Big Ten & SEC Week Ten Preview
Early on in the season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are out on the road to meet with fans of our partner schools to spread the word about our brand-new home field opening for the 2014 bowl season.
This weekend, we’ll be at eight notable games featuring teams from our partner conferences*:
Following their first loss of the season, Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) welcomes Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) to Oxford. A touchdown pass from Anthony Jennings to Logan Stokes with just over five minutes remaining gave LSU its first lead of the game, which would turn out to be the winning score. The touchdown was the first one allowed by the Rebels defense in more than 7 quarters dating back to the fourth quarter of their game against Texas A&M on October 11. Bo Wallace struggled against the Tigers defense, finishing with season lows in touchdowns (1), completion percentage (42.4%) and passer rating (91.2). Auburn narrowly avoided an upset at home to South Carolina, winning 42-35. In a game that was tied after each of the first three quarters, quarterback Nick Marshall’s nine-yard run was the only score during the final quarter and gave the Tigers their 14th consecutive win at home, tying Florida State’s current mark for the longest active streak in the nation. The Tigers lead Ole Miss 28-10 all-time and have won 26 of the past 31 meetings.
Florida (3-3, 2-3 SEC) and Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) square off at EverBank Field in Jacksonville for the 92nd installment of the rivalry game. Both teams enter the matchup off of their bye week, with Georgia bringing a five-game win streak into the game while Florida has dropped its past two games. The Bulldogs defeated Arkansas at home, 45-32, in their last outing with freshman running back Nick Chubb running for 202 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Bulldogs. Florida held Missouri to 119 yards of total offense but still found itself on the losing end of a 42-13 game. It was the second time Florida held an opponent to less than 120 yards of offense and lost during Will Muschamp’s tenure. Georgia holds a 49-40-2 all-time edge over Florida and has won the last four matchups.
South Carolina (4-4, 2-4 SEC) welcomes Tennessee (3-5, 0-4 SEC) to Williams-Brice Stadium for an SEC East divisional clash. Gamecocks quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for 402 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort against Auburn last week. Tennessee outscored Alabama 20-7 in the second half but couldn’t complete the comeback at home, falling 34-20 after allowing the Crimson Tide to get off to a 27-0 lead to start the game. The Volunteers lead the Gamecocks 23-7-2 all-time.
Looking for its first conference win since 2012, Arkansas (4-4, 0-4 SEC) visits Davis Wade Stadium to face top-ranked Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0 SEC). The Razorbacks return to conference action following their 45-17 thrashing of UAB last weekend. The Hogs racked up 484 yards of offense, getting out to a 38-0 lead before cruising to victory. Mississippi State defeated Kentucky 45-31 on the road in their last game. After cutting the deficit to seven with less than three minutes to play, Kentucky attempted an onside kick that was returned 61 yards by Christian Holmes for a touchdown to thwart the upset bid. The Bulldogs have won the past two meetings with Arkansas, but the Razorbacks lead the series 15-8-1.
Iowa (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) looks to rebound from its first conference loss when they welcome Northwestern (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) to Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes were upended by Maryland on the road two weeks ago, 38-31. Iowa scored 10 points in the game’s final three minutes to pull within a score of the Terrapins before running out of time. Northwestern fell at home to Nebraska two weeks ago, 38-17, and enter this week’s game following their bye week. Leading 17-14 at halftime, the Wildcats conceded 24 points and were unable to find the end zone in the second half allowing Nebraska to leave with the victory. Iowa leads Northwestern 48-24-3 all-time, while the matchup has become much more competitive in recent times with the teams splitting the past 20 meetings.
Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) and Rutgers (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten) will meet for the first time when the Badgers visit Piscataway, New Jersey on Saturday afternoon. The Badgers knocked off Maryland 52-7 last weekend with Melvin Gordon leading Wisconsin rushing for 122 yards and three touchdowns. The victory was the Badgers second-largest this season and their largest against a conference opponent since defeating Indiana 51-3 last season. Rutgers returns home following a 42-24 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln last weekend. Nebraska pulled away in the middle portion of the game, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 28-10 during the second and third quarters to put the game out of reach. Rutgers is 3-1 at home this season while the Badgers have lost both of their contests away from Camp Randall Stadium.
Maryland (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) and Penn State (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten) meet for the first time as conference opponents when the Terrapins visit State College for a noon matchup. The Terrapins suffered their largest defeat of the season last weekend, falling to Wisconsin 52-7. They were outgained 527-175 in total offense including 311-46 on the ground in the loss. Penn State enters the matchup following their double-overtime loss to Ohio State. After scoring 17 straight points to tie the game and send it into overtime, the Nittany Lions fell short in their upset bid when the Buckeyes kept them out of the end zone in the second overtime period to win 31-24. The Nittany Lions post a 35-1-1 record against Maryland all-time and have not lost since 1961. This will be the first meeting between the programs since 1993 when Penn State topped Maryland 70-7.
Illinois (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten) heads to Columbus to face Ohio State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) for the 100th meeting between the schools. Ohio State returns home following their double-overtime win against Penn State. Illinois enters fresh off of their first Big Ten victory this season after giving Minnesota its first conference loss this season. Ohio State holds a 65-30-4 edge in the Battle for the Illibuck and has won each of the past five meetings. The Illini have fared better on the road in the series totaling 18 wins compared to only 12 at home. Their last win against the Buckeyes came in Columbus in 2007.