Missouri-Georgia and LSU-Alabama put SEC back in the national spotlight in Week 10
Wed, Nov 1, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
SEC standard bearers Georgia and Alabama are front and center in Week 10 of the college football season after the Pac-12 commanded the national spotlight for most of the last month.
The No. 1 Bulldogs begin what figures to be their toughest three-game stretch of the season when No. 14 Missouri visits on Saturday. No. 8 Alabama hosts No. 13 LSU in what should be its most challenging remaining regular-season game, though the Iron Bowl finale against Auburn can be a wildcard.
The other Top 25 matchups have No. 5 Washington at No. 24 Southern California and No. 25 Kansas State at No. 7 Texas.
Missouri merits the Bulldogs' full attention after quietly winning seven of eight against a so-so schedule. After that, the two-time defending national champions play No. 11 Mississippi at home and travel to No. 19 Tennessee.
Alabama will be looking for payback after LSU's Jayden Daniels ran 25 yards for a touchdown and completed a two-point pass for a 32-31 overtime win in Baton Rouge last season. That was the Crimson Tide's second loss and likely kept them from a third straight College Football Playoff bid.
Other games that bear watching are No. 10 Oklahoma, coming off its upset loss at Kansas, at surging Oklahoma State; Texas A&M at No. 10 Mississippi; and No. 12 Notre Dame at Clemson.
No. 14 Missouri (7-1, 3-1 SEC) at No. 1 Georgia (8-0, 5-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Tigers are off to their best start since 2013 and have their highest ranking since 2014. QB Brady Cook is third in the SEC in passing efficiency, just ahead of Georgia's Carson Beck, and Tigers WR Luther Burden leads the conference in receptions.
The Bulldogs have raised their level of play since closer-than-expected September wins over South Carolina and Auburn, and the return of WR Ladd McConkey from injury the past month has cushioned the blow of losing star TE Brock Bowers.
Oklahoma State RB Ollie Gordon II is making a late run after becoming the Cowboys' first player since 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders to post back-to-back games with 250 yards rushing.
Gordon has moved to the top of the national rushing chart, at 135.9 yards per game. His average is 214.3 over the Cowboys' current four-game win streak.
The sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, gets his biggest stage of the season Saturday when No. 10 Oklahoma visits for the final Bedlam Series game before the Sooners move to the Southeastern Conference.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
3 - Southern California's nation-high number of wins when allowing the opponent 40-plus points. Only 10 other teams have won - once - when the opponent has scored as many points.
5 - Boston College's win streak if it beats Syracuse. It would be the Eagles' longest since 2010.
13 - Total second-half points allowed by Buffalo in five MAC games.
29 - Consecutive games Tulane has not allowed a 100-yard rusher.
72 - Boise State running back Ashton Jeanty's nation-high number of broken tackles, an average of nine per game.
UNDER THE RADAR
No. 23 James Madison (8-0, 5-0 Sun Belt) at Georgia State (6-2, 3-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The Dukes would clear a major obstacle in their bid for a perfect season if they can win on the road against the upstart Panthers.
Key matchup: Georgia State's Marcus Carroll vs. JMU's run defense. Carroll is the second-leading rusher in the country with 132.5 yards per game. JMU is allowing 48.9 per game and 1.58 per carry, both best-in-the-nation marks.
San Diego State is trending in the wrong direction under Brady Hoke. The Aztecs went from 12-2 and an appearance in the Mountain West championship game in 2021 to 7-6 last season and now 3-5 with losses in five of their last six games.
Hoke is 26-17 in his second stint at SDSU but 3-7 in his last 10 entering Saturday's home game against Utah State. The Aztecs are coming off a 6-0 loss to a two-win Nevada, the first time they've been shut out since 2018. Hoke's contract runs through June 2027. He would be owed $5 million if fired this year.
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