Mark Edwards' picks: Easy day for Tide, Tigers; JSU has big test
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Oct 11, 2013 | 3371 views |  0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama head coach Nick Saban brings the Tide out of the tunnel at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban brings the Tide out of the tunnel at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Alabama and Auburn should sail today, but Jacksonville State has a tough one.

The Gamecocks face the best defense they’ve seen this year, but we’re guessing JSU will make it a nice homecoming for the old grads.

No. 1 Alabama (5-0) at Kentucky (1-4): The Wildcats have played just plain awful this season.

They’ve scored the fewest touchdowns. Only Vanderbilt has rushed for fewer yards. Only Texas A&M has allowed more rushing yards. Only Tennessee has allowed more rushing touchdowns.

After a problematic defensive performance against Texas A&M, Alabama has played like it usually does. The Tide hasn’t allowed a touchdown in three games and now ranks second in the SEC in total defense, just behind Florida. ... Alabama 38, Kentucky 6.

Western Carolina (1-5) at Auburn (4-1): Western Carolina is the perfect homecoming opponent, no matter that Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is sitting out to rest his injured knee.

The Catamounts lost to Samford 62-23 this year. Their one win came over Mars Hill, which also was Western Carolina’s only victim the previous two seasons, too.

It’s homecoming for Auburn, and it’s a good bet everyone will get to play. ... Auburn 62, Western Carolina 16.

Tennessee State (5-1) at Jacksonville State (5-1): Tennessee State ranks first nationally in total defense, but the running game still matters plenty in college football. TSU isn’t as good there, ranking 29th nationally in run defense. Jacksonville State is 14th in the country in rushing offense.

The best run defense JSU has faced this year belongs to Alabama State, which ranks ninth in FCS. ASU gave up 126 yards to the Gamecocks, who managed a 24-22 win.

Tennessee State’s lone loss came in the season opener to Bethune-Cookman 12-9. ... Jacksonville State 23, Tennessee State 17.

No. 25 Missouri (5-0) at No. 7 Georgia (4-1): It hasn’t been easy for Georgia, which already has played No. 3 Clemson, No. 10 LSU and No. 14 South Carolina. Also, the Bulldogs will play No. 17 Florida in two weeks.

Aaron Murray, the Georgia quarterback, trails Tim Tebow’s record for career total offense by only 324 yards. Tebow picked up 12,232 yards at Florida. ... Georgia 35, Missouri 27.

Texas (3-2) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (5-0): Right or left?

Which way do you think three-time national champion Texas coach Darrell Royal is spinning in his grave over the way the Longhorns play defense these days?

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has semi-returned to the days when it fielded tough, ground-oriented teams. The Sooners are 17th nationally in rushing offense and ninth in total defense and appear on their way to being the team that the SEC champ blows out in the BCS National Championship Game. ... Oklahoma 42, Texas 27.

No. 14 South Carolina (4-1) at Arkansas (3-3): All-America defensive end Jadaveon Clowney doesn’t need a good year to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but his unwillingness to play with much effort this year is causing pro teams to question his desire. Run-based Arkansas could give him a chance to get rid of some red flags and show some toughness.

His two sacks don’t even lead the team. Kelcy Quarles has four. ... South Carolina 24, Arkansas 20.

No. 2 Oregon (5-0) at No. 16 Washington (4-1): Oregon hasn’t scored fewer than 55 points in a game this year. Washington has allowed 14.8 points a game. ... Oregon 45, Washington 28.

No. 17 Florida (4-1) at No. 10 LSU (5-1): Florida is second nationally in total defense, running up good stats against Toledo, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas.

LSU scores almost 46 points a game. ... LSU 31, Florida 17.

No. 9 Texas A&M (4-1) at Ole Miss (3-2): Johnny Manziel is sixth nationally in total offense and now he faces the third-worst rushing defense in the SEC. ... Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 24.

No. 18 Michigan (5-0) at Penn State (3-2): Michigan leads the series 10-6 but hasn’t beaten the Nittany Lions since 2007.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner ranks second in the Big Ten in total offense, as he has replaced Denard Robinson just fine. ... Michigan 28, Penn State 27.

Last week: 8-2.

Overall: 50-10.
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