A couple of SEC West teams have the marquee match-ups in week four. Let’s take a look at this week’s action.
#14 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0) @ #3 Alabama (3-0, 0-0)
Arkansas’s QB and WR corps are going to be a test for the vaunted Alabama defense. The Crimson Tide play very aggressively, particularly in the defensive backfield. Look for Arkansas to try and exploit that with draw plays and pump fakes. Alabama’s offense is pretty bland, but it may not have to be spectacular to win this one. Arkansas will probably see a steady dose of Alabama’s running backs who have yet to get totally on track but still have a ton of potential. The last time Arkansas rolled into Tuscaloosa they got blown out, and I don’t see that happening this time. It’ll be a hard fought game but Alabama’s defense along with the home field advantage are enough to give them the slightest of edges.
Pick: Alabama 20, Arkansas 17
Vanderbilt (3-0, 1-0) @ #12 South Carolina (3-0, 1-0)
Vanderbilt has been quite impressive in the first year under James Franklin, particularly on defense where they lead the league in interceptions. That’s a recipe for disaster if Steve Spurrier tries to get QB Stephan Garcia to work out the kinks in his game. However, as aggressive as Vanderbilt plays, I don’t see how they can withstand four quarters of pounding from the Gamecocks RB Marcus Lattimore. He’s enough of a difference to tilt the game in South Carolina’s favor.
Pick: South Carolina 28, Vanderbilt 20
#15 Florida (3-0, 1-0) @ Kentucky (1-2, 0-0)
Florida is simply better at every position and the Gators defense in particular is going to give Kentucky fits. The Gators will tune up the band as they prepare for coming stiffer competition. Kentucky cannot and will not hang in this one for long.
Pick: Florida 41, Kentucky 6
Georgia (1-2, 0-1) @ Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1)
Georgia isn’t all that good but Ole Miss is worse. This game is less interesting than the race to see which coach will be ousted first. Bulldogs shouldn’t have trouble going into Oxford, and steamrolling the Rebels as they have better players on both sides of the ball.
Pick: Georgia 30, Ole Miss 16
Out Of Conference Games
#2 LSU (3-0) @ #16 West Virginia (3-0)
West Virginia’s offense is impressive but no more so than Oregon and Mississippi State, which LSU’s defense has already shoved in the trash compactor. Expect LSU’s offense to keep doing what they do with the power running to set up playaction down the field. The LSU defensive line is going to go after West Virginia like Evander Holyfield and look to land some fast, big blows. The more physical team will win this road test.
Pick: LSU 24, West Virginia 10
Louisiana Tech (1-2) @ Mississippi State (1-2)
The last time Louisiana Tech’s offensive coordinator took an offense against Mississippi State the final score was 3-2. Something tells me this one isn’t going to be nearly as close. Reeling from two straight losses, Mississippi State is going to work out some frustrations on the Bulldogs from Ruston.
Pick: Mississippi State 44, Louisiana Tech 13
Florida Atlantic (0-2) @ Auburn (2-1)
It may be hard to believe but Auburn’s defense is actually worse than Florida Atlantic’s, but anyone who wants to be cute and pick the Owls in the upset needs to put the bong down and walk away for a bit. Auburn won’t need to be fancy to win this as the Tigers offense should have no problem putting up points. On defense, the Tigers need to use this game to try and salvage something as after this week, the hill is long and steep for the bulk of the remaining season.
Pick: Auburn 38, Florida Atlantic 21