A little bit of this and a little bit of that as we get ready for Week 9 in the SEC. As always, our thanks to the ESPN Stats & Information folks for their help:
Florida has won five of the last six against Georgia and 11 of the last 13 meetings. Since 1990, when Steve Spurrier took over the Florida program, the Gators are 18-3 against the Bulldogs.
Before last season's overtime game, the average winning margin in the Florida-Georgia series was 20.5 points for each of the previous four games.
Florida has lost three straight games this season and is looking to avoid its first four-game losing streak since 1988. That losing streak was also the last time the Gators were held under 12 points in four straight games. In their three losses this season, they were held to 10 against Alabama, 11 against LSU and 6 against Auburn.
Georgia has allowed 15 plays of 20-plus yards this season, which is second fewest among FBS schools. The Bulldogs allowed seven of these plays in the first two weeks of the season in losses to South Carolina and Boise State.
Tennessee is 14-1 all-time against South Carolina in Knoxville. The only setback came in 2005, a 16-15 loss. Tennessee has only lost to South Carolina five times in 28 meetings (22-5-1). However, three of those losses have come in the last six meetings.
South Carolina has won a school-record five straight true road games.
South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery needs 51 yards to set the school’s career-record for receiving yards. Jeffery enters the Tennessee game with 2,731 yards.
Tennessee true freshman quarterback Justin Worley will make his first start against a South Carolina defense holding its opponents to a 94.8 percent passing efficiency rating, which is third best among FBS teams. It’s Tennessee’s third straight game against a team (Alabama and LSU) that ranks in the top 4 in opponent’s passing efficiency defense.
Auburn has been held under 20 points in four straight games, its longest streak since a five-game stretch in 1999. The Tigers lost all five of those games.
Auburn has three losses this season, but the combined record of the teams the Tigers have lost to is pretty impressive. Clemson, Arkansas and LSU have a combined record of 22-1. On the other hand, the combined record of the five opponents Auburn has beaten is 15-20.
Ole Miss is 1-12 in its last 13 SEC games and has lost 10 straight to SEC opponents. That’s the longest such streak in school history. Ole Miss has won consecutive games overall only once since the start of last season.
Vanderbilt first-year coach James Franklin has already guided his team to four wins, which is as many games as the Commodores won in the previous two full seasons combined. The last Vanderbilt head coach to win at least five games in his first season was Gerry Dinardo, who went 5-6 in 1991.
Arkansas' next three opponents are all from the Eastern Division, which should be good news for the Hogs. They've won four in a row over teams from the East, which is their longest winning streak against East foes. They beat South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Georgia last season and Vanderbilt in 2009.
Among teams ranked in the top 15 of this week's BCS standings, Arkansas' Joe Adams is third in yards after the catch with 337. Clemson's Sammy Watkins is first with 517, and Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles is second with 408.
Kentucky is the third least penalized team among FBS schools, averaging 3.4 penalties per game with an average of 29.5 yards penalized per game.
Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is second in the nation in passes defended (interceptions + pass deflections) with 13.
The SEC averages 27.8 passing plays per game, which is 10thout of 11 FBS conferences. Only the Big Ten at 27.5 is averaging fewer passes per game than the SEC. The SEC’s 199.6 passing yards per game is the lowest of the 11 FBS conferences
Since the SEC began keeping a points off turnovers statistic in 2002, the fewest points allowed by an SEC team on its own turnovers is 14 by Alabama in 2005. This season, LSU and Alabama are challenging that mark. LSU opponents have scored only three points on its three turnovers, while Alabama opponents have scored only seven points on its eight turnovers.
According to the NCAA, four SEC teams rank among the top 10 teams nationally in terms of toughest schedules played to date. Using cumulative past opposition’s records, Tennessee has the SEC’s toughest schedule. The Vols’ past opponents this year are a cumulative 25-10. Auburn is second in the SEC with a 30-16 mark, followed by Ole Miss at 22-12 and LSU at 25-14. Nationally, Kansas has the toughest schedule with a 28-7 mark. Tennessee is third nationally, Auburn eighth, Ole Miss ninth and LSU 10th.
Of Georgia’s 30 losses since 2003, 18 have been decided by seven points or less. That is the highest percentage of close losses in the SEC (60.0 percent). Alabama’s 20 close losses out of 35 (57.1 percent) is second in the SEC. Vanderbilt has the most close losses with 25.
Alabama safety Mark Barron, South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower and LSU safety Brandon Taylor have been named quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Player Award, given to the nation’s top defensive impact player.
Georgia punter Drew Butler has been named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to college football’s top scholar-athlete.