Things to watch Week 11 in the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 11 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi
It’s a showdown between teams that could be at least second-best in the SEC West Division, behind No. 3 Alabama. And the Aggies beat the Crimson Tide to start a four-game winning streak and help stay in contention for the division title. The matchup pits Rebels star quarterback Matt Corral against the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense. Corral is the only FBS quarterback with 2,500 yards passing and 500 yards rushing this season. The Aggies are allowing fewer than 15 points a game and just held 16th-ranked Auburn to three. Texas A&M is a slim favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
No. 16 Auburn’s defense faces Will Rogers and Mississippi State’s pass-happy offense. Rogers is seeking his eighth consecutive 300-yard passing game. During that span, he has averaged 377.8 yards and thrown for 18 touchdowns. The Tigers defense held Texas A&M without an offensive touchdown last week, losing 20-3. Auburn also leads the SEC and ranks 12th nationally with 7.44 tackles for loss per game. The Tigers won last season’s meeting 24-10 in a game postponed until Dec. 12 because of COVID-19. They sacked Rogers six times and held him to 221 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions.
No. 1 Georgia’s defense has been scarcely touched this season, ranking as the nation’s best unit. But Tennessee has proven it can score and score quickly, especially last weekend in a 45-42 win over then-No. 18 Kentucky when the offense held the ball for less than 14 minutes. So perhaps that gives the Volunteers a chance to go where opposing offenses have seldom gone: The Bulldogs’ end zone. Hendon Hooker had career highs with 316 yards and four touchdown passes against the Wildcats. It was Tennessee’s first win over a ranked team since beating Kentucky in 2018.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Florida has lost eight of its last 10 games against Power Five opponents. … Mississippi State coach Mike Leach could tie Emory Ballard’s school record of four wins over ranked teams in road or neutral-site games. … Ole Miss DL Sam Williams already has a school-record 10 1/2 sacks, second in the FBS. … Texas A&M’s Tyree Johnson had one sack in the first five games and seven in the last four. … Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is set to start his 34th consecutive game. That would match Phil Gargis (1974-76) for second-most by an Auburn quarterback since 1969, behind Stan White’s 45 from 1990-93. … Missouri running back Tyler Badie was held without a touchdown for the first time this season against Georgia but did go over the 1,000-yard mark. … Vanderbilt is holding its first “blackout” of the season, sporting black jerseys and pants against Kentucky.
South Carolina’s Jason Brown became the team’s third starting quarterback, and delivered a solid performance in a 40-17 rout of Florida. Brown, a transfer from FCS program St. Francis in Pennsylvania, took over after Zeb Noland underwent knee surgery. Aided by a strong running game and defense, he completed 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Brown enrolled at South Carolina just before spring practice. The Northeast Conference had moved its season to the spring because of COVID-19.