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RTI Pick Six: Week One

Gus Malzahn

Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn (-20) TV: SEC Network 4 pm Saturday

Daniel: I have a gut feeling that Gus Malzahn won’t make quarterback Nick Marshall sit on the bench too long in this one, especially if it’s in any way a close game against Arkansas, one of his former employers. It’s all about ball control for the Razorbacks. Can the running back combination of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams pound the Tigers enough to keep the ball out of their prolific offense’s hands and keep the score close? My guess is no. Auburn’s defense should take a step forward this year and the offense shouldn’t miss much of a beat. Winner: Auburn 41-10

Houston: The absence of Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall may give Arkansas the glimmer of hope that they need to keep this game close…for a half. Look for Auburn to put this game on cruise control by midway through the 3rd quarter thanks to their smothering defense. Razorback quarterback Brandon Allen isn’t going to get much time in the pocket and Auburn should do just fine against the Hog rushing attack. Winner: Auburn, 37-16.

Reed: I believe in Auburn this year. Their brutal schedule may keep them from playing for an SEC Championship, but don’t be surprised if they’re a better overall football team than they were last season. Nick Marshall won’t have to play in this one for the Tigers to win, but he will play and that’s extra bad news for Big 10 Bret. Arkansas has a shot to cover the spread if their ball control offense can keep the Tiger offense off the field, but even then they just won’t have the horses to pull an upset. The Razorbacks have an SEC-ready run game, but the rest of their roster is lacking. They’ve got to recruit better to hang with the rest of the SEC West moving forward. Winner: Auburn, 41- 14.

Zach: This is another game that could get ugly. I’m still not convinced that Bret Bielema is the right guy for Arkansas (maybe that’s because I have a bad habit of calling him “Bert”) and Auburn is poised to be a threat in the SEC West yet again. I don’t think the Razorbacks will even be a threat to cover the spread — even with Nick Marshall not starting the game. The Tigers should roll in this one. Winner: Auburn 45, Arkansas 10

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