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Never have the stakes been this big in the Iron Bowl. No.1 Alabama at No.4 Auburn….
If Auburn knocks off Alabama, the tigers will be heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game which is not one anyone predicted in August. Yes, we realize that there are countless other rivalry games this weekend, but none carry the weight of the Iron Bowl. Either way, if you are going to your team’s game or watching at home while eating leftovers, we have some Rivalry Week wardrobe suggestions for home or away!
Xs and Os,
The “Chance of rain, never!” saying in Baton Rouge may prove inaccurate this weekend for the TX A&M v LSU match-up. No fear, we have outfit ideas to keep you warm and dry while visiting Tiger Stadium. In addition to a rain coat and cute wellie rain boots, be sure to stash a poncho and extra garbage bag in your touchdown purse! Don’t forget a good attitude; if they guys are playing in the rain, the least you can do is cheer for them in the rain!
The book, Gridiron Belles, states that Arkansas may have a little bit of a comfortable casual side to their flare. And, Ole Miss, we know, is the reigning royalty of game day runway-ready outfits. Which is why Saturday’s (pre-game)match-up in the Grove is going to be the true battle of the day. I have a feeling both fan bases will be envious of the other– Razorback fans wishing for access to Rebel closets and Rebel belles wishing they were privy to even a smidge of the comfort Arkansas fans brought from Fayetteville.
Whichever your game day style, just enjoy the tailgate!
Xs and Os,
While the rest of us may be battling dropping temperatures, inclement weather and an over all struggle to stay warm and presentable for all of game day, the lucky Georgia and Florida fans are heading to the beach for a cocktail party.
If we can’t go with them, we’ll just put together some gridiron-beach-chic outfits for them to use while soaking up the sun and beverages at St. Simon’s before kick-off. After all, you can’t wear just anything to the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Xs and Os,
If you’re heading to COMO (“Columbia, MO” the nickname for the newest Columbia of the SEC) for the game this weekend, you’re going to need to bundle up. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to dress up.
Spurrier and his Gamecocks are making the cross-country trip to visit Coach Pinkle and his undefeated Tigers. Trust us, you don’t want to miss a play. And you certainly don’t want to be inappropriately dressed so use these outfits as some spirited guidelines.
Don’t forget to Tweet us your game day wardrobes wherever you’re watching the game.
Happy Game Day!
Xs and Os,
It’s still that in between weather when it’s not quite cold enough for big jackets, but it’s no longer warm enough for fancy shorts or dresses without layers. It’s hot while you tailgate, but near frigid as you watch the fourth quarter. Still not sure what you’re going to wear to tomorrow’s game? Here is what our new intern, Deanna, is suggesting you wear if you’re heading to the Alabama v Kentucky match-up. The weather is calling for 79 during the day and 57 when the sun goes down. Take some of these ideas and apply it to wherever you’ll be enjoying game day.
Xs and Os,
Bye-Week: Auburn, Mississippi State
(12) South Carolina vs. UCF
The Basics: This is our pick for a team who should be on upset alert this week. UCF already shocked Big Ten opponent Penn State in their own house, meaning they won’t roll over for South Carolina. The Knights are 3-0 on the season while the Gamecocks head to Orlando at 2-1. A win against South Carolina is exactly what UCF needs to become a Top 25 team and they’ll give it all they’ve got.
What to Watch For: South Carolina is coming off a bye-week. They should be refreshed and have hopefully fixed their early season problems. The Gamecocks will need to come out for the early morning game and play strong on offense and special teams the entire game. They’ve done a good job of pulling ahead but at the end, they’ve wound themselves in stressful, tight game situations. You can catch this game beginning at 12:00 PM ET on ABC.
South Alabama vs. Tennessee
The Basics: This is a MUST win for Tennessee. The Volunteers lost their previous two games to Top 20 teams and have three more ahead of them after this week. Not only is this game sandwiched between tough teams, but it is also the only remaining non-conference game on their schedule. A loss to South Alabama could leave the team out of a bowl game at the end of the season if they aren’t careful.
What to Watch For: This should be a game for Tennessee to temporarily bounce back for. They’ll once again have their hands full in the weeks to come but this should provide an opportunity for the team to take a little bit of a breathier. They won’t be to overlook South Alabama but should be able to put up good numbers against them. This game is scheduled to kickoff at 12:21 PM ET on SEC TV.
*(6) LSU vs. (9) Georgia
The Basics: This is our pick for SEC game of the week. It’s a Top 10 match-up featuring two quarterbacks who have had strong performance so far this season. LSU’s perfect record of 4-0 is on the line after while Georgia is looking to continue it’s rebound after picking up a week one loss. Both teams also have 1-0 records in conference play.
What to Watch For: Aaron Murray vs. Zach Mettenberger: the battle of two SEC quarterbacks trying to prove they deserve to be mentioned alongside AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel. Aaron Murray has already proved he’s a good quarterback, but still hasn’t gotten a signature win in his career. Zach Mettenberger struggled last year but now in a new offense, he’s really starting to shine. This will be a huge test for him and he’ll have to prove he’s up for the challenge of the Bulldog defense. Coverage of this game can be seen at 3:30 PM ET on CBS. The ESPN College GameDay crew will be in Athens, Georgia this week with show kickoff scheduled for 9:00 AM ET on ESPN.
(25) Ole Miss vs. (1) Alabama
The Basics: Undefeated records are on the line, but one will come away with their first loss of the season. Both teams are 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. A win for Alabama keeps them on top for BCS standings while a win for Ole Miss could bring on the first major upset of the year.
What to Watch For: What better way for Ole Miss to prove they are a true contender in the SEC West than beating No. 1 Alabama in their own house? It’s a likely possibility for the Rebels, who have climbed into the Top 25 rankings for the first time this year. Ole Miss will need Bo Wallace to step up and take chances against Alabama’s defense. The Crimson Tide’s offense will need to step it up again. They struggled early on last week against Colorado State but pulled it together in the second half. This game can be seen at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN.
(10) Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
The Basics: Both teams are searching for their first SEC win of the season. Texas A&M fell to 0-1 after the loss to Alabama while Arkansas has yet to play a conference game so far this year. This won’t be an easy win for either team as Arkansas has definitely improved since last season and Texas A&M has had some problems with players both on and off the field.
What to Watch For: This will be the first road test of the year for Texas A&M and going into Razorback Stadium won’t be a cakewalk. The Aggies are hoping they can bring their road game dominance from last year with them. The team has yet to lose a road game under the direction of Coach Kevin Sumlin. The Arkansas defense showed early signs strength but struggled to contain Rutgers at the end of the game last week. They will need to be able to contain Johnny Manziel and the offense for all four quarters or the Aggies could pull away in a hurry. Coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2.
(20) Florida vs. Kentucky
The Basics: Kentucky opens up conference play at home but it comes against No. 20 ranked Florida. The Gators are 2-1 on the season while the Wildcats sit at 1-2. Both teams have something to prove with this game. Florida needs to beat Kentucky handily while upsetting Florida would be a great win for Mark Stoops’ team.
What to Watch For: The Gators offense took a major hit last week with the loss of QB Jeff Driskel who suffered a broken ankle during the game but their defense has also recently taken a hit. Florida announced this week DT Dominique Easley will miss the rest of the season as well after tearing his ACL. Tyler Murphy took over last week and managed to get his team to the win. Even with the Gators taking hits on both sides of the ball, Kentucky will struggle against both sides as well. This game can be seen at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.
UAB vs. Vanderbilt
The Basics: Vanderbilt’s third non-conference game of the year couldn’t come at a better time. The Commodores have struggled this season with not being able to finish close game with a win. Their two losses have come to SEC opponents while their wins have been against non-conference teams that have only scored a combined 10-points.
What to Watch For: Vanderbilt will use this game to fix things, such as their speed of the offense & defense. They will need to use this game as a tune up with a rising Missouri team up next, followed by the likes of Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida. Coverage of this game begins at 7:30 PM ET on FSN.
Arkansas State vs. Missouri
The Basics: This is the final non-conference game on the schedule for Missouri. Following this week, the Tigers will begin SEC play and only have conference opponents left to face. Mizzou lost its final non-conference game of the season last year, which ultimately shut them out of bowl game contention.
What to Watch For: Senior quarterback James Franklin has really taken charge of the team. Despite throwing some early game interceptions last week against Indiana, he looked strong in both the passing and rushing aspects of the game. The team is starting to click on all cylinders so look for this game to be a tune up before SEC play begins. You can catch this game at 7:30 PM ET on CSS.
Weekly Match-Up Previews are written by Gridiron Belles intern, Ashley Colley. She’s awesome.
Sep 21, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie
Vanderbilt vs. Massachusetts
The Basics: Vanderbilt is 1-2 on the season with both losses coming from SEC opponents. The Commodores lone win came during week two against non-conference opponent Austin Peay. This will be their second non-conference game of the season. Massachusetts is 0-3 on the season.
What to Watch For: The Commodores have put up a fight against SEC teams but haven’t been able to finish the games, with losses to Ole Miss and South Carolina. The game against a struggling Massachusetts team is much needed as the team hopes to pick up some momentum this week and next week against another non-conference opponent between entering a tough conference stretch. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on ESPNews.
North Texas vs. (9) Georgia
The Basics: Georgia is 1-1 and is coming off a bye-week. The Bulldogs picked up their first loss of the season against non-conference opponent Clemson. This week’s game will be their second non-conference game of the year and comes against a 2-1 North Texas team.
What to Watch For: Even with a bye-week in between games, we can’t forget that Georgia is coming off a huge win against SEC East opponent South Carolina. It marked the first time in quarterback Aaron Murray’s career that the Bulldogs have beaten the Gamecocks. Look for the motivation of Murray and the momentum of the game to put up lots of points against North Texas. Murray needs one touchdown to reach 100 in his career. This game begins at 12:21 PM ET on SEC Network.
Arkansas vs. Rutgers
The Basics: Arkansas is 3-0 on the season under new head coach Bret Bielema. All three of the Razorbacks wins have come against non-conference opponents. This game against Rutgers will be the last non-conference game on the schedule for Arkansas.
What to Watch For: Starting the season off 4-0 would be a huge accomplishment for Arkansas and Coach Bielema. A win could definitely help relieve some of the pressure the Razorbacks will feel as they enter conference play. Look for the team to utilize running back Alex Collins, who just so happens to be the SEC’s current leading rusher. So far this season he’s rushed for 418 yards and two touchdowns. If the Razorbacks can put the ball in his hands, they will be picking up that fourth win in no time. You can see this game at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN.
*Tennessee vs. (17) Florida
The Basics: Florida is 1-1 and is coming off a bye-week while Tennessee is 2-1 and coming off of a big loss to No. 2 ranked Oregon. This is the first conference game for both teams and will effect who wins the SEC East.
What to Watch For: This is a rivalry that has fallen a little flat over the past few years with Florida winning the last eight. Both teams rely heavily on their running games with quarterbacks who are struggling to prove themselves in the league. This game will most likely be decided by who has the most rushing yards. Keep your eye on Florida’s Matt Jones and Mack Brown plus Tennessee’s Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal. Coverage of this game begins at 3:30 PM ET on CBS.
SMU vs. (10) Texas A&M
The Basics: Texas A&M is now 2-1 off coming off a loss against Alabama. This will be the Aggies third non-conference game of the season with their final one coming at the beginning of November. Southern Methodist comes into the game with a 1-1 record.
What to Watch For: Even though Texas A&M picked up a loss last week, fans shouldn’t be worried about it spiraling out of control. The Aggies are sure to rack up points and get to a win easily behind a very motivated Johnny Manziel. The team needs to use this game to work on avoiding turnovers, which ultimately cost them the game against Alabama. You can see this game at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.
Colorado State vs. (1) Alabama
The Basics: Alabama is 2-0 after coming out of College Station last week with a huge win. This will be the Crimson Tide’s second non-conference game of the season. Their opponent, the Colorado State Rams, currently have a 1-2 record.
What to Watch For: Nick Saban showed how much trust he has in his team and quarterback AJ McCarron last week against Texas A&M. The senior QB asked to call the plays when he needed to and it came out in Alabama’s favor. Last week proved that the offense’s struggles from week one were nothing to be worried about. The Crimson Tide shouldn’t have any problems scoring this week either. The game begins at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2.
Troy vs. Mississippi State
The Basics: Mississippi State is 1-2 after falling to Auburn last week. This will the third non-conference game of the season for the Bulldogs, who got off to a rough start in week one against Oklahoma State but beat Alcorn State in week two. Opponent Troy enters the game with a 2-1 record.
What to Watch For: A Mississippi State much needed win. 7:30 PM ET on FSN
*Auburn vs. (6) LSU
The Basics: Both Auburn and LSU enter the game with 3-0 records. Auburn is coming off a much needed conference win against Mississippi State under first year head coach Gus Malzahn. LSU on the other hand has yet to play a conference game. The outcome of this game will definitely have an impact on the SEC West.
What to Watch For: This is going to be a very interesting dual between two of the most underrated quarterbacks in the SEC. Nick Marshall is in his first year in the SEC and it is no secret he struggled in week one but he has made huge strides from then to now. The true test will come this week against LSU as Auburn travels to Death Valley, an atmosphere he will quickly learn is unlike any other. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is also changing his game and abilities with the help of the new offense under Cam Cameron. This game will be a good test to see just how much the new offense has helped Mettenberger grow. This game will air at 7:45 PM ET on ESPN.
Missouri vs. Indiana
The Basics: Missouri is 2-0 and is coming off a bye-week. This will be the Tigers third non-conference game of the season. Indiana is 2-1 on the season with the loss coming week two against Navy.
What to Watch For: This is going to be a game with high scores and little defense. Indiana is averaging 50 points per game while Missouri is averaging 48 points. Even though the defenses probably won’t get many stops, it will be about when and how they get them. Forcing turnovers and making sure you capitalize on them will be the key to winning this game. You can see this game at 8:00 PM ET on Big Ten Network.
Happy game day,
Bye-Week: (9) Georgia, (18) Florida, Missouri
(7) Louisville vs. Kentucky
The Basics: Another in-state non-conference rivalry game that is bound to cause problems for Kentucky.
What to Watch For: If you haven’t heard the name Teddy Bridgewater yet this season, you must be sleeping. The Louisville quarterback is getting a ton of national media attention is a said to be one of the frontrunners to win the Heisman this year. In the first two games, Bridgewater has thrown for 752 yards. Even if Kentucky finds a way to stop Bridgewater, Louisville’s offense has numerous other weapons.
It most likely going to get ugly in a hurry, especially with this rivalry. Kentucky fans are probably starting to wonder if basketball season is ever going to come. You can watch this game at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN.
Southern Miss vs. Arkansas
The Basics: It’s another non-conference opponent for Arkansas but that doesn’t mean you can slack off. The Razorbacks need to use the game to help fine tune the team and get them off to a 3-0 start. They need to use this week to come out strong and finish stronger as conference play draws closer.
What to Watch For: The Razorback’s running game has seemed to work so far. The team currently leads the SEC an average of more than 300 yards per game thanks to running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. If these two can put up points in a hurry, they could then rest their legs and get a breather before the start of SEC play. Coverage of this game begins at 12:21 PM ET on SEC Network.
*(1) Alabama vs. (6) Texas A&M
The Basics: This is not only the game of the week, but could very well be the game of the year. It’s highly likely the winner of this game could find themselves in the SEC championship game come December. Alabama wants revenge while Texas A&M just wants to stop all the talk that Johnny Manziel’s antics are providing distractions. If we had to pick one word to describe this upcoming game, it would be EPIC.
What to Watch For: Alabama’s offensive line is going to have to prove that their week one struggles were just that. They’ve only played one game so far this year but it wasn’t pretty for the Bama o-line against Virginia Tech. Texas A&M will need to do what they did last year which was capitalizing on hurry-up play and turnovers. They will need to attack Alabama hard and fast if they want to win two in a row against the Tide. The difference between this year and last year is that everyone expects Johnny Manziel to make big plays and beat Alabama yet again. You don’t want to miss this game. You can see it at 3:30 PM ET ON CBS but before that you can catch ESPN’s College GameDay Live from the Texas A&M campus beginning at 9:00 AM ET on ESPN.
Tennessee vs. (2) Oregon
The Basics: This one could get ugly in a hurry. Tennessee has put up 97 points against two struggling non-conference opponents. However, this non-conference opponent isn’t someone the Volunteers will be able to take advantage of. Oregon has scored 125 points and 17 touchdowns in the first two weeks.
What to Watch For: Time of possession will be key. Tennessee will need to hold onto the ball as much as they can if they want to try to stop Oregon. The Ducks can score in a hurry and if they don’t have the ball, that makes that job more difficult. The Volunteers will also need to force turnovers and make sure that they capitalize on them. Tennessee DT Maurice Couch will miss the game on Saturday due to heat exhaustion. That announcement came several hours after Yahoo! Reported five SEC players, including Couch, had reportedly received extra benefits as a player. Coincidence? You be the judge. This game will air at 3:30 PM ET on ABC.
Mississippi State vs. Auburn
The Basics: It’s a must win for both teams. That’s because this game could easily be the only win either team gets for the year in the dominating West division. Gus Malzahn’s team has started out the season 2-0 in some time tight games while Dan Mullen’s team is looking to keep on rebounding. This is really anyone’s game.
What to Watch For: Auburn is continuing to carry out its attack with heavy reliance on the running game. The Tigers are averaging close to 300 yards per game and running plays are getting called more than 70% of the time. Veteran quarterback Tyler Russell is expected to be back for Mississippi State as the starter. Russell and the offense struggled in week one before he had to leave the game due to a concussion. That injury forced Russell to miss week two. Dak Prescott did shine last week along with the offense. If Mississippi State struggles early, we could see Prescott come in. You can catch this game at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2.
Kent State vs. (8) LSU
The Basics: Most likely another blowout win for LSU. Good news for LSU fans but not likely to be an exciting and nail-biting game. This game won’t earn the Tigers much respect by beating Kent State, but it will earn them a win. Les Miles will gladly take a 3-0 start to the season.
What to Watch For: Zach Mettenberger is really starting to shine under the new offensive direction put in place by Cam Cameron. He’s finally living up to the hype that comes with being the starting quarterback for LSU. Even with these changes, a lot of people still seem to be underestimating the Tigers. This should be a dominating performance for LSU but look for Mettenberger to gain some more much needed confidence. You can see this game at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.
Vanderbilt vs. (13) South Carolina
The Basics: Could this be the week that James Franklin gets his first win at Vanderbilt against a ranked opponent? Maybe, but it won’t be easy especially with the Commodores on the road. Both teams are 0-1 in conference play. A South Carolina loss could seriously hurt their chances at winning the SEC East.
What to Watch For: Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t quiet lived up to all the off-season hype he’s received. All of South Carolina’s opponents know he’s out there and are using their game plans to eliminate his opportunities. Clowney says he wants to be used differently to avoid this. However, South Carolina could very easily play into the fact that it’s taking two guys to stop him and build their defense around it. The Gamecocks will need their defense to step up if they want to shut down the Vanderbilt offense’s passing game and the arm of Austyn Carta-Samuels. You can watch this game 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.
(25) Ole Miss vs. Texas
The Basics: It’s a road game for Ole Miss and it will come in a tough atmosphere. Texas has seen some early season struggles but are looking to rebound by upsetting a Top 25 team. Hugh Freeze has turned the program around but is still searching for a big signature win to add to his resume. A win against Texas could do just that for him and quarterback Bo Wallace.
What to Watch For: The Longhorns will be most likely be without two key players: Starting quarterback David Ash is not expected to play after dealing with injuries to his head and shoulder, running back/wide receiver Daje Johnson has a left ankle injury. If that’s not enough, Texas is also dealing with coaching changes just two weeks into the season. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was let go following the 40-21loss last Saturday. Revamping the defense is a week won’t be an easy task but it could cause some problems for Ole Miss who might not expect some of the changes coming their way. However, the Rebels are averaging close to 240 yards per game. Look for them to attack early, especially against the struggling Longhorn defense. This game can be seen at 8:00 PM ET on Longhorn Network
Weekly Previews are written by Ashley Colley, a true Gridiron Belle
Sep 6, 2013 CATEGORIES: Uncategorized
In a football game, the red zone is the area on the field between the 20-yard line and the goal line. This part of the field is not painted red but is sometimes emphasized with a bold field line at the 20-yard line. On TV, the Red Zone is usually marked in red with a special graphic. If a team finds themselves in the red zone, they are projected to have a higher chance of scoring, or at least they better… if they want to win.
“The DAWGS will have to score every time they are in the red zone if they want a chance to beat South Carolina.”