Gator Country reporter Sean Crawford breaks down all of the upcoming games in the Southeastern Conference for this weekend.
Florida (4-4) vs. Vanderbilt (4-4): This weekend in the Swamp, two first-year head coaches are fighting to become one win closer to bowl eligible. The Gators and the Commodores are both coming off close conference losses. Florida fell short to Georgia 24-20, while Vanderbilt lost to Arkansas 31-28. The ‘Dores produced over 460 yards of offense against the Razorbacks and they’ll look to carry that momentum into Gainesville on Saturday. The Gators on the other hand had 226 total yards against the Bulldogs. UF and Vandy will kick things off at 12:21 p.m., Saturday afternoon.
Game Changers in Week Nine (UF)
Offense: Jordan Reed scored the only offensive touchdown for the Gators against UGA. The sophomore tight end finished the day with four receptions for 69 yards.
Defense: Converted defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd had eight tackles and two tackles for loss. The sophomore defensive lineman also had a quarterback hurry.
Game Changers in Week Nine (Vandy)
Offense: Junior signal-caller Jordan Rogers (the younger brother of Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers) completed 15-of-27 passes for 240 yards, including a touchdown. The quarterback also ran 18 times for 66 yards and two more scores.
Defense: Senior defensive back Casey Hayward had four tackles and six pass breakups against Arkansas.
No. 2 Alabama (8-0) vs. No 1. LSU (8-0): This game may not only determine who represents the SEC West in Atlanta, it may also have implications on the National Championship picture. Heisman contender Trent Richardson will also have to have a stellar performance if he wants to bring the trophy back to his hometown of Pensacola. The junior running back will more than likely break 1,000 yards on the season against the Tigers. The stage couldn’t be set any higher as two of college football’s top defenses go head to head in Tuscaloosa for an 8 p.m. primetime matchup.
No. 9 South Carolina (7-1) vs. No. 7 Arkansas (7-1): This 7:15 evening matchup may not be the sexy one in the Southeastern Conference this week, but it does have implications on the Championship matchup in Atlanta. The Gamecocks are currently winning the East with only two conference games left, while the Razorbacks look to climb the ladder in the West behind Alabama and LSU. Arkansas will look to step up on both sides of the ball this Saturday after squeaking by Vanderbilt 31-28 last week. South Carolina will look for its run game to remain consistent coming off the 14-3 win against Tennessee.
Game Changers in Week Nine (USC):
Offense: Although quarterback Tyler Bray had both scores for Carolina, freshman Brandon Wilds carried the load out of the backfield. The running back had 137 yards on 28 carries.
Defense: Junior safety D.J. Swearinger had six tackles and an interception against Tennessee.
Game Changers in Week Nine (Ark):
Offense: Senior wide out Jarius Wright had 10 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown.
Defense: Senior Jerry Franklin led the team in tackles with 10 and also had 2.5 tackles for loss. The linebacker also returned a fumble 94 yards for a touchdown.
No. 18 Georgia (6-2): Mark Richt’s club has won six straight ball games heading into the month of November. The Bulldogs will have a rest from SEC play this week as they take on New Mexico State (3-5) at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. UGA has its eyes on Atlanta, but South Carolina currently has the lead in the Eastern Division. The Dawgs will need the Gamecocks to come out on the losing end in one of its two remaining SEC contests.
Game Changers in Week Nine:
Offense: Running backs Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell combined for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Defense: Sophomore Jarvis Jones had five tackles, four of those being sacks. The linebacker also forced a fumble against UF.
Kentucky (3-5) vs. Ole Miss (2-6): Both squads are winless in conference play heading into the week ten matchup in Lexington. The Wildcats came up short to Mississippi State last week 28-16, while the Rebels fell to Auburn 41-23. In the month of October, the two teams combined for a total of two wins. The contest will begin at 3:30 p.m., Saturday afternoon.
Game Changers in Week Nine (UK):
Offense: Senior wide receiver Matt Roark had 13 receptions for 116 yards.
Defense: Danny Trevathan led the team in tackles with 17, including a tackle for loss. The senior linebacker also had an interception and forced a fumble.
Game Changers in Week Nine (Miss):
Offense: Running back Brandon Bolden had two touchdowns on the ground for the Rebels. The senior finished the day with 114 yards on 13 carries.
Defense: Defensive end Kentrell Lockett had six tackles, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hurry. The senior also recovered two fumbles.
Tennessee (3-5): The Volunteers are truly fighting for bowl eligibility after starting off the season with five losses in the SEC. Luckily Derek Dooley and his ball club will host a 2-5 Middle Tennessee State team this week in Knoxville. The Vols managed to put up only 186 yards of offense against South Carolina last week in the 14-3 loss. Kickoff against the Blue Raiders is set for 7 p.m. this Saturday.
Game Changers in Week Nine
Offense: Freshman wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett had three receptions for 59 yards.
Defense: Freshman A.J. Johnson led the team in tackles with 12. The linebacker also recovered a fumble.
No. 22 Auburn (6-3): Auburn is off this week as it prepares for the Georgia matchup on November 12th. The Tigers routed Ole Miss 41-23 last Saturday to earn their fourth SEC victory. Gene Chizik’s offense managed to put up over 400 yards against the Rebel defense.
Game Changers in Week Nine:
Offense: Sophomore quarterback Clint Moseley completed 12-of-15 passes for 160 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Defense: Senior Eltoro Freeman led the team in tackles with 11, including two sacks. The linebacker also had a quarterback hurry and forced a fumble.
Mississippi State (4-4): The Bulldogs earned their first SEC win last Saturday after beating Kentucky 28-16. Mississippi State had three turnovers in the matchup but managed to gain almost 400 yards on offense. Before going back into SEC play next week against Alabama, Dan Mullen’s ball club will host Tennessee-Martin (5-3) this Saturday in Starkville. The matchup between the Bulldogs and the Skyhawks is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.
Game Changers in Week Nine:
Offense: Quarterback Chris Relf accounted for a total of three touchdowns against Kentucky. The senior completed 6-of-9 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, and added six rushes for 13 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Defense: Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox had seven tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. The junior also had two sacks.