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Hartselle Enquirer

Which Pigskin to pick

| Special to the Enquirer
| Special to the Enquirer

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Last week was the first “shakeup” weekend in college football so if your picks were bad its ok. We will try to get back on track this week with a few SEC matchups and a couple of Pac 12 matchups.

            First of all, even though they lost last weekend, Alabama gets Louisiana Monroe at home this weekend so I think that is enough said.

So the actual first game we will look at is Texas A&M vs. Arkansas in a neutral site game at Cowboy’s stadium. The biggest questions for A&M is are they legitimate? Last season the Aggies started off hot then went to a terrible stretch in the middle before they semi picked it back up late in the season after a quarterback change. The difference between this year and last year though is the defense. It’s not fixed but new coordinator John Chavis definitely has the defense making huge strides from where they were at this time last year. The Aggies also have possibly the best defensive end in the country in Myles Garrett who is going to get pressure on any quarterback. Arkansas on the other hand is completely lost. The Razorbacks finished last season very strong and had a lot of hype coming into the season but a loss to Toledo and a beat down by Texas Tech has left them squandering. Well, Texas A&M has a lot more offensive firepower than Texas Tech does so I imagine this week wont be much different.

The next game is the Oregon Ducks hosting the Utah Utes. Many professional analysts think the ducks should be on upset alert, which is probably right, but I heard one call them overrated. How do you justify that? Oregon’s one loss on the season came on the road against Michigan State (who is now #2) and they only lost by a field goal. Their quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was making only his second start for Oregon and in that start he threw for over 300 yards and nearly won the game on the road, and he did that with a broken finger on his throwing hand. This team still has problems though including a young and inexperienced offensive line as well as a young and inexperienced defense. However, this team is still loaded with talent, especially in the offensive skill positions, as recruiting has not dropped off since Mark Helfrich took over for Chip Kelly. Oregon will still have its hands full with Utah as they are a very under the radar team. The ducks should still take this game though as it is at Oregon and Utah is still not on the talent level as Oregon just yet.

The third game is Tennessee traveling to the swamp to take on the Florida Gators. Tennessee has not beaten Florida since 2004, but that is probably about to change. For the first time since that game, Tennessee probably has the more loaded roster. Tennessee still isn’t officially “back” yet but they showed glimpses of their potential against Oklahoma. Florida has to rebuild as they still have plenty of holes on offense. Tennessee has a very talented thunder and lightning duo at running back; plenty of talented receivers, and a dual threat quarterback that makes you have to account for him. If Florida’s defense can slow, the Volunteer’s offense it will give Florida a chance but there is no way that Florida can survive an offensive shootout with Tennessee.

The last game is Mississippi State traveling to the plains to take on the Auburn Tigers. Auburn is looking for many answers right now after a very bad loss against Lsu, a loss that caused the benching of starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson in favor of redshirt freshmen Sean White. The Tigers desperately need two things right now. The first thing is they need a passing game. Without a threat of the quarterback to run Auburn has to be able to throw the ball to take the pressure off their run game. Lsu completely disregarded Johnson’s ability to pass (and for good reason) and they stacked the box so Auburn could go nowhere. The second thing they need is for someone to help them get their swagger back. Auburn looked completely deflated in Saturday’s loss. This is a team that was in the hunt for a Sec title last year but they looked like a division three squad out there. Offensive lineman that played on the 2013 team that got Auburn to the national championship was being blown off the ball. This team needs a spark and I don’t know if that spark is Sean White or not but it surely cant hurt. It wont be easy for White as he is making his college debut, as he did not play last year because of redshirt rules. White was the MVP of the Elite 11 and the MVP of the under armour All American game but he will have a tough task competing across from the most experienced quarterback in the Sec in Dak Prescott. If Auburn can find the spark it needs then they have the talent to win this game and many more.

Final Predictions: Texas A&M over Arkansas 38-20, Oregon over Utah 35-28, Tennessee over Florida 28-17, and Auburn over Mississippi State 28-24.

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