What's coming up: Part 1

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
11:09
AM ET
Mississippi State-Auburn and Florida-Texas A&M take center stage in the conference this afternoon, but three other SEC squads are also playing day games.

Here's what's coming:

East Carolina at No. 9 South Carolina (12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Connor Shaw's status looks to be up in the air right up until kickoff in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks' signal caller bruised his shoulder in last week's ugly win against Vanderbilt, and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said this week he could be a game-time decision. That means the Gamecocks will likely lean on running back Marcus Lattimore after his 110-yard, two touchdown performance last week. East Carolina is 1-0 after easily dispatching FCS foe Appalachian State to open the season. The Pirates held a 10-point halftime lead in last year's meeting with South Carolina before eventually falling 56-37.

Western Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network): It's probably not smart to doubt Alabama coach Nick Saban, with his two national titles in the last three seasons and three national titles overall. But Saban's assertion that it's "unfair" to write off Western Kentucky ahead of today's matchup is, frankly, laughable. Even if the Tide suffer a letdown after last weekend's statement win against Michigan, they'll roll through this game with ease. Saban seems concerned about his team getting complacent, but he shouldn't worry. Once his backups finish off the Hilltoppers, it will be time to get ready for a trip to No. 8 Arkansas.

Georgia State at Tennessee (4 p.m. ET, ESPN 3): If the Volunteers take care of business in their home opener against FCS squad Georgia State, it will be just their third 2-0 start in the last eight seasons. Tennessee will undoubtedly hope for more of the same fireworks between quarterback Tyler Bray and new wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who totaled 165 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns last week against N.C. State. If they can maintain the momentum, the Vols should have no trouble with the Panthers before hosting Florida next weekend.

David Helman | email

Reporter, RecruitingNation

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