MIAMI (AP) – A look at five things to watch in the Southeastern Conference during Week 7 of the season:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Florida at Missouri: The 14th-ranked Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) are the only Eastern Division team unbeaten in conference play and can give their league title hopes a giant boost by knocking off No. 22 Florida (4-2, 3-1) in their first SEC home game of the season. Both teams are dealing with injuries. Missouri quarterback James Franklin is out three to five weeks with a sprained right shoulder. Florida running back Matt Jones is out for the season after undergoing surgery Monday to repair torn meniscus in his left knee.
Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson vs. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney: These two will be facing off at least part of the time Saturday in a matchup between two potential first-round draft picks. Richardson cemented his status as top NFL prospect by holding Clowney in check for most of South Carolina’s 38-35 victory over Tennessee last year. Clowney delivered when it mattered most, though, as he got past Richardson to sack Tyler Bray and force a fumble with Tennessee driving in the final minute.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
LSU hasn’t allowed a touchdown in its last six quarters. Last week, Florida failed to score a touchdown against LSU for the first time in this series since a 20-3 loss in 1979. … Alabama QB A.J. McCarron improved his record as a starting quarterback to 31-2 last week to become the SEC’s all-time leading quarterback in career winning percentage (.939). He moved ahead of Alabama’s Jay Baker (35-2-1, .934). … Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has completed 73.2 percent of his passes so far this season, which would break the SEC record set by Kentucky’s Tim Couch in 1998 (72.3 percent).
Auburn at Texas A&M: Auburn climbed into the national rankings at No. 24 this week after a surprising 5-1 start to the season, including a 2-1 mark in the SEC. But the Tigers haven’t beaten any teams the caliber of No. 7 Texas A&M, which leads the SEC in scoring with nearly 48 points per game. Aggies’ QB Johnny Manziel is averaging 377 total yards per game.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Missouri QB Maty Mauk: Franklin’s injury leaves Missouri in Mauk’s hands as it attempts to remain unbeaten. Mauk, a redshirt freshman, replaced an injured Franklin in the fourth quarter and went 3 of 3 for 23 yards in a 41-26 victory over No. 15 Georgia, which was ranked seventh at the time of the game. Now he faces Florida, which leads the SEC in total defense. “He is a pretty poised guy,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “He is thoroughly excited about the opportunity at hand.”
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