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The Battalion

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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Around the SEC: Week 10

Photo by Cameron Johnson

An SEC microphone in the hand of a sideline reporter during the Texas A&M Football vs. Sam Houston game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

No. 2 Tennessee at No. 1 Georgia
Saturday, Nov. 5 — Sanford Stadium — Athens, Ga.
2:30 p.m. on CBS
This one may not just be the top game of the day, but the game of the year. College football fans will be treated to the sport’s first regular season No. 1-No. 2 matchup since LSU battled Alabama in 2019. Much like the Tigers’ 46-41 win over the Crimson Tide, this one is expected to be an offensive shootout.
Tennessee and Georgia rank first and second in the nation in yards per game, with 553 and 530.1, respectively, while the Volunteers boast the top scoring offense in the country with an average of 49.4 points per game. Redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker looks to bolster his Heisman campaign, but it won’t be easy against a Georgia defense that has only allowed 10.5 points per game this season, good for the second-least in the country.
Tennessee showed that rank is just a number, though, when they took down then-No. 19 Kentucky 44-6 last week, despite the Wildcats’ No. 14-ranked defense. Don’t sleep on the Volunteers’ defense either, which has given up an average of just 21 points per game this season. This matchup carries SEC Championship ramifications, and with those come consequences for the College Football Playoff. A victory by either team likely paves a route to a division title, and, win or lose in the conference championship game, there still may be a route to a playoff spot. Much like Tennessee’s contest against Alabama, expect the Vols’ explosive offense to give them the slight edge over the Bulldogs in a nail-biter.
Prediction: Tennessee 42, Georgia 38
No. 6 Alabama at No. 15 LSU
Saturday, Nov. 5 — Tiger Stadium — Baton Rouge, La.
6 p.m. on ESPN
While America’s eyes will likely be glued to the game above, this isn’t a matchup to sweep under the rug. Before taking last week off, both teams recorded big wins over the Magnolia State, as Alabama overpowered then-No. 24 Mississippi State 30-6 while LSU upset then-No. 7 Ole Miss 45-20.
This contest will also carry division title implications, as the Crimson Tide, Tigers and Rebels each stand at 4-1 in conference play. A win on Saturday will give the victors an important leg-up over the other contenders, with Alabama taking on Ole Miss the following week. This looks to be another battle of high-powered offenses, with the Crimson Tide averaging the second-most points in the SEC with 43.13 per game. LSU isn’t far behind with an average of 35.13 points per game, ranking fifth. After transferring from Arizona State, junior quarterback Jayden Daniels has been pivotal to the Tigers’ success this season. The do-it-all signal-caller has thrown for 1,812 yards and 12 touchdowns, compared to just one interception, and doubles as the team’s leading rusher with 524 yards and nine scores.
Likewise, Alabama boasts a strong, complete offense. Junior quarterback Bryce Young has picked up right where he left off after winning last season’s Heisman Trophy, amassing 1,906 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air, despite missing a game and a half. Junior running back and Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs leads the run game with six scores and an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
Much like Tennessee-Georgia, both sides have been successful defensively this year as well, with the Crimson Tide and LSU allowing a mere 16.62 and 21.12 points per game, respectively. However, the offensive firepower on both sides might be too much and could wind up dictating this game.
Prediction: Alabama 45, LSU 31
No. 23 Liberty at Arkansas
Saturday, Nov. 5 — Razorback Stadium — Fayetteville, Ark.
3 p.m. on SEC Network
Arkansas wraps up one of the nation’s toughest non-conference schedules with a date with Liberty, led by a familiar face in coach Hugh Freeze. The former Ole Miss coach has led the Flames to a top-25 ranking and a 7-1 record, with the only loss coming to then-No. 18 Wake Forest by a 37-36 margin.
Redshirt junior Johnathan Bennett and redshirt freshman Kaidon Salter have split time at the quarterback spot for Liberty, combining for 1,715 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, albeit with 12 interceptions as well. Redshirt sophomore running back Dae Dae Hunter anchors the running game with 825 rushing yards along with eight touchdowns, while junior running back Shedro Louis has added seven scores.
The Razorbacks will look to complete their non-conference slate with a perfect 4-0 mark, as well as gain momentum before taking on LSU and Ole Miss the following two weeks. Sophomore running back Raheim Sanders continues to be a force for the Hogs, leading the SEC in rushing with 1,041 yards while adding seven touchdowns. Redshirt junior quarterback KJ Jefferson, meanwhile, has thrown for 15 scores and has used his physicality to run for six touchdowns. Additionally, senior wide receiver Matt Landers and redshirt junior wideout Jadon Haselwood both rank in the top 10 in the conference for receiving yards, with 475 and 467, respectively. The Flames and Razorbacks run similar offenses, but expect Arkansas’ home-field advantage and experience to carry them to a win.
Prediction: Arkansas 35, Liberty 27
Auburn at Mississippi State
Saturday, Nov. 5 — Davis Wade Stadium — Starkville, Miss.
6:30 p.m. on ESPN2
Does anyone know what’s going on at Auburn? Asking for a friend. The Tigers find themselves in the midst of a four-game losing streak and are clawing at a bowl berth with a 1-4 mark in SEC play. Oh, and they fired head coach Bryan Harsin this week after a 9-12 mark in just 21 games, with running backs coach Carnell Williams taking over as interim head coach in the meantime.
Auburn has averaged just 22.9 points per game this season, good for second to last in the conference, while allowing 29.9 points per contest. Redshirt freshman quarterback and Oregon transfer Robby Ashford has thrown just as many touchdowns as interceptions, with five, and completed just 52.6% of his passes. Junior running back Tank Bigsby has been a bright spot for the Tigers, though, tallying the sixth-most rushing yards in the SEC with 587 and seven touchdowns. Senior linebacker Owen Pappoe leads the defense with 65 tackles and two forced fumbles, while senior edge rusher Derick Hall and junior defensive end Colby Wooden have combined for nine sacks.
Auburn will have its hands full against Mississippi State’s pass-happy offense, anchored by junior signal-caller Will Rogers. The quarterback leads the conference in passing yards and touchdowns, with 2,555 and 23, respectively. Redshirt senior wide receiver Caleb Ducking has been his favorite target, amassing seven touchdowns.
The Bulldogs’ defense isn’t to be taken lightly either, with graduate linebacker Jett Johnson and redshirt senior linebacker Nathaniel Watson combining for 140 total tackles, the most of any duo in the SEC. Watson leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks as well, with 5.5 and four, respectively. Furthermore, junior cornerback Emmanuel Forbes leads the conference in interceptions, with five picks. Having lost their past two games, Mississippi State looks to get back on track before upcoming meetings with Georgia and Ole Miss.
Prediction: Mississippi State 49, Auburn 21

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