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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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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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Around the SEC: Week 8

SEC Logo
SEC Logo

With a big slate of divisional games on the horizon, the SEC is truly heating up. Several teams are taking advantage of bye weeks, but several key matchups still remain going into week eight. Here’s a preview of what’s going down this weekend in college football’s most storied conference.
No. 5 LSU (6-1) at No. 22 Mississippi State (4-2)
Saturday Oct. 20 — Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field — Starkville, Mississippi
6 p.m. on ESPN
This showdown should be an interesting one as LSU is a proven SEC powerhouse, and Mississippi State is a team with some questions yet to be answered. The Tigers are coming off a shocking win that rocked the conference, and the NCAA in general. Their win over Georgia resolidified their spot as a top-tier team. Junior quarterback Joe Burrow has played well enough with 1,415 yards through the air so far, but the real focus of the team is LSU’s defense led by junior linebacker Devin White. He has 66 tackles on the year, and the Tiger defense, while only ranked eighth in the SEC, is a dominant force. When factoring in LSU’s opponents thus far, the Tigers are scary on defense and have one of the best resumes in college football overall. Mississippi State is coming off a restful bye week after winning their last game against Auburn in week six. The Bulldogs have been on and off with big wins over Auburn and Kansas State, but have dropped crucial games to Florida and Kentucky. Mississippi State will play hard for a big win over a division rival, but will have to improve in the pass, and protecting senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. The Bulldogs will also try to pressure the Tiger offense with their eighth-ranked national defense. Watch for this game to be close, with LSU pulling away at home.
Prediction: LSU 28, Mississippi State 17
Ole Miss (5-2) vs. Auburn (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 20 — Vaught-Hemingway Stadium — Oxford, Mississippi
11 a.m. on ESPN
Ole Miss and Auburn are two middle of the pack Western teams in search of a big win. The Rebels have put together a strong season so far, especially considering the current sanctions placed on the school, but are still looking for a big divisional win. Senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu is one of the conference’s top quarterbacks with 2,298 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. When Ta’amu throws for 300 yards — something he has done in multiple contests this season — the odds are in the Rebels’ favor. Auburn on the other hand has struggled in a shocking manner, losing three conference games. The Tigers struggled in the pass game last week, allowing Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano to throw for 328 yards. Auburn will have to do their best to limit Ta’amu in that regard, but if they can, the Tigers will be able to pull off the big win they need. Look for Ole Miss to score big and use their home crowd to their advantage.
Prediction: Ole Miss 32, Auburn 28
No. 1 Alabama (7-0) at Tennessee (3-3)
Saturday, Oct. 20 — Neyland Stadium — Knoxville, TN
2:30 p.m. on CBS
In one of the SEC’s most storied rivalries, the Tennessee Volunteers will host the Crimson Tide for Saturday’s interdivisional showdown. Alabama is dominating in every aspect of the game this season, on route to a sensational championship run. Sophomore Tua Tagovailoa is the nation’s best quarterback, with 1,760 yards, 21 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Heisman-favorite signal-caller suffered a hand injury last week in Alabama’s win over Missouri. It will be interesting to see if that bothers him in this week’s matchup. Tennessee on the other hand has had its struggles in 2018, especially in conference games. The Volunteers are coming off of a huge win over Auburn last week, and will try to ride that momentum into Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has struggled thus far with only six touchdowns and two interceptions. Guarantano will need to play the game of his career to even keep this one close. Watch for the Tide to score early and junior Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to see significant time on the field.
Prediction: Alabama 48, Tennessee 14
Missouri (3-3) vs. Memphis (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 20 — Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium — Columbia, Missouri
3 p.m. on SECN
This game pits two struggling teams in dire need for a big win, which should lead to an interesting clash. Missouri has played statistically well in many aspects of the game this season, but has struggled to put away teams on big stages. Memphis will have to limit their mistakes — an aspect the team has struggled with lately, turning the ball over seven times in the past three games. Senior quarterback Drew Lock is playing well, throwing for 1,629 passing yards this season, but he hasn’t found the end zone as many times as he’d like, racking up 12 touchdowns. Lock has also been a factor in Missouri’s turnover issue, with six interceptions. Meanwhile, Memphis is in the same boat as Missouri, with almost an identical record. With that said, Memphis has a couple of play makers on the offensive side of the ball in junior running back Darrell Henderson and junior quarterback Brady White. Henderson is the top back in the nation in terms of yards, while White has thrown for more than 200 yards in all but one contest, completing 15 touchdowns and one interception. Missouri will need to play superb defense to contain these two. All in all this should be a close one, but the Tigers from Missouri will come out on top with more overall talent and the home field advantage.
Prediction: Missouri 42, Memphis 13

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