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The Battalion

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The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Around the SEC: Week 9

An+SEC+microphone+in+the+hand+of+a+sideline+reporter+during+the+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Football+vs.+Sam+Houston+game+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+3%2C+2022.
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.

No. 1 Georgia @ Florida
Saturday, Oct. 28 — 2:30 p.m. on CBS
EverBank Stadium — Jacksonville, Florida
The tale of the tape features two undefeated teams in different fashion.
In one corner, the visiting Bulldogs have rolled through their schedule unharmed. In the other corner is a Gators team that is unbeaten at home, including an upset win over then-No.11 Tennessee.
The Georgia offense will take a blow, as it lost junior tight end Brock Bowers to injury and will rely more on senior running back Daijun Edwards. Edwards carried the workload last game against Vanderbilt with 20 carries and a season-high 146 rushing yards.
Leading the high-octane Florida offense is junior quarterback Graham Mertz. Mertz is coming off a career day against South Carolina, throwing for 423 yards and three touchdowns in a slim 2-point victory.
If the Florida offense can keep up with Georgia, there is a real chance for one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Prediction: Georgia 41, Florida 31
Mississippi State @ Auburn
Saturday, Oct. 28 — 2:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Jordan-Hare Stadium — Auburn, Alabama
It’s been a struggle for these two programs heading into this weekend.
Since conference play started, Auburn has dropped its past four games. While the defense has been serviceable, the offensive yardage has been lackluster. They rank near the bottom of the country in yards per game as opponents have shut down both the pass and run game.
On the other hand, the Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak with back-to-back wins over Western Michigan and Arkansas.
The final score of 7-3 versus the Razorbacks was the lowest-scoring college football game this season, summarizing an up and down season for Mississippi State.
A win for either team will go a long way, as they both head into the final stretch of games.
Prediction: Mississippi 21, Auburn 14
No. 21 Tennessee @ Kentucky
Saturday, Oct. 28 — 6 p.m. on ESPN
Kroger Field — Lexington, Kentucky
Opening up the late slate has the Volunteers looking to tame the Wildcats in Kentucky.
Both teams are coming off tough losses against the likes of Alabama and Missouri. Though Kentucky had a terrific 5-0 start, including a win over then-No.22 Florida, they’ve dropped their last two games in unconvincing fashion.
Though Tennessee has dropped two games this season, the defensive line is something to be afraid of, ranked third in the nation in total sacks.
It’ll be a battle upfront as Kentucky senior running back Ray Davis will look to punch through a Tennessee wall made up of defensive linemen sophomore James Pearce Jr. and senior Tyler Baron.
Overall, Tennessee’s defense and an offense run by senior Joe Milton III have the edge on paper against the Wildcats.
Prediction: Tennessee 34, Kentucky 21
Vanderbilt @ No. 12 Ole Miss
Saturday, Oct. 28 — 6:30 p.m. on ESPN
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium — Oxford, Mississippi
Finishing off this week’s conference games is Vanderbilt taking on Ole Miss in what should be a one-sided affair.
Vanderbilt’s losses have kept piling on week after week, losing six games straight. Though yards through the air hasn’t been too much of an issue, the Commodores run game is near nonexistent, ranking as the fifth-worst rushing team in the country.
The Rebels have run through their schedule steadfastly, dropping their only game so far to Alabama and winning a shoot-out against the offensive juggernaut in LSU.
The offense, led by a backfield of junior quarterback Jaxson Dart and sophomore running back Quinshon Judkins, have produced one of the country’s best offenses, ranked ninth in points per game and 12th in yards per game.
Ole Miss will have an advantage on both ends of the ball as it looks to keep its winning streak going against a struggling Commodores team.
Prediction: Ole Miss 45, Vanderbilt 20

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