Week 2 of the college football season is complete. Here are my SEC football predictions for Week 3.
Record last week: 11-1
Season total: 23-2.
Saturday, September 14
Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1)
Noon ET • ESPN
Lexington, Ky • Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
Series: UK leads, 14-11
Vinny’s Vibe: Louisville, with Teddy Bridgewater, the talented WRs and the stable of RBs has too many weapons for Kentucky to deal with. The Wildcats have a two-quarterback system that just isn’t good enough. OC Neal Brown just doesn’t have the players to effectively run his “Air Raid” offense yet. Louisville wins another game vs. the SEC East.
Louisville 41 Kentucky 13
Southern Miss (0-2) at Arkansas (2-0)
12:21 a.m. ET • SEC TV
Fayetteville, Ark. • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)
Series: First Meeting
Vinny’s Vibe: After an unexpected winless 2012, the Golden Eagles are not off to a good start in the Todd Monken era. Southern Miss is showing some fight but the results are still ugly. Arkansas was shaky at times in needing a 2nd half comeback to defeat FCS Samford last week. True freshman Alex Collins ran for 170 yards last week. He is a stud. Arkansas is too much for Brett Favre’s alma mater.
Arkansas 42 Southern Miss 20
Alabama (1-0) at Texas A&M (2-0)
3:30 p.m. ET • CBS
College Station, Texas • Kyle Field (83,002)
Series: UA leads, 3-2-0; Last: Texas A&M, 29-24 (2012 in Tuscaloosa)
Vinny’s Vibe: The Saban revenge factor has been much talked about. Johnny Manziel’s amazing performance in the upset win last year has been discussed a lot as well. This game will come down to the line of scrimmage. I expect a much better performance from the Bama offensive line coming off the much needed bye week. You’ll see a much more accurate AJ McCarron and RBs running down hill on the A&M defense. Even though the TAM defense has had starters out and it has been very vanilla, this group wasn’t going to get to begin with. Alabama will have a big advantage here. WR Amari Cooper will have a huge day. Johnny Football will still make some plays on the Alabama defense but I think the score will help dictate the effectiveness of the Tide defense. I think Alabama will play from ahead and force the Texas A&M offense to have fewer possessions and play more one-dimensional. You’ll see Manziel force some throws and make some mistakes with the thinner margin of error. Pressure on Manziel, changing the looks and tight coverage are some keys to minimizing the big plays from Manziel. I doubt you’ll see Alabama in straight man coverage vs. A&M. You don’t want to have too many defenders with their backs turned to JF. Alabama wins an entertaining game by double digits.
Alabama 31 Texas A&M 21
Tennessee (2-0) at Oregon (2-0)
3:30 p.m. ET • ABC
Eugene, Ore. • Autzen Stadium (54,000)
Series: UO leads, 1-0
Vinny’s Vibe: Make no mistake, Oregon is plenty motivated to not only beat a SEC team, but lay the wood to them. Even if the Volunteers get taken behind the woodshed, this game has the opportunity to bring UT plenty of positives. If the Vols play well, play hard, keep it close or even pull off the massive upset the pay-offs on the back end will be significant. As for the match-up, Oregon has a tremendous speed advantage in all phases. QB Marcus Mariota presents a threat that the Vols defense has seen nothing like. He is electric on the group and effective in the air. The WRs are severely underrated. De’Anthony Thomas is a Heisman Trophy candidate. Plus, TE Colt Lyerla can play in the backfield, split-out wide and is a mismatch anywhere they use him in this game. Tennessee has wanted a fast pace on offense but hasn’t fully reached the level they want so far this year. The Volunteers would be smart to slow the offense down some and mix-in the speed-up no huddle if the Ducks are on their heels. First down is going to be critical for Tennessee’s offense. In order to sustain long drives and stay balance, Tennessee has to stay ahead of the chains in manageable down and distance situations. 3rd and long won’t cut it. Justin Worley has to be great, something that many of us don’t think he’s capable of. His arm strength and errant throws could be disaster versus one of the nation’s best CB duos that jump routes and have good ball skills. Worley has a tendency to get balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. Oregon averages 6’5 along the D-Line and could very well disrupt the passing game that way as well. Tennessee also has to have its offensive line dominate more than we’ve ever seen from what was thought to be one of the nation’s best units. Oregon has much too much for Tennessee, but the Vols will fight and flash.
Oregon 45 Tennessee 16
Mississippi State (1-1) at Auburn (2-0)
7 p.m. ET • ESPN2
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Series: AU leads, 60-24-2; Last: MSU, 28-10 (2012 in Starkville)
Vinny’s Vibe: Auburn QB Nick Marshall took a step forward in game 2 last week. He will need to be better this week versus the toughest opponent the Tigers have seen this year. I like the two Auburn backs, Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne. Auburn has had some ugly moments but has also made plays and received true freshmen instant impact. How effective will QB Tyler Russell be for Mississippi State in his first game back from a concussion? This is a sleepy good game this week.
Auburn 31 Mississippi State 24
Kent State (1-1) at LSU (2-0)
7 p.m. ET • ESPNU
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Series: First Meeting
Vinny’s Vibe: LSU will win this game easily. Les Miles doesn’t lose non-conference games. Will LSU find ways to get better? This will be a chance to keep working on the passing game. One challenge LSU will face today is explosive and fast RS/WR/RB Dri Archer who is expected to return from injury.
LSU 48 Kent State 10
Vanderbilt (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • ESPN
Columbia, S.C. • Wiliams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Series: SC leads, 18-4-0; Last: SC, 17-13 (2012 in Nashville)
Vinny’s Vibe: Vanderbilt has given South Carolina trouble in recent years. However, that’s happened more on Thursday nights and in the opening games. I expect Jadeveon Clowney to be used all over the defensive line this week in response to his criticism of his role. This might be an opportunity for Dylan Thompson to get some things done in the passing game, even though I think Connor Shaw will play well. Vandy will fight but South Carolina is the better team.
South Carolina 34 Vanderbilt 17
Ole Miss (2-0, 1-0 SEC) at Texas (1-1)
8 p.m. ET • Longhorn Network
Austin, Texas • Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119)
Series: Texas leads, 6-1
Vinny’s Vibe: I thought Texas was much improved going into the season. Last week was such a disaster for Texas in giving up more than 500 yards rushing vs. BYU that I’m off the bandwagon. Mack Brown panicked and threw DC Manny Diaz under the bus. The players are trying to get new DC Greg Robinson caught-up on what they are doing. Seriously? How is that going to work? There is so much stress and disgust in Austin with this underachieving team that I think it hurts the Longhorns. Ole Miss has athletes and speed that will be make this the situation in Texas even worse. The true freshmen stars will make big plays again for the Rebels.
Ole Miss 35 Texas 20
OPEN: Florida (1-1), Georgia (1-1, 1-0 SEC); Missouri (2-0)
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