No. 7 Auburn visits No. 10 Florida in matchup of unbeatens
Here are some things to watch during the sixth week of the Southeastern Conference football season.
Game of the week
No. 7 Auburn (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at No. 10 Florida (5-0, 2-0): Auburn and Florida face off for the first time since 2011. This marks the first meeting of top-10 teams at the Swamp since No. 5 Florida beat No. 9 South Carolina 44-11 in 2012. The matchup worth watching is how well Auburn’s offensive line protects freshman quarterback Bo Nix. Auburn has allowed just six sacks all season. Florida has recorded 24 sacks to tie for the second-highest total of any Football Bowl Subdivision team. Auburn has won three straight in the series and hasn’t lost to Florida since 2002.
Matchup of the week
Georgia pass protection vs. Tennessee outside linebacker Darrell Taylor: No. 3 Georgia (4-0, 1-0) boasts arguably the nation’s best offensive line and has allowed just one sack all season to match Air Force and Duke for the lowest total of any FBS team. Taylor recorded three sacks last season in a 38-12 loss to Georgia and will be looking to deliver another big performance Saturday to jump-start his senior season. Taylor has recorded only one sack so far this season after producing eight last year.
Alabama’s DeVonta Smith tied an SEC single-game record by catching five touchdown passes last week in a 59-31 victory over Mississippi that catapulted the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 ranking. Other SEC receivers to catch five touchdown passes in a game are LSU’s Carlos Carson against Rice in 1977, Vanderbilt’s Earl Bennett against Kentucky in 2005 and South Carolina’s Sidney Rice against Florida Atlantic in 2006. … Auburn has made 299 straight extra-point attempts, a streak that began in 2013. The Tigers are three away from the FBS record, as Florida State made 302 straight PAT attempts from 2012-16. … Georgia and No. 14 Iowa are the only FBS teams that have allowed zero touchdown runs this season. … Missouri’s defense has scored four touchdowns in its last three games. … LSU’s Joe Burrow leads all FBS players in completion percentage (.806). Burrow ranks second and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is third in passing efficiency.
Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2) has beaten Ole Miss (2-3, 1-1) two of the last three years but heads into Oxford as a seven-point underdog Saturday. While true freshmen or redshirt freshmen have produced over 80 percent of Ole Miss’ offense this year, Vanderbilt has plenty of senior playmakers in running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, receiver Kalija Lipscomb and tight end Jared Pinkney. Vanderbilt’s experience at key spots could enable the Commodores to pull an upset on the road.
Florida outside linebacker and Louisville graduate transfer Jonathan Greenard has fit right in with the Gators while bouncing back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for nearly the entire 2018 season. Greenard made 15 ½ tackles for loss at Louisville in 2017 before getting hurt in the season opener last year. He leads the SEC in tackles for loss (6 ½) and is tied for the conference lead in sacks (four). Greenard picked off a pass and recorded half a sack and three quarterback hurries last week in a 38-0 victory over Football Championship Subdivision program Towson.