Tusk to Tail: The consensus is a win in Starkville would be a miracle
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After two straight losses by the Razorbacks, what can be done to get things turned around?
Forrest: It’s gut check time. I don’t think many people saw Arkansas actually beating Alabama, but I can say I’m disappointed by how badly Arkansas got blown out. Texas A&M stings because of the fluke defensive touchdown that swung all the momentum. No rest for the weary as Mississippi State and BYU up next. On offense the run game is solid, but KJ needs to get on track with the wide receivers and find his go-to man. On defense, the Hogs need to find guys that can step up in the secondary. Losing Catalon again hurt more than people would think. The front seven have played very well but it’s the boys in the back that need to make an improvement. I believe the offense can get it figured out but I’m not holding my breath on the defensive side.
Todd: Somebody get that 5-star Alabama backup in the transfer portal stat! We need him this weekend. The Hogs are staring three losses in a row in the face.
Arkansas @ #23 Mississippi State
Dale: I’m concerned. The Hogs are now getting 9.5 points from Vegas. I’m guessing they have been watching our secondary and the lack of coverage. I want to say Odom has had success against Leach in the past and could figure this out, but the Hogs are coming off back-to-back losses and may not have QB1 on the field. The Hogs will need to score and may not be able to. I’ll call it Dogs 31, Hogs 20.
Todd: Without KJ, I just don’t see them in this game. Even with KJ it’s going to be tough with the offense Mississippi State has going against our defense. State made A&M look like the mediocre team that they were last weekend, something Arkansas should have done but didn’t. The Bulldogs special teams scored a TD last week and their defense is the typical salty State defense they are known for. The Hogs D has to find a way to get off the field on third downs and hold State to field goals, not touchdowns. The good news is the game is an 11 a.m. kickoff. Mississippi State fans have not been filling up the place even though they are off to their best start in years. They had 53,000 in a 67,000 seat stadium for A&M. Let’s hope for that again. Sam Pittman shines in these underdog roles, and I think he will have the Hogs and whoever is at QB ready to fight. I just don’t think it will be enough. Dawgs 38-27
Forrest: Boy howdy, if I’m Mike Leach, I’m chomping at the bit to get a shot at this short-handed Arkansas defense. The only way I see Arkansas winning is if the Arkansas offense can control the clock and get a stop or two on defense. If KJ Jefferson is cleared to play, I like playing the game total over 59 points, and if not just pray for the best.
#17 TCU @ #19 Kansas
Dale: It should be a fun game, but the Jayhawks have not played much competition so far. I figure this newfound confidence in Lawrence will hold up for a half, but the better talent from Fort Worth will overcome the outmanned Jayhawks. Call it TCU – 29, KU 24
Todd: Gameday is in town at a basketball school. Is Kansas for real? No. Horned Frogs 42-31
Auburn @ #2 Georgia
Forrest: Only way Auburn gets a win here is if Auburn Jesus shows up in a big way. With Georgia’s scare at Mizzou last week, I don’t see Kirby taking his foot off the gas. What may be a loss for Auburn may be a win for their sane and composed booster club as a big loss will give them the excuse they’ve been looking for to finally fire Harsin. Give me Georgia and the over.
#8 Tennessee @ #25 LSU
Todd: 11 a.m. kickoff? How is this not a night game in Death Valley? Tennessee has the #1 offense in the country and one of the worst defenses in the country. LSU has struggled, but the Tigers defense is improved and looking better. This will be the best defense the Vols have faced this year. I think it’s a back-and-forth game and Jayden Daniels and LSU shocks the Orange. Tigers 33-30.
Dale: I don’t even think this will be close. Tenner has way too much offense and enough defense. They should run away with this one. Vols 42, LSU 20
#11 Utah @ #18 UCLA
Forrest: Folks, we have major offensive shootout potential here with two completely different styles of gameplanning. Chip Kelly’s hurry up spread vs Utah’s two tight end, smashmouth offense. UCLA has bounced back in a big way this year but I think the mighty Utes have the edge overall. Their defense can get a few key stops to win the game. Really like Utah -3.5 here, but the over is worth a look as well. Give me the Utes.
Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama
Dale: This should not be close but Bama might struggle without their Heisman winner. I figure all they will do this week in T-Town is practice their passing attack as poor old Jimbo will be practicing to stop the run. That will not matter. Saban can run the ball and pass it just enough. Jimbo’s team knows it is on the struggle bus with no offense and will fold early. Tide 44, Aggies 16.
Todd: Saban kicks Jimbo “The Fraud” Fisher in the teeth. It’s more than just recruiting. It’s being a damn good football coach and knowing how to win. Tide roll 41-17.
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