Top SEC games to watch in week three

With conference play heating up, here are the SEC matchups to look out for heading into week three.

BRISTOL,TN - SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 - Vol Walk during the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 Ole Miss

This is by far the top game of the week as these two SEC West rivals face off.

The Rebels have been the Tides Kryptonite for the past two years. Alabama is going into this year’s game with a chip on its shoulder, and the Crimson Tide are looking to regain their pride. Although it’s early in the season, this is a game that could decide a spot in the College Football Playoff.

This will be the first big test for Alabama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts as he goes up against the most experienced defense he’s faced so far. Both the offense and defense will be looking to touch up after last week, when two late mistakes allowed Western Kentucky to score. Head coach Nick Saban chewed out the team and coaching staff in what he told ESPN was a “chewing” as a result.

For Ole Miss, the defense will have to take advantage of a young and inexperienced quarterback by forcing him to make mistakes. Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly’s experience in this game will be a key factor to decide who will walk away with the victory.

No. 17 Texas A&M at Auburn

Both teams have something to prove in their opening game of SEC play. The Aggies are looking to reestablish themselves as a top contender in the SEC West, while the Tigers want to make a statement after losing a close one to No. 2 Clemson in week one.

Auburn is favored by four points, which came as a bit of a shock, but with Sean White at the helm and running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson trading carries in the backfield, a win is certainly a possibility.

Texas A&M will look to improve to 3-0 on the season by following up a dominating 67-0 performance over Prairie View A&M. Trevor Knight and Keith Ford will have to put up some big numbers in what should be a hard-fought matchup.

Mississippi St at No. 20 LSU

After both LSU and Mississippi State bounced back from devastating upsets in week one, each will look to improve to 2-1 as SEC play heats up.

For the Tigers, Heisman-hopeful Leonard Fournette is expected to make his return after he re-injured his left ankle in the season opener against Wisconsin. Fournette’s presence should help after the dismal quarterback play from last week’s win over Jacksonville State.

The Bulldogs seem to have filled their quarterback slot with sophomore Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald set a new school rushing record for quarterbacks with 195 yards in last week’s win over South Carolina. But he will have to do more than that if he wants to help lead Mississippi State to another win.

No. 16 Georgia vs Missouri

After nearly being upset by Nicholls State last week, Georgia will look move forward and fix the many mistakes they committed in that game. Coach Kirby Smart has still not named his starting quarterback yet and will continue to look at his options until he sees a right fit.

Missouri enters the game with plenty of momentum after rolling over Eastern Michigan last weekend, 61-21. Quarterback Drew Lock threw for 450 of the Tigers’ 647 total yards. The offense will need to keep its up-tempo offense rolling if they want to take down the SEC East power.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics