Here are things to watch in Week 11 in the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 1 Alabama at LSU. This prime time CBS game hardly has the luster of past matchups, especially last season’s 1 versus 2 showdown. The Crimson Tide (8-0 SEC, overall) hasn’t missed a beat this season and tops the playoff rankings. The Tigers (3-4) have struggled mightily after a mass exodus of talent from the national championship team. Alabama is 17-2 in rematches after losing under Saban, though LSU won back to back games in 2010 and 2011. The Tide has not allowed a touchdown in its last 11 quarters, plus one overtime possession, at Tiger Stadium. The game was postponed from Nov. 14 because of LSU’s COVID-19 issues. LSU star wide receiver Terrace Marshall opted out this week for the rest of the season. It’s the Tigers’ first home game in six weeks.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Heisman candidates vs. struggling defenses. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask and Alabama’s Mac Jones likely will actually meet up in the SEC championship game. Before that, both have chances to pad their Heisman Trophy numbers this weekend. Trask’s Gators face a Tennessee defense ranked 79th against the pass, giving up 243.6 yards per game. Jones and the Tide face an even bigger statistical mismatch. LSU ranks 120th in pass defense, giving up a whopping 320.9 yards on average.
Auburn vs. No. 5 Texas A&M. The Aggies are fifth in the playoff rankings and still hoping to make the field. The Tigers have flopped in two previous chances against teams ranked in the Top 5 at the time — Georgia and Alabama — but also showed their potential in a romp over LSU. The upset chances could well depend on whether tailbacks Tank Bigsby and D.J. Williams are healthy, but receivers Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams give them a shot with their big-play abilities.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
LSU has been shut out only four times at Tiger Stadium over the last 28 years, with all four coming courtesy of the Tide. … Florida’s average of 7.41 yards per play is slightly ahead of the school record (7.40) set in 1995. … This is only Auburn’s second December home game, joining the Alabama game in 1989. … Vanderbilt, which fired coach Derek Mason on Sunday, has dropped 12 straight SEC games, including all eight this season. … Tennessee’s game with East Division rival Florida marks the Volunteers’ first game at Neyland Stadium in 42 days.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida: Trask’s favorite target is having a stellar season, too. Pitts returned after missing two games with a concussion and broken nose with five catches for 99 yards and three touchdowns. He ranks fourth nationally with 11 touchdown receptions despite playing only six games. Only two other FBS players — Jaelaon Darden of North Texas and Nevada’s Romeo Doubs — have multiple three-touchdown games this season. Pitts has 29 catches for 513 yards in six games.
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