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SEC Week 4 early look: Vols look to end 11-game losing streak to Gators

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Vols and Gators preparing for rivalry showdown (2:26)

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and Florida head coach Jim McElwain discuss how they prepare for the upcoming UF vs. UT matchup. (2:26)

We're starting to get into real SEC play, and the pressure is starting to mount.

All eyes -- and ESPN College GameDay -- will be on Knoxville, Tennessee, this Saturday as No. 14 Tennessee hosts No. 19 Florida in a matchup the Vols haven't won since 2004. For those counting at home, that would make 11 straight wins by the Gators. That game has major SEC East implications, but there are several important conference games to keep an eye on this weekend.

Here's what we'll be watching around the SEC:

No. 14 Tennessee vs. No. 19 Florida (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, CBS): The Vols have lost 11 straight to the Gators, but both teams will be short-handed this weekend. Tennessee could be down three defensive starters, as All-SEC cornerback Cam Sutton will miss the game with an ankle injury and linebackers Darrin Kirland (ankle) and Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) cold miss time, too. Tennessee coach Butch Jones said he expects Reeves-Maybin to play, but he likely won't be 100 percent. Florida starting quarterback Luke Del Rio will also miss the game with a knee injury, meaning Purdue transfer Austin Appleby will start.

Auburn vs. No. 18 LSU (6 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN): Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and LSU coach Les Miles each entered the season on the hot seat. Both of those seats are still pretty warm as the season continues. Miles has had some of the heat taken off with back-to-back wins after that ugly opening loss to Wisconsin, but Malzahn is 1-2 after an uninspiring 29-16 loss to Texas A&M at home this past weekend. This game has one of those "must-win" feels to it.

No. 23 Ole Miss vs. No. 12 Georgia (Noon ET Saturday, ESPN): After becoming the first Power 5 team to ever lose two games in a season while holding 21-points leads, Ole Miss must regroup to play an undefeated Georgia team that just squeaked out a win at Missouri. The Rebels say they aren't hanging their heads after Saturday's 48-43 loss to No. 1 Alabama, but it has to be tough to stomach two such gut-wrenching losses so early. The legend of Bulldogs freshman quarterback Jacob Eason is growing after his game-winning touchdown pass against Mizzou, but both of Georgia's lines need work heading to Oxford.

No. 10 Texas A&M vs. No. 17 Arkansas): These two teams always entertain when they get together, and now both are suddenly making some noise in the SEC West. Bret Bielema has never started 4-0 at Arkansas, while Kevin Sumlin has orchestrated consecutive 5-0 starts with disappointing 8-5 finishes. That can't happen this season for Sumlin, while Bielema has a team off to its fastest start during his Arkansas tenure after a couple slow starts out of the gate for the Razorbacks in recent years.

Quick hits:

  • Nick Saban faces his alma mater in Kent State (1973) this weekend for the second time as Alabama's coach. The first time these two met was in 2011, with Saban's Tide winning 48-7.

  • Vanderbilt heads to Western Kentucky in what is a must-win game for the Commodores after an ugly 1-2 start that just saw Vandy get routed 38-7 by Georgia Tech. The last time Vanderbilt played Western Kentucky, the Commodores fell 14-12 after Western Kentucky stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 33 seconds left in last year's season opener.

  • On Saturday, at least six SEC teams could trot out a different starting quarterback from the one they had in their respective season openers. Those schools are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and South Carolina. What's more is that two -- Florida's Appleby and LSU's Danny Etling -- were former starters at Purdue and could meet in The Swamp in a couple of weeks.