For SEC links, let’s look at today’s conference games:
Troy at Georgia (12:00 – SEC)
Georgia must shake it off after losing at South Carolina 38-35, then facing a week of questions over why offensive coordinator Mike Bobo didn’t use star tailback Todd Gurley more. The Bulldogs think their passing game is ready to break out today. Quarterback Hutson Mason has thrown for less than 200 yards in each of Georgia’s first two games. Troy is 0-3 and lost to Abilene Christian last week.
Florida at Alabama (3:30 – CBS)
Alabama’s defense is looking forward to an old-fashioned smash-mouth football game. Florida’s defense is coming off a Saturday in which it gave up 17 second-half points to Kentucky. Today is a huge barometer game for the Gators under Will Muschamp, who is trying to erase memories of last season’s 4-8 disaster and keep his job.
Indiana at Missouri (4:00 – SEC)
Missouri is 3-0 behind quarterback Maty Mauk, who has thrown for 12 touchdowns with three interceptions thus far. Indiana lost 45-42 at Bowling Green last week. Indiana does have a potent offense, while Missouri’s defense has allowed 52 points in its first three games. IU tailback Tevin Coleman is averaging 218.5 rushing yards per game.
Texas A&M at SMU (3:30 – ABC/ESPN2)
A&M has won its first three games by a combined score of 163-21, and it doesn’t figure to change much today. SMU is in disarray after head coach June Jones abruptly announced his retirement. The Mustangs lost their first two games by a combined 82 points. Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill has thrown for 11 touchdowns without an interception thus far.
Mississippi State at LSU (7:00 – ESPN)
Mississippi State thinks this is the year it can upset the Tigers in Death Valley. Dan Mullen’s team lost 29-7 and 37-17 its last two trips to Tiger Stadium. “You’d better grease your shoulders because it’s about to be a hard fought game,” said MSU sophomore safety Kivon Coman. LSU’s defense will have to contain State quarterback Dak Prescott, who rushed for 129 yards last Saturday in win at South Alabama. It’s the league opener for both teams.
Northern Illinois at Arkansas (7:00 – ESPNU)
In his second season in Fayetteville, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema appears to have the Razrobacks’ running game going. Arkansas rolled over Texas Tech 49-28 in Lubbock last Saturday. Meanwhile, Northern Illinois won 23-15 at Northwestern, so the Huskies know how to win on the road. Arkansas’ defense knows that Northern Illinois can run the football, as well. NIU is seventh nationally in rushing yards per game.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (7:30 – SEC)
The Gamecocks travel to Nashville as a heavy favorite over the Commodores. South Carolina will try to avoid a letdown after last week’s key 38-35 win over Georgia. Vandy had to rally to beat visiting UMass last week. The ‘Dores were outscored 78-10 in their first two games and have had all kinds of problems at quarterback.
Photo of South Carolina fans by The State/McClatchy.