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MC&J: Arkansas tangles with Texas A&M at JerryWorld in Week 4 national action

The Razorbacks take on a Texas A&M team that has some confidence after beating Miami last week.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Last week ATS: 7-11 (5-7 B1G, 2-4 National)

Season ATS: 28-29-2 (15-16-1 B1G, 13-13-1 National)

After gaining a few games the previous week, last week we gave them right back. We are starting to get a better idea about which teams are contenders and which ones are pretenders. Hopefully the losses from last week resulted in some lessons that were learned, since there are a number of teams in this week’s picks that contributed to the losing week last week.

National games:

(All lines courtesy of Draftkings Sportsbook.)

No. 5 Clemson (-7) v. No. 21 Wake Forest - 12:00 p.m. - ABC

Even though Clemson and Wake Forest are each 3-0, both teams have had issues at times so far this season. Last week, the Demon Deacons snuck by Liberty 37-36, while Clemson has had sleepy moments early in games against Georgia Tech and Louisiana Tech before pulling away in the second half of those games.

After announcing he would miss an unspecified amount of time prior to the season, Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman only ended up missing the season opener. Hartman picked up where he left off last year, throwing for 625 yards and seven touchdowns in two games this year. Hartman and wide receiver A.T. Perry will be looking to add to the woes of the Clemson secondary, which has allowed 243 yards per game this year.

Clemson has been a popular pick to the make the College Football Playoff, but I’m still not convinced they are good enough to return to the CFP. D.J. Uiaglelei isn’t consistent enough, and the defense isn’t quite as dominant as it has been in the past. I’m going to get wild here and pick Wake Forest to pull the upset. Even if the Demon Deacons don’t win, I think this game is decided by less than a touchdown.

Wake Forest 31, Clemson 28

No. 20 Florida v. No. 11 Tennessee (-10.5) - 3:30 p.m. - CBS

Coming into the season, many were salivating over the quarterback battle between Anthony Richardson and Hendon Hooker. The Tennessee quarterback has lived up to the hype so far, while Richardson has struggled in the first three games. Even though the Gators are 2-1 through three games, Richardson has yet to throw a touchdown pass yet. Luckily Florida is averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground, or else they still might be searching for their first win this season.

The Gators have dominated this series of late, winning 16 of the last 17 games against Tennessee. The last time the Vols beat Florida came back in 2016. Tennessee is a lot better team than Florida right now. Billy Napier’s group is still searching for an identity, since Richardson is playing a lot worse than many people were expecting. The Volunteers score too many points for the Gators to keep up with, especially in front of a raucous crowd in Knoxville in Florida’s first road game of the season.

Tennessee 45, Florida 24

No. 22 Texas (-6.5) v. Texas Tech - 3:30 p.m. - ESPN

Last week I picked UTSA to cover against Texas and Texas Tech to cover against NC State. Obviously I missed on both, so now I’m going to see if I can at least get this one right when the two teams meet each other. There are rumblings that Quinn Ewers is recovering faster than anticipated after suffering an injury against Alabama. At least until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume Hudson Card is getting the start. No matter what quarterback starts for Texas, they’ll have the luxury of handing off to Bijan Robinson.

Sorry Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree ain’t walking through that door. The last time the Red Raiders beat Texas in Lubbock was when Crabtree’s late touchdown gave Texas Tech a 39-33 win in 2008. Since then, the Longhorns have won six straight in Lubbock. I bought into the Red Raider hype a little too much after they started the season 2-0. Texas Tech keeps it closer than the 70-35 score we saw when the teams met in Austin last year, but the Longhorns still win this one by at least a touchdown.

Texas 42, Texas Tech 31

No. 15 Oregon (-6.5) v. Washington State - 4:00 p.m. - FOX

Another ranked team favored by nearly a touchdown that is hitting the road to take on an unranked conference foe is Oregon, who will head up to Pullman on Saturday. The Ducks dismantled BYU last week in Eugene, 41-20. Bo Nix totaled five scores in the game, with three of them coming on the ground. After an awful start to his Oregon career in Atlanta against Georgia, Nix has settled in over the last two games.

Usually by this time of the season, Washington State has dropped a random game against an inferior opponent. The times are certainly changing, since Jake Dickert has the Cougars off to a 3-0 start in his first full season as head coach. Cameron Ward has been solid in his first season at Washington State, throwing eight touchdowns in the first three games, with four of them coming in a 38-7 win over Colorado State last week. Unlike previous seasons, the Cougars can run the football a little bit with Wisconsin transfer running back Nakia Watson.

I do like Washington State a lot here. Even if the Cougars don’t win, I think they cover. Oregon may have found some rhythm after their season-opening loss to Georgia, I just don’t know if Bo Nix is quite as good as people are giving him credit for after last week’s performance against BYU. Let’s not forget, BYU was coming off a hard-fought overtime win against Baylor before hitting the road last week. Washington State defends their home turf with their first win over Oregon since 2018.

Washington State 33, Oregon 30

No. 10 Arkansas v. No. 23 Texas A&M (-2) - 7:00 p.m. - ESPN

This game always being at JerryWorld is hilarious to me. I get it, since Jerry Jones is an Arkansas guy, and AT&T Stadium is an NFL stadium. But, games played off campus in NFL stadiums always feel soulless. Then again, maybe it’s for the best that these two schools have to meet on neutral ground. On one side, you have the COO for Beyond Meat trying to feast on some guy’s nose, and we all know what Arkansas fans want to do to mashed potatoes. On the other side, we have the cult that is Texas A&M fans.

A win over Miami doesn’t automatically fix everything for Texas A&M. Honestly, Jimbo Fisher could probably beat Miami in his sleep since he did it so much at Florida State. Arkansas is going to provide a lot tougher test than the Hurricanes did, in my opinion. The Razorbacks weren’t sharp last week against Missouri State in Bobby Petrino’s return to Fayetteville. I don’t think Arkansas will be as sluggish this week.

The Aggies did make a change at quarterback, starting Max Johnson over Haynes King. The Texas A&M offense still struggled, and has scored just 31 points over their last two games. I have no idea how the Aggies are going to be able to contain KJ Jefferson and the Arkansas offense. The Razorbacks score the win to add even more intrigue to next week’s game where they’ll host Alabama.

Arkansas 34, Texas A&M 24

Kansas State v. No. 6 Oklahoma (-13) - 8:00 p.m. - FOX

I was skeptical about Oklahoma heading into last week’s game at Nebraska. I’m certainly not as skeptical anymore. I’m not saying the Sooners are going undefeated and heading to the playoff, but they haven’t taken long to adjust to life after Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams. New head coach Brent Venables has the Sooners believing, while Dillon Gabriel is putting up big numbers.

There was a lot of hype for Kansas State this year with the Wildcats bringing back Deuce Vaughn, who was one of the best running backs in the country last year, as well as bringing in transfer quarterback Adrian Martinez from Nebraska. So far, Vaughn has rushed for 352 yards and three touchdowns, while Martinez has been pretty awful. Heading to Norman isn’t going to fix Kansas State’s woes after they lost to Tulane last week. The Sooners put together another complete performance.

Oklahoma 44, Kansas State 20

No. 7 USC (-6) v. Oregon State - 9:30 p.m. - Pac-12 Network

Thankfully the Pac-12 Network wasn’t around back in 2008, or else we might have not been able to see the Beavers stun the top-ranked Trojans in Corvallis, 27-21. Unfortunately, the Pac-12 Network is the channel this year’s game will be aired on, depriving a lot of people of what should be a fun game. I believe this will be the last time USC will travel to Corvallis as a member of the Pac-12.

The smartest bet in this game will be the over, since USC is averaging 50 points a game, while Oregon State is putting up 45 points per contest. Jonathan Smith has done a great job reviving the Oregon State football program, this is just a game where the opponent is a tier above the Beavers. USC has established themselves as a CFP contender with Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison. The Trojans win this one by at least a touchdown and head home for a couple games before a huge clash in Salt Lake City against Utah.

USC 48, Oregon State 34

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.