Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC) at Tennessee (2-2, 0-1)
WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Neyland Stadium (102, 455), Knoxville, Tenn.
TV: SEC Network
SERIES: Florida leads 24-19.
BETTING LINE: Tennessee -2.5
STAT THAT MATTERS: Florida has won nine consecutive games against Tennessee, with the Volunteers last defeating the Gators in 2005.
NOTES: The Gators certainly miss their 2013 defense. What was formerly the No. 2 unit in the nation has since become one of the weak points of coach Will Muschamp’s club. Through three games, Florida’s defense ranks No. 13 in the SEC, allowing 415.7 yards per game. Its rushing defense, which is sixth in the conference, has held up, but it’s once-vaunted secondary seemingly can’t stop any opposing passing attack. The defensive backfield has allowed 287.7 yards per game, the second-worst in the SEC. Can Tennessee take advantage? The Vols offense ranks No. 13 in the conference.
No. 6 Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0) at No. 12 Miss. State (4-0, 1-0)
WHEN: 11:01 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Davis Wade Stadium (61,337), Starkville, Miss.
SERIES: Texas A&M leads 4-3.
BETTING LINE: Mississippi State -2.5
STAT THAT MATTERS: Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill ranks No. 1 in the SEC in passing yards (1,745), and Mississippi State’s pass defense ranks last in the conference in passing defense (319 passing yards allowed per game).
NOTES: The first game matching two top 15 teams at Wade Davis Stadium in Starkville since 1986 will help shape the pecking in order in college football’s toughest division, the SEC West. Both quarterbacks, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and A&M’s Hill, have been putting up numbers that will draw Heisman Trophy consideration. ... Keep an eye on the A&M wide receivers vs. State cornerbacks. It seems as if the Aggies use about a dozen different receivers. Not quite, but Hill has plenty of options, led by Malcolme Kennedy (33 catches, 378 yards). Ricky Seals-Jones, Josh Reynolds, Edward Pope, Speedy Noil and Boone Niederhofer all have double-digit receptions for an offense averaging over 400 yards per game through the air. A&M will put pressure on Bulldogs cornerbacks Jamerson Love, Taveze Calhoun and Will Redmond, and a pass defense that ranks 124th in the country in yards allowed per game (319). The Aggies are also adept at getting their receivers matched up with safeties and linebackers. ... Mississippi State has surpassed 500 yards total offense in each of its four games. ... Prescott has three straight games of at least 200 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. ... State C Dillon Day will serve a one-game SEC suspension for multiple flagrant and unsportsmanlike acts against LSU.
No. 3 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) at No. 11 Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0)
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580), Oxford, Miss.
SERIES: Alabama leads 47-9-2.
BETTING LINE: Alabama -6.5
STAT THAT MATTERS: Alabama has won 10 straight games against Ole Miss.
NOTES: Ole Miss is hosting arguably its biggest game since the SEC Western Division title was on the line vs. LSU in 2003. The Rebels are 4-0 for the first time since 1970 and could move to 5-0 for the first time since 1962. ... Both Alabama and Ole Miss are similar in passing offense. How close are they? Alabama has thrown for 335.8 yards per game. Ole Miss has passed for 335.5. ... Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace, a 6-foot-4 senior, is one of the most prolific passers in the SEC, throwing for 1,271 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. But he’s also been mistake-prone, with six interceptions. He had a rough game against Memphis last week, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. ... The Rebels defense has given up just two touchdowns this season, which leads the nation. ... Alabama has four out of its next five games on the road. ... Alabama has a 21-1 record in October over the past six seasons. ... Alabama is averaging 594.3 total yards per game so far this season, which is the best offensive start in school history. ... Alabama WR Amari Cooper, a 6-foot-1 junior, has 43 catches for 655 yards through just four games.
Vanderbilt (1-4, 0-3) at No. 13 Georgia (3-1, 1-1)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sanford Stadium (92,746), Athens, Ga.
TV: SEC Network
SERIES: Georgia leads 53-19-2.
BETTING LINE: Georgia -33.5
STAT THAT MATTERS: Vanderbilt’s run defense ranks No. 11 in the SEC, allowing 161.4 yards per game.
NOTES: Vanderbilt will try for its second straight win over the Bulldogs, following a 31-27 victory in Nashville last season. Vanderbilt had not beaten a Top 25 team since 2008 until the 2013 win over Georgia, and it is 0-2 against ranked teams this season, with losses to South Carolina and Mississippi. ... The Bulldogs just keep scoring… and scoring… and scoring. Last season, Georgia’s offense scored a whopping 58 touchdowns, which was the second-most in school history. So far this season, Mark Richt’s club has totaled 24 through four games — the Bulldogs are currently on pace to score 72 touchdowns, which would tie the program’s all-time single season mark. Junior running back Todd Gurley continues to be a force in the Georgia backfield, totaling 610 yards on 69 attempts with 6 touchdowns. Gurley has averaged 152.5 yards per game and 8.8 yards per carry. He’ll be matching up against a poor Vanderbilt run defense, giving him a chance to continue his incredible season on Saturday. ... Vanderbilt freshman QB Wade Freebeck is expected to make his third start as Patton Robinette (concussion) will be held out. ... Vanderbilt LB Nigel Bowden, from Macon, Georgia, leads all SEC freshmen with 36 tackles. ... The Commodores have 18 players from Georgia, more than any other state. Vandy has 17 players from Tennessee. ... Georgia is averaging 45.2 points per game to rank second in the SEC and eighth nationally. ... After Saturday, Georgia will play four consecutive games away from Athens. It doesn’t play another home game until Nov. 15 against Auburn.
South Carolina (3-2, 2-2) at Kentucky (3-1, 1-1)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Commonwealth Stadium (62,093), Lexington, Ky.
TV: SEC Network
SERIES: South Carolina leads 17-7-1.
BETTING LINE: South Carolina -5
STAT THAT MATTERS: Kentucky’s pass defense has been superb, allowing only 186 yards per game and ranking third in the conference.
NOTES: Fans will see a matchup of two squads heading in opposite directions. Last weekend, Kentucky topped Vanderbilt 17-7, while South Carolina fell 21-20 loss at home to Missouri. Kentucky sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles has been quite the surprise for head coach Mark Stoops. Towles has completed 84 of 135 pass attempts for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions, giving the Wildcats the fourth-best passing offense in the SEC. He has also played well at home, compiling a 145.3 passer rating.