Week 5: TigerSportsDigest staff picks

Rosetta, Dixon and Villere pick this weekend's high-profile games

Randy Rosetta

Last week: 15-5 (.750)

Season: 62-18 (.775)


Kentucky at LSU: There may not be much drama, the crowd might need a kick in the backside with the unfamiliar and unwelcome early kickoff and the Tigers are poised for a letdown. Yeah, none of that will matter…LSU 42, Kentucky 7


Randy Rosetta

Alabama at Florida: Could this be the week where the Crimson Tide stubs its toe on the way to the national championship a lot of pundits are ready to hand to ’Bama? The Swamp will be rockin’ and the Gators’ speed will have the Tide reeling…Florida 17, Alabama 14


Auburn at South Carolina: The Gamecocks haven’t had a whole lot of luck against the Tigers through the years, but this time they have a decided edge in the talent department…South Carolina 31, Auburn 21


Mississippi State at Georgia: Losing to LSU was one thing. Almost losing to Louisiana Tech? State is in trouble and things won’t get better against a Georgia team that is starting to look like an SEC East contender…Georgia 34, Mississippi State 27


Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas): The Razorbacks never really gave themselves a chance against Alabama last week. Now they have to see if their motivation is stronger than the Aggies, who get a chance to make their first SEC statement…Texas A&M 41, Arkansas 38


Ole Miss at Fresno State: The Bulldogs’ two losses came on the road in competitive games at Cal and Nebraska. Rebels aren’t in that class…Fresno State 28, Ole Miss 21


Buffalo at Tennessee: Vols have had plenty of time to lick their wounds after getting thumped in The Swamp and the Bulls don’t figure to present much of a challenge…Tennessee 49, Buffalo 17


South Florida at Pittsburgh: Very tricky test for South Florida as it begins its quest to climb to the top of the Big East and perhaps take a stab at becoming a more attractive option for leagues during rampant realignment. The Panthers had chances to beat Notre Dame but squandered them. USF is a better team than the Irish…South Florida 23, Pittsburgh 13      


Nebraska at Wisconsin: Big Ten football, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, right? Not exactly. There could be more points on the board for this one than when the Badgers and Huskers meet in basketball…Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 35


Northwestern at Illinois: Illini have made a habit of winning ugly against a decent schedule. The Wildcats just suffered an ugly loss to Army. The battle of the Land of Lincoln could get ugly…Illinois 28, Northwestern 10


Air Force at Navy: Both teams have nice wins so far and a loss against a ranked opponent that they let slide through their fingers. Don’t expect a lot of  balls in the air in this game…Navy 21, Air Force 14


Toledo at Temple: The Rockets should have at least one more win and maybe two – a nice start for a MAC team. Until you look at what Temple has done so far with a rout against Maryland as the most recent memory…Temple 35, Toledo 31


Baylor at Kansas State: Does the Bears’ high-powered offense trump the Wildcats’ stingy defense?  It’s going to have to as Baylor gets its first test outside of Texas this season…Baylor 31, K-State 17


Michigan State at Ohio State: The Spartans begin a rugged march through October against the Buckeyes, who looked much healthier last week against Colorado. If MSU intends to push Wisconsin for the Big Ten championship this is a must-win…Michigan State 24, Ohio State 19


Arizona at Southern California: Another week of off-field turmoil can’t help the Trojans, who are still reeling from a lopsided loss to Arizona State. But facing Arizona should cure some ills…Southern California 30, Arizona 20


Clemson at Virginia Tech: Tigers have designs on competing in the ACC, while the Hokies are setting their sights on the BCS National Championship. Tech’s hopes might be a little unrealistic, but it still wins this one…Virginia Tech 28, Clemson 21


Washington at Utah: Huskies are winning games despite allowing 27.3 points a game in their three triumphs. The Utes may hit the number by halftime…Utah 45, Washington 28


Notre Dame at Purdue: The Boilermakers might have a few chances to win games down the road this season. This isn’t one of them against a Notre Dame suddenly finding some confidence…Notre Dame 27, Purdue 14


Bowling Green at West Virginia: The Mountaineers are likely to have some hangover effect to grapple, but Bowling Green doesn’t have the same kind of horses as LSU did…West Virginia 44, Bowling Green 21


McNeese State at Northwestern State: The Demons are coming off their most impressive victory since Bradley Dale Peveto took over in 2009. But the Cowboys are still the standard-bearer in the Southland Conference…McNeese State 35, Northwestern State 21


Shea Dixon

Last week: 16-4 (.800)

Season: 65-15 (.813)


Kentucky at LSU: I’m guessing that fans will stick in their seats just to see if Jordan Jefferson gets in the mix. Les Miles reinstated Jefferson on Wednesday and did not rule out the senior QB playing this weekend…LSU 38, Kentucky 7


Alabama at Florida: It’s Nick Saban vs. Will Muschamp; Jedi Master vs. Padawan. Muschamp on the Star Wars reference: “What's a padawan?” Florida’s made strides, but the Gators aren’t back yet…Alabama 27, Florida 17

Shea Dixon


Auburn at South Carolina: Right now RB Marcus Lattimore is doing it all for South Carolina. The Auburn defense won’t have an easy day…South Carolina 31, Auburn 20


Mississippi State at Georgia: After losses against Auburn and LSU, Mississippi State fell asleep against Louisiana Tech – and the teams went to overtime before MSU took the win. Against another set of Bulldogs, Dan Mullen pulls out the road win…Mississippi State 24, Georgia 20


Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas): Texas A&M is coming off a heartbreaker against Oklahoma State, but the Aggies got good news the next day. A&M gets its first lick in on the SEC this weekend…Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 31


Ole Miss at Fresno State: Ole Miss is stuck in a downward spiral. The Rebels better hope for another Snoop Brassell punt return for a TD – or two. The hot seat gets hotter for Houston Nutt…Fresno State 30, Ole Miss 21


Buffalo at Tennessee: Vols’ QB Tyler Bray is trying to make a name for himself among the SEC’s elite quarterbacks. Time to pad the stats…Tennessee 38, Buffalo 6


South Florida at Pittsburgh: South Florida has already gone north and grabbed a win in hostile territory against Notre Dame. Skip Holtz falls just short this time around…Pittsburgh 23, South Florida 17            


Nebraska at Wisconsin: Don’t sleep on Wisconsin. With Russell Wilson settled into his new uniform, the Badgers will make Bo Pelini toss his headset a time or two…Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 24


Northwestern at Illinois: It’s rivalry week for Illinois, and Ron Zook isn’t happy with his team’s close call against Western Michigan last weekend. The Illini will make a bigger statement against Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch…Illinois 24, Northwestern 17


Air Force at Navy: Last year Air Force won this game for the first time since 2002. With memories of the 14-6 loss to the Falcons fresh on its mind, Navy won’t let that happen again…Navy 27, Air Force 24


Toledo at Temple: Temple has to prove that a huge defeat of Maryland wasn’t a fluke. No time to stumble at home against a three-loss Toledo team…Temple 37, Toledo 31


Baylor at Kansas State: Is everyone paying attention to Baylor QB Robert Griffin III? Through four games, Griffin has completed 70-of-82 passes (85.4-percent) for 962 yards and 13 touchdowns – with no interceptions…Baylor 42, Kansas State 31


Michigan State at Ohio State: Braxton Miller was one of the nation’s best prep quarterbacks, and he’s quickly turned into a freshman threat. This weekend he throws and runs to get Ohio State the win over the Spartans…Ohio State 28, Michigan State 24


Arizona at Southern California: Vontaze Burfict plays for Arizona State, not Arizona. Good news for Matt Barkley…Southern California 31, Arizona 23


Clemson at Virginia Tech: Clemson is riding high after a couple of big wins over Auburn and Florida State. Can freshman phenom Sammy Watkins keep up his pace?...Clemson 27, Virginia Tech 24


Washington at Utah: It’s Homecoming week for Utah, which comes on the same weekend that the Utes host their first Pac-12 conference game. One better, the Utes are 6-0 under Kyle Whittingham when coming off a bye…Utah 31, Washington 20


Notre Dame at Purdue: Notre Dame has seen rough waters already, but this weekend will be smooth sailing for a Notre Dame team that plays its first mistake-free football of the year…Notre Dame 31, Purdue 13


Bowling Green at West Virginia: Tune in to see if Tavon Austin is as interested in talking with Bowling Green cornerbacks as he was LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu…West Virginia 42, Bowling Green 17


McNeese State at Northwestern State: After beating up on Nicholls State to the tune of a 34-0 rout, can the Demons keep it going? The last time Northwestern State won this game was 2004…Northwestern State 38, McNeese State 34


Emily Villere

Last week: 17-3 (.850)

Season: 65-15 (.813)



Kentucky at LSU: The Tigers finally get to play another game at home and come back as the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Kentucky is dead last in total offense in the SEC. After being chewed out by Chief for its performance last week, LSU's defense won't have a problem with that...LSU 44, Kentucky 10

Alabama at Florida: This is a bigger game than most would have expected a few months back. The Gators and Crimson Tide have both been rolling (no pun intended) through the season and this won't be an easy win for third-ranked ’Bama at The Swamp, but it will be a win...Alabama 31, Florida 24

Emily Villere

Auburn at South Carolina: The Tigers have a tough – very tough – four weeks ahead of them. They visit the Gamecocks, followed by another road trip to Arkansas, host Florida at home and then travel to Baton Rouge to take on the Tigers. A win at the beginning of this could help their momentum for the next month, but sadly, that won't happen. Another road environment plus a Gamecocks team still fighting for that SEC East crown doesn't sound good for Auburn...South Carolina 31, Auburn 20


Mississippi State at Georgia: The Bulldogs of Starkville are winless in the SEC and Saturday is their lucky day, because their next opponent on the conference docket is Georgia, another set of struggling Bulldogs. Winning against Ole Miss can't do too much for Mark Richt's self-esteem this year and Dan Mullen is still knocking at the door of an SEC victory...Mississippi State 28, Georgia 20


Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas): Arkansas is ranked No. 18, and rightfully so with wins against Missouri State, New Mexico and Troy, all big-time contenders. The Aggies are ranked only four spots above after their one-point loss to now fifth-ranked Oklahoma State last weekend. A&M matches up against a future SEC brother on a neutral field and will go back to College Station with the win...Texas A&M 24, Arkansas 21


Ole Miss at Fresno State: The Rebels' season has started out poorly – well, just awful. At 1-3 they hit the road and the road trip will hit them. Houston Nutt won't know what to do once he’s caught on the West Coast with another loss. Maybe not come home?...Fresno State 24, Ole Miss 21


Buffalo at Tennessee: Ok Derek Dooley, you can have a win, and this one you can just go ahead and score a lot of points to make you and your team feel good before you welcome Georgia next week. The Volunteers start October out on a good, orange foot...Tennessee 45, Buffalo 17


South Florida at Pittsburgh: Pitt got dangerously close last weekend to beating Notre Dame, and the Panthers will do the same this week – get dangerously close without winning. The 16th-ranked Bulls have to take their 4-0 game on the road, but will squeak out a win before they head back south...South Florida 21, Pittsburgh 18


Nebraska at Wisconsin: Both teams are unbeaten and open Big 10 play against each other in prime time. The Badgers' Russell Wilson has been lighting it up so far this season and hosting the Cornhuskers won't make him miss a beat. Wisconsin by a TD...Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 28


Northwestern at Illinois: The Fighting Illini have broken into the Top 25 and won't drop out because of a loss. Perfect so far and have beaten a ranked team – not too bad for Illinois. Can't say the same for Northwestern, which will open Big 10 play with a loss...Illinois 31, Northwestern 24


Air Force at Navy: Navy put up a fight against South Carolina two weeks ago only losing by three points. The Midshipmen will play another close one against Air Force this weekend, but this time come out on top...Navy 28, Air Force 24


Toledo at Temple: The Owls are sitting pretty nice with a 3-1 record, including a win over Maryland last week. The Rockets won't have enough juice to stop them...Temple 27, Toledo 17


Baylor at Kansas State: The Bears have put up 154 points this season. QB Robert Griffin has connected for 13 touchdowns and has an 85% completion percentage, not too shabby if you ask me. Opening up Big 12 play won't be a problem for Griffin or the Bears as long as they play a full game and their defense doesn't let the offense do all the work...Baylor 38, K-State 28


Michigan State at Ohio State: The Spartans can't overlook this game anticipating their intense rivalry with Michigan the following week, but the Buckeyes are the only Big-10 team (besides the newly introduced Huskers) that MSU head coach Mark Dantonio hasn't beat since he's been a Spartan. I am going to go out on a limb and say Michigan State will travel well and beat the Buckeyes at home because of the personal implications…Michigan State 28, Ohio State 25


Arizona at Southern California: The Trojans returned home last week after a big loss to Arizona State, but this week they will be able to get back on track hosting a 1-3 Arizona team at The Coliseum...Southern California 33, Arizona 21


Clemson at Virginia Tech: The Tigers have already beaten two ranked teams, Auburn and Florida State, to earn their No. 13 ranking, but those contests were at home. Traveling to Blacksburg to face the 11th-ranked Hokies (who have not really been tested thus far this season) will put a snag in Clemson's streak...Virginia Tech 30, Clemson 27


Washington at Utah: Both teams are coming off wins from last Saturday with Washington opening up conference play at 1-0, but hitting the road this weekend will favor the Utes. It will be a close game, but Utah will get its first Pac-12 win...Utah 24, Washington 18


Notre Dame at Purdue: Three of Notre Dame's first four games have been either won (1) or lost (2) by four points or less. The Irish go on the road to face a Purdue team that barely beat Middle Tennessee State and lost to Rice. Notre Dame can win it before the final minutes this week...Notre Dame 28, Purdue 17


Bowling Green at West Virginia: The Mountaineers lost 47-21 to LSU last week, but still put up 533 yards on the Tigers’ defense. Geno Smith will continue to air it out all night against the Falcons as WVU coasts through this one...West Virginia 41, Bowling Green 20


McNeese State at Northwestern State: The Demons shut out Nicholls State last weekend 34-0 and will look for two wins in a row when they host the Cowboys on Saturday...Northwestern 28, McNeese State 10

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