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  • Outfit of the Week

    Nov 22, 2015 CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


  • Game Time Week VIII

    Oct 16, 2014 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Tailgating, Uncategorized

    These Aggie Belles Are Ready for Tuscaloosa!

    If you ever imagined that the SEC would have half of the top ten teams for Week 8, you’re a pretty realistic fan.  If you had any suspicion that the number 1 team in the country would be a team that for so long went unnoticed, unappreciated and unsupported by almost everyone outside of Starkville…. Well, you should be applying for an analyst position at ESPN. 

    Here at Gridiron Belles we couldn’t be happier for Coach Mullen (and his Gridiron Belle of a wife, Meg) for all that the Bulldogs have built and accomplished. We are also extremely impressed by Ole Miss and their ability to translate their unmatched tailgating skills into unparalleled gridiron skills.  Wow, what a season for the state of Mississippi.  We’ve never been more eager for the Egg Bowl.

    As the battle for the top continues down in the Delta, the battle for the middle is still exciting and should not go unwatched. After all, this is just Week 8 and there is a lot of football left to be played!

    Here is your weekend schedule of sure to be thrilling match ups.  (Yes, even unranked match ups can be fun).   We are banking on The Ole Ball Coach to take his dropped ranking status out on Furman so you have until 3:30 before you need to glue yourself to the flat screen.   And glue you should, BAMA should have the Aggies in the bag, but the 12th Man is hard to stop; historically speaking, LSU beats Kentucky but there is something in the Bluegrass water that is making us think an upset is brewing for Baton Rouge.


    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    12:00pm            Furman @ South Carolina

    3:30pm            Texas A&M (No.21) @ Alabama (No. 7)

    4:00pm            Georgia (No. 10) @ Arkansas

     7:00pm            Tennessee @ Ole Miss

                                  Missouri @ Florida

    7:30pm            Kentucky @ LSU


    Bye weeks


    MS. State


  • Game Time Week VI

    Oct 3, 2014 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Uncategorized

    If you have yet to dedicate a full Saturday to football, consider this weekend the best time to start.  With multiple Top 25 match-ups just in the SEC alone, Saturday’s gridiron line up is going to be exploding with excitement all day long.  Postpone your errands… and pretty much your life… these aren’t quite the playoffs, but it’s an SEC match day made in heaven!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


    12:00pm               Texas A&M (No.6) @Mississippi State (No.12)

                                    Florida @ Tennessee

    3:30pm                 Alabama (No.3) @ Ole Miss (No.11)

    4:00pm                 Vanderbilt @ Georgia (No.13)

    7:00pm                 LSU (No. 15) @ Auburn (No.5)

    7:30pm                 South Carolina @Kentucky

  • Game Time Week IV

    Sep 16, 2014 CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

    Alright Belles, it’s time for week four of SEC match-ups. We know last weekend was tough to stomach but that’s the beauty of the conference!   Your game day starts early this week so plan accordingly.  Don’t forget to send in your tailgate photos!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


    Thursday, September 18

    7:30pm            Auburn (No.5) @ Kansas State (No. 20)


    Saturday, September 20

    12:00pm            Troy @ Georgia (No. 13)

    3:30pm            Florida @ Alabama (No. 3)

                              Texas A&M (No. 6) @ SMU 

    4:00pm            Indiana @ Missouri (No. 18)

    7:00pm            Mississippi State @ LSU (No. 8)

                               Northern Illinois @ Arkansas

    7:30pm            South Carolina (No. 14) @ Vanderbilt


    Aug 15, 2014 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating, Uncategorized

     QB CRAM

    It’s time.  You aren’t even sad to say farewell to summer. You know kickoff is less than two weeks away (13 days to be exact) and you’ve got nothing but your team’s colors on your mind. And well, probably on your body.  (I’m currently in a navy dress with orange sandals…)  

    Not our photo, but we’re ready for the line of scrimmage!

    Since Gridiron Belles prefer brains (knowing about your team and conference) AND beauty (looking classy on game day), we’ve given you the ol’ QB Cram below. 

    Here are the basics about each team in the SEC: current coaches, potential starting QBs, season opener times and SEC openers. We’ll keep prepping you as the season unfolds, for now, dive in, study up and clear your schedule for August 30! (QBs and game time subject to change).

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Mizzou made a quick adjustment into the SEC. Ready to see them succeed again!


    Coach: Nick Saban

    QB: Jake Coker (JR)

    Season Opener: Saturday, August 30, West Virginia in Atlanta

    SEC Opener: Saturday, September 20, Florida


    Coach: Bret Bielema

    QB: Brandon Allen (JR)

    Season Opener: @ Auburn

    Date: Saturday, August 30, 4:00pm


    Coach: Gus Malzahn

    QB: Nick Marshall (SR)

    Season Opener: Arkansas

    Date: Saturday, August 30, 4pm


    Coach: Will Muschamp

    QB: Jeff Driskel (RJR)

    Season Opener: Idaho

    Date: Saturday, August 30, 7:00pm

    SEC Opener: Kentucky

    Date: September 13, 7:30pm


    Coach: Mark Richt

    QB: Hutson Mason (SR)

    Season Opener: Clemson

    Date: Saturday, August 30 5:30pm

    SEC Opener: South Carolina

    Date: September 13, 3:30pm


    Coach: Mark Stoops

    QB: Patrick Towels (SO) or Drew Barker (FR)

    Season Opener: UT Martin

    Date: Saturday, August 30 12:00 pm

    SEC Opener: @ Florida

    Date: September 13


    Coach: Les Miles

    QB: Anthony Jennings (SO) or Brandon Harris (True Freshman)

    Season Opener: Wisconsin

    Date: Saturday, August 30, 9:00pm

    SEC Opener: Mississippi State

    Date: September 20


    Coach: Hugh Freeze

    QB: Bo Wallace (SR)

    Season Opener: Boise State

    Date: Satruday, August 30, 8:00pm

    SEC Opener: @Vanderbilt

    Date: September 6, 4:30pm

    Mississippi State

    Coach: Dan Mullen

    QB: Dak Prescott (JR)

    Season Opener: Southern Miss

    Date: Satruday, August 30, 7:30pm

    SEC Opener: @ LSU

    Date: September 20


    Coach: Gary Pinkle

    QB: Maty Mauk (Jr.)

    Season Opener: South Dakota State

    Date: Saturday, August 30

    SEC Opener: @South Carolina

    Date: September 27

    South Carolina

    Coach: Steve Spurrier

    QB: Dylan Thompson (5th year senior)

    Season Opener: TX A&M

    Date: Thursday, August 28, 6:00pm


    Coach: Butch Jones

    QB: Justin Worley (SR)

    Season Opener: Utah State

    Date: Sunday, August 31, 7:00pm

    SEC Opener: @Georgia

    Date: September 27

    Texas A&M

    Coach: Kevin Sumlin

    QB: Kyle Allen (FR) or Kenny Hill (SO)

    Season Opener: @South Carolina

    Date: Thursday, August 28, 6:00pm


    Coach: Derek Mason

    QB: Stephen Rivers (SR) or Johnny McCrary (FR)

    Season Opener: Temple

    Date: Thursday, August 28, 9:15pm

    SEC Opener: Ole Miss

    Date: September 6, 4:30pm

  • The BIG Game

    Jan 30, 2014 CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

    Generally speaking, Gridiron Belles like to plan. Plan their outfits, their dates and their recipes.  While we can’t exactly help you with your date for watching the BIG game on Sunday, we can help you look good and bring an award-worthy gameday snack.   

    Today, we are focusing on your wardrobe.  It’s the game of all games for the season, look your best!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Good thing neon is a popular trend right now… When you’re the 12 man (or woman) you better be dressed for it!


    Bundle up! The polar vortex isn’t stopping for anyone… not even Big Brother Peyton.


    If you can’t bring yourself to cheer for an NFL team, throw on some Tennessee orange and support Mr. Manning for being quite the SEC star! Good, ol’ Rocky Top…

  • Week 5 Preview

    Sep 27, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Tailgating, Uncategorized

    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. 

  • Week 3 Preview

    Sep 14, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Uncategorized

    Week 3 has arrived with no lack of excitement or anticipation.  A full day of gridiron battles are lined up for Saturday, September 14, and here is what you need to watch for!

    Happy game day,

    Christie Leigh

    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

  • Gridiron Translations

    Sep 6, 2013 CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

    Red Zone

    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.”

  • Week 2 Preview

    Sep 6, 2013 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Southern Tailgating, Uncategorized

    Goooo DAWGS! Sic’em!

    Happy Football Friday!

    Here is what to look for this weekend on the Gridiron…Study up… kick-off is just around the corner!

    Bye-Week: (1) Alabama

    (12) Florida vs. Miami (FL)

    The Basics: Week two of SEC action kicks off with a non-conference rivalry game that should be a nail bitter. The two teams will meet on the field for the first time since 2008 when the Gators grabbed a 26-3 win. However, Miami holds a 28-26 series lead. The good news is the Gators will get back suspended players–– linebacker Antonio Morrison, cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and defensive tackle Darious Cummings. Running back Matt Jones is also expected to return after being sidelined due to illness.

    What to Watch For: Florida’s defense dominated the first game of the season and won’t have time to relax this week. Stopping Miami’s running game will be key to picking up the win, especially when it comes to containing running back Duke Johnson. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN.

    Miami (Ohio) vs. Kentucky

    The Basics: Kentucky is hoping week two can prove to be more successful than week one. The Wildcats fell short against in-state rival Western Kentucky and will look to obtain the first win of the season against Miami (Ohio). The two will meet for the first time since 2009 when Kentucky grabbed a 42-0 win.

    What to Watch For: Kentucky has named sophomore quarterback Max Smith as the starter for this week’s game. Smith replaced sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow in the fourth quarter of last week’s game and proved he was able to produce. Smith will need to help the offense come out strong so the Wildcats don’t find themselves having to play catch-up for the second week in a row. Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on FSN.

    Western Kentucky vs. Tennessee

    The Basics: Tennessee had a dominating performance last week after shutting out Austin Peay in Butch Jones’ debut, but don’t think this week’s non-conference opponent isn’t going to put up a fight. Western Kentucky knows what it takes to compete against SEC teams with former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino now in charge. This will only be the second meeting between the two schools. The teams first met in 2009 when Tennessee grabbed a 63-7 win.

    What to Watch For: A pair of running backs will most likely be the key for both teams in this game. Tennessee will be depending on Rajion Neals’ versatility to help them outscore Western Kentucky. They will need him to keep producing after rushing for 141 yards and one touchdown in week one. On-the-other hand, the Volunteers will need to stop Western Kentucky’s running back Antonio Andrews who scored one touchdown and rushed for 99 yards in week one against Kentucky. Last season he rushed for 1,684 yards and scored 14 TDs. You can watch the game starting at 12:21 PM ET on SEC Network.

    Alcorn State vs. Mississippi State

    The Basics: Mississippi State’s season is off to a rough start and the hits keep on coming. The Bulldogs will be without starting quarterback Tyler Russell, who suffered a concussion during the week game vs. Oklahoma State. They will also be without experienced defensive back Jay Hughes, who is out the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Mississippi State has been bitten by the injury bug but will need to prove they can overcome it against Alcorn State.

    What to Watch For: The Bulldog offense struggled last week and will need to show that is was just a fluke. New quarterback Dak Prescott will get his first career start in place of injured Russell, but Prescott’s lack of experience could present some problems. Watch for him to rely on his own run game to help his team get going though. Mississippi State really needs to pick up the win or they could start the season 0-3 with next week’s Auburn game looming in the distance. You can see this game at 3:30 PM ET on CSS.

    Toledo vs. Missouri

    The Basics: Some might call it the Gary Pinkel Bowl. That’s because the Missouri coach got his heading coaching career started in 1991 in Toledo; this week’s opponent for the Tigers. Pinkel spent 10 years in Toledo after taking over for current Alabama head coach Nick Saban who left to pursue a career as a coach in the NFL. This is the first time the two teams will face-off on the field.

    What to Watch For: Missouri’s offense showed some positive signs of growth after putting up some serious numbers in week one to lead the SEC in rushing, passing, total offense and scoring. Mizzou’s defense got off to a slow start but stopped the opponent from scoring in the second, third or fourth quarters. The Tigers will need both aspects of their game to come out strong. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU.

    *(6) South Carolina vs. (11) Georgia

    The Basics: This is our pick for SEC Game of the Week. That’s because this game could potentially be one of the most important games in the SEC this year. This match-up and blooming rivalry could have great impact on the SEC East standings and could determine who heads to the SEC Championship game in December. South Carolina has won the last three meetings between the two schools but Georgia has been crowned the SEC East champions the past two seasons.

    What to Watch For: South Carolina picked up a dominating win against non-conference rival North Carolina while Georgia fell short against Clemson. The Bulldogs are still seeking win number one of the season. Georgia’s offense will need to do a better job of protecting quarterback Aaron Murray who was sacked four times last week, especially from a defense lined with the likes of Jadeveon Clowney. Look for both teams to turn to their running game and use it to eat up the time of possession. Coverage begins at 4:30 PM ET on ESPN.

    UAB vs. (9) LSU

    The Basics: This is one of those games where the SEC is bound to pick up a win in dominating fashion against a non-conference opponent. LSU is already a 34-point favorite to win against UAB, who finished 2012 with a 3-9 record.

    What to Watch For: The LSU offense is under new direction and started off with a strong start against a good TCU defense. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger gave a solid performance to start the year off, throwing for 251 yards and one touchdown. Mettenberger also had help from his running backs Alfred Blue, Kenny Hill and Terrence Magee. There is still no word on if LSU running back Jeremy Hill, who was suspended during the offseason for his arrest for simple battery, will play this week or not. You can watch this game starting at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU.

    Sam Houston State vs. (7) Texas A&M

    The Basics: If I had to predict one game that could be an upset, I’d pick this one. FCS teams put up a fight in week one and with all the controversy still swirling around College Station, this game has a perfect setup for an upset. Linebacker Steven Jenkins, defensive end Gavin Stansbury and cornerback De’Vante Harris were all suspended prior to the start of last week’s game and will remain benched this week. Cornerback Deshazor Everett will have to sit out the first half of the game for the second week in the row. Last week Everett was serving a suspension put in place by Coach Sumlin but he will now miss the start after being ejected due to the targeting penalty.

    What to Watch For: Johnny Manziel will need to keep himself in check both on and off the field, especially with a depleted defense. The Sam Houston State offense is coming off a season where they were second in scoring in the FCS and put up 74 points in their season opener this year. Many teams have overlooked FCS teams in the past and have found themselves on the losing end (ask Kansas State). This game can be seen starting at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    Samford vs. Arkansas

    The Basics: Winning at home is key, especially for Coach Bret Bielema. He currently holds a 48-5 record for career home games and is looking to keep the win total growing at Arkansas. The game will be played at War Memorial Stadium this week, the secondary home stadium for the Razorbacks. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

    What to Watch For: Samford will be coming into this week’s game with high hopes. Last week, they picked up a win over FBS program Georgia State, 31-21. The Bulldogs will try to pick up another road win and prove that the FCS can compete with the big ole SEC. If Arkansas can come out strong and shut down Samford’s offense like they did against Louisiana Lafayette last week, they’ll find themselves off to a better start than last year. Game coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    SE Missouri State vs. Ole Miss

    The Basics: Ole Miss is coming off a dramatic win to open up the season and conference play. It proved that the Rebels are really here to play and come back and win when they need to. This week is going to be a little less nerve-racking for Ole Miss fans but should still be exciting with the possibility of lots of scoring. SEMO has an all-time record vs. SEC opponents of 0-4 and has been outscored by them 147-10.

    What to Watch For: Ole Miss fans haven’t forgotten about the gut wrenching loss to Jacksonville State from 2010. Even though SEMO is another FCS team, I don’t think Rebel fans will have to worry about reliving that nightmare this week. I expect Ole Miss to come out strong in the beginning. This is important because if they are able to do this, that could give some significant rest time to key starters including quarterback Bo Wallace. You can see this match-up beginning at 7:00 PM ET on PPV.

    Arkansas State vs. Auburn

    The Basics: Emotions are bound to be running high as new head coach Gus Malzahn and his new team faces-off against his former Arkansas State team. The good news and the bad news is, Malzahn knows exactly the kind of talent he left behind. Auburn is going to have to work for the win and it’s not going to be an easy task. Tiger fans could be in for another nail bitter of a game.

    What to Watch For: Nick Marshall’s SEC debut was less than ideal. He and the Auburn offense’s passing game struggled but a trio of receivers helped them get the job done. Watch for Auburn to rely on the likes of Corey Grant and Tre Mason throughout the game, especially if Marshall struggles early on. The Auburn defense is also going to have a tough job of stopping the Arkansas State running game including David Oku. Oku rushed for 1,061 yards and 16 touchdowns while the Arkansas State program was under the command of Malzahn. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM ET on FSN.

    Austin Peay vs. Vanderbilt

    The Basics: Vanderbilt almost had the first win of the year in the bag, but let it all slip away. Look for the Commodores to come out looking for blood even if it is against Austin Peay, a team who got shut out against Tennessee. The game could get ugly in a hurry for Governors but Vanderbilt fans should be able to breathe a sigh of relief as this game should be breeze.

    What to Watch For: James Franklin does not like to lose. Falling to a team like Ole Miss last week is a respectable loss in the eyes of most of the college football world but it’s a different story if they pick up a loss to Austin Peay. James Franklin will do everything he can to make they win. The best way he can do that is by using Jordan Matthews. It’s likely he will only see the first part of the game but if he can come out strong, Commodore fans will be happy. You can watch this game at 7:30 PM ET on CSS.

    Week 2 Preview written by Ashley Colley

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