2021 SEC Football Pick of the Week: Week Two
After an exciting week one, a week in which the SEC went 12-2 on the field, we move on and collect our thoughts.
As for us here at DSE we nailed our first pick of the week thanks to Alabama’s 44-13 thrashing of Miami. Also of note, we correctly called Tennessee, Georgia and LSU as games to watch.
Unfortunately for an encore in this week there isn’t a whole lot of exciting games to examine. But, like always, we’ll give it a shot.
SEC Pick of the Week: Missouri at Kentucky (-5), 7:30pm ET on SECN.
In a game that will go a long way in deciding who (presumably) finishes third in the SEC East the two most northern SEC outposts get together in what should be a pretty even affair.
In the many previews written over the summer, Kentucky and Missouri mostly flip flopped in projections. Most of them for third or fourth but a few had Kentucky finishing second ahead of Florida. Ha!
But I digress.
I like Kentucky here. New quarterback Will Levi’s had a nice debut for the Wildcats throwing for 360 yards, 4 touchdowns and a pick. Maybe they’ve found something for the first time under Mark Stoops?
As for Missouri, well, Central Michigan gave them some trouble but they prevailed 34-24. I just have a feeling that they’re at least another year or two away from legitimately competing in the East.
Take the Wildcats and say thank you.
Upset alert: Pittsburgh (-3) at Tennessee, 12:00pm ET on ESPN.
The Volunteers looked like, well, the same old Volunteers only slightly better. But anytime you go nearly 30 minutes without being able to move the ball against Bowling Green, you’ve got problems.
Transfer quarterback Joe Milton struggled to hit anybody who wasn’t at least five yards open. And that’s not even taking into account he was probably 0-9 on throws over 10 yards.
The Vols are one of the least talented teams in the East division and it showed last Saturday.
Keep an eye on: No. 15 Texas (-7) at Arkansas, 7:00pm ET on ESPN.
If there is one team in the SEC that truly despises Texas, it’s Arkansas. Not only are they old rivals but Texas was a large number of the reasons why the Razorbacks joined the SEC in the first place. Being treated like a second-class citizen for decades will do that.
As for this game, I think Texas squeaks out a win. Sam Pittman’s team is sound fundamentally but I just don’t think they quite have horses yet.
Last week against Rice the Razorbacks were down 17-7 halfway through the 3rd quarter before they decided to take over. A slow start this week by KJ Jefferson and Co. and they’ll be in even more trouble.
Trending up: Anthony Richardson.
I’ll just say this and I promise it’s not just me being a homer. Anthony Richardson is the future of Gators football and it’s not even a debate. I haven’t felt this way about a Gators quarterback since 2006 when Tim Tebow showed up and we all know how that turned out.
Richardson’s stat line against FAU in a non-starting rotating gimmick role: 3 of 8 passing for 40 yards and 160 yards and a touchdown rushing on 7 carries. All five of his incompletions came when just winging it down the field at the end of the game.
He’s going go be special. Like really, really special. Really soon.
Trending down: LSU.
What happened to the LSU defenses of the past 10+ years? Man, I swear something is wrong and I’m not sure what it is. Under Les Miles and the first couple of years of Ed Orgeron’s tenure they played pretty good (or great) defense.
In 2020 they didn’t and that has carried over into 2021 thus far. Sure it’s early, but this is definitely something to watch as it definitely will be the difference in the Tigers winning 7 or 8 games or 9 or 10.