’s offense will have to click on all cylinders to pull off the win. Texas A&M defensive front will bring pressure to make sure Gamecocks offense does not get going.

Prediction: Texas A&M

Georgia vs LSU: The Tigers will return home after a loss last week at Florida, while the visiting Bulldogs hope to stay undefeated and put a big road win on their College Football Playoff resume. LSU found themselves in a battle last week with Florida that came down to the last play.  This will be a test for Georgia, who has won its first six games by an average of 30 points, including two on the road in SEC play by an average of 19 points. The LSU defense has been amazing so far, and the secondary is loaded with NFL talents and provides a challenge for the Bulldogs. However, the Tigers’ secondary does give up yards.  So, Bulldogs’ QB Jake Fromm will have to complete more than 55% of his passes in this game.  That’s the number that LSU is holding opposing QB pass completion rate.

On the other side of the ball, Joe Burrow has been okay, but can he be consistent enough or accurate enough against one of the most talented secondaries in college football? He hung in there last week in the loss to Florida, but he also gave up his first two picks of the year.

To pull this off against this defense and this team, Burrow needs to be the best quarterback on the field.

Keep an eye on Georgia’s defensive front seven against LSU RB Nick Brossette.  Also, how Georgia QB Justin Fields is weave into this game to keep the LSU defense off balance.

Prediction: Georgia

The rest of SEC Slate for Week 7:

Tennessee at Auburn- 12:00 pm, SEC Network

Prediction: Auburn

Missouri at Alabama- 7:00pm, ESPN

Prediction: Alabama

Ole Miss at Arkansas- 7:30 pm, SEC Network

Prediction:  This game can go either way in the matchup of SEC’s two worst defenses.  Arkansas has won the last four games against Ole Miss.

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