Around the SEC: Week 9 (Football)
As four teams were on a bye last week, the only ranked team in action for the SEC was No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee. The Tide swiftly took care of the Volunteers, beating them 48-17 at Neyland Stadium.
The win came at a cost though, as Alabama lost its top receiver Jalen Waddle to a potentially season-ending ankle fracture on the first play of the game. Waddle underwent surgery that same day and head coach Nick Saban said in his Monday press conference that the surgery was “very, very successful,” leading some to think that a return is possible at the end of the year.
No. 2 Alabama will be back in action on Saturday against a Mississippi State team that will have to rely heavily on its defense if they want to keep it close.
The other top-five team in the SEC is the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs who will be taking on Kentucky this week.
Both teams are coming off of tough losses and are looking to rebound in a big way. Kentucky lost to Missouri 20-10 last week and Georgia lost to Alabama 41-24 two weeks ago.
As the Kentucky defense is still playing at a high level, their offense has been struggling. Quarterback Terry Wilson completed only four passes last week for 38 yards and a touchdown. The team as a whole only had 145 yards against a less than spectacular Missouri team.
Georgia’s passing game, led by Stetson Bennett and the run game, co-piloted by Zamir White and Kendall Milton, has been productive and effective for them all year. They should have their way against this Kentucky team that will struggle to keep up.
No. 8 Texas A&M will battle Arkansas this week down in College Station.
Though in past years Arkansas has been an easy win for most ranked teams, this year its defense is good enough to hold their own against top teams. Their ten interceptions on the year lead the nation and may be a problem for this A&M team, who have turned the ball over seven times in just four games.
The Aggies have been great at controlling the pace of their offense this year, which has led to many opposing defenses getting worn out faster. They will look to try and wear down the Razorbacks by keeping the ball in their own hands and moving deliberately down the field.
To round out the top ranked teams playing in the SEC this week, the No. 10 Florida Gators will take on Missouri in the Swamp.
Kyle Trask and the Florida offense has been firing on all cylinders this year through their air attack, and that is what has them in a top-10 spot in the AP Poll. However, with the Gators defense struggling at times, it will be interesting to see what Missouri can draw up to try and shake this solid Florida team.
LSU will travel to Auburn this week in what should be a fairly even matchup between two teams who most people thought would be ranked at this point in the season.
Vanderbilt will host this year's installment of its classic rivalry with Ole Miss. Rebels quarterback Matt Corral is expected to continue his passing success against SEC teams this year and will make it tough for this 0-3 Vanderbilt team to get anything going.
Charlie Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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