Tennessee Volunteers at Florida Gators, 3:30 p.m. EST
The biggest game on the East side of SEC is Tennessee heading to the Swamp to take on Florida. What I will be watching for is this – can the Gators keep pace with the balanced attack of the Vols? I think Tennessee will score some points, even on this good Gator defense, though their deep secondary will be without the suspended cornerback Jalen Tabor.
This isn't the Steve Spurrier or Urban Meyer Floida offense. New Gator head coach Jim McElwain inherited a deficient roster on this side of the ball, so it's a work in progress.
Florida beat Kentucky last weekend but the Gators struggled in Lexington offensively, only scoring 14 points and posting 245 yards of offense. Will Grier will look to get the Florida offense reved up at home against Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs and his run game featuring Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara and a pretty deep wide receiver corps. This should be a terrific game that typically goes to the team that runs the ball best.
Texas A&M Aggies at Arkansas Razorbacks, 7:00 p.m. EST
Life isn’t getting easier for the Razorbacks. They have back-to-back non-conference home losses and they get the unbeaten Aggies tomorrow. How will this Arkansas team respond after two straight defeats against a very much improved A&M squad, specifically on defense? Will this be a long slide, as Brett Bielema and his team begin SEC play? I am certainly disappointed with the Razorbacks and their 1-2 record. Heck, I thought this team would contend for the West title and a trip to Atlanta.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers, 7:30 p.m. EST
Another major disappoint over the first three games has been Auburn. What happens now with the Tigers after getting pummeled in Baton Rouge and then making a quarterback change? Gus Malzahn and the Tigers are going to Sean White filling in for the slumping Jeremy Johnson. How will this Auburn team respond against a good Mississippi State team?
Defensively, Will Muschamp and his defense got trucked last weekend against Leonard Fournette and LSU Tigers. We all know the Bulldogs can play that power game out of the Dan Mullen spread. They don’t have Fournette but they do have the league’s best signal caller in Dak Prescott, who can beat up a defense with his arm and legs.
UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats, 8:00 p.m. EST
I believe this is the game of the day even though both sides are missing their share of stars. For the Bruins, the latest is Myles Jack, their outstanding, athletic linebacker that has actually been playing nickel back of late. Despite his size, Jack excelled at this spot and playing in space. Now Jack will miss the rest of the year with a knee injury.
Fortunately for UCLA, cornerback Ishmael Adams is back from suspension but will he be in football shape? How much will this defense miss the versatile Mack against a terrific spread team with good athletes of their own on the other side of the ball? A key to watch will be the Wildcats ability to run the zone read, a scheme that UCLA has had good success defending in the past.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Arizona defensive star Scooby Wright will be ready to suit up against the Bruins. Remember, UCLA has also lost key defensive players for the season in tackle Eddie Vanderdoes and cornerback Fabian Moreau.
Offensively, keep an eye on true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen. He needs to trust Paul Perkins and the UCLA run game, especially with that terrific offensive line. Feed that beast and let Perkins and the offensive line control the line of scrimmage and tempo in this one.
USC Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils, 10:30 p.m. EST
Here are two teams that are supposed to contend in the Pac-12 South. For USC, they are coming off an upset loss to Stanford one week ago. So the Trojans have little margin of error and have a must win on the road against the Sun Devils. For Arizona State and Todd Graham they have yet to really put it all together.
So in this one I am watching for two things. First with USC, can the defense get off the field? Last week against Stanford, the Cardinal killed the Trojans in time of possession, holding the ball for over 39 minutes. In terms of ASU, I want to see this squad put a complete game together. Can they do that against Southern Cal?