LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss: Owen Pustell
Final Score Prediction: LSU 21, Ole Miss 34
Storylines are piling up heading into this Saturday’s rivalry matchup. The midseason injury lists are starting to lengthen as Ole Miss quarterback and Heisman frontrunner Matt Corral is questionable to play after getting banged up in last week’s win at Tennessee. Should Corral not play, the Rebels would likely go with a dual-QB game plan featuring freshman Luke Altmyer, and swiss army knife John Rhys Plumlee. On the Tigers sideline, Eli Ricks and Kayshon Boutte are out for the season while superstar cornerback Derek Stingley’s status is unknown while he nurses a mystery foot injury. Additionally, it was announced on Sunday that bayou legend and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron would have the remainder of his contract bought out, meaning his tenure in Baton Rouge is coming to an end after the 2021 season. In all, this could be one of the strangest matchups between these teams in recent history, but in usual Rebel fashion, expect it to be exciting. LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price is coming off a game in which he rushed 36 times for a school-record 287 yards against Florida. Given how the Ole Miss run defense has struggled thus far, if he can string together another performance like last week then the Tigers have a fighting chance at keeping up with an Ole Miss offense that has scored under 31 points just once. If Corral plays, expect the Rebels to run up the score as they face an LSU defense that has allowed an average of 35 points per game this year in SEC play.
Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama: Ruby Draayer
Final Score Prediction: Alabama 48, Tennessee 10
This week is not full of especially riveting games. With no top-25 matchups, I decided to pick the game I am most looking forward to out of pure spite. Tennessee is coming off a loss to the one and only Ole Miss Rebels. While Ole Miss wasn’t able to put as many points on the board as I would have liked, they still got the job done. However, in case there were any Tennessee fans left who still think the Vols should have won that game, they will be eating quite a big slice of humble pie.
Tennessee isn’t a bad team by any means, and with a first-year head coach and boatloads of prospects and players leaving the program last year, they have done a very good job. However, Alabama doesn’t play around, and if they’re interested in keeping playoff hopes alive, they need to beat the rest of their opponents. Badly. Alabama will win this one because they’re the better team, and they’re at home.
The Volunteers quarterback suffered an injury against Ole Miss last weekend and it was announced that he is day-to-day. Losing Hooker could prove to be a fatal blow for this Tennessee team, especially since their backup, Joe Milton, is less than ideal.
The Crimson Tide wins this one, it might be interesting in the first quarter, but other than that it will be a snooze fest.
No. 10 Oregon at UCLA: Aidan Gallardo
Final Score Prediction: UCLA 28, Oregon 24
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly will be facing off against his former team in a primetime game that has major implications for both teams.
No.10 Oregon will head into the Rose Bowl to face off against a very underrated UCLA team. UCLA has talent on both sides of the ball and Oregon will be facing a tough challenge if this game gets into a shootout.
UCLA has scored 34 points or more in five of their past six games, so there’s no question that they can put up points. But, can they hold their ground against Oregon’s offense?
Oregon’s main focus of attack is on the ground game. That’s where they hurt opposing defenses. Their star running back CJ Verdell had a season-ending injury, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting up big rushing numbers.
Backup running back Travis Dye ran for 145 yards and a touchdown last week in a win against Cal. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a backup running back,and it shows that Oregon has great depth in the running back position.
Oregon’s pass game is nowhere as good as their run and I think that’s what will cost them in this game. If UCLA can stop Oregon’s rushing attack and force them to throw, then they have a solid chance in winning this game.
I see UCLA pulling off the upset in front of their home crowd and diminishing any hopes for Oregon’s playoff run.
This without a doubt will be the game of the year in the PAC-12.