Tusk to Tail: The crew predicts the two-game losing streak ends against Auburn
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Who do you think will win the World Series?
Mac Garland: It’s been a while since I’ve kept close tabs on baseball so take this with the proverbial grain of salt. With all due respect to our friend Chris (aka Jerkwheatery), the BoSox should prevail over the Astros in 5. It’s still odd to me that Houston is an American League team, but whatever. As far as the National League, it’s been 30 years since Forrest’s beloved Braves made their worst to first run all the way to the World Series before losing to the Twins. No one has given them a chance, but I am. Braves over the Giants in 6. The Braves franchise began in Boston so I can hear Joe Buck mentioning that now during the World Series. After 6 games the Braves deliver to The A only its 2nd world championship.
Auburn @ #17 Arkansas
Todd Rudisill: It was the right call to go for two last week. The shovel pass looked like it was there, but nevertheless on to Auburn. For the first time in three weeks, the Hogs play an unranked team this week. Aubbie fell out of the polls after losing to UGA. The Hogs have a huge opportunity over the next three games to get bowl eligible, as all three are at home. They even have an open date before Mississippi State. The defense has to show up this week to get this two-game losing streak ended and get the train back on the tracks. Auburn is 4-0 when the offense gets 400+ yards and 0-2 when they don’t. They have not gone over 190 rushing yards this season. If the defense can keep the running game in check and the Hogs offense looked like it did last week, the Hogs could roll. Control the tempo. Control the game. Odom has the defense lit after two poor performances in a row. Razorbacks get win #5. 31-20
Mark Wagner: Arkansas beats Auburn in a close one. Our offense proved last week that they can put points on the board if they aren’t going up against the best defense in the league. While they are good, the Auburn defense is not the same level as Georgia. My real concern is the defense, as injuries have started to mount up. But I think the “D” will come up with the big stop when they need to. The home crowd helps in this one. Arkansas 27, Auburn 24.
Mac Garland: Time for the Hogs to put another win on the board towards those 8 (maybe 9) wins I mentioned before the season. I am surprised we’re a 3.5-point favorite and there are rumors Catalon may be done for the year. However, Sam and his staff will have the guys ready. Auburn hasn’t been on the road since that visit to State College. Those of you in attendance need to make a lot of noise to welcome back Arkadelphia native Bo Nix. Let him know how happy you are to see him. Hogs 30, Auburn 24.
#20 Florida @ LSU
Mark Wagner: Ed Orgeron might be a big thing on the Hot Seat circuit, but Florida is still in the mix for a possible New Year’s Six game and has the Georgia problem coming up next. Lose this, and it might be a run of three losses in four games, and well, Florida isn’t going to let that happen. The Florida ground game will dominate the time of possession battle and the defense will do enough to force LSU to go for field goals, instead of getting the touchdowns they will need. Florida 31, LSU 17.
#19 BYU @ Baylor
Mac Garland: BYU surprised me losing to Boise State last week. Now they pay a visit to Chip and Joanna Country aka Waco, TX to face future Big 12 conference opponent Baylor. Dave Aranda has done a nice job in his second season coaching the Bears. I hope they’re enjoying it because LSU may come calling after Coach O is kicked to the curb in late November or December. Baylor is a 6.5-point favorite and they likely have more speed than the ranked Cougars. Baylor 28, BYU 24
#13 Ole Miss @ Tennessee
Mark Wagner: A couple of weeks ago this looked like a blowout victory for the Rebels. That’s not a sure thing anymore because it looks like Tennessee has the firepower to hang with Ole Miss. The Vols’ offense has scored a total of 107 points the last 2 weeks. QB Hendon Hooker has completed almost 70% of his passes for 1,063 yards and 13 touchdowns overall, while rushing for 282 yards and 3 scores. The Vols are 19th in the FBS in total offense and 7th in rushing. They are scoring an average of 41.5 points per game and gaining 474 yards per contest. As good as Tennessee’s offense has been, Ole Miss have been even more impressive. Quarterback Matt Corral has nearly 1,500 yards passing and 12 TDs, while having yet to throw an interception. Corral has proven he can run when he has to with 255 yards and 8 scores. The Rebels have the 5th-best rushing attack in the nation. Ole Miss is second in the country in total offense, picking up 561 yards a game. They are averaging more than 46 points per contest. Saturday is going to be a long day for both defenses. While both units are improved from a year ago, it looks like they could each be overmatched. Tenn 52, Ole Miss 51
Todd Rudisill: The Vols have risen from the ashes albeit against the likes of Mizzou, South Carolina, Tennessee Tech, and Bowling Green. But they have a pulse! Since making the QB change to Hendon Hooker, Tennessee has looked much better. The Vols are now third in the SEC in total yards. Ole Miss comes in fresh off their nail biter win against our beloved Hogs. Their defense still sucks. This one has shootout written all over it. Vol fans will be brought down to reality. Black Bears take it 41-31.
#12 Oklahoma State @ #25 Texas
Mark Wagner: The Cowboys O-line and D-line have been what led them to an undefeated season so far, and Texas has to be suffering a hangover after their game last week. Oklahoma State has a good passing attack, and the offense has been more than fine – the team plays up or down to its competition – but the Texas attack will get its balance back fast. The Cowboy defensive front and the pass rush will keep this game in range, but in the third straight Big 12 thriller for the Longhorns, they’ll rise up at home and win on a late drive. Texas 34, Oklahoma State 27
Todd Rudisill: Only Texas could blow a 21-point lead last week and lose so hilariously to their arch rival OU. You gotta feel for them. No, we don’t. Horns down. Oklahoma State is undefeated? They have just been a blip on the radar nationally, not getting any respect coming in ranked #12 and a 6-point underdog. This will all come down to if Texas has recovered mentally from getting their dreams crushed last week. Horns pull it out at home 37-31. But … Go Pokes!
#11 Kentucky @ #1 Georgia
Todd Rudisill: You have got to be impressed with what Stoops has done with the Kentucky football program. The words Kentucky football program just don’t seem to go together as I type them. Yet here they are undefeated and ranked 11th and an opportunity to go into Athens and shock the world with an upset over #1 Georgia. There’s just one problem: Georgia’s defensive front. Dawgs win their 12 straight against the Cats, 38-7.
Mac Garland: Not sure why ESPN’s College Game Day decided they wanted front row seats to a horror show sequel, but that’s what they have Saturday. If you thought the Razorbacks game against the Bulldogs was a nightmare, wait until you see what happens to Kentucky “Between the Hedges.” The Dawgs are 22.5 point favorites and if the ‘Cats think they’ll walk into Athens and see gaps like they did against those hapless LSU linebackers, they’re sadly mistaken. UGA 44, Kentucky 0
Editor’s note: Now in its 10th year, Tusk to Tail is the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.
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