Here are some things to watch in Week 8 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama: Three seasons ago, Trevor Knight was Oklahoma’s quarterback when he engineered a Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama. Now that he has rejuvenated his career at a new school, Knight will try to beat Alabama once again when Texas A&M visits Tuscaloosa. Alabama has won 19 consecutive games over the last two years and is coming off a 49-10 blowout victory at No. 18 Tennessee, which was ranked ninth at the time of the game. That dominant performance might explain why Alabama is favored by 18 points in this matchup of unbeaten teams.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Auburn running game vs. Arkansas run defense: No. 17 Arkansas’ chances of beating the 21st-ranked Tigers depend on how well the Razorbacks contain Auburn’s rushing attack. Arkansas has given up 17 touchdown runs this season and is allowing 5.57 yards per carry to rank last in the SEC in both categories. Auburn averages 262.8 yards rushing per game to rank third in the SEC and has two 500-yard rushers in Kerryon Johnson (105 carries, 538 yards) and Kamryn Pettway (91-505). The only other FBS teams with two 500-yard rushers are Texas A&M and No. 20 Western Michigan.
NUMBERS GAME: South Carolina is the only FBS team that hasn’t played a game this season in which either team scored at least 30 points. … Texas A&M has split its last four meetings against top-ranked opponents. The wins came in 2002 against Oklahoma and in 2012 at Alabama. … Alabama has scored at least one non-offensive touchdown in nine straight games. Alabama has scored eight touchdowns on defense and three on special teams this season. …No. 25 LSU had more points than offensive plays (42) in a 45-10 victory over Southern Mississippi. It was only the fourth time since at least 1949 that LSU finished a game with more points than offensive plays.
UPSET WATCH: LSU is a six-point favorite at home over No. 23 Ole Miss. The Tigers have played better of late under interim coach Ed Orgeron, beating Missouri and Southern Miss by large margins, but the Rebels will likely provide a much tougher test. Mississippi State is a three-point favorite on the road against Kentucky, which makes some sense because the Bulldogs have a seven-game winning streak in the series. But the Bulldogs have lost three of their past four games while the Wildcats have won three of four.
IMPACT PERFORMER: Ole Miss TE Evan Engram: The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Engram leads the nation for tight ends with 37 catches for 590 yards. He’s also scored five touchdowns. The senior has become the focal point of the 23rd-ranked Rebels’ league-leading passing offense. He’s the nation’s active leader for tight ends with 1,984 career receiving yards and already has the most career catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for a tight end in school history.