Tusk to Tail: The best hope for a Hog win in the SEC? Look north.
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Who will Arkansas beat for their first SEC victory?
Dale Cullins: There are only three likely options based on the data we have so far: Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Missouri. With two of those on the road, you might be inclined to think Ole Miss is our best chance. I’m just not sure we can muster the offense to beat them or A&M, so I will say Missouri. Sadly, that will give the Hogs the all-time record for the most conference loses by an SEC team
Todd Rudisill: It is too early in the season to know. You hope it’s against Ole Miss at home, but the Black Bears offense looks really good. We will know more about this defense after Saturday. Odds are, the first one is against Mizzou. We hope.
Arkansas @ #16 Mississippi State
Dale Cullins: I’d like to think the Hogs defense can slow down the Air Raid, but I don’t think we have the depth. If the LSU players were saying they were worn down by the 4th quarter, our guys will be by the 3rd. So far, we have not seen enough offense from this team to keep up with Coach Leach. Miss State 41, Hogs 20.
Mac Garland: The Hogs defense was a pleasant surprise last weekend. Given Bulldog Coach Mike Leach’s penchant for only utilizing seven plays, Hogs DC Barry Odom likely has a great game plan and has his players prepared. The Razorbacks looked better on offense than they have in at least three years, if not more. OC Kendall Briles better have them ready to score points quickly to keep up with Mississippi State, an 18-point favorite. The Hogs will play well, but run out of gas. Arkansas 24 Miss State 45
Todd Rudisill: If you predicted Mike Leach would have the most impressive SEC debut, congrats. He did. Taking down the defending national champs in impressive fashion. 623 total yards of total offense. Bulldog quarterback KJ Costello looked like the real deal. You have to think the Hogs get their running game going this week, and that will open up the passing game some. The Hogs hang tough for a half before State gets it rolling. Bulldogs continue their recent dominance of Hogs, 38-17
South Carolina @ #3 Florida
Dale Cullins: I didn’t watch much of the first South Carolina game but based on what I saw from Florida, they have enough on both sides of the ball to beat the Gamecocks. Florida 32, South Carolina 24.
#7 Auburn @ #4 Georgia
Mac Garland: Despite the 2nd half play last week against the Hogs, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is not ready to settle on a starting quarterback yet. Transfer JT Daniels is cleared to play, and might even start. This is quite possibly the first time the “South’s Oldest Rivalry” has been played so early in the season, yet another byproduct of this pandemic season. The 44.5 over/under is low for teams that have put up so many points in recent years. The only hammer around is the one the UGA defense is about to drop on Auburn. Auburn 14, Georgia 30
Todd Rudisill: Can we get a split screen of Malzahn and Chad Morris all year in the bottom of the screen? Loved watching that hot mess last Saturday. Auburn couldn’t run on Kentucky’s defense. You think they are going to run on Georgia’s? Nope. But how good is the Bulldog offense? They ran away in the 2nd half against the Hogs, but were put in great field position time after time by turnovers (including a pick-6), and an awful special teams performance by Arkansas. I just don’t think Auburn can score enough on this defense to win. Dawgs 28-17.
#13 Texas A&M @ #2 Alabama
Todd Rudisill: Nobody in the conference looked worse than A&M against Vanderbilt. Including Arkansas. The $75 million coach continues to look like a total bust. Bama cruised against Mizzou. A&M should come out and play significantly better after that poor showing, but will that be enough against the Tide? Of course not. Roll Tide 37-17.
Dale Cullins: I’ll be happy to watch Bama beat the Aggies up and down the field on both sides of the ball. Call it Bama 45, Aggies 10.
Ole Miss @ Kentucky
Todd Rudisill: If there was a team that could make losing big look good, it was Ole Miss. Their offense was really fun to watch against Florida but their defense got lit up like a pinball machine. Nothing new there. UK played well at times against Auburn, but it was up against Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris, so it’s not hard to play defense against that. The Ole Miss passing game will give their defense fits all day. The Lane Kiffin “fun n’ gun” offense pulls this one out on the road 31-21.
Mac Garland: The Lane Train ran aground in its home debut in Oxford. Now they roll up to the Blue Grass state to take on the Wildcats who are favored by 6.5 points. That’s surprising, given that Kentucky now faces a more potent offense than Auburn’s. The over/under is 61.5, so expect some points. Ole Miss 34, Kentucky 28.
#18 Oklahoma @ Iowa State
Mac Garland: This should have been a big matchup. However, Oklahoma HC Lincoln Riley followed in mentor Bob Stoops footsteps by losing a game no one expected; a feat made even worse by surrendering a big lead to Kansas State. The Atlanta Falcons would be interested in Riley if they didn’t already have the #1 expert in blowing leads. Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has to be happy the game is at home, but is a 7-point underdog to the Sooners. Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 28
Todd Rudisill: Watching OU blow it against Kansas State in their home opener was borderline erotic. OU wakes up on the road win 44-30.