It’s a big weekend in Week 4 of the college football season with the two national championship finalists in action against ranked opposition. Last season’s runners-up, the Auburn Tigers, will continue their bid for another championship run going on Thursday against the Kansas State Wildcats. Meanwhile, defending champions Florida State meet Clemson in an ACC showdown on Saturday night.
Don’t be left out of the football loop. Read our previews for the Florida State vs. Clemson and Auburn vs. Kansas State games to get yourself ready for two of the biggest tilts of the college season and read on for more on the rest of the premier coming your way this week.[sc:NCAAFArticles ]
Top Five Games to Watch in Week 4 of College Football
Auburn Tigers vs. Kansas State Wildcats Thursday, September 18, 8:00 PM ET)
Line: Auburn Tigers (-9) at Kansas State Wildcats (+9) – view all NCAA Football lines
[sc:NCAA240banner ]Just two games into season, the Auburn Tigers are once again displaying their prolific running game with 660 yards and nine touchdowns. Senior running back Cameron Artis-Payne leads the team with 289 yards and four TDs on 42 carries, while quarterback Nick Marshall has 103 yards and a score on 11 carries in a 59-13 rout of San Jose State.
Kansas State has a dynamic quarterback of its own with Jake Waters, who rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in their win over Iowa State. Even so, it may be the ability of Wildcats’ front seven, who have limited their opponents to three yards per carry in their first two games, to stop the Auburn rushing machine that will likely decide victory or defeat.
Writer’s Prediction: Auburn proves too much for Kansas State to handle. The Tigers win and cover the spread with ease.
Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday, September 20, 3:30 PM ET)
Line: Florida Gators (+15) at Alabama Crimson Tide (-15) – view all NCAA Football lines
The Alabama Crimson Tide are on a rampage after recording back-to-back 40-point blowouts against Florida Atlantic and Southern Mississippi. Both the aerial attack and the ground game have had their moments, while Amari Cooper has been a beast (33 catches, 454 yards) this season. On defense, they have been able to shut down their opponents’ running game. However, their pass defense isn’t up to standard allowing West Virginia to outgain them 365-250 in the air on August 30.
Still, the Gators’ quarterback Jeff Driskel shouldn’t cause the the Crimson Tide too much trouble. Driskel overthrew a handful of crucial passes and threw a pick in a triple overtime game against Kentucky on Saturday.
Writer’s Prediction: The Alabama Crimson Tide blow out the Florida Gators, but once again fall short of covering the spread.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. LSU Tigers (Saturday, September 20, 7:00 PM ET)
Line: Mississippi State Bulldogs (+10) vs. LSU Tigers (-10) – view all NCAA Football lines
The LSU Tigers have started slowly in two of their last three games. They only scored one touchdown in the first half against Wisconsin in Week 1, and struggled to move the ball in their Week 3 shutout win against UL Monroe. This struggle to move the ball will play into the hands of Mississippi State’s experienced defensive unit with a number of key returnees. Defensive lineman Preston Smith has eight total tackles and two interceptions in his first two games, and blocked a field goal attempt against South Alabama on Saturday.
Writer’s Prediction: The LSU Tigers win, but Mississippi State keeps it close.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (Saturday, September 20, 7:30 PM ET)
Line: Oklahoma Sooners (-8) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (+8) – view all NCAA Football lines
Oklahoma’s passing combo of Trevor Knight and Sterling Shepard are lighting up the scoreboard this year. After three games, Knight now has a 59.4% completion rate for 860 yards and four TDs while his favorite receiver, the dynamic Shepard, has caught 17 passes for 335 yards and two TDs. Knight and Shepard are due to tear it up against the West Virginia Mountaineers who allowed 284 yards and four TDs against Maryland on Saturday.
Writer’s Prediction: The Oklahoma Sooners encounter more difficulties than expected but still pull out with the win. The Mountaineers cover.
Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles (Saturday, September 20, 8:00 PM ET)
Line: Clemson Tigers (+20.5) vs. Florida State Seminoles (-20.5) – view all NCAA Football lines
After two games, last year’s dominant champions, the Florida State Seminoles, are looking ripe for the picking. The ‘Noles have failed to cover 18- and 56.5-point spreads to begin this season while allowing three rushing touchdowns to Oklahoma State and 250 yards rushing to unranked Citadel. With Florida State seemingly weakened, the Clemson Tigers will unleash their resurgent running attack which trampled through South Carolina State for 268 yards on 51 carries with four touchdowns.
Writer’s Prediction: Florida State finally show their championship form as they win and cover at home.[sc:NCAA490banner ]
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