Week four of college football is here and these are the games to watch this weekend and they all go down this Saturday!
Honorable Mention - (7) Stanford vs. UCLA
The problem for Stanford is not that they have been playing poorly or that they have a weak schedule, but that the teams they play have not lived up to expectations. They have an excellent shot at going on the road and beating UCLA after they beat USC in dominating fashion, but they probably will stay ranked 7th in the country because both are playing below expectations or are downright confusingly bad. Kansas State could possibly be the best team they have played in their first four weeks and it is not because they have tried to set an easy schedule. For the second week in a row Stanford’s defense will sink their teeth into a pressure sensitive quarterback, Stanford runs away with this one.
Prediction: Stanford wins 35-17
#5 - (18) LSU vs. Auburn
These SEC games usually tend to be good ones to watch and despite Auburn’s problems they have kept games close. In their face-offs against Clemson and Texas A&M, both top 10 programs, they have done a great job grinding drives to a halt in the red zone and only have let up 20 points a game so far this season. That said Auburn’s offense has failed to step up and score in the spotlight and had only 19 point against Clemson and 16 against Texas A&M. Now LSU comes to town with an offense that has finally gotten Leonard Fournette going and a defensive front that has produced 11 sacks and two fumbles. LSU rolls over a team that still has to figure out how to score more than field goals.
Prediction: LSU wins 27-16
#4 - (12) Georgia vs. (23) Ole’ Miss
After a shootout with Alabama, the Rebels now will have to try and handle Nick Chubb and the Bulldogs. While the return of Chubb was highly anticipated, the stellar play of true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason has been a pleasant surprise. He has looked composed in the pocket and helped the Bulldogs to a win last week despite a down performance from their star running back. While Chad Kelly has been arguably the second or third best quarterback in college, he will be up against a secondary that is as good or better than Alabama’s, while Georgia will be playing the ball control game.
Prediction: Georgia wins 35-28
#3 - (19) Florida vs. (14) Tennessee
Tennessee had the bounce back game against Virginia Tech but this is still a shaky team if the running game slows up. Now they are playing the best defense in college football as the Gators let up only 4.7 points per game and 42.3 rushing yards per game. Florida also leads the country in sacks with 16. The combination of a truly vicious defensive front, a secondary led by star safety Marcell Harris that has produced four picks and they should be alright at quarterback with Austin Appleby filling in for Luke Del Rio at quarterback for the Gators will all be too much for Joshua Dobbs and the Vols.
Prediction: Florida wins 27-13
#2 - (11) Wisconsin vs. (8) Michigan State
A classic Big 10 match up with two teams who have good defensive units and will want to rely on the run game for their offensive production. This will be a slug fest and turnovers will be huge in this one. While Michigan State has let up less total yardage and points than Wisconsin through three games, the Badgers have won the turnover battle. In the first three weeks the Badgers have 7 sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries while the Trojans have only 3 sacks and two picks with two fumble recoveries. I think the difference between one turnover and two will be huge in this game, which is why I take the Badgers in this one as they not only have more turnovers, but produce more pressure on the quarterback.
Prediction: Wisconsin wins 20-13
#1 - (17) Arkansas vs. (10) Texas A&M
Both of these teams are playing better than expected to start the year off as both boast a 3-0 record. While the Razorbacks running game has looked good with Rawleigh Williams III as lead back and the defense has played well, only letting up an average of 20.3 points a game, this will be a long day for Arkansas. After re-watching some Texas A&M football, this defense could be one of the best at getting pressure on the quarterback. Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall have looked fantastic against every line they have played against. Both really attack and get after opposing quarterbacks for 60 minutes. If there was a stat for forcing the quarterback to make poor decisions late in games because of the hits laid by the defensive line early in the game, the Aggies would lead in that column. In a stat that is real, Texas A&M is tied for 11th in the country for sacks with 11. The defensive front makes it easy for the secondary to do their job and helps keep games close to keep pressure off their own offense. On that side, ex-Sooners transfer quarterback Trevor Knight has played great , with 830 passing yards so far. This team could be Alabama's best competition in the SEC.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 31-20
Bonus prediction: Cornerback Nick Harvey has two interceptions and double digit tackles for Texas A&M.