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College football: Week 4

Silly me.

I picked Arkansas to win a close one last week in Fayetteville against North Texas. After all, Arkansas is in the Southeastern Conference and North Texas is, well, North Texas.

My thoughts in the aftermath of North Texas 44, Arkansas 17 are this: This has the makings of the worst Razorback team in my lifetime. And I’m 59.

Three Razorback quarterbacks played, and six interceptions were thrown. North Texas moved to 3-0 for the first time since 1989 and defeated an SEC opponent for the first time since 1975.

Arkansas had come into the game 9-0 against North Texas through the decades. The previous win had been by a score of 66-7 in 2007.

We were 7-3 on the picks last week as Henderson and UAM both let us down with road losses in Oklahoma.

The record thus far this year is 18-8.

Here are the picks for Week 4:

Auburn 51, Arkansas 21 — This could get ugly in a hurry. Auburn is smarting from a 22-21 loss to LSU. The visitors won on a 42-yard Cole Tracy field goal as time expired. That snapped a 13-game home winning streak dating back to the LSU game two years ago. LSU had trailed 21-10 at one point in that game. Auburn was impressive the first two weeks of the season with wins of 21-16 over Washington and 63-9 over Alabama State. Gus Malzahn’s team likely will return to form against Arkansas.

Arkansas State 29, UNLV 28 — This will be a good nonconference test for a Red Wolf team that is 2-1 following a 29-20 win last Saturday night at Tulsa. ASU normally plays money games against Power 5 teams on the road so it was the first nonconference road win since 2008. Quarterback Justice Hansen was 20 of 33 passing for 191 yards and also rushed for 80 yards on 14 carries. The Red Wolves finished with 214 yards on the ground. UNLV is also 2-1 with wins of 52-24 over UTEP and 46-17 over Prairie View A&M following a 43-21 loss to USC in the season opener.

Prairie View A&M 49, UAPB 30 — That score you read following last week’s UAPB game wasn’t a typo. The Golden Lions lost 90-6 at South Dakota State in a game that had the Jackrabbit coach apologizing afterward. It was 28-6 after one quarter, 49-6 at halftime and 70-6 after three quarters. Prairie View is 1-3 with a 40-24 victory over North Carolina Central to go along with losses of 31-28 to Rice, 41-32 to Sam Houston State and 46-17 to UNLV. UAPB is at home, but it’s hard to see this team winning more than one SWAC game this fall.

Ouachita 36, East Central Oklahoma 22 — Ouachita is 3-0 and moved up to No. 9 in this week’s American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll. Despite first-half injuries to two key performers (Kris Oliver and Drew Harris), the Tigers escaped Durant, Okla., with a 32-16 victory over a Southeastern Oklahoma team that was picked in the preseason to finish fourth in the Great American Conference. Southeastern had defeated Ouachita in each of the previous two seasons and led 16-14 at the end of the third quarter of this one. The Tigers outscored the Savage Storm 18-0 down the stretch. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brayden Brazeal out of England looks better with each passing week. He rushed for 136 yards and passed for another 108 yards. Ouachita gets 1-2 East Central Oklahoma at Cliff Harris Stadium in Arkadelphia on Saturday night.

Southern Arkansas 39, Northwestern Oklahoma 27 — SAU is tied with Ouachita for the conference lead and ranked No. 21 nationally this week. The Muleriders went on the road a week ago and came home with a 36-12 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma. SAU outscored the Bulldogs 29-0 during the final 25 minutes of play to move to 3-0. This week’s opponent, 1-2 Northwestern Oklahoma, has some talent, but it won’t be enough to slow Barrett Renner, the conference’s best quarterback. Renner passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Southwestern Oklahoma.

Harding 47, Oklahoma Baptist 19 — The Bisons bounced back from their loss to Southern Arkansas with a 42-0 pounding of Southern Nazarene last Saturday afternoon. Harding outgained the home team 367-51 with 356 of those yards coming on the ground. The 2-1 Bisons should have no problem this Saturday night in Searcy against a 2-1 Oklahoma Baptist team that fell by 24 points to Arkansas Tech a week ago. Harding is tied for 19th nationally in this week’s AFCA Division II poll.

Southeastern Oklahoma 32, UAM 25 — Southeastern Oklahoma is off to a 1-2 start but gave defending GAC champion Ouachita all it wanted for three quarters last week in Durant. UAM, meanwhile, fell to 1-2 with a 29-27 loss to East Central Oklahoma. To pull off a victory in Monticello on Saturday, the Boll Weevils must have a great day from veteran quarterback Cole Sears. He was 18 of 35 passing for 343 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to East Central.

Arkansas Tech 34, Southern Nazarene 18 — The Wonder Boys dropped their first two games to Southern Arkansas and Henderson but looked much better last Saturday in that 31-7 victory over previously undefeated Oklahoma Baptist. Tech built a 24-0 halftime lead. Redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Burcham passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. Southern Nazarene is 1-2 and was shut out by Harding a week ago. The Wonder Boys should roll on Saturday night in Russellville.

Henderson 31, Southwestern Oklahoma 26 — The Reddies, who won three of the first five GAC titles from 2011-15, are going to struggle throughout 2018. They’re 1-2 with the only win coming in overtime against Arkansas Tech. Henderson lost 30-24 at Northwestern Oklahoma last Saturday. Northwestern scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes to win. It was the first time for a Henderson team to lose in the state of Oklahoma since the conference was created in 2011.

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