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4-Down Territory: SEC Wild West & Covid Drama, ACC's Big Three & The Ultimate PSU Season Rolls On

First Down: The SEC “Wild West”: Last week SEC West defenses yielded an average of 487 yards and 39.4 points per game. But to be fair it would only have been 39.0 if the officials hadn’t awarded Auburn the ball after a controversial backwards pass. Nowhere has the shift been as dramatic as Alabama’s transition from its ball-control offense and defense-first philosophy. Alabama is now a high-flying offensive juggernaut, but their defense is allowing a lot more points. In 2016 and 2017 they allowed 13.0 and 11.9 points per game. Those numbers jumped to 18.1 and 18.6 in 2018 and 2019 before jumping to 30.3 this year. The best defense statistically in the SEC West is……Mississippi State yielding just 285.7 yards per game followed by Arkansas at 411.0 yards per game.

Second Down: The ACC’s Big Three: The ACC has three Top-5 teams with the addition of Notre Dame this year. They look to stay on track this week…. #1 Clemson at Georgia Tech: Clemson seems to be the one team that can rack up points on offense and smack you in the mouth with a smothering defense. Barring a sudden case of turnover fever, they just have too much for Georgia Tech……Louisville at #4 Notre Dame: After a Covid-19 break, Notre Dame made some early mistakes before racing past Florida State. Look for them to continue to display their offensive balance led by a dominant run game.…#5 North Carolina at Florida State: If college football was the stock market, UNC would be one of the big gainers while Florida State would be one of the under-performers in the portfolio. Mack Brown’s team is good, but are they really Top-5 good? UNC has been streaky with 21-0 quarters against both Syracuse and Virginia Tech being the differences in those games. To stay in the game Florida State will have to be like BC was against UNC and prevent a Tarheel run.

Third Down: SEC Drama: LSU at #10 Florida: Postponed due to Covid (joining the Vanderbilt and Missouri game postponement and some other notable SEC Covid news). But this does give LSU another week to iron out the problems on defense…..#11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State: The Bulldog defense will have to play well, but the offense must not turn the ball over. Mississippi State's offense has thrown 11 interceptions in just three games. For Texas A&M, they found their running game last week and got the big win over a Top 5 team that their fans have been waiting for. Now can they handle success and do so on the road? For the A&M offense this will be the best defense they’ve played so far this year.

Fourth Down: Will Covid Break The Saban Jinx?: #3 Georgia at #2 Alabama: With Nick Saban testing positive for Covid-19 will this be the week that one of his former assistants breaks the 21-0 Saban jinx? Theoretically Saban could coach from a coaching box on a headset if Alabama finds a way to quarantine him in the stadium. As for t