Free College Football Picks: Arkansas at Auburn 10-16-2010

October 15, 2010

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Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers

Saturday October 16th, 2010 3:30 PM EST

Line: Auburn -3 1/2

Overview:

The undefeated #7 Auburn Tigers host the one loss #12 Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas lost a close game to Alabama two weeks ago. Although they have only played one ranked team, their schedule has been anything but easy. The Tigers have swept the board this season, knocking off Mississippi State and even South Carolina.

Keys to the Game:

  • If you built a quarterback on a Create a Player mode, he might look something like Ryan Mallet. 6-6 1/2, 240 pounds with a laser for an arm has the pro scouts drooling. Against Alabama, Mallett was less than desirable. He had three interceptions and one touchdown. If there is one knock on Mallett, it is that his accuracy is suspect at times. Usually teams don’t capitalize on the throws he barely misses on, but a defense like Alabama will. When the Tigers are on defense, Mallett will need to be sharp. You can expect him to throw for 300 yards on Saturday, as he does every week. What will be key to his success vs Auburn will be eliminating those few inches he is off from his desired destination.
  • Cam Newton could win the Heisman this year. Being in the conference he is in, still undefeated, still producing like he is is remarkable. Newton makes teams pay if they leave him unaccounted for. Not only can he get it done in the air and on broken plays with his feet, Auburn incorporates designed runs that allow him to knife through opposing defenses. In their biggest game of the year, Newton ran for more yards than he through for. The bigger the situation, the more Auburn looks to put the ball in his hands.
  • The skill position players dominate the headlines in this classic SEC battle, but this game is going to be won in the trenches. Whichever side produces better on the offensive line will give their big time play makers a better chance at succeeding. This may sound redundant, but when Alabama took total control of the game up front, Mallett started making uncharacteristic throws. An aggressive Auburn defense can rattle Mallett. On the other side of the ball, Auburn will look to establish the ground game early. They are a one dimensional team, as everything is run through Newton, so he gets the undivided attention of the Razorbacks. As long as Arkansas sets hard edges and gets defensive line penetration, they will completely destroy the Heisman hopeful’s rhythm.

Wrap Up:

This is tough to call. Auburn is at home. In the SEC playing at home is a huge advantage. Auburn is good, I just don’t know if the Cam Newton show is going to last. He doesn’t have the talent Vince Young had, but he has that type of control over his offense. It is going to be a hard fought battle, but I am going with Arkansas in this one.

Free College Football Pick: Arkansas +3


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