Week 3 in the SEC

September, 10, 2012
9/10/12
1:00
PM ET
Here's a quick primer for the third week in the SEC:

SATURDAY

Louisiana-Monroe (1-0) at Auburn (0-2), 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network: The Tigers left their loss to Mississippi State with more issues than answers and now have to play a team riding high off a win over previously-ranked Arkansas. Auburn is last in the SEC in offense and defense, so it has no reason to take the Warhawks lightly.

Presbyterian (1-1) at Vanderbilt (0-2), 12:30 p.m. ET, CSS: The Commodores needed that victory at Northwestern over the weekend, but fell flat in the second half. With the meat of the conference season coming up, Vandy needs to get its offense going. There just hasn't been much consistency when it comes to explosive plays. This is a chance for the Commodores to regain some confidence on that side of the ball.

Texas A&M (0-1) at SMU (1-1), 3:30 p.m. ET, FSN: We saw that the Aggies have the talent up front to hang around in this league, but the stamina has to get better. Playing for four quarters in this league is a little different than the Big 12. Johnny Manziel showed some grit during the first half against Florida, and should only get better. Now, the Aggies can open that playbook up a little more this weekend.

No. 1 Alabama (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS: This game had all the gusto entering the season. Now, most expect Alabama to roll (sorry) over an Arkansas team coming off a bad loss to Louisiana-Monroe at home. Alabama has been incredibly dominant in its first two games, while the Hogs' defense struggled mightily last week and the offensive line allowed Tyler Wilson to get hit too many times. If Wilson can't go this week, it could be a very long afternoon for the Razorbacks.

No. 18 Florida (2-0) at No. 23 Tennessee (2-0), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN: This game means a lot for both Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp. The loser will hear a lot of moaning from his fan base. Both teams look better than they did last year, but we still don't know what to expect from either in the long term. This will be a very good measuring stick for both schools.

UAB (0-1) at No. 8 South Carolina (2-0), 7 p.m. ET, FSN: The Gamecocks looked just fine with Dylan Thompson at quarterback in the 48-10 romp of East Carolina. Now, Steve Spurrier says he feels confident in two quarterbacks. That's something the Head Ball Coach hasn't been able to say for a while. Throwing Thompson out against the Blazers probably isn't a bad idea. Spurrier should make sure starter Connor Shaw (shoulder) is as healthy as possible heading into the heart of SEC play.

Arizona State (2-0) at Missouri (1-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2: The Tigers played tough in their SEC opener against Georgia, but just didn't have the steam to hang around in the second half. Now, Mizzou takes on an Arizona State team that knows how to score. It'll be interesting to see how much energy the Tigers have heading into this matchup. Did they use it all up for that "historic" SEC opener?

Mississippi State (2-0) at Troy (1-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3: After getting a signature win in Dan Mullen's career, the Bulldogs feel like they have a target on their backs. Now, it's all about maintaining that edge. Troy provides the perfect trap-game feel, but after talking with some of the Bulldogs players after their win over Auburn, you can tell they want more this season -- much more. This team won't get caught looking ahead.

Western Kentucky (1-1) at Kentucky (1-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU: Battle of the Bluegrass State! Well, not really, but I'm sure Western Kentucky would love to up-end the Wildcats this weekend. This game was closer than it should have been last year, but Kentucky has a little more firepower on offense this time. More importantly, Kentucky's defense has to continue to make improvements before SEC play.

Florida Atlantic (1-1) at No. 7 Georgia (2-0), 7:30, ET, CSS: I'm not saying this is really a trap game for the Bulldogs, but that win over Missouri took a lot of energy out of this team. That's to be expected, so the Bulldogs can't get caught sleeping on the Owls. Still, we saw the resiliency we've been waiting for out of this Georgia team in Columbia, Mo., over the weekend. That second half against the Tigers might propel the Dawgs into the rest of SEC play.

Idaho (0-2) at No. 3 LSU (2-0), 8 p.m. ET, PPV: The Tigers haven't really been challenged much so far, and they shouldn't be this weekend. We're still waiting for that passing game to really get going and after two weeks, this could be the game in which Zach Mettenberger really has his way with an opposing secondary.

No. 14 Texas (2-0) at Ole Miss (2-0), 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN: Talk about the Grove poppin' this weekend in Oxford. How are all those Texas folk gonna react when they step inside the country's top tailgating spot and see all those sun dresses and sport coats? The Square will be absolutely overflowing and some think this is the biggest game ever in Oxford. Can Ole Miss also get one of its biggest wins ever?

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