The SEC East lineup is much better than the SEC West this weekend, as the battle for the East’s supremacy falls after the best non-conference showdown of the week.
Here’s what to watch:
#6 South Carolina at #11 Georgia
Player(s) to watch: QB Aaron Murray (UGA), RB Mike Davis (USC)
Buzz: The East will have a frontrunner Saturday night at the conclusion of South Carolina-Georgia. The Gamecocks have won three straight, but Georgia has represented the East in Atlanta for two straight years. The last four games in Athens have been decided by an average margin of victory of 3.25 points per game. Close, I’ll say. Will Steve Spurrier continue dominating Georgia since the 1990s, or will Mark Richt and Aaron Murray get a top 10 win?
#12 Florida at Miami
Player(s) to watch: RB Matt Jones, LB Antonio Morrison
Opponent player to watch: RB Duke Johnson
Buzz: Florida must stop Duke Johnson. He leads the nation in rushing after one week after he ran wild on FAU for 186 yards. The Gators allowed one back to hit the 100-yard mark last year in Todd Gurley. Florida also gets back two key players in RB Matt Jones (illness) and LB Antonio Morrison (suspension), along CB Loucheiz Purifoy and DT Darious Cummings. Both are key to Will Muschamp’s ‘beat you up’ mentality. I like Florida by a 10.
Related: Florida must stop Duke Johnson
WKU at Tennessee
Player to watch: RB Rajion Neal
Opponent player to watch: RB Antonio Andrews
Buzz: WKU and Tennessee are just about evenly matched. Yes, Tennessee has more talent, especially on the offensive line. So, running the ball down WKU’s throats will be key. But the Hilltoppers may have the in-game coaching edge with Bobby Petrino. Either way, Rajion Neal and Antionio Andrews will be the two players to watch. Neal fits Tennessee’s new scheme perfectly. Petrino is looking for two wins in a row against SEC programs, and he’ll pull out all the stops to get it. There is no reason Tennessee shouldn’t cover the 11-point spread, right?
Related: Underrated game of the week?
Kentucky vs Miami (OH)
Player to watch: QB Max Smith
Opponent player to watch: WR Robert Williams
Buzz: There is no reason Kentucky shouldn’t get back on track this week. After a disappointing opening to the Mark Stoops era, he now knows the Big Blue Struggle intricately. Having decided on a starter, Max Smith will look to lead the Cats in a more effective Air Raid offense than what was shown last week. It’s all about getting a win here and getting positive momentum and outlook in the locker room.
Franklins: Missouri and Vanderbilt
Missouri plays Toledo, who was beaten by Florida, and Vanderbilt hosts Austin Peay, who was throttled by Tennessee. Look for the Commodores to have a big game. Florida’s conservative offense didn’t make last week’s win against Toledo too sexy, but expect Missouri’s offense to do what Florida didn’t. The Tigers put up 58 points and 358 rushing yards behind Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough. Toledo is going to score, but they won’t score with Missouri.
Photo Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports