No. 11 Texas A&M at No. 12 Ole Miss: Caleb Harris
Final Score Prediction: Ole Miss 28, Texas A&M 27
This one is sure to be a doozy. The Ole Miss receiving core has taken a beating and now it seems that we’re down to our second-unit receiving core. Ole Miss hasn’t beaten A&M since the 2015 season and their defense can give the Rebels huge problems. They are only allowing opposing teams to score an average of 14.67 points per game.
But, their pass defense isn’t great. They allow 314 yards per game through the air, despite not allowing a touchdown against Auburn in their last win. The Rebs defense is much improved and is holding teams to 27 points a game, which is miles better than last year’s defense that couldn’t stop a JV team from scoring. They just came off a season high of sacks against Liberty, tallying nine sacks against one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Malik Willis.
The offense always seems to find a way. I expect the Rebs take advantage of A&M’s secondary, as our receivers still have elite speed, especially with John Rhys Plumlee. The running game could take off, but I’m expecting around 110 yards on the ground for us. The race for the SEC West is still wide open and if Ole Miss can knock off A&M, they will be one step closer to potentially going back to Atlanta, but they still need help from other teams in order to get there.
No. 4 Oklahoma at No. 13 Baylor: Aidan Gallardo
Final Score Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Baylor 28
This is an interesting matchup in the Big 12 with both teams competing for a chance to play in the Big 12 Championship.
No. 4 Oklahoma is coming off a much needed bye week during a season filled with headlines and stories, specifically revolving around quarterback Spencer Rattler. Coming into the season, Rattler was seen as the best quarterback in college football and the Heisman favorite. Now, there’s rumors of him looking to go in the transfer portal because their backup quarterback, Caleb Williams, has taken the starting job.
Oklahoma is a weird team. What I mean by that is that they constantly play at the level of their opponents. For example, a few weeks ago they almost lost to Kansas who’s last in the Big 12 (1-6). Oklahoma has won by seven points or less in six of their nine games played this year. Why do they play this way? I think that it’s a little bit of everything: offense, defense and coaching.
No. 13 Baylor is coming off a disappointing loss to TCU, who recently let go of their long-time head coach Gary Patterson. A problem Baylor had was the turnovers. Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon threw two interceptions, one of them coming on their final drive of the game with 1:02 left. TCU’s quarterback, Chandler Morris, torched Baylor’s secondary as he threw for 461 yards and two touchdowns. This loss came as a surprise to everyone due to the fact that Baylor had looked like a dominant team since their first loss to Oklahoma State, beating West Virginia, BYU and Texas.
I don’t think this game will be close. After watching Baylor’s loss against TCU and how bad their defense looked defending the pass, I think that Williams will have a career day.
Mississippi State at No. 16 Auburn: Ruby Draayer
Final Score Prediction: Auburn 28, Mississippi State 21
You know the old adage, “I just hope both teams have fun?” Well, in this case, I hope it’s the opposite.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who think that this will be an interesting game, but in reality, it’s not worth it to even watch. Playing at Auburn in Jordan-Hare is extremely difficult, and unless you’re Alabama or Georgia, it will be very hard to get a win.
Bo Nix has continued to be the most above-average quarterback in the SEC, and I don’t think that will change in this week’s matchup. State’s quarterback Will Rogers is maybe more effective at short yardage passes than I had given him credit for, but with a defense like Auburn, it’s not going to matter.
Auburn easily comes away with this one, but I think the most interesting part about this game is that Auburn is no longer fighting for a top spot in the SEC West. State doesn’t really have a shot at any interesting bowl game, a playoff spot or SEC championship this season, so at this point, they’re just waiting around for their Super Bowl on Thanksgiving.
Tank Bigsby runs for 200 yards, and the Auburn Tigers walk away with another SEC win.
No. 1 Georgia at Tennessee: Catherine Jeffers
Final Score Prediction: Georgia 35, Tennessee 21
As much as I love Georgia, there is a part of me that so badly wanted to pick Tennessee. Don’t freak out, I know how good Georgia’s defense is. No one has put up more than 13 points on the Bulldogs, but they’re playing at Neyland Stadium against a Tennessee team that seems to have finally found their groove. A three point win at Kentucky last week has the Vols riding high, with Hendon Hooker leading the offense to 38.2 points per game.
Hooker’s two interceptions to his 21 touchdowns will definitely be tested against the Dawgs D, but Tennessee will still find a way to hang up more points on Georgia than anyone thus far.
This game will start out slow, similar to how Georgia got out against Missouri last week, finding themselves down in the first quarter. Tennessee will find a way to make it interesting in the second and third quarter, tying it up and then pulling ahead for a drive or two. But in the end, Georgia will seal this game in the fourth quarter, not allowing the Vols to score any points and shutting any hope they had down fast. While Georgia’s offense isn’t a shining star, I don’t see anyone beating them with how well their defense is playing.
I wonder how Vols fans will react to coming close to beating the No. 1 team in the country. Does anyone smell mustard?