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Florida-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan State highlight weekend

By JOHN ZENOROctober 3, 2019
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Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, left, talks with Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) following their NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, left, talks with Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) following their NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Florida and Auburn get to claim the spotlight in their respective Southeastern Conference divisions for a change while Ohio State faces one of its potential challengers in the Big Ten East.

The seventh-ranked Tigers visit No. 10 Florida in the teams’ first meeting since 2011 and the lone t op-10 matchup of the weekend. The fourth-ranked Buckeyes, who have won their first five games by an average of 43.8 points, host No. 25 Michigan State. Both teams have won their first two Big Ten games.

The top two teams _ newly minted No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson _ get the weekend off. SEC East front-runner No. 3 Georgia visits 25-point underdog Tennessee.

Florida is trying to ultimately dethrone Georgia in the East while Auburn, Alabama and LSU are also potential playoff contenders in the West.

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 7 Auburn at No. 10 Florida

These teams once had a pretty good rivalry going but they haven’t faced each other since 2011.

It’s not must-win for either to contend for a spot in the SEC championship game, but there’s little margin for error along the way. That’s especially true for the Tigers, who have to face three more t op-10 opponents after this one.

Auburn has already beaten two ranked teams while the Gators haven’t played one but visit No. 5 LSU next week.

The quarterback matchup pits Auburn freshman Bo Nix against Feleipe Franks’ replacement Kyle Trask. Nix’s father, Patrick, was the Auburn quarterback who threw the game-winning touchdown pass to beat No. 1 Florida in 1994.

HEISMAN WATCH

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts has been putting up big numbers and now faces a beleaguered Kansas defense.

Hurts is the nation’s third-rated passer and also leads all quarterbacks in rushing while guiding the top offense in FBS. He’ll face a Kansas defense that ranks last in the Big 12 in scoring defense and ninth in total defense. Les Miles’ Jayhawks are coming off a 51-14 loss to TCU.

Hurts passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns in less than three quarters against Texas Tech. He also ran for 70 yards and a score.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

0 _ Georgia and Iowa are the only FBS teams that have allowed zero touchdown runs this season. Every FBS team has allowed at least one touchdown pass.

21 _ Oklahoma has won 21 consecutive true road games, the longest current active streak. A win over Kansas would break a tie with Alabama’s streak from 1970-75 for the second-longest streak since the AP poll started in 1936. Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners won 25 in a row on the road from 1953-58.

95.5_ Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan completed 21 of 22 passes for 396 yards against Purdue. The completion percentage of 95.5 was the best single-game mark in Big Ten history with 13-plus passing attempts.

23-23-2 _ That’s the record in the Georgia-Tennessee series heading into Saturday’s game.

299 _ Auburn has made 299 straight extra-point attempts dating back to 2013. That’s three away from the FBS record set by Florida State from 2012-16.

UNDER THE RADAR

Tulane (3-1) got more than a week off to savor its crazy come-from-behind- victory against Houston, and now the Green Wave visits Army (3-1) in what figures to be challenging nonconference game.

Both teams play option football, and have coaches who have done stints at Georgia Southern, where the triple-option is gospel. But they do it in different ways. Under Coach Jeff Monken, Army is old school. The Cadets rarely throw. Under coach Willie Fritz, Tulane mixes in a lot more passes and likes to take shots down field with quarterback Justin McMillan.

HOT SEAT WATCH

Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee. The Volunteers’ fortunes haven’t gotten much better since a stunning opening loss to Georgia State. Tennessee is coming off a 34-3 loss to Florida before an open date and now hosts a high-powered Georgia team. The Vols have lost five straight against FBS opponents and are off to their first 1-3 start since 2008.

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