Things to watch in Week 6 of the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 20 Kentucky (5-0, 2-0) at No. 1 Georgia (5-0, 2-0). East Division control – for now — is up for grabs in this prime-time showdown between two of the conference’s three unbeaten teams. (No. 21 Missouri is the other at 5-0, 1-0.) The two-time defending national champion Bulldogs have won 22 straight but needed a 40-yard catch-and-run touchdown from All-America tight end Brock Bowers late in the game to get past Auburn 27-20 and extend it last week. The Bulldogs are again stingy with points, yielding just 13.0 per game to rank 14th in FBS. The visiting Wildcats are fresh off a 33-14 shellacking of then-No. 22 Florida as Ray Davis rushed for a career-high 280 yards and three of his four touchdowns. The graduate transfer was just 19 yards shy of the school record and enters the game fourth in FBS rushing with 594 yards and four TDs respectively. Georgia has won the past 13 meeting and leads the series 62-12-2 but had to settle for three field goals in last year’s 16-6 win in Lexington that marked its lowest total all season.
THE ‘OTHER’ MATCHUP
No. 11 Alabama (4-1, 2-0) visits Texas A&M (4-1, 2-0). The Aggies are seeking a second consecutive home series win. Both schools are riding three-game winning streaks. Alabama rolled Mississippi State 40-17 last week to give quarterback Jalen Milroe his second consecutive victory. He’s 27 of 33 passing since losing to Texas, including a string of 14 straight completions over two contests. The Aggies received 31 votes in this week’s AP Top 25 and have outscored opponents 108-35 while winning their past three, including last week’s 34-22 victory over Arkansas in Arlington, Texas. Max Johnson won his first start in place of injured Conner Weigman, throwing for 201 yards and two touchdowns. A&M beat the then-top-ranked Crimson Tide 41-38 in their previous visit two years ago for just the Aggies’ third win in 15 meetings.
Missouri quarterback Brady Cook holds the SEC record of 348 consecutive passes without an interception, breaking the previous mark of 325 by Kentucky’s Andre Woodson. He has completed 68% of his passes in 11 games since his last pick with 19 touchdown passes. Cook is coming off career bests of 395 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-21 win at Vanderbilt in which he completed 33 of 41 attempts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Florida allowed Davis the second-most rushing yards by an opposing back at Kentucky. LSU’s Tyrius Davis had 287 against the Gators two years ago. … Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers tied Peyton Manning (89) for fourth place with his touchdown pass against Alabama. … Georgia ranks sixth nationally in third-down defense at just under 25% after allowing Auburn to convert just 2 of 12 chances. … Ole Miss running back Quinshon Jenkins (1,945) needs 10 yards rushing to enter the top 10 in school history.
Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-2 SEC) is the homecoming opponent at Florida (3-2, 1-1) and enters on a four-game skid including three by at least 16 points. The Commodores are 18 1/2-point underdogs according to FanDuel.com Sportsbook and face a Gators squad reeling from one of their worst losses in recent memory. Florida looks to avenge last year’s upset loss in which Davis – yes, the same guy who ran roughshod over them in Lexington – rushed for 122 yards in Nashville. Obviously, they’ll face a much different Vandy squad, one that averaging just 97.3 yards rushing per game and seeking an answer in many phases. Then again, so do the Gators.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll