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Week Two SEC Preview

Which conference had the best record during Week One of the college football season? This is an SEC preview; the answer should be obvious, right? Nope. The correct answer is the soon-defunct Pac-12. The Pac-12 was a perfect 13-0, while the SEC was 12-3. The 12-3 record is deceiving, as the SEC had a dismal 1-3 showing against P5 opponents. Tennessee secured the lone victory against a lowly Virginia team. Contrast that with Florida which seems lagging further behind in Billy Napier‘s second year. UNC dominated the Gamecocks, sacking them nine times. The anticipated Sunday night showdown between the SEC and ACC turned into a different story, with LSU getting outscored 31-0 at one point in a loss to FSU. Six more contests are on the slate this week. Here’s your Week Two SEC Preview as the conference looks to reshape the narrative following its disappointing Week One.

Week Two SEC Preview

Week 2 SEC Slate

All times are EST. The visiting team is listed first. Lines are current as of the time of publishing.

Week 2 SEC Slate
Date Time  Television  Matchup Line O/U
9/9 Noon  ACCN Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest  Wake -10.5 56.6
9/9 Noon SECN Ball State vs. No. 1 Georgia UGA -42 52.5
9/9 3:00 p.m. SECN+ Eastern Kentucky vs. Kentucky 
9/9 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 No. 20 Ole Miss vs. No. 24 Tulane   Ole Miss -7.5  65
9/9 3:30 p.m. ABC No. 23 Texas A&M vs. Miami (FL.)  TA&M -4.5 50.5 
9/9 4:00 p.m. SECN Kent State vs. Arkansas Ark -38 57.5
9/9 5:00 p.m. SECN+ Austin Peay vs. No. 9 Tennessee
9/9 7:00 p.m. ESPN No. 11 Texas vs. No. 3 Alabama Ala -7 54.5
9/9 7:00 p.m. SECN+ Middle Tennessee State vs. Missouri Miz -20.5 47.5
9/9 7:30 p.m. SECN+ Grambling vs. No. 14 LSU 
9/9 7:30 p.m. ESPNU McNeese vs. Florida
9/9 7:30 p.m. SECN Arizona vs. Mississippi State MSST -9 60
9/9 7:30 p.m. SECN+ Furman vs. South Carolina 
9/9 10:30 p.m. ESPN Auburn vs. California Aub -6.5  54.5 

SEC Preview #1: No. 20 Ole Miss vs. No. 24 Tulane 

Mercer scored on the first play from scrimmage last Saturday, leading Lane Kiffin to (jokingly) ask new defensive coordinator Pete Golding what he was paying him for. Kiffin and the Rebels coasted from there, scoring 73 points unanswered. The Rebels travel to New Orleans this week to take on the Green Wave. Tulane is coming off a 12-2 2022 campaign that saw them defeat USC in the Cotton Bowl. Last week, Tulane defeated another strong G5 team, South Alabama, 37-17. Golding will have his find ways to limit Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt. Pratt is in his fourth year starting for Tulane and is quickly moving up the 2024 NFL Draft boards. This game should be prime second screen viewing.

SEC Preview #2: No. 23 Texas A&M vs. Miami (FL.)  

Another critical matchup between the SEC and ACC. These teams have plenty of similarities heading into Week 2. Both are coming from disappointing 2022 seasons and bounced back with big wins in Week 1. Aggies’ quarterback Conner Weigman thrived under new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino, throwing for five touchdowns and over 236 yards against New Mexico. Jimbo Fisher raved about Petrino after the game. “We were talking back and forth, sharing ideas…reminding each other of things we do in the game plan. We had fun – a lot of fun.” The Hurricane’s defense should pose more of a challenge. They let up just 9 first downs and 215 yards of total offense last week to the Miami Red Hawks. This game should pack plenty of fun (for the spectators) to see what happens when adversity strikes.

SEC Preview #3: No. 11 Texas vs. No. 3 Alabama

All eyes will be on Tuscaloosa Saturday night as the Tide host the Longhorns. Texas is 7-2-1 all-time against Alabama; both losses are to a Nick Saban-coached team. This game should go a long way in shaping the narrative of the SEC after their suboptimal Week 1 performance. The Tide are coming off a dominating win over Middle Tennessee State last week. Jalen Milroe appears entrenched as the starting quarterback. Milroe and the Tide will face an experienced and robust defensive front against Texas, led by T’Vondre Sweat. On defense, the Tide will be short-handed trying to limit Quinn Ewers and his deep receiving corps. Starters Malachi Moore and Jaylen Key, who recorded an interception against Middle Tennessee State, statuses are questionable for Saturday’s game. Saban called the game a benchmark game for his team in his weekly press conference. The same holds true for the conference.

SEC Preview #4: Arizona vs. Mississippi State

The times are changing in Starkville. Mississippi State ran for almost 300 yards in its 48-7 win over Southeastern Louisiana. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in rushing after Week 1; how many times could we say that under Mike Leach? This week, the ground-and-pound Bulldogs welcome in Arizona. Arizona is slowly rebuilding and improving under Jedd Fisch. In his press conference this week, Fisch mentioned that he hopes his second to Starkville is better than his first. “We’re excited about going down to Starkville. I’ve only been there one other time. It was not a pretty sight when I was there. We got beat pretty bad (in 2000) at the University of Florida.” A sold-out and white-out Davis Wade will have their cowbells ready for Fisch and the Wildcats.

SEC Preview #5: Auburn vs. California

Turns out Hugh Freeze still knows how to coach ’em up on offense. Auburn dispatched UMass 59-14 last week to open the season and kick off Freeze’s tenure on The Plains. Freeze utilized two quarterbacks to maximize the Tiger’s output. Michigan State transfer Payton Thorne was the starter and 2022 starter Robbie Ashford was used in red-zone packages. Thorne ended the day throwing for over 140 yards and a touchdown. Ashford carried the ball nine times and scored three touchdowns. Realignment has kept Califonia in the headlines for most of the summer. That finally got sorted out last week, with the ACC’s announcement to add California, Standford, and SMU. As for on the field, Freeze was complimentary of the Bear’s offense. “Offensively, they’re terrifying. That tailback (Jaydn Ott) is one of the best I’ve seen.” This should be a fun Week 2 nightcap with plenty of scoring.

Photo Credit: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY NETWORK


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