Monday, September 17, 2012
Week 4 in the SEC
By Edward Aschoff
Here's a quick primer for Week 4 in the SEC:
Ole Miss (2-1) at Tulane (0-2), noon ET, FSN: The Rebels are coming off of a rough loss to a much better Texas team. Ole Miss surrendered 66 points and more than 600 yards of offense to the Longhorns. But the Rebels get a Tulane team that is the second-worst team nationally in total offense. Ole Miss' defense has no choice but to show some sort of improvement this week.
Kentucky (1-2) at No. 14 Florida (3-0), 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network: The Gators are riding high after their 17-point win in Knoxville and now face a Kentucky team that is still licking its wounds after a bad overtime loss to Western Kentucky at home. In the last five meetings between these two schools, Florida has averaged 49 points and 470.8 yards per game. The Gators have also won 25 straight over the Wildcats.
Missouri (2-1) at No. 7 South Carolina (3-0), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS: This could be the battle of the backup quarterbacks. Missouri's James Franklin missed the Arizona State game after re-injuring his right shoulder, while South Carolina's Connor Shaw now has a fracture in his throwing shoulder. There's a chance that neither could play, so we could see a heavy dose of Corbin Berkstresser and Dylan Thompson.
Florida Atlantic (1-2) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0), 4 p.m. ET, PPV: After that romp in Fayetteville, Ark., the Crimson Tide get a bit of a breather against a Florida Atlantic team that was blown out by Georgia. Each week the gap between Alabama and the rest of the country grows bigger. The Tide shouldn't do anything this weekend to stop that growth from continuing.
Rutgers (3-0) at Arkansas (1-2), 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU: The reward for the Razorbacks after losing to Louisiana-Monroe and Alabama by a combined 55 points? How about an undefeated Rutgers team? Arkansas might have more all-around talent than the Scarlet Knights, but it sure doesn't have the same confidence. The Hogs could also be without quarterback Tyler Wilson for the second straight week. We'll find out Saturday how much fight Arkansas has left.
No. 2 LSU (3-0) at Auburn (1-2), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: With all of the attention Alabama is getting, LSU has quietly dominated its first three opponents. It could be four straight when LSU travels to take on an overmatched Auburn team on the Plains. Auburn squeaked out an overtime win against giant killer Louisiana-Monroe, but tons of questions still remain. Seven days might not be enough for Auburn to grow up in time for LSU.
South Alabama (1-2) at No. 23 Mississippi State (3-0), 7 p.m. ET, PPV: The Bulldogs survived a scare at Troy last week, but remain unbeaten on the season. The hope in Starkville is that the scare lights a little bit of a fire under this team as it goes through the next month and a half. The Bulldogs are heavy favorites in this weekend's game and should play like it this weekend.
South Carolina State (1-2) at Texas A&M (1-1), 7 p.m. ET, FSN: The Aggies rebounded from their tough loss to Florida to put a whopping on SMU. Johnny Manziel looked like much more of a complete player against the Mustangs and should continue to improve and grow as quarterback as the season goes on. This weekend serves as a chance to sure up things in the running game for the Aggies before they dive right into SEC play.
Akron (1-2) at Tennessee (2-1), 7:30 p.m. ET, CSS: There's no question the Vols are really down after they let Saturday's game against Florida get away. People in Knoxville aren't very happy about Saturday's outcome, but all they can do is put that loss behind them and try not to let it distract them against Akron. This offense needs to build some confidence this weekend and find a way to get more push from its running game.
Vanderbilt (1-2) at No. 5 Georgia (3-0), 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2: One of the big storylines in this game is the postgame jawing match that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin got into last year. You better believe people on both sides of this one are pumped about Saturday night. Also, who is going to be Vandy's quarterback? Should be interesting.