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College Football Week Seven Picks

Josh Robinson
2 Auburn vs. 3 Mississippi State
One week after one of the craziest days in college football history, all eyes will once more be on the SEC West and this huge meeting. After embarrassing both Texas A&M and LSU, Mississippi State will hope to add yet another huge win to their resume, led by Heisman candidate Dak Prescott. Prescott has done it all so far this season for the Bulldogs, throwing for 1,232 yards, running for 455 more and combining for 19 total touchdowns. While Prescott is the most recognizable name on the Bulldogs' offense, he is far from the only weapon that Auburn will have to worry about. Powerful tailback Josh Robinson is having a huge year (592 yards, 6 touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards per carry) and he dominated against Texas A&M. Sophomore De'Runnya Wilson and Jameon Lewis are Prescott's weapons in the pass game. The speedy Wilson stretches defenses vertically and sideline to sideline while the senior Lewis has impressive versatility. The Auburn defense has been very stout this season but this Mississippi State offense is the best they've seen by far. They will need a big day from their secondary once more, which will unfortunately by without big play safety Jermaine Whitehead, who is suspended. That pass defense held LSU to just a shocking 33.3 completion percentage and just 5.9 yards per attempt through the air. The Auburn offense will be all about the run in this game, to nobody's surprise. A unit that includes QB Nick Marshall, hard-nosed Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant and Roc Thomas, the Tigers have worn out every opponent they have seen. Though, Mississippi State's front seven is strong, powerful and deep and they have the athleticism and stamina to keep up with the Tigers' rushing attack. That means the passing game must take the steps necessary to make plays against this Bulldogs' defense. Before the year, we all said one thing: if Auburn is going to return to the national championship game, their pass offense must improve. It has shown signs of being dangerous, but it is still inconsistent and could be an issue. If Marshall makes the throws needed, Auburn can win this football team. But, the way Prescott and Miss. State have been playing, it is awfully hard to pick against them. They should add another huge SEC victory to their resume, and make a serious bid for the No. 1 spot in the nation, something little people outside of Starkville, Mississippi thought would ever happen.
Mississippi State, 37 Auburn, 27

5 Baylor vs. 9 TCU
While all the SEC West mania is fun, there are other conferences with huge meetings this week, including this Big 12 battle. Gary Patterson and the 4-0 Horned Frogs have already matched last year's win total and hope to take down yet another explosive offense with their stingy defense. Offensively, they are no slouch either, led by dual threat quarterback Trevone Boykin, who has improved tremendously this season. Boykin was always known for his speed and ability to make things happen when plays break down but his arm strength has greatly improved and he has been able to put some serious zip on the ball. He will be helped out by a strong running back in B.J. Catalon, a shifty runner with some power along with a veteran offensive line. He will get the opportunity to throw against a Baylor defense that has not seen an offense anywhere close to the level of TCU's. He will have to deal with some pressure though, as the Bears present massive defensive end Shawn Oakman to the table, a guy who is shooting up NFL draft boards. Baylor's offense is all about speed and stretching defenses. They will bring Heisman candidate Bryce Petty to the table, a guy who is now 100 percent after dealing with back problems earlier in the season. He will be supported by two great running backs in Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson along with an abundance of big-play receivers, including K.D. Cannon, Antwan Goodley and Jay Lee. Cannon has been an absolute monster in his first year in Waco, picking up 527 yards through the first five games, averaging over 20 yards per reception. When preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Devonte Fields was kicked off the team, many expected TCU's defense to take a step back. Though, led by a quick, smart secondary, the Horned Frogs's "D" shut down Oklahoma last week and has been great all year. Safeties Sam Carter and Marcus Mallet lead the secondary, which will often capitalize on any mistakes made by quarterbacks, while leading tackler Paul Dawson is a beast at linebacker (37 tackles through four games). Though, is this defense quick enough and smart enough to handle a Baylor offense that is averaging 51 points per game and has a healthy Petty at the helm? They will need to force and capitalize on turnovers and stop Cannon from making big plays. While this game could be tight, Baylor should impress in their first big test of the season.
Baylor, 45 TCU, 28

3 Ole Miss Rebels vs. 14 Texas A&M Aggies
After a memorable last weekend, Ole Miss will face the toughest task of pulling off a major upset: coming back and performing the next week. And, there post-Alabama and post-College Gameday mania matchup? A date with Kenny Hill and the Aggies at Kyle Field. After a fabulous performance in their opener against South Carolina and comeback heroics against Arkansas, Hill struggled against Mississippi State. But, with the home crowd behind him this week, and a plethora of options in the passing game, he should recover just fine. He is aided on offense by speedy running back Tra Carson, along with receivers Speedy Noil (who is exactly what his name implies), Ed Pope and Malcome Kennedy, his most reliable option. Though, the Rebels defense won't let Hill get anything easy, they have a number of studs. That includes hard-hitting safety Cody Prewitt (Google his hit against Boise State if you don't believe me) and cornerback Senquez Golson, who already has four interceptions on the year. The Ole Miss offense will be lead by quarterback Bo Wallace, halfback Jaylen Walton and dangerous receiver Laquon Treadwell. Wallace is the X-factor for the Rebels in this game, much like he was against Alabama. Wallace is an experienced QB but he still struggles with consistency and turnovers have constantly plagued him. He had a great game against Alabama and he made all the throws, but you get the sense a letdown could be in order. Wallace will need help from Treadwell and proven junior receiver Cody Core against an Aggies' defense looking to recover from getting dismantled a week ago. While the Rebels clearly have the momentum on their side, they could experience a hangover following one of their biggest victories in school history. Hill must be calm and controlled and the Texas A&M defense must make some plays. At home, the Aggies pull off a pretty big upset and throw the SEC West into further chaos.
Texas A&M, 31 Ole Miss, 28

Other Picks
18 UCLA, 30 12 Oregon, 26
7 Alabama, 35 Arkansas, 33
13 Georgia, 24 23 Missouri, 21
8 Michigan State, 42 Purdue, 13

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