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Home | Sports | College / NCAA |

Five Questions Facing the SEC in Week Six

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No. 5: Can No. 20 Mississippi State stay undefeated against Kentucky?

No. 5: Can No. 20 Mississippi State stay undefeated against Kentucky?
Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Mississippi State junior quarterback Tyler Russell has had a fantastic start to the 2012 season, throwing eight touchdowns and only one interception. The Bulldogs are off to a fast 4-0 start, including a 28-10 win over Auburn, which wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Also helping the Bulldogs this season is senior cornerback Darius Slay, who has four interceptions on the year. The Bulldogs are tied with Alabama and Tennessee for the most interceptions (9) in the SEC and will look to add to that total against Kentucky.

Kentucky lost sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith for the season due to an ankle injury. Smith was leading the SEC in passing when he went down against Western Kentucky. Since that injury in week three, senior Morgan Newton and freshman Jalen Whitlow have taken over the quarterback reins. Both have struggled, to say the least. Newton and Whitlow have combined for five interceptions and zero touchdowns, which could be a problem against the pass-catching defensive backs of Mississippi State.


No. 4: Which dual-threat QB will lead his team to victory in the Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss game?

No. 4: Which dual-threat QB will lead his team to victory in the Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss game?

Both Texas A&M and Ole Miss feature explosive dual-threat quarterbacks that rely on the hurry-up offense to wear down defenses.

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is well on his way to earning SEC freshman of the year honors. He has 16 total touchdowns (10 passing and 6 rushing) and has piloted first-year coach Kevin Sumlin's offense to near perfection this year. The only defense that has been able to slow down Manziel was Florida's in the second half of his first start as a college player.

Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace is a dual-threat quarterback as well. Where Wallace differs from Manziel is in the passing game; Wallace has struggled to throw the ball accurately, resulting in six interceptions to only seven touchdowns. Wallace has rushed for 165 yards so far this season.

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No. 3: Who is the worst team in the SEC West?

No. 3: Who is the worst team in the SEC West?

Two of the worst teams in the SEC will face off this week, and neither was expected to be this bad. Arkansas and Auburn come into this game with two of the worst defenses in the country. Arkansas has allowed 500 yards per game this season and has the worst defense statistically in the SEC. Auburn's defense is not much better, giving up 420 yards per game.

Arkansas has a proven playmaker in senior quarterback Tyler Wilson. Wilson is still working his way back following an injury during the Louisiana-Monroe game in week two, but does have nine touchdowns this season.

Auburn has really struggled offensively, in particular at quarterback, where sophomore Kiehl Frazier has thrown only two touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.

The match-up will come down to Arkansas' defense and Auburn's offense; whichever can improve its game the most will lead their team to a win.

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No. 2: Who will win the RB back battle between USC and UGA?

No. 2: Who will win the RB back battle between USC and UGA?
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The game between No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina is the most competitive match-up on paper this Saturday. Both teams come into the game with strong offenses, featuring two powerful running backs.

Georgia will have to depend even more on the running game than usual after losing their No. 1 wide receiver, sophomore Michael Bennett, for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. Georgia's running game is one of the best in the country, currently ranking No. 11 in the nation in rushing yards. The majority of this success can be pinned to two stud freshman: Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Combined, the two have rushed for 964 yards (Gurley, 536 and Marshall, 428). They will face a stiff test this Saturday as South Carolina currently ranks No. 2 in the SEC in rush defense. The Gamecocks defensive line features Jadeveon Clowney, one of the best defensive ends in the nation.

South Carolina junior halfback Marcus Lattimore has had a good season as well. Helping the South Carolina ground game is the running ability of junior quarterback Connor Shaw, who has 200 yards rushing this season.

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No. 1: Can No. 10 Florida pull off the upset over No. 4 LSU?

No. 1: Can No. 10 Florida pull off the upset over No. 4 LSU?

The only impressive win for the Tigers this season was the 41-3 blowout over Washington in week two. The rest of the games have been sleep-walking affairs where the Tigers showed little intensity. The Tigers did beat Idaho 41-14, but that same team got smashed by North Carolina, 66-0.

Florida is coming off a bye week where the team was able to heal a bunch of injured players. Junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins will play Saturday after having surgery on his thumb due to the game against Texas A&M in week two. Junior defensive end Dominique Easley will also be in action after his swollen knee forced him to miss the Kentucky game.

LSU has only been tested once this season in a 12-10 victory over Auburn. During that game, LSU struggled to do anything offensively. But if LSU is going to win, then junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger has to get the LSU passing offense going.

The Gators defense is coming into the game with confidence after shutting out Kentucky, 38-0. If Florida is going to win, it will have to move the ball against one of the best defensive lines in the country, featuring junior defensive end Sam Montgomery.


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