#7 Kentucky @ #14 Ole Miss
Matt: This is a huge game for Will Levis. He can prove any doubters wrong here if he can go into Oxford and take down Ole Miss. That crowd is going to be going wild for their team and will be trying to make life tough for him. This Kentucky team can’t afford to play like they did in their last game and expect a victory. They will need to put together four strong quarters to take down the Rebels. Ole Miss can score easily and I think the offense will be too much for the Wildcats. Give me the home team to hold serve and get a huge victory.
Ole Miss 42 Kentucky 31
Marissa: One of the biggest SEC battles this week as Kentucky faces Ole Miss. Kentucky has been on a roll so far this season with their 4-0 start. Their run game has been below par, averaging 81 rushing yards per game, but now they get their star running back in Chris Rodriguez Jr. back on the field this weekend. Rodriguez Jr. in 2021 was phenomenal, ending up with 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns on 225 attempts. In Rodriguez’s absence, Will Levis has been leading the offense with the passing attack. Already he has 1,185 yards on the season with 10 touchdowns. Unlike years past, this Ole Miss offense has turned to a more run-heavy approach, averaging 280 rushing yards per game with their duo of Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins. Both defenses have played fairly well, but can also be leaky at points throughout the game. This should play into each team’s hand in a game that should see its fair share of scoring. Kentucky has the more veteran presence on defense to rattle transfer quarterback Jaxson Dart as he continues to settle in the new scheme.
Kentucky 31 Ole Miss 24
#2 Alabama @ #20 Arkansas
Matt: Despite the loss last week, Arkansas is still a good team. They have a huge opportunity to make a statement and take down Alabama this weekend at home. Last year, they just couldn’t get over the hump and take down the elites in the SEC and I’m sure they want to move past that stigma. They will need to play their best game in a long time because Alabama won’t beat themselves. They are too disciplined and talented. I think this game could be close but I see the Crimson Tide pulling out the victory. Arkansas is close but just aren’t there yet. Give me the road team to take home the victory.
Alabama 38 Arkansas 25
Marissa: This was almost a battle of two undefeated teams, had Arkansas not missed a last second field goal against Texas A&M. Coming off a tough loss, they now have to get ready for a tough Alabama team. The Crimson Tide have had their fair share of flaws this year, ones that led to a close game against Texas, but still have one of the best offenses in the nation. Bryce Young has led this team to averaging 282.5 passing yards per game, he has done so by spreading the ball out to six different playmakers who all have over 100 yards. Young will get a secondary of the Razorbacks that has allowed 1,210 passing yards, good for ninth in the nation. Where Arkansas has found success defensively is getting to the quarterback, they currently lead all of college football with 20 sacks. Getting to Young is a key for Arkansas, as well as getting the run game going with quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders to drain the clock and win the time of possession. Arkansas will keep this game closer than many expect, especially given how Alabama has struggled on the road recently, but ultimately Alabama secures the victory.
Alabama 44 Arkansas 41
#10 NC State @ #5 Clemson
Matt: This is the moment that NC State has been waiting for, a shot at Clemson. Clemson has been the household name in the ACC for a long time now and the Wolfpack can claim their spot if they win this game. Going into Memorial Stadium won’t be easy but this NC State team is strong willed. Clemson looked a little shaky last week against Wake Forest but pulled out the win in the end. NC State will need to make sure they put constant pressure on DJ Uiagalelei in this game to throw him off. He has been better this season but is still prone to some mistakes. Despite the tough environment, I like the Wolfpack to sneak out of South Carolina with a win. Give me NC State in this matchup.
NC State 31 Clemson 28
Marissa: Last week against Wake Forest, that was D.J. Uiagalelei’s prove it game, and he did just that. Clemson had been able to rely on running the ball with Will Shipley in the last few games, Wake Forest took that factor away. Clemson had been able to rely on their defense to make stops, Wake Forest tested them there as well and put it all on Uiagalelei. And he thrived. Uiagalelei completed 26 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns, with no interceptions. It was the improvement as a quarterback everyone had been waiting so long to see from Uiagalelei. But now, he faces a Wolfpack defense that returns many of the starters he faced last year when Clemson lost to them, and he completed only 46.2% of his passes for 111 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The interception was from Drake Thomas, who is back this year. The Wolfpack’s defense has been opportunistic, coming away with 16 interceptions so far, which has set up Devin Leary and the offense perfectly to score. That will be the case in this game that comes down to that last crucial turnover.
NC State 31 Clemson 28
#22 Wake Forest @ #23 Florida State
Matt: Wake Forest almost took down Clemson last week but fell just short. They get another shot at a big win as they travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles. Florida State may be the best undefeated team that nobody is talking about. They took down LSU and have looked good thus far. Behind Mike Norvell, this team is finally clicking and can earn a huge statement win. Wake Forest can put up points like crazy so the Florida State defense will need to be ready to go. I think they answer the challenge and Florida State moves to 5-0 on the season behind a strong performance from the defense. I like the Seminoles here at home this week.
Florida State 34 Wake Forest 30
Marissa: The Florida State Seminoles are favored? Yes, the 4-0 Seminoles are indeed the favorite in this matchup. The Seminoles are currently in the middle of having their best start for the first time in seven years. Last season, this game was not even close as Wake Forest won 35-14. Sam Hartman is playing as well as ever, and is coming off a 337-yard, six touchdown performance. Wake Forest is going to push the ball downfield and try to test Florida State that way, but Florida State has held up well against the pass, only allowing 165 yards per game through the air. For the Seminoles they will go as far as Jordan Travis takes them, and he has been excelling at that this season. Travis has evolved as a passer, now giving Florida State the ability to call plays to push the ball down the field vertically. These are two explosive offenses, but Florida State is more balanced on both sides of the ball to edge out the win.
Florida State 41 Wake Forest 38
#9 Oklahoma State @ #16 Baylor
Matt: A rematch of the Big-12 title game from last season where Baylor stopped the Cowboys on the goaline to prevent them from possibly making the College Football Playoff. The Cowboys surely will remember this and will want some revenge. Mike Gundy is still the coach and he will want another shot at reaching the playoff. This Oklahoma State team is very good and can put Baylor in the rearview mirror with a win. This team seems focused on one goal and I have them going into Waco and winning. I like the Cowboys in this matchup.
Oklahoma State 28 Baylor 24
Will this be a redemption game for Spencer Sanders and Oklahoma State? The last time these two teams faced was in the Big 12 Championship Game where Sanders had an ugly performance, turning the ball over four times in the 21-16 loss. Sanders has looked improved this season, completing 65.3% of his passes so far for 916 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception. Their offense has been explosive, averaging 49.7 points per game, but now face their toughest defense yet in Baylor, who has limited opponents to only an average of 16.8 points per game. Taking into account the factor that Sanders has had to deal with thinking of this loss for months now, he will want to rectify that performance, and in a classic Big 12 shootout, should come away victorious this time.
Oklahoma State 40 Baylor 36