Scully’s NCAAF Week 7 picks: Alabama will roll over Georgia
Week 7 of the college football season features a marquee matchup of SEC powers, Georgia at Alabama, and I am excited to play it.
I will wager on a pair of SEC games this week, as well as a defensive stalwart from the AAC.
Georgia vs. Alabama
Sun, October 18 2020, 12:00 AM
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama will start fast and put too much pressure on Georgia’s offense.
Georgia has been the best second-half team in college football and has outscored its competition by a 62-9 margin after halftime, but the Bulldogs trailed Arkansas and Tennessee at the break. With a reliance upon defense and the ground game, Georgia can’t afford to fall into a hole against a dynamic Alabama attack that has averaged 51 points and 560 yards of total offense through three games.
Alabama has become "Wide Receiver U." Even though it lost Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III in the first round of the NFL Draft, the Tide is still taking the top off opposing defenses via John Metchie, Devonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle. Versatile running back Najee Harris is a dangerous receiving threat, as well.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones has been outstanding and has completed nearly 80% of his passes. Jones gained valuable experience when he replaced an injured Tua Tagovailoa late last year, and he has looked more like a savvy veteran than a first-year starter.
Alabama’s defense has been exploited at times, but this game will be settled by offense.
Unheralded quarterback Stetson Bennett has been steady for Georgia since he took over in the second half of the season opener, but he’ll be asked to do too much against the high-scoring Crimson Tide.
Auburn vs. South Carolina
Sat, October 17 2020, 4:00 PM
South Carolina Gamecocks
I’m keen on this game, because the wrong team is favored.
South Carolina hired coordinator Mike Bobo in the offseason and is finally viable on offense. Transfer quarterback Collin Hill has provided stability, and running back Kevin Harris has posted a combined 271 rushing yards and three touchdowns over the last two games. There is no reason to expect a decline in production against Auburn.
This is not the same Auburn defense you've seen the last few seasons. Georgia had its way with the Tigers in a dominant home win in Week 5. More distressingly, Auburn surrendered 821 combined yards to Arkansas and Kentucky.
South Carolina remains solid defensively. It held Vanderbilt to 76 rushing yards on 33 carries in Week 6, and the Gamecocks are averaging more than 30 points per game.
South Carolina may have its hands full with Auburn quarterback Bo Nix at times, but the Gamecocks will eventually prove too much at home.
Cincinnati vs. Tulsa
Sat, October 17 2020, 4:00 PM
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Cincinnati’s defense is for real, and the Bearcats will have enough offense to pull away to a comfortable win. The paltry line is an overreaction to Tulsa’s upset victory over Central Florida.
The Golden Hurricane defense has performed better this season. Tulsa gave Oklahoma State fits in the opener but lost by a 16-7 margin, and it snapped Central Florida’s 21-game home winning streak as a nearly three-touchdown underdog in Week 5.
However, Oklahoma State clearly appeared flat in the opener, after offseason turmoil, and Central Florida shot itself in the foot by wasting opportunities (three turnovers, 18 penalties) to blow the game open, after it jumped out to a 16-2 lead.
Tulsa will struggle to get anything going against the top defense in the AAC. Cincinnati has allowed only 12.3 points per game, and the Bearcats held No. 22 Army without an offensive touchdown.
It is also a favorable scenario for Cincy quarterback Desmond Ridder, who will face a porous Tulsa pass defense (234 passing yards per game), and the Bearcats are eligible to have their way with an overvalued Tulsa squad.