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Best SEC Games: Week 5

It’s Week 5 in the SEC and here are my best games.

There are 5 games in conference matchups this week. One of those is Georgia-Tennessee game that was viewed as a big SEC East game before the season started.   The only other intriguing matchup is an SEC West game between Auburn and Mississippi State.

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M

Kyle Field, Aggies Stadium-College Station, TX

Saturday, 7:30 pm, SEC Network

These SEC schools rarely meet in the SEC East-West rivalry, and Texas A&M has won the first three matchups.  The Aggies are coming off a dramatic overtime win against Arkansas.   However, this is a game that Texas A&M can’t afford to lose because Coach Kevin Sumlin’s seat is still warm.   The Aggies have Alabama and Florida after this game.  So, a loss to the Gamecocks can’t happen.  The good news for A&M is that QB Kellen Mond put up 325 yards of offense last week against Arkansas last week.  Mond is starting to look more comfortable in the offense and becoming a dangerous runner, along with RBs Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford. 

South Carolina is without is best offensive weapon WR Deebo Samuel and struggled a bit last week in the win over Louisiana Tech.   However, don’t write the Gamecocks off yet, they do have QB Jake Bentley who should be able to have success against Texas A&M’s secondary defense.  The Gamecocks will need a playmaker from somewhere else in the offense to step up to give them the edge.  Could it be TE Hayden Hurst for South Carolina?  Hurst leads the SEC as the best receiving tight end.

Georgia vs. Tennessee

Neyland Stadium-Knoxville, TN

Saturday, 3:30 pm, CBS

It’s Georgia and Tennessee…and anything is likely to happen in this game.  Each of the past six games between them has been decided by eight or fewer points, and the last three meetings have been decided in the final two minutes or overtime.  However, Georgia is coming off a dominant performance against Mississippi State; where the Bulldogs prove, their defense is “elite.”   On the other side, Tennessee barely got past UMass.   Vols’ head coach Butch Jones is feeling heat from the Tennessee faithful.  So, a loss against Georgia will turn the heat all the way up.

JOHN KELLY, by Randy Sartin/USA Today Sports

The Vols’ offense absolutely runs through RB John Kelly.  He has accounted for 47.5 percent of the offense (rushing and receiving).  The Vols also need their defensive front seven to get physical against the run.  It will have the task of stopping Georgia RBs duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.  If the Vols’ defense can’t stop the run; it will not matter how huge of a game that Kelly will have.  Georgia will be ready to return the favor from last year “Hail Mary” loss to Tennessee.

Mississippi State vs. Auburn

Jordan-Hare Stadium-Auburn, AL

Saturday, 6:00 pm, ESPN

We learn last week that Mississippi State went back to being a “pretender.”  They looked good against LSU two weeks ago, then got routed by Georgia in a 31-3 loss.   Now, the Bulldogs must bounce back this week against Auburn to remain in the Top 25.  This means Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald must have a “super human” game; if he struggles the Bulldogs will have little chance to upset Auburn.  Fitzgerald needs to run effectively against Auburn and hit some big passes.

JARRETT STIDHAM, by Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics

Auburn’s defense is a formidable. It’s better than LSU’s and could be just as good as Georgia.  The Tigers defense has played well so far this season, the offense has been a different story.   The offense managed 6 points against Clemson and 24 points against FCS opponent Mercer.  Even though, the Tigers’ offense put 51 points against Missouri. Does that really count? Since, we know Missouri’s defense is terrible this season.   Auburn expects to have RBs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson healthy for the same game for the first time this season. QB Jarrett Stidham has look good in the past two games. However, the Bulldogs’ defense will look to make things a bit tougher for him on Saturday.

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