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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

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
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Around the SEC: Week 12

An+SEC+microphone+in+the+hand+of+a+sideline+reporter+during+the+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Football+vs.+Sam+Houston+game+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+3%2C+2022.
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. 1 Georgia @ No. 18 Tennessee
Saturday, Nov. 18 — 2:30 p.m. on CBS
Neyland Stadium — Knoxville, Tennessee
Tennessee had a rough outing last week versus Missouri. The Volunteers lost 36-7 to the Tigers and were unable to establish their dominant run game. Coach Josh Heupel’s offense only had 83 yards rushing with an average of 3.6 yards per carry.
Of course, some of that can be attributed to throwing the ball more when playing from behind. However, junior running back Jaylen Wright was held to just 22 yards, tied for his lowest total in conference play.
Senior quarterback Joe Milton III led the way on the ground for Tennessee with 36 rushing yards. Milton also completed 22 of 34 passing attempts for 267 yards with a touchdown and interception. Getting the run game going will be vital for the Volunteers, but Georgia’s defense ranks 18th in the nation in rushing yards given up per game at 107.9.
For Georgia, coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs have continued their winning ways. Georgia rolls into this game a perfect 10-0 and beat down Ole Miss, 52-17.
Junior quarterback Carson Beck has thrown for over 3,000 yards this year with 18 touchdowns. Early in the season, Beck’s go-to guy was junior tight end Brock Bowers, however Bowers suffered an ankle injury and missed some time. Bowers came back from ankle surgery last week and scored a touchdown, but junior receiver Ladd McConkey has led the receiving core the past 3 weeks.
The game being in Neyland will be beneficial to Tennessee, but the Volunteers may struggle to maintain drives if the running game is stuffed again. Expect Tennessee to come out firing, but Georgia should pull away in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Georgia 45, Tennessee 21
Florida @ No. 9 Missouri
Saturday, Nov. 18 — 6:30 p.m. on ESPN
Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field — Columbia, Missouri
The Gators come into the matchup on a three-game losing streak, including a 39-36 loss to a bad Arkansas team. The issue for Florida through this season has been its defense. The Gators have lost every game when the defense gives up over 30 points, besides the 24-11 loss to Utah at the start of the season.
However, not everything is bad for coach Billy Napier’s team. Junior quarterback Graham Mertz has thrown for 2,720 yards this year, a career high in a season. He’s also thrown for 18 touchdowns, which is one shy of his career high. The most impressive thing for Mertz is that he’s only thrown two interceptions this year. During his last two seasons at Wisconsin, he threw a combined 21 interceptions.
On the other side, Missouri is rolling into this game 8-2, with its only losses being against Georgia and LSU.
Junior quarterback Brady Cook leads the way with 2,746 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Luther Burden III has 984 yards on 68 catches, as well as eight touchdowns. Senior receiver Theo Wease Jr. has also been a great second option since his transfer from Oklahoma. Wease has 547 yards and five touchdowns on 43 catches this year.
The biggest story is graduate running back Cody Schrader. After transferring from Division-II Truman State, Schrader had an alright season last year, but this year has 1,124 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He is averaging over five yards a carry and has added 191 yards in the pass game.
Missouri’s defense looked good last week against the Volunteers, but Florida’s offense has shown its ability to put up points. The issue for the Gators is how poor their defense can play. Expect some fireworks with Missouri winning by a comfortable amount.
Prediction: Missouri 41, Florida 27
Kentucky @ South Carolina
Saturday, Nov. 18 — 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Williams-Brice Stadium — Columbia, South Carolina
Kentucky comes into this game 6-4 on the year and struggling in conference play. The Wildcats started the year hot, going undefeated through the first five weeks but lost all momentum after a 51-13 loss to Georgia. Since then, the only win Kentucky got was versus Mississippi State.
Senior quarterback Devin Leary has over 2,000 yards passing and 19 touchdowns this year. Leary does a good job of spreading the ball out to different players as Kentucky has three receivers with over 30 catches a piece.
Sophomore receivers Dane Key and Barion Brown have 477 and 361 yards, respectively. Senior receiver Tayvion Robinson has 33 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcats also lean on senior running back Ray Davis, who has 929 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on the year.
For South Carolina, this season has been one to forget. The Gamecocks are riding a two-game win streak, but the wins came against Vanderbilt and Jacksonville State. Senior quarterback Spencer Rattler has been sacked 36 times this year, yet he’s still thrown for 2,867 yards and 17 touchdowns.
His favorite target has been senior receiver Xavier Leggette. Leggette has over 1,000 yards receiving on 59 receptions. He also has a team-high five touchdown catches. The issue for the Gamecocks’ offense is the lack of productivity outside of Leggette.
Senior tight end Trey Knox is second in receiving yards with just 277 and two touchdowns. Sophomore receiver O’Mega Blake is third with 250 yards receiving and two touchdowns. All the games South Carolina’s offense has struggled in this season were games that Leggette did not lead the team in receiving.
However, Kentucky’s defense ranks 91st in the nation in passing yards given up a game. The Wildcats’ defense could easily show up and shut down South Carolina’s passing game, but things look promising for Rattler and Legette. Expect a fun game with Kentucky coming out on top.
Prediction: Kentucky 31, South Carolina 23

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