Associated Press file photo by JASON GETZ -- Georgia coach Mark Richt and fans react after a young fan asked a tough question about Georgia's special teams on national signing day in February.

West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama

WHEN: 2:36 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Georgia Dome (71,228), Atlanta, Ga.


SERIES: First time meeting

BETTING LINE: Alabama -25

STAT THAT MATTERS: During his career at Florida State, Jacob Coker completed 21 of 41 pass attempts for 295 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

NOTES: It’s the game Crimson Tide fans have waited months for — Saturday will likely be the first time senior transfer Jacob Coker throws a pass in an official game for Alabama. That being said, signs have pointed to fifth-year senior Blake Sims to take the starting quarterback job against West Virginia, with Coker getting playing time later in the contest. Last season, Sims completed 18 of 29 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

Southern Miss at Mississippi State

WHEN: 6:39 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Scott Field (61,337), Starkville, Miss.

TV: SEC Network

SERIES: Southern Miss leads 14-12-1

BETTING LINE: Mississippi State -26

STAT THAT MATTERS: Junior quarterback Dak Prescott thrived at home last season, completing 75 of 125 passes for 971 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a 135.3 QB rating in Starkville.

NOTES: Many say 2014 could be the year Mississippi State emerges as a dark horse candidate in the SEC, and all signs have pointed to a successful season heading into the season opener. The Bulldogs ended last season on a three-game winning streak, including a 17-10 victory against Ole Miss in the annual Egg Bowl. Now, head coach Dan Mullen enters his sixth season looking to bring MSU to its fifth straight bowl game.

Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn

WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451), Auburn, Ala.

TV: SEC Network

SERIES: Auburn leads 12-10-1

BETTING LINE: Auburn -21

STAT THAT MATTERS: Even with the loss of Tre Mason to the 2014 NFL draft, Auburn will look to pound the ball early and often against Arkansas. The senior duo of Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne combined for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

NOTES: Brett Bielema didn’t have a warm welcome to the SEC – he went winless in conference games during his first full season as head coach of the Razorbacks. The test doesn’t get any easier to start off his second season as he takes on defending conference champion Auburn on the road. To make the mountain an even tougher climb, Auburn is 96-15-3 all-time in home openers.

Idaho at Florida

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (88,548), Gainesville, Fla.


SERIES: First meeting

BETTING LINE: Florida -33.5

STAT THAT MATTERS: During the 2013 campaign, 15 Florida players suffered season-ending injuries. Ten of those 15 players were starters.

NOTES: Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel returns to game action for the first time since Florida’s 2013 week three matchup against Tennessee. Driskel suffered a season-ending leg injury, putting a severe dent in an offensive attack that was in desperate need of an impact signal caller. Florida fans should be happy to see a fairly proven quarterback back at the helm when Idaho strolls into Gainesville.

No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia

WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Sanford Stadium (92,746), Athens, Ga.


SERIES: Georgia leads 41-18-4

BETTING LINE: Georgia -9.5

STAT THAT MATTERS: Mason was efficient when called upon last season, completing 67 of 110 passes for 968 yards and five touchdowns.

NOTES: With former signal caller Aaron Murray gone, senior quarterback Hutson Mason will get his first opportunity to open the season as the Bulldogs’ starter when he welcomes Clemson on Saturday. Mason got a taste of being the Georgia starter after Murray’s 2013 campaign ended prematurely due to a torn ACL, so he should be calm and collected come game time.

UT Martin at Kentucky

WHEN: 11 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Commonwealth Stadium (67,606), Lexington, Ky.

TV: SEC Network

SERIES: First meeting


STAT THAT MATTERS: Defensively, head coach Mark Stoops will have eight returning regulars, which should allow them to improve on their No. 13 ranked defense in the SEC from 2013.

NOTES: Kentucky hasn’t had much success on the football field in recent memory, but historically, the Wildcats have been solid in opening contests. The Wildcats are 70-15-4 in home openers all-time, and Saturday’s matchup will be a pleasant sight for Kentucky fans considering the squad hasn’t opened the season at home since 2007.

South Dakota State at No. 24 Missouri

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Faurot Field (71,004), Columbia, Mo.


SERIES: First time meeting


STAT THAT MATTERS: As a freshman who received four starts in place of an injured James Franklin, Maty Mauk threw for 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

NOTES: The 2013 season was a turnaround on every front for Missouri, including how the Tigers performed on their home turf at Faurot Field. In 2012, Missouri finished 3-4 at home. In 2013, it ended with a 6-1 mark. When South Dakota comes to town on Saturday, Tigers’ sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk will look to carry his first-year success over to 2014 as he attempts to lead his team back to the conference title game.

Utah State at Tennessee

WHEN: 6 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Neyland Stadium (102,455), Knoxville, Tenn.

TV: SEC Network

SERIES: First time meeting.

BETTING LINE: Tennessee -7

STAT THAT MATTERS: If there’s one conference Tennessee likes to beat up on, it’s the Mountain West. The Volunteers are 15-1 all-time against current Mountain West schools.

NOTES: After a rough inaugural SEC season for Tennessee coach Butch Jones where he finished 5-7 (2-6 in conference play), the Volunteers will look to get back on track in their opening game against Utah State. Tennessee has historically played well in season openers, finishing 25-3-2 in its last 30 week one games.