- Sam Khan, Texas A&M/SEC reporter
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There are half-a-dozen games on the SEC slate this weekend and because the league had a record eight teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll, all six games involved at least one ranked team while two of the six involve two ranked squads. It should be a compelling weekend for SEC football. In the meantime, here are some notes and nuggets to digest ahead of this week's action, courtesy of our friends at ESPN Stats and Information:
When playing teams not named Texas A&M this season, Alabama's defense has been dominant. The Crimson Tide have allowed just 5.2 points per game, 208.2 yards per game and one passing touchdown total to their other five opponents (the Aggies scored 42 points, had 628 yards and five passing touchdowns against Alabama). Also, the Tide are good about beating teams they're supposed to beat: they have won 43 consecutive games against unranked teams (last loss came Nov. 17, 2007 to Louisiana-Monroe).
Arkansas is in the third game of a five-game stretch that has the Razorbacks playing teams currently ranked in the Top 25. That portion of the schedule has been a challenge: after a 3-0 start, the Razorbacks have lost four straight. During the 3-0 start, Arkansas allowed just 12.7 points per game and outgained those opponents by a total of 548 yards. Since then, the Razorbacks are allowing 38.8 points per game and have been outgained by 526 total yards in four games. They lost six consecutive games to ranked teams.
How explosive has LSU’s new offense been? Consider this: LSU is second in the nation in total plays of 20 yards or more. The Tigers have 50 such plays through their first seven games, second only to Oregon (56). Compare that to 2012, when the Tigers had 59 plays of 20 or more yards all last season (13 games).
Ole Miss has 73 missed tackles this season, which is the highest total among AQ-conference teams so far this season.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is money on third downs. His Total QBR of 99.6 on third downs is best in the FBS and on pace to be the best by any player in the last 10 years. The highest third-down Total QBR for an entire season belongs to former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who posted a mark of 98.9 on third downs in 2010.
Auburn makes the most out of turnovers it forces and has a knack for keeping its own turnovers from significantly hurting the team. The Tigers have a negative turnover ratio (minus-2), but they are plus-32 in points-off-turnover margin. Of the 11 turnovers Auburn has committed, opponents have only scored 10 points off of them, while the Tigers have scored 42 points off of their opponents' nine turnovers.
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw has been one of the more underrated performers in the SEC this season. One thing he has done well this season is take care of the football. He has the third-most pass attempts without an interception. Shaw has thrown for 10 scores and zero picks in 124 attempts, behind only Oregon's Marcus Mariota (165) and Nevada's Cody Fajardo (158).
Tennessee has lost 19 consecutive games to opponents ranked in the Top 25. The last win the Volunteers have recorded over a ranked team came over their opponent on Saturday, South Carolina, back in 2009 when the Gamecocks were ranked 21st.
Missouri is one of only two FBS teams in the country to win every game by at least 15 points this season (Oregon is the other). The Tigers have done it six times. The previous two seasons combined, Missouri only had five such wins.
Florida's opponents have completed only 26.8 percent of their passes thrown 10 yards or longer against the Gators. That's the lowest rate allowed by an AQ-conference team.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who earlier this season became the SEC's all-time leader in career passing yardage, is 30 yards away from passing former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow for the career total offense record. Tebow's total was 12,232; Murray currently has 12,203.
Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels threw for more than 300 yards in each of the Commodores' last two games. The last Vanderbilt quarterback to do that was Jay Cutler in 2005.
There are half-a-dozen games on the SEC slate this weekend and because the league had a record eight teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll, all six games involved at least one ranked team while two of the six involve two ranked squads.