A little bit of this and a little bit of that as we point toward Week 7 in the SEC:
After six weeks this season, SEC teams are scoring 30.9 points and averaging 394.7 yards per game. The scoring average is tops among all seasons since conference expansion in 1992. The yardage average is the most since 2001, when SEC teams averaged 399.2 yards per game.
Florida, which faces Mississippi State at home Saturday, has lost its past two games (to Alabama and LSU). The last time Florida lost three straight regular-season games was in 1988, which was Emmitt Smith's final season in Gainesville. That’s the longest active streak in the country, and it’s not even close. Georgia Tech, Boise State and Texas (also currently on a two-game losing streak) can go back to 1997 to find the last time they lost three straight regular-season games. The second-longest streak in the SEC is held by LSU, which last lost three straight in 1999. Everyone else in the SEC has had a three-game losing streak at least once since 2007.
The last time Ole Miss won at Bryant-Denny Stadium was back in 1988. Since then, Alabama has won nine straight at home against Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide are 23-1 overall at Tuscaloosa against the Rebels. In 34 all-time meetings in the state of Alabama, the Tide are an amazing 32-1-1. Alabama has also won 17 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium dating to the home opener against Tulane in 2008.
Saturday’s game between Arkansas and Auburn is the first time those schools have met when they’ve both been nationally ranked. Auburn is No. 7 and Arkansas is No. 12. The road team has won six of the past eight meetings in this series.
Auburn’s defense has allowed just 13 points in the fourth quarter/overtime this season and just three points against SEC teams. The Tigers have allowed just one touchdown in six games in the fourth quarter, a rushing touchdown against Clemson.
Auburn’s passing defense and Arkansas’ rushing defense have been shaky at times this season and will be put to the test Saturday. Arkansas leads the SEC in passing offense (354 yards per game), while Auburn is 10th in passing defense (allowing 240.3 yards per game). Auburn leads the SEC in rushing offense (276 yards per game), while Arkansas is ninth in rushing defense (allowing 134.6 yards per game).
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has been Mr. Clutch for the Tigers. When the game has been within a seven-point margin this season, Newton has thrown eight touchdown passes and only one interception and has rushed for five touchdowns. He’s also competing 72.1 percent of his passes when it’s a seven-point game or closer, while passing for 707 yards and running for 383 yards.
With Arkansas looking for more production out of its running game, junior De’Anthony Curtis has been practicing at receiver and running back. The Hogs are last in the SEC in rushing offense, averaging 108.8 yards per game, but showed improvement last week against Texas A&M with 132 yards on the ground. That’s after being held to 53 and 64 yards, respectively, in their previous two games against Georgia and Alabama.
Ole Miss leads the SEC in scoring offense, averaging 37.2 points per game. The Rebels have scored 186 points in the first five games of the season, which is the most for Ole Miss in its first five games since scoring 205 points in 1935. The Rebels scored 232 points after six games that season.
LSU is 6-0 for the second time under Les Miles and for the first time since 2007 when the Tigers went on to win the BCS national championship. LSU hasn’t won its first seven games in a season since opening 9-0 in 1973.
Through five games this season, South Carolina has been penalized only 24 times for 170 yards. The Gamecocks rank first in the SEC and sixth nationally in penalty yardage (34 yards per game). That’s a huge improvement from a year ago when the Gamecocks finished 10th in the SEC in penalty yardage (53.5 yards per game).
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier owns a 17-0 record against Kentucky, including a 5-0 record as head coach of the Gamecocks. That mark is his best against any opponent. Among active coaches, his mark against Kentucky is the third best record behind only Joe Paterno’s 27-0 record against Temple and a 24-0-1 mark against Maryland as head coach at Penn State.
Florida has had 29 freshmen play this season, including 17 true freshmen. So far this season, 41 of the 75 players who have seen the field for the Gators (54.7 percent) have either been freshmen or sophomores.
Mississippi State has won its past three games. The last single-season four-game winning streak for the Bulldogs was in 1999 when they started 8-0.
In Georgia’s two victories this season, the Bulldogs have scored 31 points off of turnovers (14 points off of three interceptions vs. La.-Lafayette; 17 points off of one interception and two fumbles vs. Tennessee). In Georgia’s four losses, the Bulldogs have not scored any points off turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble).
Though just a sophomore, Vanderbilt’s Warren Norman continues to move up the school’s all-time kickoff return charts. Norman is ninth in school history with 1,352 kickoff returns. He needs just 36 yards to move into eighth place. His 27-yards- per-return career average is currently tops among Vanderbilt’s career kickoff return leaders.