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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Around the SEC: Week 13

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SEC Logo

Ole Miss (5-6) @ No. 16 Mississippi State (8-3)
Some of the best rivalries are the ones just down the street. This week it’s all about dominating your home turf with seven in-state SEC bouts. Near the top of that list is the Egg Bowl with Ole Miss hitting the road to take on Mississippi State in Starkville. Ideally, Shea Patterson would be under center for the Rebels, but despite his absence we can still expect a rivalry-worthy fight. Ole Miss has had everything going against them, and why they won’t be bowl eligible, beating the Bulldogs will make their season. On the other side of the ball, Miss State is jockeying for SEC Bowl position. If you don’t think quarterback Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t run enough, he won’t disappoint this weekend. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in time of possession and Ole Miss is outside of the nation’s top 120 in rushing defense. That means the Bulldogs are going to control the tempo and cadence of this game with the Rebels slinging it out long to keep up. Interim quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has proved he can move the ball, posting three 300-plus yard performances in the last month. Plus, he won’t be the only mobile quarterback on the field. I expect the Dogs to wear down the Rebels’ D, but think Ole Miss can find a substantial run-pass combo to stay competitive through four quarters.
Prediction: Mississippi State 37, Ole Miss 22
No. 1 Alabama (11-0) @ No. 6 Auburn (9-2)
The entirety of the 2017 season has led to this weekend. I’ve been saying since the beginning that Auburn is the SEC’s best chance to take down the behemoth that is Alabama. The Tigers have accumulated two losses on the season, and there’s no room in the playoffs for a triple-loser. They’ve fallen to LSU and Clemson, two great teams. They took out former No. 1 Georgia 40-17, but how’d they do it? Stout defense. The Dawgs win because of their explosive offense, scoring over 30 points in 9 of their 11 competitions. After putting up a season-low to Auburn, it’s clear their defense is for real. Now, just because no one has done it doesn’t mean the script for beating Alabama has changed. Miss State nearly pulled it off and would’ve if it weren’t for poor clock management. Auburn’s D is one of the better, if not the best unit the Tide has faced this season. The key is not turning over the ball, which Miss State perfected two weeks ago. This means not putting Bama in scoring position. Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham has the ability to test Alabama’s secondary and Kerryon Johnson has been a great runner. Second, make plays on defense to force punts. Keep calm, keep possession, and Auburn could very well find themselves in the CFP. I’m expecting a fight to the very end in this must-win Iron Bowl.
Prediction: Auburn 31, Alabama 27

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