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Published on NewsOK Modified: September 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm •  Published: September 12, 2014
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WYOMING (2-0) at No. 2 OREGON (2-0), 2 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Line: Oregon by 43.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

With a victory over Michigan State last weekend, Oregon moved up a spot in the rankings to No. 2 and became an early season favorite for a spot in college football's new playoff. The Ducks have scored 14 touchdowns and are averaging 582 yards a game. Wyoming is coming off the 300th win in program history, a come-from-behind 17-13 over Air Force last weekend.

KEY MATCHUP

Wyoming's offense against Oregon's defense. Given that even Michigan State's stout defense couldn't hold back Ducks' high-flying offense for very long last Saturday, perhaps the Cowboys' best tactic is to ride the arm of poised senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard, who threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday against Air Force, including the game-winning TD with 58 seconds left.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wyoming: LB Jordan Stanton was named the Mountain West defensive player of the week after 13 tackles, nine solo, and a sack. Air Force was leading the game 10-7 and decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 when Stanton hit fullback Broam Hart, knocking the ball loose for a fumble that was recovered by Wyoming. The Cowboys capped the series with a field goal to tie the game.

Oregon: QB Marcus Mariota has thrown for six touchdowns and run for another this season. He now holds the Oregon record with 69 passing TDs. The junior also eclipsed the Oregon career record for total offense and now has 8,479 yards, passing Bill Musgrave with 8,140.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Cowboys and Nevada are the only undefeated teams left in the Mountain West Conference. ... Wyoming senior WR Dominic Rufran caught six passes for 119 yards against Air Force. ... Wyoming has three penalties for 19 yards this season to lead the nation. ... Mariota needs 73 passing yards to reach 7,000 for his career. ... Wyoming is the only team in the current Mountain West Conference that Oregon has never faced.

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SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (1-1) at No. 3 ALABAMA (2-0), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Alabama by 48.

Series Record: Alabama leads 33-6-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

It's Alabama's final tuneup before entering Southeastern Conference play. The biggest question remaining is who will emerge as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback, Blake Sims or Jake Coker?

KEY MATCHUP

Coker vs. Sims. It might be the nation's most-watched lingering position battle, and with Florida visiting on Sept. 20 this figures to be the final tryout for the No. 1 spot. Both passed for 200-plus yards against Florida Atlantic, a first in the program's history.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Southern Miss: RB Ito Smith has rushed for 161 yards and also returns kicks. If he can't find some running room against a defense allowing just 1.8 yards per carry, Southern Miss and QB Nick Mullens could have a hard time finding opportunities.

Alabama: WR Amari Cooper leads the nation with 25 catches for 319 yards. That's more completions to Cooper than 14 FBS teams that have also played two games have produced. He's only 15 yards shy of Ozzie Newsome (2,070 yards) for No. 3 on Alabama's career receiving chart.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first meeting for these two teams since the Tide's 30-21 victory in 2005. Alabama holds an 18-2-1 record in Tuscaloosa in a series that was played each season from 1992-2005. ... This is the highest ranked team Southern Miss has faced since a 21-6 loss to No. 2 Florida in the 1997 opener. The Golden Eagles haven't faced a Top 25 team since losing 56-13 at Nebraska on Sept. 7, 2013. ... Southern Miss just snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 26-20 win over FCS Alcorn State. ... The Tide has three sacks in each of its first two games after averaging 1.7 last season.

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TENNESSEE (2-0) at No. 4 OKLAHOMA (2-0), 8 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Oklahoma by 20½.

Series Record: Tied 1-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Sooners need a convincing win to help strengthen the Big 12's case against the Southeastern Conference when it comes time for the playoff conversation. Oklahoma's pride is on the line, too, since coach Bob Stoops has been vocal in saying the SEC isn't so much better than everyone else. Tennessee has a golden opportunity to return to past glory in Butch Jones' second year.

KEY MATCHUP

Jalen Hurd vs. Oklahoma front seven. Hurd, Tennessee's 6-foot-3, 227-pound freshman running back, is a bruiser. He ran for 83 yards and a touchdown last week against Arkansas State. He could take pressure off QB Justin Worley. Oklahoma has allowed 148 yards rushing in its first two games combined.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tennessee: Worley. The 6-4, 220-pound senior has completed 65 percent of his passes for 520 yards in his first two games with five touchdowns and one interception. If he can stay on his feet, he's capable of doing damage.

Oklahoma: WR Sterling Shepard. The junior caught eight passes for 177 yards and a touchdown last week against Tulsa. QB Trevor Knight trusts Shepard enough to sometimes throw the ball up and allow his star to make a play.

FACTS & FIGURES

Oklahoma has won six straight games dating back to last season. ... Oklahoma is 37-2 against non-conference teams at home under Stoops. ... In the last meeting between the teams, Oklahoma beat Tennessee 26-24 in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1968. ... Oklahoma CB Zack Sanchez has four interceptions in his past five games. ... Tennessee opponents have converted just seven of their 31 third-down situations through the first two weeks of the season. ... Tennessee's last road win over a ranked opponent came against No. 10 Georgia on Oct. 7, 2006.

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No. 6 GEORGIA (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at No. 24 SOUTH CAROLINA (1-1, 0-1), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Line: Georgia by 5 1-2.

Series Record: Georgia leads 47-17-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

This is a game for early control of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. The Gamecocks were the consensus pick to take the East during the summer until their opening-game, 52-28 embarrassment against Texas A&M. Georgia took on front-runner status with its decisive, 45-21 victory over Clemson opening week.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia RB Todd Gurley against South Carolina's defensive line. Gurley put up 198 yards rushing and three touchdowns (he had a fourth on a kickoff return) against an experienced Clemson defensive front that included All-American Vic Beasley. South Carolina's group includes four sophomores and senior tackle J.T. Surratt.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Georgia: QB Hutson Mason wisely handed things off to Gurley and Georgia's other backs to put away Clemson. If the Bulldogs can't get the running game going, it may be up to Mason to move them with his arm. He was an efficient 18 of 26 for 131 yards.

South Carolina.: RB Mike Davis looked like his speedy, powerful self in rushing for 101 yards and two touchdeowns to beat East Carolina. Fun fact: Davis outrushed Gurley in this matchup last year, 149 yards to 132.

FACTS & FIGURES

Steve Spurrier won his 200th game as a Southeastern Conference coach last week and can tie former Georgia coach Vince Dooley for second behind Bear Bryant with a victory over the Bulldogs. ... Georgia has struggled scoring points at Williams-Brice Stadium, averaging just over 11 its past seven trips here. The offensive drought hasn't hurt the Bulldogs, though, who've got a 4-3 mark at South Carolina since 2000. ... The Gamecocks have won 19 of their past 20 games at home, the lone loss coming two weeks ago against Texas A&M. ... Since 1992, Georgia has opened SEC play against South Carolina each season but one. ... While Georgia and South Carolina have generally battled for the top of the SEC East in recent years, the winner of this game the past three years has not reached the SEC title game.

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RICE (0-1) at No. 7 TEXAS A&M (2-0), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Texas A&M by 32.

Series Record: Texas A&M leads 51-27-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Aggies have had two lopsided wins in their first two games but are looking for improvement in their last home game before three straight road contests. A win would give them a 3-0 record for the first time under coach Kevin Sumlin and the first time since 2010.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill against Rice's secondary. Hill is third in the nation with 794 yards passing, which is a school-record through two games, and his seven touchdown passes are tied for fifth in the country. He needed less than three quarters to pile up 283 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's 73-3 win over Lamar. Now he'll face a defense that allowed 295 yards passing in a loss to Notre Dame.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Rice: QB Driphus Jackson. The dual-threat quarterback is the leading passer and rusher for Rice. He threw for 163 yards and a touchdown and ran for 61 yards against Notre Dame.

Texas A&M: WR/KR/PR Speedy Noil. The true freshman had a big game against Lamar. He had 71 yards receiving, a punt return for 67 yards and a kickoff return for 53 yards. His punt return was the longest by an Aggie since 2012 and he leads the team with four plays of 20 or more yards this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

The first meeting between these teams was in 1914 and they met every year until 1995. ... A&M has won 17 in a row over the Owls, with Rice's last win coming in 1980. ... The Aggies set a record for a college game in Texas last week with a crowd of 104,728. ... This is the first time since 2009 that Rice has played its first two games on the road. ... The last win by Rice over a ranked team came when the Owls beat No. 21 BYU 27-14 in 1997. ... Texas A&M allowed less than 100 yards rushing in both of its first two games. ... Six Aggies have at least 100 yards receiving in 2014 led by Malcome Kennedy's 170.

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