College football: Week 6

Alabama is back atop The Associated Press poll, and Arkansas is out completely following the Crimson Tide’s 49-26 win in Fayetteville on Saturday before a crowd of 75,579.

We picked Alabama last week, but we thought it would be closer.

Arkansas got within five at 28-23, but Alabama answered in a big way. The Tide’s surge was highlighted by three runs of more than 70 yards.

Alabama ended the game with 555 yards of offense, with 317 of that coming on the ground. In securing its 16th consecutive win over Arkansas, the Tide went nine of 14 on third down and gained 225 yards on third-down plays. In the fourth quarter, Alabama averaged 20.2 yards per rush.

Nick’s Saban’s team is 5-0 for the 13th time in his 16 seasons at Alabama. Alabama is 73-18 against ranked teams since 2008 and is 15-1 in Southeastern Conference road openers under Saban.

The Razorbacks, meanwhile, are 0-6 against teams with reigning Heisman Trophy winners.

Arkansas’ 377 yards of offense was 102 yards below its season average.

Given the way Mississippi State is playing right now, it won’t get a lot easier for the Hogs in Starkville on Saturday.

We were 7-3 on the picks last week, making the record 37-7 for the season.

Here’s how we see this week’s games shaping up:

Arkansas 31, Mississippi State 30 — Are we going with our head or our heart here? Well, our head actually tells us that the Bulldogs won’t play as well as they did last Saturday in that 42-24 rout of Texas A&M. The Aggies helped them out with three turnovers in the red zone. Mississippi State is 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC. The Bulldogs began the season with wins of 49-23 over Memphis and 39-17 over Arizona before falling 31-16 to LSU in Baton Rouge. That loss was followed by a 45-14 victory over Bowling Green and then the win over the Aggies.

James Madison 35, Arkansas State 33 — ASU improved to 2-3 overall with a 45-28 win over Louisiana-Monroe in Jonesboro on Saturday night. The Red Wolves scored four touchdowns on as many possessions in the second half to blow the game open. ASU hasn’t lost at home to Monroe since 2001. Johnnie Lange, who had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, finished the game with 258 all-purpose yards. It’s a much stiffer test this week as James Madison brings a 4-0 squad to Jonesboro for a game that will be telecast by the NFL Network. James Madison is 4-0 with wins of 44-7 over Middle Tennessee, 63-7 over Norfolk State, 32-28 over Appalachian State and 40-13 over Texas State.

UCA 24, Lindenwood 10 — Like ASU, the Bears are 2-3 and got a home victory Saturday. UCA scored 42 second-half points in a 49-20 victory over 4-2 Austin Peay. It was the Bears’ ASUN Conference opener. Will McElvain was 20 of 31 passing for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Just three years ago, Lindenwood upset Ouachita in the NCAA Division II playoffs. The school has since moved up to FCS. Wins of 21-20 over Houston Baptist and 37-3 over Keiser were followed by losses of 56-26 to Tennessee-Martin and 49-28 to Southeast Missouri State.

Texas Southern 14, UAPB 12 — In Baton Rouge on Saturday night, UAPB fell 59-3 to Southern University. Southern scored 35 of its points in the second quarter. The Golden Lions have dropped three consecutive games to fall to 2-3. Texas Southern comes to Pine Bluff this Saturday with a 1-4 record. The win came by a score of 24-0 over Southern. The losses have been by scores of 40-23 to Prairie View A&M, 59-27 to North Texas, 52-24 to UTSA and 16-13 to Alabama State. Based on the vastly different results against Southern, we’ll give an edge to the visitors in this one.

Ouachita 32, Southwestern Oklahoma 19 — Ouachita moved up to No. 5 in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II national rankings following a 48-7 road victory at Northwestern Oklahoma. The Tigers, now 5-0, rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back. This week’s opponent, Southwestern Oklahoma, is the surprise team of the Great American Conference so far. The Bulldogs went 0-11 last year, but they’re off to a 3-2 start in 2022. It’s Ouachita’s homecoming game, so there’s little chance the Tigers will overlook this opponent.

Harding 45, Southern Nazarene 13 — The Bisons bounced back from their loss to Ouachita with a 38-23 win in Searcy on Saturday over 1-4 Oklahoma Baptist. Harding led 24-10 at the half. Southern Nazarene is at home, but the 1-4 Crimson Storm shouldn’t present much of a challenge. Harding, now 4-1, moved up to No. 11 in this week’s AFCA rankings.

Henderson 27, East Central Oklahoma 21 — Henderson improved to 4-1 with a 31-23 win in Arkadelphia over 2-3 Southeastern Oklahoma. The two teams combined for 879 yards of offense in that one. East Central Oklahoma is off to a 3-2 start and should present a challenge for the Reddies in Ada on Saturday.

UAM 38, Northwestern Oklahoma 20 — UAM got off to a 3-1 start and then was upset Saturday by a final score of 37-27 at Southwestern Oklahoma. The Weevils are back home this week and should have no problem with 0-5 Northwestern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Baptist 34, Arkansas Tech 29 — Both squads have struggled at times, so we’ll give a slight edge to the home team in this one. The Wonder Boys improved to 2-3 with a 48-35 win over Southern Nazarene last Saturday. Davontae Dean rushed for 165 yards and scored two touchdowns for Tech.

Southeastern Oklahoma 40, Southern Arkansas 37 — Again, we’ll give a slight edge to the home team in a battle of two 2-3 squads. SAU fell 34-22 to East Central Oklahoma on Saturday in Magnolia. The Muleriders have been inconsistent during the first five games of the season.

 

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