Here are five things to watch in the Southeastern Conference during Week 5 of games:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia. There will be plenty of intrigue when LSU travels to face Georgia. There could also be plenty of touchdowns. LSU’s new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has been the architect of an offense that’s averaging more than 43 points per game. Georgia isn’t far behind the Tigers and averages 40.3 points per game. Georgia coach Mark Richt on LSU: “They’re not going to try to trick you. They’re just going to line up and ball you.”
BEST MATCHUP: Mississippi’s running game against Alabama’s defense: The 21st-ranked Rebels have moved the ball on the ground with ease so far this season, averaging 250 yards rushing per game. No. 1 Alabama is in the middle of the SEC pack in rushing defense. The Rebels don’t lack confidence heading into Tuscaloosa. “I think we can put points on them. I think we can put points on anybody. We’ve just go to show up and play,” Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace said.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Missouri has picked off three passes in each of its first three games, the first time since 1980 that the Tigers have collected three interceptions each in three straight games. Missouri already has exceeded its 2012 season total of seven interceptions. … Florida leads all FBS teams in run defense (55.3), third-down conversion percentage defense (18.9) and first downs allowed per game (11.3). The Gators are second nationally in total defense (212.3).
LONG SHOT: UCF is savoring the opportunity to host an SEC opponent in a nationally televised game as it welcomes No. 12 South Carolina to town for a noon kickoff. The unbeaten Knights had an off week to prepare for this showdown after winning 34-31 at Penn State in their last game. UCF, a seven-point underdog, will be playing in front of its first home sellout crowd since 2011. South Carolina must contain Storm Johnson, who already has run for six touchdowns this season. “We have got to treat them like they are in the SEC,” South Carolina linebacker Marcquis Roberts said.
IMPACT PLAYER: LSU QB Zach Mettenberger: This week marks Mettenberger’s return to Georgia, where he began his college career before legal troubles caused him to get dismissed from the team. Mettenberger went from Butler (Kan.) Community College to LSU, where he has emerged as one of the SEC’s most improved players this season. Mettenberger’s mother still works as an administrative assistant in Georgia’s football office, though Bulldogs coach Mark Richt gave her this week off.
Complied by AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tenn., and David Brandt in Jackson, Miss.
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