Here is the latest SEC sports news from The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama can still send a number of talented tailbacks and bruising blockers at opposing defenses, but now they’ve got to be equally wary of Crimson Tide’s collection of wide receivers. The top-ranked Crimson Tide’s offense has featured bushels of yards and points and a number of deep balls in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s first two starts.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The preseason talk about LSU relying more on its passing game this season has transitioned into a search for explanations about why that hasn’t happened during the 12th-ranked Tigers’ first games. New quarterback Joe Burrow has completed fewer than half of his pass attempts for 291 yards so far. LSU has been running the ball well. But a good ground game might not be enough on Saturday. Seventh-ranked Auburn is allowing 75 yards rushing per game.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State has been piling up the points during its first two wins of the season. The Bulldogs have been especially productive in the running game, averaging more than eight yards per carry. Now coach Joe Moorhead would like to see some improvement in the passing game. The Bulldogs are completing just 42.6 percent of their passes through two games.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Dan Mullen says he never intended to call his players soft after a 27-16 loss to Kentucky. Mullen said Monday he was referring to how they played while losing to the Wildcats for the first time in more than three decades. Mullen says it “wasn’t a challenge on their character. I’m not calling them soft people. I said our lack of toughness was in our performance.” Mullen and the Gators also vowed to get tougher.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Left tackle Andrew Thomas has been held out of practice for third-ranked Georgia after leaving last week’s win over South Carolina with a left ankle sprain. Coach Kirby Smart says Thomas has not been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Statistics suggest Tennessee is doing a better job of avoiding mistakes under new coach Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee hasn’t committed a single turnover in its first two games and has the fewest penalty yards of any Southeastern Conference team. The Vols had just three penalties last week in a 59-3 drubbing of East Tennessee State.

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