No. 15 Ole Miss visits No. 13 Alabama in Week 4 headliner in the Southeastern Conference
Thu, Sep 21, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
Things to watch in Week 4 of the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 15 Mississippi (3-0) at No. 13 Alabama (2-1) in the SEC opener for both teams.
Any matchup of potential SEC West contenders is big, but this game is magnified by the Crimson Tide's evident vulnerability the past two weeks. Jalen Milroe is back as Alabama's No. 1 quarterback. The Rebels counter with Jaxson Dart, who has been one of the league's top quarterbacks over the first few Saturdays. The two teams have met 12 times when both were ranked and Alabama holds a 9-3 advantage in those games.
The Tide has won the last seven meetings but barely held on 30-24 last season. Ole Miss and Auburn are the only West Division teams still unbeaten.
Arkansas (2-1, 0-0 SEC) at No. 12 LSU (2-1, 1-0).
KJ Jefferson versus Jayden Daniels is reason enough to watch this game. Daniels is second in the SEC with 976 passing yards and eight touchdowns while also topping the Tigers with 157 rushing yards. Jefferson hasn't run as much this season but is also a dual threat. The big question for the Razorbacks is the status of running back Raheim Sanders, who hasn't played since the opener with a knee injury. Sanders is questionable for this one. But Arkansas's defense has been among the nations stingiest so far in stopping the run, giving up just 55.7 yards a game on the ground.
Both teams have stumbled already in nonconference games, with the Razorbacks coming off a loss to BYU and LSU rebounding strongly from an opening defeat to No. 4 Florida State.
Missouri is riding high from an upset of then-No. 15 Kansas State and now gets a test of maturity in handling that success as a slight favorite.
Next up is Memphis in a matchup of 3-0 teams in St. Louis. Missouri is seeking its first 4-0 start since Gary Pinkel's 2013 team won its first seven games on the way to an SEC East title. The offense especially faces a stiff challenge. Memphis has the nation's top pass defense and ranks seventh in total defense. Missouri beat Kansas State 30-27 on Harrison Mevis's SEC-record 61-yard field goal as time expired.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
No. 1 Georgia, which hosts UAB, has won a nation's best 22 straight regular-season games against nonconference opponents. ... Mississippi State's Jo'Quavious Marks, the SEC's leading rusher, needs just three receptions to move into the top 10 of the SEC career list. He broke the school record for career catches with No. 200 against LSU. ... Florida QB Graham Mertz has completed at least 70% of his passes in all three starts this season. ... Tennessee and Florida are both facing first-time opponents. The Gators play Charlotte and the Volunteers host UTSA.
RB Ray Davis helped Vanderbilt snap a 26-game SEC losing streak with a 24-21 win over Kentucky last season. Davis, who now plays for the Wildcats, ran for 129 yards and a touchdown in that game and is set to return to Nashville on the opposing sideline. Davis is averaging 7.2 yards on 33 carries with three touchdowns for the Wildcats. He also has nine catches for 143 yards and two more scores.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll"