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Previewing this week's SEC football matchups

 

Auburn has a bye week this week following its historic 48-11 win over LSU on Halloween. Without any Auburn football this weekend, here’s a preview of games that are happening around the Southeastern Conference

#8 Florida (3-1) at #5 Georgia (4-1)

It’s no surprise that the Gators and Bulldogs are matching up once again with both teams being ranked in the Top 10. It’s been like that for the previous two matchups, both of which were Georgia victories. Each team is looking to prove that they are still alive and well in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Georgia’s defense has been the best in the conference this season and it’s not close. The Bulldogs have allowed 81 points this season, the lone team that has not given up triple digits. They’ll be tested by Florida quarterback Kyle Trask and company, whose offense has overpowered every opponent this season, excluding Texas A&M.

The teams have exchanged three-game win streaks over the past 12 matchups, with Georgia winning the last three. If trends continue, the door is open for Florida.

Vanderbilt (0-4) at Mississippi State (1-4)

One of these teams will end a four-game skid on Saturday when the two face off for the first time since 2014. After winning the first game of the season, Mississippi State’s high hopes have come to a halt, dropping the last four games.

Mike Leach’s air-raid offense in Starkville has not fared well for the Bulldogs since that LSU game. Mississippi State quarterbacks have thrown an SEC-high 14 interceptions compared to only seven touchdowns this season.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s offense is the worst in the SEC. The Commodores have scored just 47 points this season. Only one other team in the conference has yet to reach triple digits in offensive points. That other team is Mississippi State.

#7 Texas A&M (4-1) at South Carolina (2-3)

The Aggies continue to climb the rankings in hopes of proving that they belong in the College Football Playoff. Texas A&M dropped in the rankings after a blowout loss to No. 2 Alabama in Week 2, but have since made the climb back into the Top 10.

Wins against then-ranked No. 4 Florida, Mississippi State and Arkansas have the Aggies riding a three-game win streaking into Columbia. The two teams have played every year since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2014, with all six victories belonging to Texas A&M.

South Carolina looks to bounce back after suffering a 52-24 loss in Baton Rouge to LSU after upsetting then-ranked No. 15 Auburn the week before. The Gamecocks have been inconsistent in their game play this season, except for running back Kevin Harris.

Harris is ranked second in the SEC in rushing yards with 535 this season, only trailing Alabama’s Najee Harris.

Tennessee (2-3) at Arkansas (2-3)

After starting the season with two straight wins and climbing to No. 14 in the Top 25, Tennessee has dropped three straight games. In those three games, the Volunteers have been outscored 126-54.

They look to get back in the win column Saturday when they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to face the Razorbacks.

In Fayetteville, transfer quarterback Felipe Franks has the Hogs rolling. They’ve won two SEC games this season after a drought of two-plus years without a single conference win. This is just the second time this season where Arkansas’ is not facing a Top-25 opponent.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 13-5, but Arkansas has won the previous two matchups.

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