This week is an SEC fan’s dream, with seven conference games. Though there’s only one game pitting Top 25 teams together, there are several key players looking to bounce back from poor Week 10 performances (Leonard Fournette) or show the country their breakout performance last week (Nick Fitzgerald) was no fluke.
Try your hand at these prop bets to make an already entertaining weekend more intriguing.
(All times ET)
Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama (Noon, ESPN)
More rushing attempts — Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald or Alabama RB Damien Harris
Dan Mullen loves to utilize Fitzgerald’s legs, as his QB leads the team with 135 carries this season. This Alabama front, however, is brutal and Nick Saban even skipped election day to prepare for this team. Fitzgerald will have to use his arm to move the ball against Alabama, so his average of 15 rushes per game may take a hit.
As for Harris, he should get plenty of early work as Saban tries to keep Jalen Hurts healthy. But if the Tide open up a large lead, the rest of the Bama backs will get in the mix. Fitzgerald is the favorite here because he’ll be on the field for every Bulldogs snap.
South Carolina at Florida (Noon, CBS)
More completions — South Carolina QB Jake Bentley or Florida QB Austin Appleby
Bentley is the favorite because the South Carolina staff has proven it can put him in situations to succeed. Faith in the Florida offense is much lower. The Gators struggled on the ground against Arkansas last week and could look to get that aspect rolling against a Gamecocks defense that’s soft against the run.
Appleby has shown he can complete passes in two starts earlier this season, so this could come down to whether Jim McElwain wants to dictate the game on the ground or heavily involve his weapons in the passing game.
Kentucky at Tennessee (Noon, SEC Network)
Tennessee penalty yardage
Discipline is a major issue for the boys in Knoxville. In Tennessee’s three consecutive losses before trouncing Tennessee Tech last week, the Volunteers committed a combined 26 penalties for 209 yards. Even in last week’s win, the Vols committed 6 penalties for 71 yards.
With the heat on the Vols to win to keep their chances alive of reaching the SEC championship game, you’d like to think Butch Jones harped on this problem all week. But we can never be too sure with this seesaw of a team.
No. 9 Auburn at Georgia (3:30 p.m., CBS)
More rushing yards — Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson or Georgia RB Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined
Georgia defends the run well allowing just 118.2 yards per game, but Pettway is no normal running back. Auburn has been feeding the bulky sophomore upwards of 30 times, though his health is very much in question this week. In the last four games, Pettway hasn’t rushed for fewer than 169 yards. If he’s limited, Kerryon Johnson figures to get more work.
As for the Georgia backs, we were reminded last week how good they are as they combined for 40 carries and 212 yards. We know Auburn will stick to its methods, but will Georgia continue to feed Michel and Chubb?
Vanderbilt at Missouri (3:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Missouri fans seem to be over the Tigers, as they’re selling tickets to a conference game for as little as $6 on the secondary market. As for Vanderbilt fans? They aren’t locked into the Commodores, either. Even for the season opener against South Carolina, five other college games and the Tennessee Titans’ final preseason game got higher ratings in the Nashville area that week.
The Vandy game scored a measly 5.7 rating as 56,441 homes tuned in. The 3:30 p.m. slate isn’t much to look at around college football, but it’s still likely to take eyes from this SEC clunker.
No. 24 LSU at No. 25 Arkansas (7 p.m., ESPN)
Rushing yards — LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Fournette was a non-factor last week against Alabama with just 35 yards on 17 carries. That performance certainly will motivate the back and coach Ed Orgeron, who needs his best player to excel if he wants a shot at the LSU job.
However, the Arkansas defense shut down the Florida run game a week ago, limiting the Gators to 12 yards on 14 carries. But Fournette has shredded defenses much more often than the Razorbacks limit teams to less than 20 yards. Expect Fournette to run angry.
Ole Miss at No. 8 Texas A&M (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Number of players to take a snap at QB for Ole Miss
With Chad Kelly gone for the season with a torn ACL and meniscus, Hugh Freeze has to decide which quarterback he needs to get the Rebels to a bowl game. Jason Pellerin has dominated the first-team reps this week, but freshman Shea Patterson, the top pro-style QB in the Class of 2016, is waiting in the wings.
Freeze would rather not burn Patterson’s redshirt, but the temptation to see the kid play may be too much to ignore. Freeze even mentioned Evan Engram, Markell Pack and Jeremy Liggins as players that could see time under center. This will all come down to what Pellerin does with his opportunity.