Week 4 SEC & Big Ten Preview: Florida Hosts Tennessee; BYU Travels to Michigan
In the fourth week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits all throughout SEC and Big Ten country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the 70th Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on January 1.
#14 Texas A&M (3-0, 0-0 SEC) plays hosts to Arkansas (1-2, 0-0 SEC) in the conference opener for both teams. The undefeated Aggies are led by QB Kyle Allen (594 passing yards, nine TDs, and two INTs) and an offense that has averaged nearly 500 yards per game this season. After back-to-back losses, the Razorbacks look to rebound behind the leadership of senior QB Brandon Allen (916 yards, six TDs, and two INTs).
#3 Ole Miss (2-0, 1-0 SEC) takes on conference foe Vanderblit (1-2, 0-1 SEC) in Oxford on Saturday. The Rebels’ defensive line has put intense pressure on quarterbacks, allowing a strong secondary to haul in seven interceptions so far this season. The Ole Miss offense has been just as impressive, leading the FBS with 64.0 points per game. Vanderbilt QB Johnny McCrary is coming off his best game after setting a single-game school record for completion percentage (84.8).
#8 LSU (2-0, 2-0 SEC) heads to the Carrier Dome this week to take on Syracuse (3-0, 1-0 ACC). This is the first meeting between the two since the Orange defeated the Tigers in the 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl, and only the third meeting all-time. LSU RB Leonard Fournette is leading the nation in yards per game (193.5) but will be up against an Orange defense ranked third in rush yards allowed (46.7).
Mississippi State (2-1, 0-1 SEC) heads to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face Auburn (2-1, 0-1 SEC) as each team looks for their first conference win. After being announced as Auburn’s new starting quarterback this week, redshirt-freshman Sean White will take his first collegiate snap against the Bulldogs,.
Tennessee (2-1, 0-0 SEC) is on the road at Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) looking to get their first win against the Gators since 2004. Florida boasts the SEC’s most efficient defense, but the Vols’ rushing offense has emerged as one of the best in the SEC with 246 rush yards per game.
Other conference games this weekend: Kentucky (2-1, 1-1 SEC) hosts #25 Missouri (3-0, 0-0 SEC) #7 Georgia (3-0, 2-0 SEC) hosts Southern, South Carolina (1-2, 0-2 SEC) hosts UCF, and #12 Alabama (2-1, 0-1 SEC) hosts Louisiana Monroe.
Michigan (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) is hosting #22 BYU (2-1) in Ann Arbor Saturday. BYU’s only defeat of the season came last week against #9 UCLA by a single point. After merely 76 rushing yards in week one, the Wolverines have averaged 239.5 yards in their last two matchups. The two teams have only met one other time, when the Cougars defeated Michigan in the 1984 Holiday Bowl.
Indiana (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) takes their first road trip this season to battle the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (2-1, 0-1 ACC). The Hoosiers are hoping to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 1990, carried by the legs of the nation’s leading rusher, Jordan Howard (507 yards).
Maryland (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) travels to Morgantown this week to face regional rival West Virginia (2-0, 0-0 Big 12). The Mountaineers have won eight of the last nine matchups, including last year’s victory on a last-second field goal. The Terps are coming off a 35-17 victory over South Florida last week that highlighted 410 yards on offense.
Rutgers (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten) is looking to avoid its first 1-3 start since 2008 as they play host to Kansas (0-2, 0-0 Big 12). The Scarlet Knights are looking to right the ship and pick up a win over an FBS opponent before diving back into conference play.
Other conference games this weekend: #1 Ohio State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Western Michigan, #2 Michigan State (3- 0, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Central Michigan, #17 Northwestern (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Ball State, Nebraska (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Southern Mississippi, Purdue (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Bowling Green, Iowa (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts North Texas, Minnesota (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Ohio University, Penn State (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten) hosts San Diego State, Illinois (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Middle Tennessee State, and Wisconsin (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Hawaii.