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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Around the SEC: Analysis on Saturday’s matchups in the conference

Two weeks of college football have flown by. The SEC West made a statement in week one — then flopped in week two, with Auburn barely surviving Jacksonville State, and Arkansas losing to Toledo.
Now in week three, the SEC gauntlet truly begins.
Let’s look at the top games from around the SEC this week and what to look for in those games.
Florida at Kentucky 
6:30 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.
Broadcast on SEC Network
Keep an eye on Kentucky this year. It is the third year of the Mike Stoops era, and the Wildcats have shown some improvement. This would be a big time SEC East home win for Kentucky.
Stat of the game: The last Kentucky win over Florida was on November 15th, 1986 (28 straight). To put it into perspective, current rap star Drake was just three weeks old at the time.
No. 18 Auburn at No. 13 LSU 
2:30 p.m. Saturday at Tiger 
Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
Broadcast on CBS
This is the featured SEC Game of the Week on CBS, and while it is intriguing, it is not the best matchup of the week. Auburn struggled mightily with Jacksonville State, and if not for a blunder by the punter and the conservativeness of the JSU coaching staff, Auburn would have suffered one of the biggest upsets in SEC history. LSU is coming off a tough earned road win at Mississippi State on Saturday, where they escaped after the Bulldogs missed the game-winning field goal as time expired. 
Saturday, the LSU defense will give Auburn and quarterback Jeremy Johnson fits. Johnson struggles with reading defenses, and LSU will do whatever they can do to throw him different looks and try to confuse him. Meanwhile, Leonard Fournette is the monster in the LSU backfield, as he rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns last week, and that takes loads of pressure off of quarterback Brandon Harris. With all of the uncertainty with Jeremy Johnson for Auburn now, the advantage goes to LSU in Death Valley. It will be close, but the Tigers will pull out a big home win.
No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 2 Alabama 
8:15 p.m. Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Broadcast on ESPN
This is your SEC Game of the Week — two top 15 teams going at it in a night game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Doesn’t get much better than that. 
Ole Miss has run up over 70 points in its first two contests, granted both against inferior opponents (Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State), but it is 70 points nonetheless. Alabama has silenced some doubters with two wins over Wisconsin and a drubbing of Middle Tennessee State. Lots of credit is due to running back Derrick Henry, who has already rushed for 243 yards and six touchdowns this year.
Ole Miss has seen Chad Kelly settle into the starting quarterback role very well, and the return of receiver Laquon Treadwell automatically makes the offense lethal. With running back Jalen Walton and Evan Ingram at tight end, the offense looks scary. Also, the Rebels boast one of the best defenses in the country. That enough provides the tools for an upset. However, Alabama has running back Derrick Henry, who is an offense basically all by himself. The Crimson Tide also has a top-tier defense, as they always do, under Nick Saban. Alabama will avenge its loss in Oxford last year and put Ole Miss away in the second half for a win.
Texas Tech at Arkansas
6 p.m. Saturday at Donald W. 
Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.
Broadcast on ESPN2
Arkansas was seen as an SEC dark horse by many this year. The injury of starting running back Jonathan Williams hurt, but not as much as the 16-12 loss to Toledo on Saturday. This Big 12-SEC matchup provides contrasting styles. Arkansas features a physical, ground game offense while Texas Tech spreads it out with its air raid. It will come down to defense, which Tech does not have much of this year. Arkansas will win by two scores to rebound from its loss on Saturday. 

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