For the first time in the history of the AP college football poll, one conference has eight ranked teams in the top 25; that conference happens to be the SEC and all eight teams will be in action this Saturday.
Starting off with games between ranked opponents, 22nd ranked Florida travels to Columbia, Missouri to take on 14th ranked Missouri. The Gators are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to LSU while Missouri is coming off an impressive win against a previously top 10 Georgia team. Missouri will have to play with redshirt freshman back up quarterback Maty Mauck, as former starter James Franklin is out due to a separated shoulder. Florida senior lineman Jon Halapio can relate to Missouri's injury problem as the redshirt senior has battled a torn pectoral this year, as well as having seven of his teammates suffer season ending injuries. Halapio says injuries are unfortunate, but that the team has to find ways to overcome the adversity.
“This is my first time seeing a lot of injuries and its very disappointing,” he said. “But its the game we play and its part of the game”.
You can hear live coverage of the game starting at 9:15am on ESPN 850 WRUF.
Staying in the SEC East, Georgia will look to get back on the winning track as they travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. Georgia is also familiar with the injury bug this year and have numerous players out with season ending injuries as well. Georgia head coach Mark Richt would love to have his starters back, but says this is a chance for younger players to show their worth.
“It does provide opportunities for other guys to step into those roles and it also provides an opportunity for the guys that are playing other positions to just try to get even stronger.”
Over in the SEC West, the 24th ranked Auburn Tigers travel to College Station to face Johnny Manziel and 7th ranked Texas A & M. Auburn will have its hands full against the Heisman winner and current passing leader in the SEC (305.8 ypg). Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is no stranger to the yards A & M puts up and says it will be difficult to stop their high powered attack.
“I think anytime you've got a dynamic offense like they do, you know, it affects the whole game and, strategically, from a coaching standpoint you try to get a strategy that gives your team the best chance for being successful, but they're very good at offense.”
Kick off between the Tigers and Aggies is slated for 3:30.
The rest of the SEC action looks like this: South Carolina is at Tennessee, Arkansas is at Alabama, and LSU will be in Oxford to take on Ole Miss.