5 things to watch during week 3 of SEC football; No. 1 Alabama s - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

5 things to watch during week 3 of SEC football; No. 1 Alabama set for showdown with No. 6 Texas A&M

Posted: Updated:
No. 1 Alabama will look to avenge its lone loss in 2012 to Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel on Saturday in College Station. (abc3340.com) No. 1 Alabama will look to avenge its lone loss in 2012 to Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel on Saturday in College Station. (abc3340.com)

Here are five things to watch in the Southeastern Conference during Week 3 of games:

GAME OF THE WEEK:

No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M. The meeting between the two SEC Western Division powers has been anticipated for almost a year after Texas A&M upset Alabama 29-24 last season in Tuscaloosa. Though there's been plenty of scrutiny on the matchup, there hasn't been a lot of trash talk. Alabama's players say revenge hasn't been a topic — just winning. Said Alabama coach Nick Saban, "People who get emotional sometimes don't make the best decisions."

BEST MATCHUP:

No. 25 Mississippi offense vs. Texas defense: Texas plays its first game since giving up 550 yards rushing in a 40-21 loss to BYU, a performance that resulted in the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Greg Robinson replaced Diaz and faces a Mississippi rushing attack that averages 5.5 yards per carry. "It certainly is an uncomfortable feeling," Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze said. "We already had a shell of a game plan together based on what they had done last year and early this year. Is it still a good plan? I don't know."

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

This marks the first time in school history that Arkansas has opened the season with two 100-yard rushers (Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins) in consecutive games. No. 2 Oregon and No. 20 Wisconsin are the only other Football Bowl Subdivision teams to have multiple 100-yard rushers in their first two games. Collins, the SEC rushing leader with 151.5 yards per game, is the first freshman in school history to start his career with two 100-yard performances.

LONGSHOT:

No. 13 South Carolina can't afford to spend the week brooding over its 41-30 loss to Georgia. The Gamecocks are favored by 13 ½ points over the Commodores, but they struggled to win 17-13 at Vanderbilt last year. South Carolina's players say they won't let the loss to Georgia affect their focus. "Everyone's angry, and we want to take it out on someone else," South Carolina tailback Mike Davis said.

IMPACT PLAYER:

It has to be Johnny Football. Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy winner has been surrounded by nearly constant off-the-field controversy for the past few months, but the sophomore continues to put up big numbers when he's playing. Johnny Manziel threw for 253 yards and rushed for 92 more in last year's win over the Tide, and there's little doubt a similar performance will be needed on Saturday.

___

AP Sports Writers David Brandt in Jackson, Miss., and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tenn., contributed to this report

Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:31:24 GMT
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
  • Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:38:44 GMT
    The surf was churning in Southern California, and even bigger waves were brewing.More >>
    Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot...More >>
  • Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:18:05 GMT
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
  • Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:13:22 GMT
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
  • Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:46:55 GMT
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
  • East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:06:31 GMT
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
  • What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:01:25 GMT
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.More >>
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.
    More >>
  • Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:52:18 GMT
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.More >>
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.
    More >>