A few things to watch in Week 9 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 14 Florida vs. Georgia at Jacksonville, Florida: Florida still controls its destiny in the East race but may need to win out to get to Atlanta because it would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with No. 18 Tennessee, which will be favored in all its remaining games. Florida’s Jim McElwain won his first game in this rivalry last year, which hastened Mark Richt’s exit from Georgia. Now Georgia coach Will Muschamp tries to beat Florida in his own debut season.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Mississippi QB Chad Kelly vs. Auburn’s pass defense: Kelly, who has thrown for 2,067 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, goes against an Auburn defense that has allowed just six touchdown passes all season. Kelly was successful in last year’s 27-19 win over Auburn, throwing for 381 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Ole Miss passing game likely needs a big game because Auburn’s exceptional running attack figures to dominate the Rebels’ defense.
NUMBERS GAME: Auburn’s 543-yard effort in a 56-3 blowout of Arkansas was the highest single-game rushing total by a Football Bowl Subdivision team this season and ranked seventh in SEC history. … Kentucky has beaten Vanderbilt and Mississippi State in its last two games and visits Missouri on Saturday. The Wildcats are seeking their first three-game SEC winning streak since 1999. … The last time an unranked Georgia team beat a ranked Florida team was in 1989, when the Bulldogs beat the 20th-ranked Gators 17-10. … Ole Miss owns a 3-4 record even though it hasn’t trailed at halftime all season. … The last four Tennessee-South Carolina games have been decided by a total of 11 points. … No. 1 Alabama has scored nine defensive touchdowns, the most of any FBS program. Alabama has scored at least one non-offensive touchdown in 10 straight games.
UPSET WATCH: Kentucky is a 4 1/2-point underdog against Missouri despite the fact that the Wildcats have won four of their last five games, including last weekend’s 40-38 victory over Mississippi State. Missouri hasn’t fared as well of late, losing three straight, including last weekend’s surprising 51-45 loss to Middle Tennessee.
IMPACT PERFORMER: South Carolina QB Jake Bentley graduated from high school a year early to get a head start on his college career. Bentley, the son of South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley, earned the start against UMass last week and went 17 of 26 for 201 yards with two touchdowns in his collegiate debut. He could get his first taste of SEC competition Saturday when the Gamecocks host Tennessee.
AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this story.
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