SEC Week Six Preview
Top-ten opponents battle for an early SEC East lead when No. 5 Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) travels to No. 6 South Carolina (5-0, 3-0 SEC). The Bulldogs two-headed rushing attack of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall leads the SEC with more than 250 yards a game on the ground. South Carolina ranks second in the conference in rushing defense, however, holding opponents to a mere 77 yards per contest.
No. 4 LSU (5-0, 1-0 SEC) and its fourth-ranked defense head to the Swamp looking to stop a much-improved No. 10 Florida (4-0, 3-0 SEC) offense. Gators RB Mike Gillislee ranks second in the SEC in rushing, averaging more than 100 yards a game on the ground. The Tigers’ defensive front, however, is one of the most formidable in the country.
No. 20 Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will face a two-QB rotation when the Bulldogs square off with Kentucky (1-4, 0-2 SEC) in Lexington. With an injury to starter Maxwell Smith, who tore an ankle ligament in the loss to South Carolina last week, the Wildcats will look to two freshman signal callers, Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles. MSU is off to its best start in more than a decade and ranks 13th in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 13.3 ppg.
Texas A&M (3-1, 1-1 SEC) visits Ole Miss (3-2, 0-1 SEC) for the school’s first ever SEC road game. Aggie QB Johnny Manziel threw for a school-record 453 yards and three scores last week against Arkansas. The Rebels’ strength is rushing the ball, ranking fourth in the SEC with 224 ypg on the ground. Ole Miss has also been disciplined, leading the SEC with only 3.6 penalties a game.
Auburn (1-3, 0-2 SEC), looking to avoid its worst start since 1998, hosts Arkansas (1-4, 0-2 SEC). Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson ranks seventh nationally in passing averaging 339 ypg, while the Tigers only allow 211 ypg through the air. Auburn hung tough two weeks ago against then-No. 2 LSU, leading at halftime before eventually falling to the rival Tigers 12-10.
Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2 SEC) and Missouri (3-2, 0-2 SEC) meet for the first time in more than 50 years when the Commodores travel to Faurot Field to take on the Tigers. Missouri’s Marcus Murphy has been a spark for the Tigers’ special teams unit, returning three punts for touchdowns to this point in the season, including the go-ahead score vs. UCF last week. ‘Dores punter Richard Kent will try to counteract Murphy’s explosiveness. Only three Vandy players have averaged better than Kent’s 45 yards per punt, and all went on to earn All-America honors.