- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here's a quick primer for Week 8 in the SEC:
No. 6 LSU (6-1, 2-1 SEC) at No. 18 Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC), noon ET, ESPN: We've all been very impressed with Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M's high-flying offense, but the Aggies now have to tangle with one of the country's best defenses. Last time the Aggies played a top defense, A&M didn't get much movement in the second half. LSU is riding high off its win over South Carolina in which it out-muscled the Gamecocks. Texas A&M has some holes on defense and will have to toughen up against LSU's multi-back system.
Auburn (1-5, 0-4 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-3 SEC), 12:21 a.m. ET, SEC Network: If the Commodores are going to make it to a bowl game, they have to get this win. And with the way the Tigers are playing, Vandy opened as an eight-point favorite. Vandy put up a good fight against Florida, and now gets a team that has the worst offense-defense combination in the SEC. The Commodores are still in the hunt for a bowl berth, while Auburn's chances all but ended with Saturday's loss to Ole Miss.
No. 7 South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) at No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS: Another epic showdown involving the East. The interesting thing about this game is that these two teams look eerily similar in just about every phase of the game. They haven't been spectacular throwing the ball, but run very well. And both have smothering defenses. The Gamecocks were worn down on both sides against LSU Saturday, but way more is on the line on Saturday with the East still in sight for both teams.
Middle Tennessee (4-2) at No. 12 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2: A week after such an emotional win over Tennessee, the Bulldogs take on their final nonconference foe. We've seen the Bulldogs get lackadaisical in these games this season, and Mississippi State can't get caught looking ahead to Alabama. Remember, Middle Tennessee smoked Georgia Tech in Atlanta with an extremely potent and balanced offensive attack, so Mississippi State can't afford to slack off.
No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-3, 0-3 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: Alabama is just cruising along, while Tennessee is stuck in reverse. Two straight comeback attempts have faltered in the fourth quarter for the Vols, while Alabama has completely overpowered every single opponent it's faced this season. Tennessee is reeling, but with that passing attack, the Vols' offense could finally test Alabama's secondary this weekend.
No. 11 Georgia (5-1, 3-1 SEC) at Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, FSN: The Bulldogs are rested after the bye, while Kentucky is hurting physically and mentally. Georgia has had some time to move on from its dreadful performance against South Carolina and has a chance to get back right on track against the Wildcats. Kentucky is limping along and its younger replacements have had a rough start to their college careers. It'll only get rougher this weekend.
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1dSam Khan Jr.