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Week 2 in the SEC

It’s time once again to give you a preview and a pick for the four most intriguing games on the SEC schedule in Week 2. Non-conference showdowns remain the order of the day, with one exception—South Carolina (fresh off an impressive win over N.C. State) opens league play with a trip to Missouri. Let’s get to it.

Last week’s record: 3-1

Saturday, September 9

Auburn (1-0) at Clemson (1-0)

All eyes were on Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn offense heading into last week’s opener, but a dominant defense stole the show. The Tigers held Georgia Southern to 78 total yards and zero third-down conversions in 15 tries. They also recorded five sacks and 12 tackles for loss, looking downright nasty along the defensive front.

Speaking of nasty defensive fronts, Clemson’s combo of All-American tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins might be the best D-line duo in the country. They’ll be a handful for an Auburn offensive line that struggled at times to protect Stidham last Saturday.

Auburn will be glad to have Kam Pettway back from his one-game suspension, but the return of sophomore receiver Kyle Davis could be even more impactful. Clemson is tough against the run, so Stidham and the passing game will need to have a big day if Auburn is to pull the upset. If they do, then a 6-0 start becomes a very real possibility.

The Pick: Auburn 27 Clemson 24

Georgia (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-0)

There didn’t appear to much drop-off for the Bulldogs last week when true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm replaced injured starter Jacob Eason in the first quarter against Appalachian State. Either way, the one-two punch of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel on the ground and a stingy, veteran defense should be enough for Georgia to win its first meeting with the Irish since the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1980 season.

The Pick: Georgia 24 Notre Dame 21

TCU (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0)

Last week’s glorified scrimmages against Jackson State and Florida A&M, respectively, revealed little about these two teams. The TCU offense—still led by former Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill—should provide a clearer indication as to whether or not the Hogs have put last year’s dismal defensive performance behind them.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas ground game will test a TCU defensive front that struggled against big, physical O-lines last season.

The Pick: TCU 35 Arkansas 31

South Carolina (1-0) at Missouri (1-0)

The Gamecocks somehow beat a good N.C. State team despite rushing for only 31 yards on 21 carries. They should find smoother sledding against a Mizzou defense that yielded 492 total yards and 43 points to Missouri State last week.

Pay no heed to the 72 points Missouri scored in that game, by the way. The Tigers did the same thing last year, padding their offensive stats against the Sisters of the Poor and then averaging a meager 22 points in conference play. That being said, this one does have a last-team-with-the-ball-wins feel to it.

The Pick: South Carolina 38 Missouri 35

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