Every SEC school has played a conference game now, so the season is in full swing.
Last Saturday ended up being a telling day after seeing Texas A&M handle Arkansas in Arlington, Texas, and Tennessee break Florida’s 11-game winning streak, dating back to Urban Meyer’s first season in Gainesville.
This week would seem to take a small step back with just one game out of eight pitting ranked teams against each other (Tennessee at Georgia). Mississippi State also has the first bye week of the season. However, with college football, it’s impossible to count out any week.
Here is what every SEC coach has to say about their Week 5 matchup:
Nick Saban, Alabama
Matchup: vs. Kentucky in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“We are looking forward to homecoming and playing at home. Hopefully we will have a great crowd that’s enthusiastic about this game, and I know our players definitely will be.”
Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Matchup: vs. Alcorn State
On local HS player Kyler Williams, who died in a single-car crash: “I pulled up my Twitter account and I took a picture with him just two weeks ago. I was just going to tweet out to him and his family…Sunday, everybody is feeling a little blue. So to Kyler and his family and everybody at Springdale, just know we’re thinking of you.”
Prayers & thoughts to Kyler Williams & his family. Couldn't help but stop & get my picture made with this big smile! https://t.co/RT97jZ6cid
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) September 26, 2016
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Matchup: vs. Louisiana-Monroe
On the defense: “[Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele] and his staff have done a fantastic job. I’m really happy to see those guys playing well and enjoying it. There was a lot of work put into it and I’m certainly happy for those guys.”
Jim McElwain, Florida
Matchup: at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.
“This is a good football team we’re playing. They’ve got good players. Look at what they did to us last year. Our guys know.”
Kirby Smart, Georgia
Matchup: vs. No. 11 Tennessee
“Morale wasn’t up coming home. Shouldn’t be. We just took a tough defeat, but it’s improved…Part of my job is making sure they understand that that loss has been put behind us. We’ve got a great challenge in front of us playing another really good football team that’s good in a lot of areas.”
Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Matchup: at No. 1 Alabama
“You know they are led by arguably the best coach of all time in college football and it starts there. But what impressive you about them is their whole program. Top to bottom they do things right. They are extremely talented and they are very well coached.”
Ed Orgeron, LSU
Matchup: vs. Missouri in Baton Rouge, La.
“The team needed change. A way in the way we do things, freshness, energy. They love Coach Miles, but when things don’t work you gotta change it. We’re going to flip the script, play with energy, more time in the meeting room, less on the practice field, hopefully see excitement on the sideline.”
Barry Odom, Missouri
Matchup: at LSU in Baton Rouge, La.
“It’ll be a great environment like everyone is talking about. The kids are anxious to have a chance to go compete. I understand what they’ve been through with a coaching change during the season and how that goes, but at 6:30 Saturday night, I’m guessing and suggesting that both sides will be ready to play.”
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
Matchup: vs. Memphis
On identity: “I think you’ve watched us play, we are who we are. I think we are an explosive offense. I think we are a bend but don’t break defense. I think when we don’t turn the ball over, we are very, very good.”
Will Muschamp, South Carolina
Matchup: vs. No. 9 Texas A&M in Columbia, S.C.
On the offense: “(We need to) try and get our guys in the right looks as best as possible. Whether that’s narrowing some things down, that’s some conversations we’re having. Obviously, if whatever we’re doing is not working, we’ve got to try and do some different things.”
Butch Jones, Tennessee
Matchup: at No. 25 Georgia in Athens, Ga.
“It’s a week-to-week season. The more you win, the more that is at stake. Again, we are playing a fine football team. They are well-coached, disciplined and physical. It will be our first road test of the year. It all begins with preparation today and throughout the course of the week.”
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Matchup: at South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
On avoiding a late-season letdown: “It starts in the offseason. That doesn’t start during football season. We’ve made some drastic changes throughout the program and made some subtle changes. Can we guarantee things will change? No. Performance guarantees change. But the things we’ve done since January, by the numbers, we can see a difference. Until you do those things on Saturday, none of those matter.”
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt
Matchup: vs. No. 23 Florida in Nashville, Tenn.
On moving on from Georgia Tech’s option: “It’s a little easier having a game plan schematically and taking the carry-over (from game to game). We’ve had to adapt and adjust. Believe me, it was tough coming out of the Georgia Tech week because you have to go back and re-program your kids.”