SEC links: Florida looks for payback at Missouri

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SEC links for Saturday:

Tennessee is due for a comeback, writes John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “Tennessee has so many issues of its own, it probably hasn’t noticed what’s going on with Georgia. What’s going on? Not much, other than running back Nick Chubb. Never mind that the Bulldogs were ranked in the top 10 prior to last Saturday’s 38-10 loss to Alabama. They had done little on the field to warrant the ranking.”

Georgia and Tennessee in need of a win, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. Georgia is coming off a four-touchdown loss to Alabama. “Our big thing is to grow from it. It’s not a total loss if you learn from it,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “And that’s true in all losses. So we do feel like we put it behind us. We feel like we’ve made the corrections we need to make, and we’re moving forward and hopefully be better because of the changes or the feeling that you just don’t want to feel again.”

Florida looking for payback against Missouri, reports Jesse Simonton of the Miami Herald. “The Swamp was emptying, but a vociferous chant still spread like wildfire. ‘FIRE MUSCHAMP! FIRE MUSCHAMP! FIRE MUSCHAMP!’ The Florida Gators lost 42-13 to Missouri last season, as former coach Will Muschamp’s hot seat officially caught fire in a humiliating homecoming defeat. The Tigers’ Marcus Murphy returned the opening kickoff for a score — and the game snowballed from there.”

Can the Gators handle success? asks Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun. “So many have been wondering all week how this relatively young 5-0 team is going to handle its sudden success and the adulation that has come with it. Maybe an even bigger question is how will the Gators handle this tough stretch away from their beloved Swamp?”

Missouri’s offense already taking the form of its freshman quarterback, reports David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune. That would be Drew Lock, who will make his second straight start in place of the suspended Maty Mauk. Lock does not scramble as much as Mauk. “He’s got good movement. He’s a good athlete, if you’ve ever seen him play basketball,” Coach Gary Pinkel said. “Sometimes I don’t think he moves as fast as he can run. So I’m going to talk to him about that.”

Arkansas’ run game provides a test for Alabama, reports Marq Burnett for the Montgomery Advertiser. The Razorbacks are led by running back Alex Collins. “Collins leads Arkansas with 656 yards and six touchdowns on 113 carries. Collins has rushed for 150 yards in three straight games.”

How will South Carolina tackle Leonard Fournette? asks Josh Kendall of The State. “LSU’s sophomore tailback is 6-foot-1, 230 pounds. He was the subject of an intense recruiting battle two years ago, and the world is seeing why now. Fournette leads the nation in rushing with 216 yards per game. He is the first running back in SEC history to rush for more than 200 yards in three consecutive games, and he could set an NCAA record for most yards in a five-game stretch with 318 on Saturday against South Carolina.”

LSU’s defensive reserves having growing pains, reports Scott Rabalais of The Advocate. “Against a lowly team like Eastern Michigan, it was obvious coaches wanted to test their depth at the defensive line and linebacker spots. Riley and Donnie Alexander, at linebacker, and Sione Teuhema, at defensive end, played their most snaps, maybe, of their careers. Teuhema had seven tackles, and coach Les Miles was impressed with the player. It was a different story at linebacker — a picture painted by the numbers and that 30-yard coverage bust.”

Mississippi State happy to start homestand, reports Logan Lowery of NE Mississippi Daily Journal. The Bulldogs play host to Troy on Saturday. “I think the biggest thing for us is we’re really disappointed that we didn’t play well last week,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “One of the things that happens with that is guys are really anxious to get back on the field and redeem their performance regardless of who we’re playing.”

Ole Miss fighting injuries heading into Saturday, reports Daniel Pauling of the Clarion-Ledger. “The Rebels will be without several players Saturday against New Mexico State, including right guard Justin Bell, center Robert Conyers, left guard Javon Patterson, wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow and running back Jaylen Walton.”

Photo of Missouri celebrating last year’s win at Florida by AP

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