Georgia at Florida
Why Georgia will win: Georgia had a well needed bye week last week following a loss at home to Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs bring a 4-3 record into Jacksonville for a HUGE showdown with Florida. The story of the year for Georgia is inconsistency out of their running backs. On paper, they have two of the better running backs in the SEC in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Freshman quarterback, Jacob Eason, has played well for the Bulldogs. He has passed for 1366 yards and 9 touchdowns. Chubb and Michel are going to have to take some of the pressure off of Eason if they want a shot at winning. The Gator defense is tough and Georgia is going to have to play very well if they want a shot at the upset.
Why Florida will win: If Florida loses this game, the SEC East will become VERY interesting. With that being said, the Gator defense is too good and should shut down an inconsistent Georgia offense. Offensively, the Gators will have Luke Del Rio back from injury for the second straight game. Del Rio has passed for 998 yards and 7 touchdowns in limited action this season. The Gator running backs are what makes or breaks the offense. Florida has three running backs with at least 250 yards on the ground. Jordan Scarlett, Lamical Perine, and Mark Thompson have combined for 937 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground this season.
Gorm’s Guess: Florida 27 Georgia 17: Florida’s defense is going to lead them to the win here. Del Rio should have a good game through the air, but expect the game to be dominated by the Florida rushing attack.
Samford at Mississippi State
Why Samford will win: Samford ranks #20 in FCS and is 6-1, with their only loss coming to #3 Chattanooga. The Bulldogs can score. Devlin Hodges ranks 3rd in the FCS in passing yards with 2445 and 24 touchdowns. He is going to spread the ball out to multiple different receivers. His leading target is Karel Hamilton, who has hauled in 752 yards and 9 touchdowns. They will provide an interesting challenge for Mississippi State, who struggled stopping Kentucky at times last week.
Why Mississippi State will win: If there was one word to describe the Mississippi State season so far, it would be “almost.” The Bulldogs enter the game at 2-5, but have been in games that they could have almost won. This team could very easily be 6-1, but instead, this game has an entirely different light shown on it. The inconsistencies of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald have proved to be a weakness. Fitzgerald has passed for 1079 yards and rushed for 538. As shown last week, there are points where he can take over a game with his athleticism. There is no reason why he should not do that again this week.
Gorm’s Guess: Mississippi State 31 Samford 30: This game is really intriguing. I would not be surprised if Samford pulls off the upset. Nick Fitzgerald is going to have to have a good game if Mississippi State wants to win.
Tennessee at South Carolina
Why Tennessee will win: The injury bug has bitten the Vols hard this year. Following back to back losses, Tennessee will be coming off a bye week and should have multiple key players back. After a slow start to the season, Joshua Dobbs has played pretty well. The dual threat option of Dobbs, along with Jalen Hurd coming out of the backfield, will provide South Carolina with a big challenge. This game is far from a must-win for Tennessee, but a loss would really hurt any chance they have to win the SEC East.
Why South Carolina will win: Jake Bentley became the third different Gamecock to start at quarterback this season. In last weekend’s game against UMass, Bentley passed for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon McIlwain did not attempt a pass, but did add some yards on the ground. The two both add different aspects to the Gamecock offense that has struggled this season. To win, South Carolina is going to have to get out to an early lead and establish a running game.
Gorm’s Guess: Tennessee 31 South Carolina 27: I have a feeling that this game will be closer than most people may think. If South Carolina can establish the running game and get out to an early lead, they could pull off the upset.
Auburn at Ole Miss
Why Auburn will win: Auburn EXPLODED last week. No one saw it coming. They destroyed Arkansas 56-3. If they play the same way this week, we could see much of the same. The Ole Miss defense is bad. The Auburn offense is playing as well as they have in a few years. The key for Auburn is running the football. Their two headed monster at running back is Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. The two have combined for 1,235 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Why Ole Miss will win: Ole Miss is going to have to score to keep up with Auburn and by score I mean at least 40 points. Their defense has been putrid this season. On the other hand, their offense has been pretty decent. Chad Kelly continues to have a good season. He is on pace to throw for nearly 4,000 yards. The pressure that has been put on him has caused him to make some questionable decisions as he has thrown 7 interceptions. If Kelly can limit turnovers and the Ole Miss defense can make any improvements at all, the Rebels could get a well needed win.
Gorm’s Guess: Auburn 38 Ole Miss 28: The Ole Miss Defense has too many question marks for me to pick them confidently.
New Mexico State at Texas A&M
Why New Mexico State will win: As Kentucky fans learned week 3, the Aggie offense runs through quarterback Tyler Rogers. Last week, Texas A&M struggled in stopping Alabama’s Jalen Hurts. While Rogers is not near the talent of Hurts, he could still cause some issues for A&M. This season he has passed for nearly 2,000 yards and added 234 on the ground. The main worry for New Mexico State fans is turnovers. Rogers is currently tied for 4th in the nation in interceptions thrown with 10.
Why Texas A&M will win: Even in a loss last week, Texas A&M proved that they are the second best team in the SEC. The Aggies are talented at every position. Defensively, Myles Garrett is a consensus top-5 pick for the 2017 NFL Draft. He is going to have a field day against a New Mexico State offensive line that has given up 21 sacks this season. Offensively, Trevor Knight has been fantastic. The combination of Knight and running back Trayveon Williams may be the best in the SEC. Knight can beat you with both his arm and his legs.
Gorm’s Guess: Texas A&M 56 New Mexico State 10: There really isn’t much to explain here. Texas A&M is one of the best teams in the nation, while New Mexico State is one of the worst.
Other Games of Note
Louisville at Virginia
Why Louisville will win: After a disappointing outing against Duke, the Cards bounced back to trounce NC State on Saturday. Lamar Jackson continues to run away with the Heisman trophy race. He has passed for 2161 yards, 18 touchdowns and rushed for 908 yards and 16 touchdowns. If you’re curious, the NCAA record for most total touchdowns in a season is 63, held by Colt Brennan. (Hawaii, 2006) Jackson should have another big game this week. Virginia has shown definite signs of growth, but still have a long way to go.
Why Virginia will win: The Bronco Mendenhall era has gotten off to a questionable start for the Cavaliers. They will have a difficult challenge in slowing down UofL this week. Kurt Benkert leads the way for Virginia with 1859 yards through the air. He has been turnover prone. The key for Virginia to pull off the upset is going to be making Lamar Jackson one dimensional. They need to make sure that he does not beat them on the ground.
Gorm’s Guess: Louisville 45 Virginia 16: Lamar Jackson will have another big game. The Cards might not lose another game until November 26th. #CatsBy90
Washington at Utah
Why Washington will win: Chris Petersen’s Huskies are ROLLING. They have dominated their opponents this year, winning by a combined 338-102. Jake Browning is putting together a good Heisman campaign of his own. He has passed for 1709 yards and 26 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. When Browning isn’t making plays of his own, he is handing the ball off to one of the Pac-12’s better running backs in Myles Gaskin. Overall, the Huskies can score. They can also defend. They are one of the nations more curious teams as no one really knows what to expect with them.
Why Utah will win: The Utes have one of the best home field advantages in the nation. The fans will definitely be fired up for a HUGE top 25 showdown. Troy and Joe Williams lead the Utes out of the backfield. Troy Williams brings 1725 passing yards to the table and Joe Williams will bring 586 rushing yards. Utah has struggled at times to defend against the pass. They will not be able to struggle this week against one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
Gorm’s Guess: Washington 54 Utah 35: Washington is one of the better teams in the nation. This game will all but cement themselves in the CFP.
Nebraska at Wisconsin
Why Nebraska will win: The Huskers are rolling into Madison. The key for the Cornhuskers is going to be offense. They will need to find a way to score against the Wisconsin defense. While this may sound like an obvious answer, the Wisconsin offense has struggled this year. It is hard seeing them scoring more than 24 points. If Nebraska, under quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr, can move the ball against the Badgers and take the crowd out of the game, Nebraska will walk out with a huge win.
Why Wisconsin will win: Wisconsin’s team is centered around their defense. Offensively, the quarterback position has worried Badger fans. Alex Hornibrook replaced Bart Houston and has proceeded to throw 6 interceptions to 5 touchdowns. The Badger offense is going to run through Corey Clement, who has 617 yards on the ground with 6 touchdowns. Clement is going to have to have a big game to open up the passing game for Hornibrook.
Gorm’s Guess: Wisconsin 20 Nebraska 14: I think the Wisconsin defense will shut down the Huskers. If this game was played in Lincoln, I could see it going Nebraska’s way, but Madison is a tough place to play.
Clemson at Florida State
Why Clemson will win: Consistency has been an issue for Clemson. They have had a lot of their games be closer than they really should have been. Deshaun Watson has almost disappeared from the Heisman trophy talks. His stats are still impressive and the Tigers are still undefeated. They will have an interesting road test in Florida State this week. The Seminoles have struggled on defense this season. Watson should have a huge game. He will have no issues spreading the ball out on the ground to Wayne Gallman and through the air to Mike Williams.
Why Florida State will win: Florida State is centered around Dalvin Cook. Cook is arguably the best running back in the ACC and maybe the best one not named Leonard Fournette in the nation. Cook’s game spreads more than traditional running. He is also a threat out of the backfield as a receiver. Overall, he has 1,256 all purpose yards and 8 total touchdowns. He is going to have a huge game.
Gorm’s Guess: Clemson 38 Florida State 34: The Seminoles NEED to win this game. A win makes the race to the conference championship very interesting, while a Clemson win will almost cement their spot in the championship game.