- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things to watch in Week 7 of the Southeastern Conference season:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 2 Auburn at No. 3 Mississippi State. All eyes will be on Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who jumped into serious Heisman Trophy contention with a breakout game in a 48-31 victory over Texas A&M; last week. Auburn counters with the second-ranked scoring defense in the SEC and an effective running game led by Cameron Artis-Payne, who is averaging 118.8 rushing yards per game. “The only thing I see is that we’re 2-0 in the SEC with six games to go, so we haven’t accomplished all that much yet,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said.

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Arkansas running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams vs. Alabama’s run defense: Arkansas averages 316.6 yards rushing per game to rank seventh among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams while Alabama has the nation’s third-ranked run defense, yielding just 64 yards rushing per game. Collins has rushed for 621 yards and Williams has run for 486 yards. Each is averaging over 7.2 yards per carry. Alabama, the No. 7 team in the nation, allows just 2.6 yards per rush.

NUMBERS GAME: No. 3 Ole Miss is 5-0 for the first time since its 1962 unbeaten season. The Rebels have allowed only four touchdowns all season - the fewest in the nation. … No. 14 Texas A&M;, which plays Ole Miss on Saturday, leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in scoring with 47.8 points per game. … Georgia RB Todd Gurley continues to be a strong Heisman contender midway through the season. He ranks first in the SEC by a wide margin with 154.6 rushing yards per game and averages 8.2 yards per carry.

LONG SHOT: No. 23 Missouri is a three-point underdog at home against No. 13 Georgia one year after beating the Bulldogs in Athens. Missouri’s a hard team to predict, as it lost to Indiana at home but beat South Carolina on the road. If the good version of Missouri shows up Saturday, the defending Eastern Division champions have a reasonable shot at knocking off Georgia again and taking command of this year’s East race.

IMPACT PERFORMER: Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel struggled in a 42-21 loss to Alabama and then threw three interceptions last week at Tennessee before getting benched with the Gators trailing 9-0. When Treon Harris rallied Florida to a 10-9 victory at Tennessee, Driskel seemed on the verge of losing his job. Now that Harris has been suspended while authorities investigate sexual assault allegations made against him, the Gators are likely relying on Driskel again as they prepare to host LSU. Florida’s chances of contending in the East depend on how Driskel responds.

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AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee and David Brandt in Oxford, Mississippi, contributed to this story.

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