No. 15 Texas A&M vs. No. 24 Ole Miss in offensive showdown
Here are some things to watch in the SEC during the eighth week of the college football season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 24 Mississippi: This looked like it might be a huge game last week, but Texas A&M lost to Alabama and Ole Miss fell to Memphis to take a little luster off the matchup. Still, both teams are trying to stay in the SEC Western Division race with No. 8 Alabama and No. 5 LSU. Chances are it’s a high-scoring affair – both love to throw the ball.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Tennessee running game vs. Alabama run defense: Tennessee’s rushing attack features Jalen Hurd (126 carries, 572 yards), quarterback Joshua Dobbs (73-368) and Alvin Kamara (45-255). Dobbs gave Alabama some trouble last year in a relief role. Kamara should be particularly motivated since he began his career at Alabama. Tennessee averages 222 yards rushing per game to rank 19th among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams, but Alabama ranks third nationally in run defense. Alabama has allowed just 70.9 yards rushing per game and 2.4 yards per carry.
NUMBERS GAME: Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson has four field goals of at least 50 yards in his last seven games. That matches the total number of field goals Auburn had from at least 50 yards away in its previous 150 games combined, a stretch that began in 2003. … When Tennessee faces No. 8 Alabama this week, the Volunteers will try to end a 23-game losing streak against top-10 opponents. Tennessee hasn’t beaten a top-10 team since its 51-33 victory over No. 10 Georgia in 2006. … Missouri’s Gary Pinkel will coach his 300th career game Saturday at Vanderbilt. Pinkel will join Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, Texas State’s Dennis Franchione and Kansas State’s Bill Snyder as the only active head coaches with at least 300 games at the FBS level.
UPSET WATCH: Kentucky at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are 11-point favorites and have won six straight in the series, but games between these two programs have historically been close and the Wildcats look like an improved team.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Missouri has dropped three of its last four games and has virtually no shot of winning a third straight Eastern Division title, but linebacker Kentrell Brothers makes the Tigers worth watching. Brothers leads all FBS players with 91 tackles. Nobody else has more than 77 stops. Brothers also has two interceptions and a pair of blocked kicks. The fifth-year senior had a career-high 17 tackles last week in a 9-6 loss to Georgia.
AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this story.