SEC links: Georgia and Florida ready for pivotal East matchup

SEC links heading into this weekend:

Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville is a pivotal game in the SEC East, says David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Next week’s clash between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa can certainly wait for the Gators and Bulldogs, who are looking to take a gargantuan step to an SEC East title at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Gators currently lead the East with a 4-1 conference record, with the Bulldogs right behind at 3-1.”

Urban Meyer is rooting for Florida, of course, in Saturday’s game against Georgia. Meyer went 5-1 against the Bulldogs as coach of the Gators. His offensive coordinator then, Dan Mullen, is head coach of the Gators now.

Florida’s passing attack could take advantage of Georgia’s secondary, says Graham Hall of the Gainesville Sun.

Mike Griffith of DawgNation gives three keys for Georgia beating Florida. Pressuring Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is one of those keys. The Gators have yielded 16 sacks this season, which ranks seventh in the SEC.

Florida must scrap precedent to beat Georgia, says Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times. “For all the changes Florida and Georgia have made over the past 13 years, there has been one constant in their annual showdown in Jacksonville.”

Tennessee expects to have its quarterbacks healthy for Georgia, reports Patrick Brown of 247Sports. “Head coach Jeremy Pruitt after Wednesday’s practice said both Jarrett Guarantano (hand) and Brian Maurer (concussion protocol) have been cleared to play, but seemed to suggest Tennessee would start J.T. Shrout against the Blazers after giving the redshirt freshman the majority of the first-team reps during their indoor practice session.”

Joe Moorhead can still salvage a once-promising season, says Brad Logan of the Clarion-Ledger. Mississippi State has lost four straight SEC games for the first time since 2005 when Sylvester Croom was coach.

Arkansas Coach Chad Morris believes in his team, says Logan Lowery of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal. “We’re going to win this football game this week,” Morris said this week of the Razorbacks game with Mississippi State. His team is 0-13 in conference play with Morris as coach.

In Vanderbilt, South Carolina takes on an opponent in even worse shape, reports Ben Breiner of The State.

Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood has left the program, reports Giana Han of “Three weeks ago, Joey Gatewood’s family and friends made the 70-mile trip from Jacksonville to Gainesville expecting to see him play against his old favorite team. For four quarters, they waited. Nothing. Gatewood, who’d been told he’d get reps in that game, never played.”

Richard Burr not bothered by criticism over his tweet. The North Carolina senator tweeted that if student-athletes receive outside money for name, image, etc., their scholarships should be taxed as income. “I didn’t expect anybody to jump out and support me because it shows how ignorant everybody is of the issue,” Burr said.

SEC football games Saturday

  • 12:00 - UTSA at Texas A&M (SEC)
  • 3:30 - Georgia vs. Florida (CBS)
  • 4:00 - Mississippi State at Arkansas (SEC)
  • 7:00 - Ole Miss at Auburn (ESPN)
  • 7:00 - UAB at Tennessee (ESPNU)
  • 7:30 - Vanderbilt at South Carolina (SEC)

AP Top 25

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Clemson
  5. Penn State
  6. Florida
  7. Oregon
  8. Georgia
  9. Utah
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Auburn
  12. Baylor
  13. Minnesota
  14. Michigan
  15. SMU
  16. Notre Dame
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Iowa
  20. Appalachian State
  21. Boise State
  22. Kansas State
  23. Wake Forest
  24. Memphis
  25. San Diego State

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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