All eyes around the country on Saturday will be on the rematch between top ranked Alabama and Texas A&M at Kyle Field. Last season the Aggies, led by Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, dealt the Crimson Tide their only loss of the season. The 2013 matchup has been hyped for months, and although neither team has been overly impressive to start the year, it should still live up to its billing as one of the top college football games of the year, especially in front of the raucous 12th Man in College Station. Despite A&M’s loss of second overall draft pick Luke Joeckel, Alabama head coach Nick Saban says his front seven will have to work hard against the Aggie offensive line.
On the other side, maybe the only question mark on Alabama’s squad is their offensive line after losing Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker and Barrett Jones to the NFL Draft this past summer. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin gives his thoughts on this year’s version of the Tide front five.
Kickoff from College Station is at 3:30 on CBS.
In the SEC East, South Carolina and the Head Ball Coach will look to bounce back from their loss at Georgia as they host Vanderbilt. The Gamecock defense struggled against the Bulldogs, and will be tested by Commodores’ wide receiver Jordan Matthews who has 16 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games. Steve Spurrier says his squad better be geared to go against an experienced Vandy team.
After falling in a heartbreaker against Ole Miss in the opener, the ‘Dores bounced back with a 38-3 victory last week over Austin Peay. However, the Gamecocks will prove to be a much bigger animal, especially with All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney anchoring the front seven. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin says getting past the first level of the USC defense will be quite a challenge.
That matchup from Williams-Brice Stadium begins at 7.
Another game that features two big name programs is Tennessee-Oregon. Yes, the Vols are 2-0, but they are heavy underdogs on the road against the #2 Ducks. Oregon will be aiming for it’s 22nd consecutive win at Autzen Stadium against an unranked opponent, and Tennessee will be looking for an other-worldly upset that would give them plenty of confidence heading into The Swamp next weekend. UT head coach Butch Jones says slowing down the prolific Oregon offense will be a very tall task.
One more SEC team looking to prove their merit will be #25 Ole Miss, as they look to take advantage of a brand new defensive coordinator at Texas. The Rebels already scored a big road win in their first game against Vanderbilt, and another one would give them a lot of momentum heading into full-time conference play. The Longhorns defense was horrendous last week against BYU, surrendering 550 rushing yards; look for the Rebs to provide a healthy dose of senior running back Jeff Scott combined with the mobility of quarterback Bo Wallace. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze says this game will be great test for his team, especially against a Texas squad that will have a chip on their shoulder.
The other SEC games this weekend include Mississippi State-Auburn, Kentucky-Louisville, LSU-Kent State and Arkansas-Southern Miss.