Week 7 Big Ten & SEC Preview
In the seventh week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits all throughout SEC and Big Ten country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the 70th Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on January 1.
#10 Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC) will face off against #9 Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0 SEC) in College Station. The Aggies look to win their sixth straight to open the season for the first time since 1995. Prior to the bye week, A&M QB Kyle Allen had his second straight 300-yard passing game, after finishing with 322 yards and two touchdowns against Mississippi State. He leads the SEC in QB Rating (169.0) but will be facing an Alabama defense that has only allowed 24 points in its last three contests. Tide LB Reggie Ragland was named SEC defensive player of the week after racking up seven tackles, two quarterback hurries, one sack, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in the victory over the Razorbacks.
#8 Florida (6-0, 4-0 SEC) heads to Baton Rouge Saturday to play #6 LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC). The Gators will be without starting QB Will Grier for the rest of the season, so the offense will be led instead by sophomore QB Treon Harris. Harris started the first game of the season and threw for 215 yards and two scores. The Tiger’s offense is powered by sophomore RB Leonard Fournette, who leads the nation with 1,022 rushing yards. South Carolina was able to hold Fournette to a season low 158-yards rushing, but QB Brandon Harris threw for a career high 228 yards and two touchdowns.
#12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) plays host to #7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) Saturday afternoon. Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh looks to do what none of his predecessors have: defeat the Spartans in his first season. Michigan has excelled under Harbaugh, holding their last three opponents scoreless. Michigan State QB Connor Cook ranks first in the Big Ten in touchdown passes (12) and threw for 357 yards in last week’s victory over Rutgers.
In a West Division battle, #17 Iowa (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) travels to #20 Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten). The Hawkeyes will be down five starters Saturday, including the recent loss of defensive end Drew Ott to a torn ACL. Iowa’s run defense is ranked fifth in the country, allowing only 78 yards per game. Prior to last week’s loss to Michigan, the Wildcats were averaging a Big Ten-best 248.8 rushing yards per game.
#1 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) will host Penn State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) in Columbus Saturday night. The Nittany Lions rank 10th in the country in total defense (275.7 yards per game) and first in total sacks (25). They will be charged with stopping the Buckeyes’ dual-quarterback system that features junior Cardale Jones and sophomore J.T. Barrett.
Missouri (4-2, 1-2 SEC) is heading to Athens to face Georgia (4-2, 2-2 SEC). The Tigers are ranked first in the SEC in scoring defense (13.5 points per game) and second in total defense (275 yards per game). With the absence of Nick Chubb, Bulldogs RB Sony Michel will be more involved in the offense. Michel has already rushed for 421 yards and four touchdowns, as well as adding on 174 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Other conference games this weekend:
Auburn (3-2, 0-2 SEC) travels to Kentucky (4-1, 2-1 SEC).
#13 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) travels to Memphis.
Purdue (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) travels to Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten).
Rutgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) travels to Indiana (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten).
Nebraska (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) travels to Minnesota (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten).
Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-2 SEC) travels to South Carolina (2-4, 0-4 SEC).
Mississippi State (4-2, 1-2 SEC) hosts Louisiana Tech.