No. 9 Tennessee at No. 8 Texas A&M
College Station plays host to the biggest game in the SEC this week, which premieres two of only three SEC teams still undefeated. Tennessee is coming off of a last second, 34-31 Hail Mary victory over Georgia, and Texas A&M is coming off of a 24-13 win over South Carolina.
The Vols have been down early in every game this season, however, their exceptional second-half play has continued to pull the team forward. Putting a full game together is essential to Tennessee’s success this week in College Station. Meanwhile, this is the biggest test that Texas A&M has faced so far. As usual, the Aggies have a potent offense that has the ability to put huge offensive numbers up. The matchups in the trenches will be interesting to watch, as two of some of the best defensive lineman in the country — Myles Garrett and Derek Barnett — will show off at Kyle Field. The Vols will once again go without Cam Sutton and Darrin Kirkland Jr., while Aggie receivers Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones are banged up. Only one team can leave undefeated.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 16 Arkansas
These two teams are entering this week on a high note. Last week Arkansas throttled Alcorn State 52-10 and Alabama beat SEC East opponent Kentucky by a convincing score of 34-6.
The Crimson Tide offense has looked formidable all year under the lead of true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and star receiver Calvin Ridley. Even more impressive has been the Alabama defense, as it has only allowed a touchdown in two of its games this year. While Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen has provided solid play for the Razorbacks, they will need help from both their running game and their defense to pose a threat to Alabama. If the Razorbacks manage to run the ball and complement Allen in the air, the Razorbacks could force the Tide defense to struggle. An interesting matchup to watch will be the Arkansas offensive line against the Crimson Tide front seven, led by linebacker Reuben Foster. Alabama has shown tendencies to start slow, and if the Razorbacks manage to get up on the Tide early, this could be a fun game to watch.
Georgia at South Carolina
Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses last week. South Carolina lost a tight game to Texas A&M 24-13, while the Georgia Bulldogs lost on a heartbreaking Hail Mary as time expired to Tennessee.
Despite losing to Tennessee on a last second touchdown, the Georgia offense has looked good all season under freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, who showed his potential in the last drive against Tennessee. While the Bulldog offense has pulled its weight, the Georgia defense has struggled to keep opposing teams from scoring and has made it hard for the team to win games. South Carolina has been a different story under first-year head coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks have been thriving on defense, but have yet to have the offense to match. South Carolina’s offense has struggled as a result of the rotating quarterback situation that has yet to be settled. The absence of a true leader on that side of the ball has kept the offense from reaching its full potential. A matchup to watch will be Georgia’s Jacob Eason against the impressive South Carolina defense. If the Georgia defense can step up or the South Carolina offense can come alive, this one could be close.
Other games in the SEC
Auburn at Mississippi State
Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Edited by Nathan Odom
Featured image by Sumner Gilliam