published Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Paschall: Auburn to topple Arkansas

OTHER PICKS

Kentucky 41, UT-Martin 16

Mizzou 52, S. Dakota St. 13

Florida 48, Idaho 7

Miss. State 37, So. Miss 14

UCLA 38, Virginia 19

N.C. State 41, Ga. Southern 20

Georgia Tech 45, Wofford 16

MTSU 61, Savannah State 9

Miami 27, Louisville 24

Duke 38, Elon 14

FSU 43, Oklahoma State 22

Ohio State 35, Navy 10

Michigan 41, App State 14

Notre Dame 37, Rice 20

Oklahoma 54, La. Tech 27

USC 33, Fresno State 6

The Southeastern Conference football season kicks off tonight with Texas A&M visiting South Carolina, and the second head-to-head league matchup is right around the corner.

Arkansas and Auburn will collide Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium, with the Razorbacks looking to end a 12-game SEC losing streak and the Tigers seeking to defend last year's magical run to the league title. Arkansas is the only team nationally that will face seven conference games against teams ranked in the preseason, beginning with the No. 6 Tigers.

"Auburn obviously had a very special season a year ago," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. "They lost some good players, but they have a lot of really good players back and have added more."

Quarterback Nick Marshall will not start for Auburn due to his summer citation for marijuana possession, so Jeremy Johnson will get the nod. Marshall will play, but coach Gus Malzahn has not indicated when or how much.

Arkansas has won three of the past four times it has visited Jordan-Hare, including a 24-7 thumping two years ago when Malzahn was in his one season at Arkansas State.

"They definitely have had success, but the thing about it is that every year is new and different," Malzahn said. "We played very good at home last year, so we're hoping the same thing will happen this year."

Pasquali's Pix:

Texas A&M at South Carolina: Part of Steve Spurrier's assessment of the Aggies: "They don't care what they pay the coach. They've got so much money, they don't know what to do with it." Gamecocks 28, Aggies 23.

UTC at Central Michigan: The Mocs could be the best team in southeast Tennessee and the best team in central Michigan by Labor Day weekend. Chippewas 31, Mocs 22.

Ole Miss vs. Boise State: The Broncos have thrived on big stages, and they have home-and-home matchups in the next decade against Florida State, Michigan State and Oklahoma State. Rebels 33, Broncos 20.

Temple at Vanderbilt: Commodores coach Derek Mason said that Tre Herndon, the freshman from East Hamilton, has "pushed his way into that third or fourth corner role" and definitely will play this season. Commodores 24, Owls 13.

West Virginia at Alabama: Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett picked a bad week to confess he kissed Nick Saban's daughter when he was 6 years old. Crimson Tide 34, Mountaineers 15.

Arkansas at Auburn: Bielema has a career mark of 8-0 in season openers, feasting on the likes of UNLV, Northern Iowa and Louisiana-Lafayette. Tigers 31, Razorbacks 24.

Georgia at Clemson: Todd Grantham's starting defense last season held the Tigers to 38 points. Jeremy Pruitt's starting defense held them to seven. Bulldogs 31, Tigers 17.

Wisconsin vs. LSU: The only other time under Les Miles when the Tigers entered an opener playing two quarterbacks was in 2008 with Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch. Tigers 24, Badgers 21.

Utah State at Tennessee: Butch Jones says as many as 30 true freshmen could play, so name tags would be nice at Neyland. Volunteers 28, Aggies 24.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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