10 things to watch for this weekend
In a weekend full of major storylines, here are 10 things to keep in mind:
- Tight end Central: When Arkansas takes on Ole Miss Saturday, keep on eye on the tight end play. Although the role has lessened with the advent of the spread offense, the Rebels’ Evan Engram and Arkansas’ Hunter Henry are not only the two best in the Southeastern Conference, they are two of the best in the country.
- Out of conference, Part I: Florida State plays at Clemson Saturday. If Clemson wins, the Tigers should win out. If they do, they are a lock for the playoffs. If they lose, a one-loss SEC champ should be ahead of them at the end of the year.
- Sean White: The redshirt freshman Auburn quarterback has improved each week. Saturday, however, he has to play at Kyle Field against Texas A&M. This will be White’s biggest test since he won the starting job.
- Out of conference, Part II: TCU plays Oklahoma State this week. Again, like the Clemson-FSU game, the winner is in good shape for a playoff spot if they can run the table and be an unbeaten Big 12 champion. But TCU and OSU also still have to play undefeated Baylor.
- South Carolina’s energy: Since Shawn Elliott has taken over for Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks have played with an energy they did not have before. That has translated to improvement on the field. Tennessee had better bring its A-game this week.
- Kentucky’s offense: The Wildcats will be without their stud running back Boom Williams this week. Even with him, UK has had the consistency of cell phone reception on the Bluegrass Parkway – Kentucky fans get the reference. It will be interesting to see how the offense responds without Williams.
- Fournette vs. Ragland: Inside the Alabama-LSU matchup is the battle between Leonard Fournette and Reggie Ragland. Ragland, the Tide’s senior linebacker, is the immovable wall. Fournette, the Tigers’ running back, is the unstoppable force. This could be fun to watch.
- Kelly’s arm: Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has thrown for 2,856 yards this season. The school record for the Rebels is 3,600 yards by Eli Manning in 2003. Look for Kelly to top the 3,000 mark Saturday and be in position to possibly break Manning’s record in the final two games.
- Murray on display: Early in the week Texas A&M coach named freshman Kyler Murray as the starting quarterback. Murray started last week against South Carolina and looked like gangbusters. This week he had the luxury of knowing he was going to start. This could get entertaining.
- A Gator celebration: With a win over Vanderbilt, Florida becomes the SEC East champion. The Gators will be the first division champion in any conference this year. Vandy has only won in Gainesville twice in history, so look for the Gators to accomplish their mission.