Monday, August 29, 2011
Week 1 in the SEC
By ESPN.com staff
We get some Thursday night football in Week 1. Here's a quick primer, as we kick off the 2011 season in the SEC:
- No. 20 Mississippi State at Memphis, 8:10 p.m. ET, SportsSouth
The Bulldogs begin their quest to become the first team in school history to win nine or more games in back-to-back seasons.
- Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (in Nashville, Tenn.), 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Rick Minter's new high-octane defense, geared toward forcing more turnovers, debuts in the Music City.
- Utah State at No. 23 Auburn, noon ET, ESPN2
Only six starters from last season's national championship team return for the Tigers, who may play 12 to 15 true freshmen in the opener.
- Kent State at No. 2 Alabama, 12:15 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Neither of Alabama's quarterbacks, AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims, has ever started a college game.
- BYU at Ole Miss, 4:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
Something says the Rebels will be a tad more ready to play than they were in last season's opener against Jacksonville State.
- Montana at Tennessee, 6 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view
The Vols' projected starting lineup for the opener includes 14 freshmen and sophomores.
- East Carolina vs. No. 12 South Carolina (in Charlotte, N.C.), 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
The Gamecocks plan to play both Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw at quarterback against the Pirates.
- Missouri State at No. 15 Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view
This should be Bobby Petrino's best team and his deepest team in his four seasons at Arkansas.
- Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Florida, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Will Muschamp used to attend Florida games as a kid. On Saturday, he'll be making his head coaching debut as the Head Gator.
- Elon at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m. ET, CSS
James Franklin is the Commodores' third head coach in as many years. He takes over a program that has had just one winning season in the past 28 years.
- No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia (in Atlanta), 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
As season openers go, Mark Richt hasn't faced a more important one since arriving in Athens in 2001.
- No. 4 LSU vs. No. 3 Oregon (in Arlington, Texas), 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The Tigers have to be relieved just to get to the opener after going through what they did last week with quarterback Jordan Jefferson's arrest.