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Friday November 27th, 2020 6:42PM

SEC notebook: Dogs-Bama 'Game of the Century?'

By The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — If a No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup can be a Game of the Century, this might be it. No. 2 Alabama hosts No. 3 Georgia on Saturday after the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs held their spots behind No. 1 Clemson in the latest AP Top 25. In college football history, the No. 1 vs. 2 regular-season matchups usually get the Game of the Century moniker. There have been 24 of those in the history of the AP poll, dating to 1936. The 2-3 game has been even more rare. This will be the 17th, not including conference championship games, and the first since Ohio State and Michigan played one in 2016. ... Crimson Tide tailback Najee Harris is is preparing for Georgia and the nation's stingiest run defense in their Southeastern Conference showdown this weekend. Harris ran for 206 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown runs against the Rebels. He has already scored 10 touchdowns on the ground in three games for the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Harris says Georgia has “an amazing defense, one of the best in the nation, and that motivates me more."

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Dan Mullen was given several more chances to clarify any confusion regarding his comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic. He declined each of them. He brushed aside criticism and insisted he’s focused on defending national champion LSU. He says he hasn't spoken to athletic director Scott Stricklin or school president Kent Fuchs. Mullen raised eyebrows Saturday by saying he wanted to “pack the Swamp” for the team's next game against defending national champion LSU. 

NASHVILLE— Vanderbilt's football game at Missouri on Saturday has been postponed because COVID-19 issues have left the Commodores without enough players. The Southeastern Conference announced the game has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12. It is the first SEC game rescheduled due to COVID-19-related problems and the 28th FBS game overall to be postponed or canceled since Aug. 26. The SEC started Sept. 26, a few weeks later than the rest of the FBS conferences that began play in September.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 18th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers have plenty of areas to work on after having their eight-game winning streak ended. The long list includes penalties, turnovers, the inability to run the ball or get enough pressure on the opposing quarterback. But changing quarterbacks is not on the list. Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt made clear Monday that Jarrett Guarantano remains the Vols’ quarterback even after a 44-21 loss at No. 3 Georgia because the senior gives them the best chance to win. Pruitt said Tennessee didn’t do a good job protecting Guarantano, play fast enough on the perimeter or communicate well enough. 

STARKVILLE, Miss. — K.J. Costello’s SEC-record passing game against LSU sure seems like a long time ago. The last two weeks Mississippi State’s offense has struggled unlike any Mike Leach unit in his 19 years as a head coach. The 24-2 loss to Kentucky on Saturday gave the Bulldogs a total of 16 points since they beat the defending national champion LSU 44-34 behind Costello’s 623 yards and five touchdowns. Before Saturday, Leach had never had an offense fail to produce points. All that stood between Leach and his first shutout loss in 232 career games was a safety that resulted from a botched punt snap.

BATON ROUGE — LSU is out of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since 2017 and is the first defending national champion to drop from the rankings in nine years. No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia held steady at the top of the rankings, setting up a top-three matchup Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts the Bulldogs. Clemson received 59 first-place votes. Alabama got two and Georgia one. Notre Dame moved up to No. 4 and North Carolina is No. 5.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Eli Drinkwitz arrived at Missouri with a reputation for being one of college football’s brightest offensive minds yet his first two games of his COVID-19-delayed tenure in Columbia were hardly impressive. But with freshman Connor Bazelak at quarterback, and despite missing three crucial wide receivers to COVID-19 protocols, the Tigers unleashed that offense in a 45-41 defeat of No. 17 LSU on Saturday.

  • Associated Categories: Sports
  • Associated Tags: Georgia football
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