A look at things to watch in the Southeastern Conference during Week 5 of the season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 6 Texas A&M meets Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Aggies are once again scoring a ton of points and racking up a lot of yards with a dominant passing game led by sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill. Arkansas is much improved under second-year coach Bret Bielema, who has established the league’s most effective running game. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have combined for 881 rushing yards and both rank among the SEC’s top five.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Georgia running back Todd Gurley vs. Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson: Gurley, a Heisman Trophy contender, is averaging 9.8 yards per carry. An ankle injury prevented Gurley from playing in Georgia’s 38-35 overtime victory at Tennessee last season, but he ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-44 triumph over the Volunteers in 2012. Johnson, an all-SEC selection last year, has 353 career tackles. Johnson is from Gainesville, Georgia, and this marks the senior’s last chance to beat his home-state team. ”I know he’s one of the top running backs,” Johnson said. ”I always like playing the best, so I’m glad he’s back.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Texas A&M ranks second in the nation in total offense with 612.5 yards per game while ranking 120th among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in time of possession. The Aggies are controlling the ball for just 26 minutes per game. Arkansas, which faces the Aggies on Saturday, ranks 28th nationally in time of possession (32:06). … Tennessee has used 22 true freshmen – the most of any FBS team – but that youth hasn’t resulted in many penalties. Tennessee’s averaging 21.3 penalty yards per game, the fewest of any FBS program.
LONG SHOT: Kentucky’s a 17-point favorite on Saturday against Vanderbilt and that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, it’s the first time the Wildcats have been favored in any SEC game since 2010 against the Commodores, a game Kentucky won 38-20. It’s no secret Vanderbilt has struggled under first-year coach Derek Mason, but the Commodores did show some life last weekend in a competitive game against South Carolina.
IMPACT PLAYER: South Carolina is benefiting from wide receiver Pharoh Cooper’s versatility. Cooper caught 10 passes for 114 yards Saturday in a 48-34 victory at Vanderbilt to set career highs in both categories. Cooper also rushed for 74 yards on two carries, including one 70-yard run. Cooper will try to produce a repeat performance this week when the Gamecocks host Missouri, which is trying to rebound from a stunning 31-27 loss to Indiana.
Complied by AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi.