No. 1 Alabama, No. 15 LSU meet in Western Division showdown
Here are some things to watch in Week 10 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 LSU. The Western Division heavyweights — as usual — meet with a lot on the line. Alabama has won five straight in the series and is a touchdown favorite, but LSU has won three straight games and the offense has looked rejuvenated since interim coach Ed Orgeron took over the program. For Orgeron, the outcome of this game could be a big deciding factor in the school's decision to hire him on a permanent basis or look for an outside replacement.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Arkansas QB Austin Allen vs. Florida pass defense: Allen has thrown 18 touchdown passes to tie for the SEC lead, and he also ranks second in the conference in passer rating. The 10th-ranked Gators lead all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in pass efficiency defense and have allowed only five touchdown passes all season. Florida has one of the nation's top cornerback duos in Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor.
NUMBERS GAME: Kentucky's 4-2 SEC record means the Wildcats are just one win away from earning five league victories in a season for the first time since 1977. Kentucky's 1977 team went 6-0 in SEC play. ... LSU has outscored opponents 73-7 in the second half in three games under Orgeron. ... Alabama has won 20 straight games overall and has won its last 12 matchups with ranked teams. ... Ole Miss has lost three straight for the first time since 2013 and is seeking to avoid its first four-game skid since 2011. ... Florida's Antonio Callaway is the first Gator ever and 21st FBS player since 1996 to score a rushing, receiving, passing, punt return and kickoff return touchdown in a career.
UPSET WATCH: Kentucky and Arkansas are home underdogs who have pretty good shots of winning their games outright. Kentucky is on a three-game winning streak and Georgia has lost two straight, yet the Bulldogs are two-point favorites in Lexington. Florida is favored by 5 ½ points over Arkansas. The Razorbacks had an extra week to prepare for this game and will be eager for redemption after an embarrassing 56-3 loss to Auburn.
IMPACT PERFORMER: While Tennessee has lost three straight to fall out of the Top 25, defensive end Derek Barnett has remained as steady as ever. Barnett recorded three sacks in a 24-21 loss to South Carolina and now has nine this season. Nobody has more sacks this season, though Air Force's Ryan Watson, Boston College's Harold Landry and Pittsburgh's Ejuan Price also have nine (LSU's Arden Key has eight sacks in seven games and leads all FBS players in sacks per game). Barnett has 29 career sacks, three shy of Reggie White's school record.
AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this story.
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Posted on Thu, November 3, 2016
by The Associated Press