SEC Rundown: The Crimson Tide, The Vols & More!

Arkansas (3-4, 0-3) @ Alabama (6-0, 3-0)
An undefeated Crimson Tide will take on the Razorbacks in Tuscaloosa on Saturday evening. However, head coach Nick Saban says the records simply don’t matter.

“Last year’s game…last week’s game…our game…their game…doesn’t have anything to do with this game…” noted Saban, “…it’s all going to be about how we play when we play on Saturday.”

Let’s take a look at the stats and view what might matter if the Razorbacks want a chance at winning against possibly the most powerful team in the nation right now.

Arkansas is the only team in the SEC with seven 100-yard rushing performances. The Razorbacks rank fifth in the SEC offensively and 24th in the nation in rushing with 216 yards per game.

Saban says that Arkansas will be one of the most challenging teams the Tide faces this year because of the way they are able to run the ball effectively against each team they have faced.

Alabama FootballThe SEC is one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive, football conferences in the nation. Football certainly runs deep through the roots of this great region, and true-freshman Alex Collins certainly proves that to be true.

From Florida, the Razorback running-back is the only freshman in the entire nation averaging at least 100-yards per game on the ground. With 720 rushing yards this season, it totals him up to 11th in the nation.

Bringing more talent of its own to the table, Arkansas has freshman Hunter Henry. The tight end is the only one of the SEC with a 100-yard receiving game.

On the defensive side, Arkansas leads the SEC with 20 sacks and 194 tackles-for-loss yards.

Fighting hard early in the season, Alabama took a win over Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1) to kick off its SEC winning streak. Quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 334 yards that game as a career high, and the Crimson Tide overcame a 14-0 deficit early on in the game. The Razorbacks fell to the Aggies 33-45 in late September.

With brand new head coach Brett Bielema this year, the Razorbacks are in a four game losing streak. Last week, they fell hard to the South Carolina Gamecocks, 7-52.

Alabama leads the match-up series 13-8 and has won six straight so far, after last year’s victory.
Saban says fundamentals are the rock of Alabama’s success. We will see how the Crimson Tide fairs against Arkansas on Saturday in Alabama at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.

South Carolina (5-1, 3-1) @ Tennessee (3-3, 0-2)
After a week off, a new recruit added to the Class of 2014 roster for the Vols, and news of playing at Bristol in 2016, Tennessee is back on the field with a tough game ahead. The Volunteers will be taking on the Gamecocks for the 32nd meeting between the two teams.

Head coach Butch Jones says this will be a big challenge.

“Playing the number nine ranked team in the country,” noted Jones, “you know…they are big…they are fast…they are physical.”

Tennessee is 22-7-2 against South Carolina, despite losses in the last three match-ups.

TN VolsThe Vols have one of the most difficult schedules in the nation. Last game, Tennessee fell in OT by just a FGA made by no.6 ranked Georgia. No. 11 ranked South Carolina will be in the works for Saturday.

The crucial moments up till Saturday’s kick-off will play a key role in the Vols success, and Jones says he relies a lot on the seniors.

“It’s an SEC game…and they understand what’s at stake. But it’s their job to really make sure that they teach our younger players what’s at stake, and that’s why you play in a conference. You make these games very special and competitive.”

Ironically, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier was raised in the heart of East Tennessee, in Johnson City. He has an all time 14-8 record against the Vols as a head coach.

The Gamecocks are averaging 486.5 yards per game of total offense this season, including 225.7 on the ground and 260.8 in the air, and are on their way to overtaking the school record for average yards of total offense.

Tennessee has rushed 1,266 yards in five games and is averaging 211 yards per game on the ground. Since 2011, Butch Jones’ teams have forced 76 turnovers, ranking him fourth nationally and second among BCS coaches during that time.

This will be a tough game for both sides of the turf. South Carolina has taken a win over the Georgia Bulldogs and remains 5-1 at the moment. On paper, that gives the odds over to the Gamecocks for a win. However, after Tennessee’s hard fight against Georgia, anything is possible.

The Gamecocks will take on the Vols at Neyland Stadium on ESPN at 11 a.m.

Auburn TigersAuburn (5-1, 2-1) @Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1)
The Tigers will make their way west to face the Texas A&M Aggies this Saturday. The equally matched-up teams will go head to head, and someone’s record will change.

After a win against Western Carolina (1-6) during Homecoming last week, the Tigers have a difficult opponent ahead. With one loss to LSU (6-1, 3-1) in Baton Rouge, Auburn will be taking on another tough SEC foe.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin thought last week’s win against Ole Miss was a good “W” to add to the Texas A&M books.

“Playing 25 new guys…17 true-freshman…transfers…any time that you can get into that situation…particularly the last couple road games and no matter how you get out of there…as long as you get out of there with a win…you grow from it.”

The Tigers are ranked 24th in the polls right now and lead the SEC in 287 rushing yards per game. This ranks them seventh nationally. A&M is ranked no.7, and Sumlin has a 4-3 record against Top 25 teams.

The Aggies have gained 400 or more total yards in 18 straight games, which is a school record and the second longest streak in FBS.

An impressive offense, A&M has scored 16 out of 19 times with 15 TDs and has opened the last five games with a touchdown in its first offensive series.

The Tigers will head to Kyle Field for an Aggies match-up Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

Here are the rest of your SEC match-ups this week:
-The Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1) will head down to Nashville to take on the Commodores at Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3). The two will kick-off at 11 a.m. on CBS.
-Those Gators might get a little chilly traveling up north this week. Florida (4-2, 3-1) will travel to an undefeated Missouri this week at 11:21 a.m. on SEC TV. After breaking Georgia’s undefeated record in Athens, these Tigers will be on the prowl for some gator meat.
-After a tough nail-biting loss to Georgia last week, the Rebels will host another home game against LSU (6-1, 3-1) this Saturday. Ole Miss (3-3, 1-3) will take on the Tigers to geaux for a win this week. It will be a difficult match-up after LSU’s win over Florida last week. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.
-What happened to Kentucky (1-5, 0-3)? Well, after a tough 48-7 loss last week against the reigning Crimson Tide, the Wildcats will take a bye-week before regaining their strength to face Mississippi State next week.
-Mississippi State (3-3, 0-2) will enjoy its bye-week, as well, after a win over Bowling Green (5-2) last Saturday. It will be a “white-out” on the Starkville turf, as they take on Kentucky next week.

 

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Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.