No. 1 ‘Bama visits No. 11 Florida in SEC title game rematch

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Here are things to watch in the Southeastern Conference in Week 3:

GAMES OF THE WEEK

No. 1 Alabama (2-0) visits No. 11 Florida (2-0). It’s a rematch of the Crimson Tide’s 52-46 SEC Championship Game victory, but without a number of the bigtime playmakers from that game. That’s OK, there are plenty of new ones. Alabama hasn’t visited Gainesville since Oct. 1, 2011, but is 11-2 in The Swamp and has won the last seven meetings overall. Quarterback Bryce Young has led the Tide, while Florida has a pair of dual-threats in Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson. They’ve helped pace the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack, averaging 381.5 yards.Richardson especially has been dynamic through the first two games. Both present challenges to an Alabama defense that is hoping to get outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. back from injury. In the other Top 25 matchup involving an SEC team, No. 22 Auburn visits No. 10 Penn State for the first time. It’s the Tigers’ third regular-season game against a Big Ten team and first since 1931.

BEST MATCHUP

Sure, Auburn’s offense has reached 60 points in each of its first two games. But that was against overmatched competition for an SEC team. Now quarterback Bo Nix and the Tigers have to prove they can do it against a much stronger defense. Penn State has allowed a combined 23 points in wins over Wisconsin and Ball State. Tailbacks Tank Bisby and freshman Jarquez Hunter have each topped 100 rushing yards in both games.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

After facing Akron and Alabama State, Auburn leads the nation in scoring offense (61.0 ppg) and is tied with Georgia for second in scoring defense, allowing 5.0 points a game. … Florida’s 12 consecutive games topping 400 yards is the program’s longest streak since at least 1981. … Georgia has given up just 10 points – with the only touchdown coming on a UAB pick-six. The lowest three-game total by Bulldog opponents for the first three games in recent history was 12 points in 2006. Kirby Smart’s 2019 team gave up just 23 to Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State. … Kentucky has topped 500 yards in its first two games for the first time. The WIldcats, who face Chattanooga, have won 12 straight nonconference games. … Missouri running back Tyler Badie needs 53 receiving yards to become the program’s first player with 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving.

LONG SHOT

Tulane visits No. 17 Mississippi as 14.5 underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, two weeks after flirting with an upset of then-No. 2 Oklahoma. The Green Wave fell 40-35, but dominated the second half 21-3. Tulane hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent since 1984, but has the American Athletic Conference’s top scoring offense, averaging 52 points per game. It will put to the test a Rebels defense that appears to have improved from Lane Kiffin’s debut season. But the Green Wave still have to find a way to contain quarterback Matt Corral & Co.

IMPACT PLAYER

Georgia’s QBA: Quarterback to be announced. The Bulldogs seem to be in a good position heading into South Carolina, even if starter JT Daniels doesn’t return from his oblique injury. Stetson Bennett was terrific in his sixth start, a56-7 win over UAB. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart told reporters Wednesday that Bennett is nursing a lower back issue but has still been able to practice. Georgia is in a rare position with two experienced passers who have both had such success.

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