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It might be easy to look at the conference standings at this point and start to pencil in Georgia and Alabama for the SEC title game. Yes, we’ve seen Georgia’s defense pretty much dismantle every opponent, and Clemson looks pretty bad at this point. Yes, Alabama held on in Gainesville to beat the Gators, after destroying Miami to open the season. But, as we sit here now, going into Week Five, there are three things I’d like to see from other teams this week as they look to spice up the conference.
If you’ve noticed, there are a good number of questions surrounding the Georgia vs Arkansas game this weekend. Does Vegas really think the Hogs should be 19.5 point underdogs this weekend, or do the experts not know what to make of them yet? Arkansas has already beaten Texas and Texas A&M, pretty soundly I might add. I understand that K.J. Jefferson is dealing with a knee injury, but he ended up fighting his way through the game in Dallas. Should that be enough to count the Hogs out against the Dawgs this bad?
This is a question that will be answered on Saturday, but I do want to see how this Georgia defense handles the pressure from an offensive line that can actually provide the quarterback time in the pocket and allow him to scramble in open space. We’ve seen what the Dawgs can do with their front seven, but I want to see them react to a team that can force the ball down the field.
As for Ole Miss, there is no denying that the offense looks better this season, as does the defense. But as they prepare for the daunting defensive line of Alabama, we’re going to see what Lane Kiffin can do to mitigate the pass rush. Matt Corral has passed for 997 yards and 9 TDs this season, but he’s done so against some pretty bad defenses. I can’t draw many conclusions from their performances against Louisville, Austin Peay and Tulane, so we will finally see if this offense is for real or just the result of their opponents. I want to see Lane Kiffin test Alabama vertically and across the middle, as the Tide have the tendency to give up yards in the back half of the defense. Can Lane Kiffin put together a game plan to catch Nick Saban off guard? That’s what I want to see from the Rebels this week.
Lastly, will the real Kentucky please stand up? You know, the one that everyone raved about in the preseason, the one that could potentially cause a bit of chaos in the East? Those same Wildcats may be 4-0 after beating South Carolina on Saturday, but this Mark Stoops-led team had three turnovers and had to beat the Gamecocks on the ground. Will Levis had 102 yards passing on 22 attempts, with one interception. Those type of numbers aren’t going to scare many opponents, especially coming off the performance against Chattanooga. This Kentucky team has playmakers, especially running back Chris Rodriguez. This team has played one complete game in which I thought they looked like a team that could bring a bit of chaos, and that was against Missouri, who looks pretty rough at the moment. As Florida comes to town this weekend, let’s see if the preseason-hyped Kentucky will show up, as the rest of the conference is hoping for.
By the way, would Tennessee just pick a quarterback publicly and stop with all this nonsense about waiting until game day? Josh Heupel does the dance twice a week, and it’s already getting old. If Hendon Hooker is healthy, he should be the guy, as he’s proven. I am honestly over all the QB mess in Knoxville, so just pick a guy and roll with it. This is a business, and they can’t be worried about hurting someone’s feelings. If you think the Milton experiment isn’t working, then stop talking about how you’re waiting on a health report. When he replaced Hooker on Saturday, due to injury, he looked as if he could’ve started the game. So, let’s back things up a bit on the QB stuff.
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