Fri, Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:30 pm
SATURDAY’S SEC GAMES
No. 2 Alabama vs. West Virginia, Atlanta, 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN2): Somehow, these teams have missed playing each other for more than a century. Both coaches plucked quarterbacks from Florida State — Jacob Coker for the Crimson Tide and Clint Trickett for the Mountaineers. Coker apparently will watch senior Blake Sims start after ’Bama players quietly grumbled about the transfer possibly playing ahead of a guy who has been in the program for five years. As if the Mountaineers didn’t have enough defensive problems, starting cornerback Icky Banks got suspended. Since starting the 2012 season 5-0, West Virginia is 6-14, with two victories coming against FCS teams.
No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN): The Tigers and Bulldogs meet for the 64th time. Clemson broke a five-game Georgia winning streak with its 38-35 victory last season and will be trying for back-to-back victories for the first time since winning three in a row in 1986, 1987 and 1990. Georgia is 26-7-1 at home against Clemson.
No. 13 LSU vs. No. 14 Wisconsin, Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPN): The third nationally televised intersectional game of the day features teams that have impressive non-conference records in recent years. Since the Tigers last lost a non-conference regular-season game against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7, 2002, they’ve won 45 in a row — including openers against Oregon, TCU, North Carolina, Oregon State and Arizona State. Wisconsin has the second-best winning percentage out of the league over the same span at 45-3 (.935). LSU won both prior meetings, in 1971 and 1972.
Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn, 4 p.m. (SEC Network): Jeremy Johnson will get the start for the Tigers while Nick Marshall serves penance after being cited for marijuana over the summer. Auburn leads a close rivalry 12-10-1 and rolled 35-17 last year in Fayetteville. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn had a brief stop as a player and coach at Arkansas at different times.
Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky, noon (SEC Network):
The Wildcats get to debut the first football Saturday on the SEC Network in their first meeting against the Skyhawks.
South Dakota State at No. 24 Missouri, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU): The Jackrabbits reached the second round of the FCS playoffs last season, losing to Eastern Washington. Zach Zenner is a 2,000-yard rusher, but the early strength of the Tigers will be in their defense.
Southern Miss at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m.
(SEC Network): It must gnaw at Bulldogs fans to know an in-state team that doesn’t play in the SEC has the upper hand on them. Southern Miss leads the series 14-12-1. However, they haven’t met since 1990, and MSU has won four of the last seven meetings.
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