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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

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Around the SEC: Week 5

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Sports writer Grant Gaspard breaks down what to watch out for during Week 5 of SEC football play. 

Outside Kyle Field, Week 5 of the SEC West has several conference matchups that will be worth watching come Saturday. Featured is Arkansas coach Sam Pittman against his old colleague in Georgia, coach Kirby Smart, at Sanford Stadium, and a battle of the top-two quarterbacks in the nation in Tuscaloosa. The third matchup includes LSU looking to extend its three-game win streak at home versus conference rival Auburn that is trying to find its next starting quarterback.
No. 8 Arkansas @ No. 2 Georgia
Saturday, Oct. 2 – Sanford Stadium – Athens, Ga.
11:00 a.m. CT on ESPN
Georgia is coming off a monstrous victory against Vanderbilt for its fourth win overall and second conference win of the season. The Bulldogs’ defense continued to prove their strength as they held the Commodores to only four first downs, 77 yards total and just 1.7 yards per play. Georgia looked to be even more impressive on the offensive side of the ball as they assembled 291 yards in the air, 241 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. However, Arkansas will be coming off an even more impressive win as the Razorbacks took down Jimbo Fisher’s then-No. 7 Aggies, securing their first top-10 ranking since 2012. Redshirt sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns in the Southwest Classic. This included an 85-yard dime to junior receiver Treylon Burks early in the first, who finished with six receptions, 167 yards and a touchdown. The Razorbacks seem to be even more dominant on the defensive side of the ball as they rank third in passing defense, 144 yards per game, ninth in rushing defense, 123 yards per game and third in scoring defense, 14.5 points per game. In this conference matchup, expect a defensive battle from both teams in a game that comes down to the wire, but Georgia will pull through in the end with Junior quarterback JT Daniels leading the way.
Prediction: Georgia 28, Arkansas 27
No. 12 Ole Miss @ No. 1 Alabama
Saturday, Oct. 2 – Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
2:30 p.m. CT on CBS
Alabama’s redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young threw for 313 yards, five touchdowns and completed 20 of his 22 passing attempts in the 63-14 victory against Southern Mississippi. Redshirt senior running back Brian Robinson Jr.’s absence didn’t seem to be an issue for the Crimson Tide as sophomore back-ups Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan ran for a combined 207 yards through 23 carries. Ole Miss will be traveling to Tuscaloosa after a bye week with three colossal wins under their belt. The last time these two teams faced off, junior quarterback Matt Corral had a field day with 365 yards in the air and two touchdowns but fell short 63-48 after Alabama took off with the lead in the second half. Ole Miss is coming into this game leading the nation in total offense, averaging 635.3 yards per game and scoring offense with 52.7 points per game. In this matchup, expect a high-scoring game between the top two quarterbacks in the nation in Corral and Young. This will be a revenge story for Corral as he leads his team to an upset victory against the No. 1 ranking Crimson Tide. This would be the first time that one of Nick Saban’s former assistant coaches beat him.
Prediction: Ole Miss 56, Alabama 52
No. 22 Auburn @ LSU
Saturday, Oct. 2 – Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, La.
8:00 p.m. CT on ESPN
LSU is coming off a 28-25 win against Mississippi State, where sophomore quarterback Max Johnson led the way with 280 yards and four touchdowns for the Tigers. Sophomore receiver Kayshon Boutte is a player to watch in this matchup as he has already picked up eight touchdowns this season, which is three more than he had total last season. Ed Orgeron’s offense is also perfect in the red zone, scoring 10 out of the 10 times the unit has reached it. Auburn is coming off its third win of the season after defeating Georgia State 34-24. After benching junior quarterback Bo Nix in the second half, sophomore transfer TJ Finley, out of LSU, came in and secured the victory for Auburn. Finley threw for 97 yards and picked up a touchdown in the win against the Panthers. Still undecided, Finley may have a chance to start against his former school depending on how things work out this week. In this game, expect Auburn to have a big run game from Bryan Harsin’s offense that averages 260 yards per game. LSU’s run defense has struggled the past few games, allowing 223 yards in the loss versus UCLA, which will lead ultimately to the 2019 National Champions’ downfall this Saturday.
Prediction: Auburn 35, LSU 17

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