What a slate of games in the SEC this week.
With three top-25 matches within the conference, including a showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M, there’s no reason to leave the couch Saturday. And if you want to take the box scores even further, check out these Week 8 SEC prop bets to see how much you really know about the conference.
(All times ET)
Massachusetts at South Carolina (Noon, SEC Network)
How many quarterbacks will play for South Carolina?
The quarterback situation at South Carolina is enough to make your head hurt. Fifth-year senior Perry Orth started the season as the starter. Freshman Brandon McIlwain took over for three starts. Orth won the job back. And now freshman Jake Bentley is rumored to be getting the start against UMass. Chances are whoever starts doesn’t take every snap as UMass is no walk-over game — just ask Mississippi State. But hey, what do we know? Maybe Bentley is the answer for Will Muschamp.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Number of Alabama players to score a rushing touchdown
Seven different Crimson Tide players have rushed for a touchdown thus far in 2016. Last week, three different players scored on the ground and none of them were Damien Harris — Alabama’s leading rusher. Yards can be gained on this Texas A&M defense as it allows 437.5 per game, but the Aggies are 22nd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 19.2 points per game. The Tide will likely get theirs on the ground, as they always do. The question is how much the love is spread Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
Middle Tennessee at Missouri (4 p.m., SEC Network)
More passing yards — Missouri’s Drew Lock or Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill?
Lock started the season throwing an absurd amount of passes. But in consecutive losses to LSU and Florida, Lock has crashed back to earth with just 21 combined completions for 206 yards and no touchdowns. Compare that to Stockstill’s last two games (66 completions, 729 yards, five touchdowns) and this seems like easy money. However, Missouri wants nothing more than to bounce back with a win after a rough stretch. And in Lock’s last game against an FBS school not in the SEC, a 61-21 win over Eastern Michigan, he completed 24 passes for 450 yards and five touchdowns.
No. 17 Arkansas at No. 21 Auburn (6 p.m., ESPN)
More rushing yards — Arkansas’ Rawleigh Williams or Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway?
Williams is the undisputed leader in the run game for the Razorbacks and he’s fresh off his best game of the season with 180 rushing yards against Ole Miss. As for Auburn, Kerryon Johnson and Pettway are trading weeks for the Tigers. Johnson has two 100-yard games this season with the most recent being against Louisiana Monroe two games ago. However, he took just three carries before rolling his ankle the next week against Mississippi State when Pettway ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries. Pettway is the hot hand in Auburn, but Johnson is still the team’s leading rusher and may vulture some carries in a big SEC West matchup.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Who is mentioned as being on the “hot seat” more — Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen or Kentucky’s Mark Stoops?
Stoops is a wide favorite here because he’s had so little success with the Wildcats, but the Bulldogs have an equally bad record this season and the broadcast may play to the viewing audience, which will likely be Mississippi State-heavy, with this discussion. Mullen really has no reason to be on the hot seat, but when does that stop the media from throwing out doomsday scenarios?
Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Total tackles — Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham
While running back Ralph Webb is the stud for Vandy’s offense, Cunningham is the man to watch on defense. His 19 tackles last week against Georgia helped Derek Mason earn his first signature win as the Commodores coach. Now against Tennessee State’s running attack he could have another game with tackle numbers in the high teens.
No. 23 Ole Miss at No. 25 LSU (9 p.m., ESPN)
Which team will have more offensive plays of 30 yards or more?
Ole Miss -135
Chad Kelly makes the Rebels the favorite with this line as Hugh Freeze likes to stretch the field, but the Tigers offense is averaging 43.5 points per game since Ed Orgeron took over as the interim head coach. Against Southern Mississippi State last week, LSU had scoring plays of 61, 80 and 63 yards. The big-play talent is there for LSU and Ole Miss gives up 446 yards of offense on average. That could be enough to negate the Kelly factor.