It's shaping up to be a fun day in the SEC. We're finally getting into some meaty conference games, offering up some intriguing prospect matchups. Alabama - Ole Miss is the marquee game and it's loaded with NFL talent. Auburn - LSU should be a good, old fashioned slobber-knocker up front. We should start learning a lot more about these prospects this week as they get some better competition. Here are some names that I'll be looking for on Saturday.
Auburn at LSU (2:30, CBS)
Prospects: Carl Lawson (EDGE, Auburn), Duke Williams (WR, Auburn), Montravius Adams (DT, Auburn), Vadal Alexander (OG, LSU), Tre'Davious White (CB, LSU), Travin Dural (WR, LSU)
This is usually a great game every year. Auburn must be able to stop LSU's potent rushing attack, starting in the trenches. Vadal Alexander and Montravius Adams should see plenty of each other in this one. Whoever wins the battle up front will have the upper hand in this one. Leonard Fournette is the LSU offense, so Auburn will likely load the box and force Brandon Harris to beat them.
Auburn's offense has surprisingly sputtered to open the season. Jeremy Johnson hasn't gotten off to a good start, struggling to see the field. Gus Malzahn will have to get him going quickly if Auburn wants to be in the national picture. Duke Williams needs to get going as well. Auburn's game-breaking receiver is off to a slow start, mainly because of Johnson's struggles.
Ole Miss at Alabama (8:15, ESPN)
Prospects: Jonathan Allen (EDGE, Alabama), Reggie Ragland (LB, Alabama), A'Shawn Robinson (DL, Alabama), Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama), OJ Howard (TE, Alabama), Kenyan Drake (RB, Alabama), Robert Nkemdiche (DL, Ole Miss), Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss), Laremy Tunsil (OT, Ole Miss), Tony Connor (Safety, Ole Miss), Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss)
This is the big one this week. Ole Miss beat Alabama last year at home, but will have to travel to Tuscaloosa this year. It is unclear if stud left tackle Laremy Tunsil will play, but his situation with the NCAA isn't looking promising. Alabama probably won't be able to matchup with Laquon Treadwell, giving Ole Miss a mismatch to expose. Evan Engram should be able to stress the defense over the middle, giving Chad Kelly options in his first start against Alabama.
Kelly will have to account for pass rusher Jonathan Allen at all times, especially if Tunsil doesn't play. A'Shawn Robinson will anchor the defensive front, with Reggie Ragland patrolling anything that gets past him. It should be a long day for the Ole Miss rushing attack. Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake are the keys for the Tide. If they can run the ball consistently against Robert Nkemdiche and company, they should cruise to a win.
South Carolina at Georgia (5:00, ESPN)
Prospects: Jordan Jenkins (EDGE, Georgia), Leonard Floyd (EDGE, Georgia), John Theus (OT, Georgia), Greg Pyke (OG, Georgia), Pharoh Cooper (WR, South Carolina), Skai Moore (LB, South Carolina)
After an injury to Connor Mitch, Perry Orth gets the start for South Carolina. Maybe this can jump start things for Pharoh Cooper, who has suffered since losing Dylan Thompson last season. Orth will have to deal with two terrors coming off of the edge for Georgia in Floyd and Jenkins. Jenkins is the leader in the sack race so far, tallying three in his first two games this year.
This will be a tough matchup for South Carolina in the trenches. Georgia is going to come out and run Nick Chubb and company until the Gamecocks prove they can stop him. Skai Moore is going to have his hands full in the middle of the South Carolina defense.
Florida at Kentucky (6:30, SECN)
Prospects: A.J. Stamps (Safety, Kentucky), Vernon Harvreaves III (CB, Florida), Demarcus Robinson (WR, Florida), Jonathan Bullard (DL, Florida)
This game will mark the start of the Will Grier era at Florida. He's had good showings against two inferior opponents this season, but Kentucky will offer more of a challenge. A.J. Stamps will be roaming the Kentucky back half, looking to capitalize on the young quarterback. Stamps should get plenty of opportunities down the field with Demarcus Robinson lining up on the other side.
Defensively, Vernon Hargreaves III is probably the best defender in the country. Kentucky will likely lose at least one receiver per play due to VH3's presence. This is a name that Titans' fans should be keeping up with. Tennessee may play their way out of his draft range, but he would be an ideal draft fit here.
Enjoy the football!