Here are some things to watch during the 13th week of the Southeastern Conference football season.
Game of the week
No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 SEC) at No. 4 Georgia (9-1, 6-1, No. 4 College Football Playoff): Georgia already has clinched a berth in the SEC championship game and is seeking to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Bulldogs can’t afford a letdown as they face a second straight ranked opponent after an emotional 21-14 victory last week at No. 16 Auburn, which was ranked 13th at the time. Texas A&M is seeking its fifth straight victory but hasn’t beaten anyone that currently owns a winning record. This marks the first time these two programs have faced off as SEC opponents.
Matchup of the week
Tennessee wide receivers Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway vs. Missouri secondary: Jennings and Callaway are seniors who offer plenty of big-play potential. Jennings has 50 catches for 771 yards and seven touchdowns. Callaway has 22 receptions for 487 yards and five scores. Missouri ranks 10th among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in pass efficiency defense. Missouri has an experienced secondary featuring senior cornerback DeMarkus Acy and junior safeties Joshuah Bledsoe and Tyree Gillespie.
Inside the numbers
The offense for No. 1 LSU (No. 1 CFP) has produced 60 touchdowns this season. Forty-five of those 60 touchdown drives lasted less than three minutes. … No. 5 Alabama (No. 5 CFP) has allowed only 239 touchdowns since the start of the 2009 season, the lowest total of any Football Bowl Subdivision program during that stretch. Alabama is followed by LSU (297) and Florida (303). … Kentucky’s 38-14 victory over Vanderbilt last week was the Wildcats’ most lopsided SEC road triumph since 2001. … Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill hasn’t lost a fumble in 387 career college carries. The last time he lost a fumble was his sophomore year in high school. … Mississippi’s John Rhys Plumlee’s 212 yards rushing in a 58-37 loss to LSU last week represented the highest single-game total ever by an Ole Miss quarterback. Plumlee was the first quarterback to run for at least 200 yards against a top-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 since Texas’ Vince Young capped the 2005 season by rushing for 200 yards in a Rose Bowl victory over Southern California.
Tennessee (5-5, 3-3) has won three consecutive games and Missouri (5-5, 2-4) has lost four straight, yet Missouri is a four-point favorite to beat the visiting Volunteers on Saturday. Missouri has beaten Tennessee 50-17 each of the last two years, but those games came when the Tigers were enjoying late-season surges. Missouri has fared much better at home than on the road this season, but the Tigers’ 23-6 home loss to No. 10 Florida last week suggests the Tigers currently aren’t very good no matter where they’re playing.
Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd is putting together a remarkable year even as his team endures a dismal season. Boyd has run for over 1,005 yards this season as he competes with Hill (1,062), Georgia’s D’Andre Swift (1,027), Plumlee (989) and LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire (958) for the league rushing title. Over Arkansas’ last two games, Boyd has rushed for 299 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries, giving him a whopping 15.7 yards per attempt. While Arkansas is a 43-point underdog Saturday at LSU, Boyd will test a Tigers defense that gave up 402 yards rushing against Ole Miss last week.
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