Here are things to watch in Week 10 in the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama. There’s one sure way to make Auburn fans move past lingering bad memories of the Tigers’ unexpected 30-22 loss at South Carolina on Oct. 17 — spoiling top-ranked Alabama’s season. It’d also be the best way to remind Auburn fans that the Tigers ended the Crimson Tide’s playoff hopes by winning last year’s Iron Bowl 48-45. Alabama’s loss last year placed the focus on the Crimson Tide’s kicking game. There should be no problems this year as each team has strong kickers. Alabama appears to be the class of the SEC after crushing then-No. 3 Georgia 41-24 and then-No. 13 Texas A&M 52-24. The Crimson Tide’s low scoring total came in their 38-19 opening win over Missouri. Expectations are so high that even last week’s 63-3 rout of Kentucky didn’t seem to satisfy some observers.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
South Carolina’s secondary vs. Georgia QB JT Daniels. It was quite a Georgia debut for Daniels, who threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 31-24 victory over Mississippi State. The game ended with Georgia fans chanting “JT! JT! JT!” But that may have not been a fair indicator of Daniels’ skills, as Mississippi State stacked the line against the run, daring the untested Daniels to throw. After seeing film of that impressive debut, South Carolina’s defense can be expected to present a better challenge in Daniels’ second start.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic caused more chaos in the SEC’s schedule this week. The Arkansas-Missouri and Tennessee-Vanderbilt games planned for Saturday had to be postponed. The Arkansas-Missouri game was postponed on Monday due to a combination of positive tests, contact tracing and the resulting quarantining within the Arkansas program. Instead, Vanderbilt and Missouri will play Saturday in a game originally scheduled for Oct. 17. It is possible the Arkansas-Missouri and Tennessee-Vanderbilt games could be played on Dec. 19.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Florida Heisman candidate Kyle Trask has led the Gators to scores in six opening possessions of seven games this season. That includes five touchdowns. … It could be difficult for Tennessee (2-5) to end the league’s longest losing streak, at five games. Following this week’s postponement against Vanderbilt, the Vols face No. 6 Florida and No. 5 Texas A&M. … The Georgia-South Carolina series is tied 5-5 since 2010, including the Gamecocks’ upset of then-No. 3 Georgia last season. South Carolina won three consecutive games in the rivalry from 2010 through 2012. … Georgia freshman WR Jermaine Burton had eight catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns against Mississippi State. It was the fourth-best total for yards in school history and included long catches for 49, 48 and 46 yards.
Alabama senior WR DeVonta Smith is the SEC’s career leader in TD catches with 33, including a league-high 10 this season. He passed Alabama’s Amari Cooper and Florida’s Chris Doering for the career mark with two scoring catches against Kentucky last week.