South Carolina has opportunity to produce another upset
Here are some things to watch during the eighth week of the Southeastern Conference football season.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 9 Florida (6-1, 3-1) at South Carolina (3-3, 2-2): South Carolina follows up its stunning 20-17 overtime victory at Georgia by facing another top-10 team. South Carolina was a 24 ½-point underdog against Georgia. Florida is favored by 5 ½ points this week. Florida is seeking to bounce back from a 42-28 loss to No. 2 LSU that ended the Gators‘ 10-game winning streak. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, who coached Florida from 2011-14, has gone 1-2 against the Gators since taking over South Carolina’s program.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill vs. LSU run defense: Hill rushed for over 100 yards in each of the Bulldogs‘ first four games but hasn’t been able to find running room lately. He ran for just 13 yards on 11 carries in a 20-10 loss to Tennessee last week. Mississippi State’s only chance of staying competitive Saturday is for Hill to have a big game that enables the Bulldogs to control the clock and keep the ball away from LSU’s high-powered offense. LSU ranks second in the SEC in run defense and is allowing just 91.8 yards rushing per game and 2.8 yards per carry.
The nation’s two highest-scoring teams are No. 2 LSU (52.5 points per game) and No. 1 Alabama (51.0). … Auburn has won by at least 31 points each of the last three times it has faced Arkansas. Neither team has ever won more than three straight games in this series. … Vanderbilt’s 34-10 loss to UNLV last week dropped the SEC to 2-3 this year in head-to-head matchups with the Mountain West Conference. … No. 10 Georgia is the only FBS team that has allowed zero touchdown runs this season. … True freshmen Jalen Wydermyer, Ainias Smith and Isaiah Spiller have scored 10 of Texas A&M’s 23 touchdowns this season. … Missouri just went 5-0 during a stretch of five straight home games, matching the longest home stand in school history. The Tigers now play three straight road games. … Tennessee’s seven sacks against Mississippi State represented the Volunteers‘ highest total in an SEC game since 2008.
Texas A&M has played a demanding schedule but still hasn’t looked particularly impressive during its 3-3 start. If the Aggies are feeling down on themselves after dropping two of their last three games, they could be vulnerable on the road against six-point underdog Mississippi.
Versatile Kentucky receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. has showcased his wide range of talents last week in a 24-20 victory over Arkansas. An injury to Sawyer Smith forced Bowden to start at quarterback for the first time in his college career. Bowden responded by running for 196 yards and throwing for 78 more yards. The former high school quarterback became just the second FBS player since 2000 to have at least six rushing attempts, three receptions, three kickoff returns and two pass completions in the same game. The other person to do it was Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage against Oregon in 2016.