We are heading into week ten of the college season! We have a loaded schedule of games this weekend but none bigger than Tennessee taking on Georgia. It should be a great weekend for college football. Here are predictions for five of the biggest games this weekend:
#1 Tennessee @ #3 Georgia
Matt: This is the game that everyone has been waiting for. Tennessee showed that they could take down a top team like Alabama but now they go on the road to face the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs don’t want to get into a shootout with the Volunteers because they will lose if that’s the case. They’ll want to slow the game down to their pace and make Tennessee react. This should be a very good game and will be a measuring stick for the Volunteers and their playoff hopes. Take down Georgia and they are almost certain to make it unless they drop a game that they shouldn’t. The Volunteers have had a magical ride this season so far, but I see that ending. Give me Georgia to spoil the party and hand Tennessee their first loss of the season.
Marissa: t’s all or nothing in this game, as it will undoubtedly decide the SEC East. The Georgia Bulldogs are the reigning champions, but Tennessee has been on a dominant roll this college football season. The Tennessee offense moves fast, and it is a reason why they have allowed the lowest pressure percentage against the blitz this season. The Bulldogs pass rush has only gotten 10 sacks on the season and will be without their leading sack defender in Nolan Smith, who has three. The Volunteers offense is extremely diverse as Cedric Tillman returned last week to add to the passing attack that had been dominant with Jalen Hyatt, and Hendon Hooker will move the ball on this defense. Likewise, Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs are averaging 530.1 yards per game and the Volunteers are allowing 400 yards per game. Expect this game to be high scoring like the Tennessee vs. Alabama game was, and for a similar outcome, with the Volunteers narrowly winning.
#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU
Matt: Does LSU really belong in the top-10 of the College Football Playoff initial rankings? Probably not but they are here and if they can take down Alabama, what a win that would be for Brian Kelly and company. They have everything set up to do so. This is why Kelly came to Baton Rouge, for games like this. They are riding the highs of beating Ole Miss and have a night game in Death Valley on their side. However, the Tigers have been a bit streaky this season and while Alabama can be beat, it won’t be easy. Jayden Daniels is going to need the game of his life to take down the Crimson Tide and I’m not so sure that he can play well for all four quarters. LSU is close to really breaking through, but it won’t be this week against Nick Saban.
Marissa: The Alabama Crimson Tide have shown they are beatable this season as they lost to Tennessee. The receiving group isn’t as great as it has been in years past, but Bryce Young has made the most of it by still throwing for 18 touchdowns. It has been Jahmyr Gibbs that has taken over the ground game with six touchdowns and averaging 6.9 yards per carry. Between Young and Gibbs, they have led the offense to score an average of 43.1 points per game. LSU has the chance to possibly keep up with Alabama, they have scored 45 points in back-to-back games and Kayshon Boutte is starting to become a focal point in the pass game. The LSU offense could run into a roadblock though when it comes to the Alabama defense that is giving up only 16.6 points per game. Jayden Daniels has been susceptible to sacks, as he has 25, and the Crimson Tide have gotten 23. The Tigers defense though has been able to step up in huge games and allow only an average of 21.1 points per game. This will be a closer game than many expect, but Alabama avoids their second loss of the season.
Alabama- 31 LSU- 28
#21 Wake Forest @ #22 NC State
Matt: We have an ACC showdown this weekend in what should be a fun game. Wake Forest comes in with a chance to really silence the Wolfpack while propelling themselves up farther. Clemson is the clear-cut favorite, but the Demon Deacons need to bounce back from their loss last week. It won’t be easy, going on the road but they have the talent to pull this off. NC State saw their offense jump and will look to repeat the results. If they can match the Wake Forest offense, they’ll have a good chance of taking this matchup. I see this game leaning in the favor of the rod team. It feels like a good chance for Wake Forest to grab another win. Give me the Demon Deacons here.
Wake Forest-31 NC State-28
Marissa: It was an utterly disappointing game for Wake Forest in their 48-21 loss to Louisville, as they turned the ball over eight times. The Wolfpack, on the other hand, saw their offense come back to life with third-string, freshman quarterback MJ Morris taking over. Morris completed 69% of his passes for three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Morris’ spark that he gave to the offense should be able to find weaknesses in this Wake Forest defense, allowing 233.5 yards per game through the air. On defense, the Wolfpack have been good with causing turnovers. While Sam Hartman has been efficient, when he turns the ball over like last week, it’s hard for this offense to regain momentum. With that, an early turnover and the spark Morris brings could lead to N.C. State to the victory.
NC State-28 Wake Forest-21
Liberty @ Arkansas
Matt: An unranked matchup lands on this list because quite frankly, it could be one of the better games this weekend. For as well as Liberty has played, playing on the road in an SEC arena is an entirely different challenge. I think Arkansas had hoped their season would go a little differently and realize that they can still have a strong season. Quarterback KJ Jefferson is the X-factor in this matchup, and he can use both his arm and legs to make a difference here. Liberty may keep this game close for a few quarters, but I think the Razorbacks find a way to break it open at some point and grab the victory. Give me Arkansas to earn another win on the year.
Marissa: Despite Malik Willis leaving for the NFL, the Liberty Flames have been able to stay consistent with their production and since their one loss have won five straight games, including a 41-14 win over BYU. It has been the run game for the Flames that has taken over, with Dae Hunter rushing for 825 yards and eight touchdowns. The Razorbacks also have a strong run game with Raheim Sanders rushing for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns, while quarterback KJ Jefferson also is a factor with 389 yards and six touchdowns. Arkansas has momentum on their side with better quarterback play in Jefferson to lead them to the victory in this run heavy game.
#18 Oklahoma State @ Kansas
Matt: Even though Kansas has fallen off a little bit since their hot start, they are still a good football team and are just one victory from bowl eligibility. They have a tough matchup against the Cowboys this weekend with Oklahoma State likely pissed off from their embarrassing loss last weekend. Kansas is going to need to rely on their strong playmakers to create space against this Cowboy defense and hope that they can get some big plays going. For Oklahoma State, quarterback Spencer Sanders is going to need to carry them. They can hope that they have a better showing than last week and the bar to do so is pretty low. I think this will be a good game with the road team coming out on top. I like the Cowboys to redeem themselves here.
Oklahoma State-34 Kansas-30
Marissa: Both teams are searching for a bounce back game. Oklahoma State got demolished in their 48-0 shutout loss to Kansas State. Kansas on the other hand, after starting the season undefeated have lost three in a row and have had to rely on Jason Bean at quarterback after Jalon Daniels suffered a shoulder injury. Spencer Sanders has had to carry Oklahoma State as their defense currently ranks 108th in the nation, allowing 31.1 points per game, and 119th in terms of yards per game with 455.3. The Jayhawks defense isn’t much better, as they are allowing 30.6 points per game. With how both defenses have played, this has the potential to be a high scoring game. While Kansas has been in games without Daniels, he hasn’t been able to put them over the top. This should be a rebound game for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State-35 Kansas-31