Inside the SEC 09.06.14

Three to watch

East Carolina at No. 21 South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Gamecocks’ defense was pretty lousy in a season-opening defeat against Texas A&M. East Carolina comes to Columbia with another standout quarterback in Shane Carden, who threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns against N.C. Central last week.

Florida Atlantic at No. 2 Alabama, noon (SEC Network)

The most interesting aspect of this game might be the Crimson Tide quarterback situation. Coach Nick Saban says Blake Sims will start again, but Jake Coker figures to get more playing time than he did last week against West Virginia.

No. 15 Mississippi at Vanderbilt, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

It took a while for Ole Miss to get untracked in a season-opening victory against Boise State. Vanderbilt never did while losing 37-7 to Temple in coach Terry Mason’s debut.


• Not a day of scintillating matchups in the SEC. The South Carolina-East Carolina game carries the most interest, at least from a regional perspective. But it’s kind of hard to get excited about games like San Jose State at Auburn, Arkansas State at Tennessee and Eastern Michigan at Florida.

• Florida’s game last week against Idaho, which was called off due to heavy rains in Gainesville, Fla., won’t be rescheduled. That makes sense, although the teams had a common open date in October. But it’s right in the middle of conference season and both wanted to keep their bye. The Vandals got to keep the $900,000 Florida paid them to come to Gainesville, though.

• Sam Houston State – Louisiana State’s opponent – is ranked 13th in the Football Championship Subdivision and has averaged 613.5 yards in total offense in its first two games.

• Missouri coach Gary Pinkel goes against the team he used to coach – the Toledo Rockets in the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio. The Rockets played the Tigers tough last season in Columbia, Mo., losing 38-23.

Number to know

2 Interceptions last week by Kentucky against Tennessee-Martin, one fewer than the Wildcats had all last season.