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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Around the SEC: Week 8

Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

An SEC microphone in the hand of a sideline reporter during the Texas A&M Football vs. Sam Houston game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

Mississippi State @ Arkansas
Saturday, Oct. 21 — 11 a.m. on ESPN
Razorback Stadium — Fayetteville, Arkansas
The day starts with a battle at the bottom of the barrel between Mississippi State and Arkansas. Both of these teams are currently winless in conference play and badly need a win here to keep their hopes of a bowl game alive.
Both teams have senior quarterbacks that have racked up a long list of accolades but have underperformed this year, in the Razorbacks’ K.J. Jefferson and the Bulldogs’ Will Rogers. But while Arkansas has had bright spots on defense in holding Alabama to 24 points and Ole Miss to 27 in a pair of one-possession losses, Mississippi State has given up an average of just over 39 points in SEC games this year.
It’ll be Arkansas’ stoppable force that gets past Mississippi State’s moveable object this week.
Prediction: Arkansas 37, Mississippi State 17
No. 17 Tennessee @ No. 11 Alabama
Saturday, Oct. 21 — 2:30 p.m. on CBS
Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
It’s the Third Saturday in October, and that means it’s time for the biggest day of the year for cigar shops across the South.
Both these teams proved they can win sloppily last week, as Tennesse defeated Texas A&M 20-13 and Alabama held off an Arkansas comeback to win 24-21 over the Razorbacks. That experience will prove valuable in this matchup.
Last season, this game was an offensive shootout that ended 52-49, as the Volunteers broke their losing streak to the tide. This time, defense takes center stage, as a Tennessee defense that ranks third in the country in team sacks faces Alabama sophomore quarterback Jalen Milroe, who’s already been sacked 26 times this year.
Both teams will come away with turnovers, but the Volunteers begin their own win streak and get their victory cigars for the second year in a row thanks to a strong showing from their defensive line.
No. 13 Ole Miss @ Auburn
Saturday, Oct. 21 — 6 p.m. on ESPN
Jordan-Hare Stadium — Auburn, Alabama
The much-anticipated Hugh Freeze revenge game has arrived.
Freeze is back in the SEC at Auburn after his scandal-driven departure from Ole Miss, and his Tigers don’t have the offense to compete with the Rebels in year one of the Freeze era. Auburn ranks dead last in the conference in passing offense, partially due to their dual-quarterback system of passing threat junior Payton Thorne and run-focused sophomore Robby Ashford.
On the other hand, Ole Miss has a high-flying and high scoring offensive attack. Led by junior quarterback Jaxson Dart, the Rebels are averaging a whopping 41.7 points a game compared to dead-last Auburn’s 27.7
While things look better for Auburn on the defensive front, the Tigers don’t have the offense to keep up when Ole Miss tries to turn this game into a shootout.
Prediction: Ole Miss 42, Auburn 21
South Carolina @ No. 20 Missouri
Saturday, Oct. 21 — 2:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Faurot Field — Columbia, Missouri
Missouri has come out of nowhere to put themselves in contention for an SEC East title. They’ll need a little help to get there, but South Carolina shouldn’t pose a problem for the Tigers.
The Gamecocks have the worst defense in the SEC in terms of total yardage, passing yards and rank second-to-last in points conceded per game. Mizzou might just have the most underrated offense in the conference, thanks to the connection between junior quarterback Brady Cook and sophomore wide receiver Luther Burden III. Burden’s 808 receiving yards led the SEC this season.
South Carolina has a passing attack of their own, thanks to senior quarterback Spencer Rattler, but the Gamecocks defensive woes mean Mizzou’s average defense will be enough to get the Tigers the win in this one.
Prediction: Missouri 34, South Carolina 24

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and 
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