Big Ten & SEC Week 4 Preview: Razorbacks and Aggies Clash in Dallas While Mississippi State and Georgia Battle for Bulldog Bragging Rights
In the fourth week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout Big Ten and SEC country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas – 12:00 p.m. on ESPN
— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) September 22, 2017
Texas A&M (2-1, 0-0 SEC) will take on Arkansas (1-1, 0-0 SEC) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington this Saturday to kick off conference play for both teams. The Razorbacks are coming off a bye week after falling to TCU 28-7 on Sept. 9. Texas A&M, meanwhile, have defeated both Nicholls State and Louisiana-Lafayette since its heartbreaking 45-44 loss to UCLA in its season opener.
Entering Week 4, the Aggies were the FBS leaders in turnover margin at +8 — USF moved into the top spot after forcing six turnovers in a win over Temple on Thursday — and have 10 forced turnovers in three games. This will be the 74th clash between the Aggies and the Razorbacks, Southwest Conference rivals from 1915 until Arkansas’ departure for the SEC in 1991 (the teams’ first-ever meeting came in College Station in 1903). And while Arkansas leads the all-time series 41-29-3, the Aggies have a five-game win streak since joining the SEC, themselves, in 2012.
Currently unranked, the Aggies were ranked No. 10 when they entered this game last year, and pulled out a 45-24 win behind the effort of Trevor Knight, who totaled four touchdowns (two rushing, two passing), including a 92-yard connection with Josh Reynolds that broke a 17-17 tie late in the third quarter.
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia – 7:00 p.m. on ESPN
In a matchup of Bulldogs, Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 SEC) heads to Georgia (3-0, 0-0 SEC) for an Top 20 showdown of unbeaten teams between the hedges.
Thus far, Georgia has defeated Appalachian State, Notre Dame, and Samford, and a win would give Kirby Smart’s team a strong case to enter the AP Top 10 for the sixth consecutive season. Mississippi State most recently faced LSU, easily rolling past the Bayou Bengals with a 37-7 win in Starkville, the largest margin of victory for the Bulldogs in the teams’ 111-game history.
Running back Aeries Williams led Mississippi State with 146 yards rushing and averaged 6.3 yards per carry, while quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was 15-of-23 passing for 180 yards. The last time Mississippi State and Georgia played each other was in 2011, with Georgia winning 24-10 in Athens. Overall, Georgia leads the series with 17 wins while Mississippi State has only defeated Georgia six times.
Notre Dame (2-1) at Michigan State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 8:00 p.m. on FOX
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) September 20, 2017
Saturday will be the 78th time Notre Dame (2-1) and Michigan State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) battle it out on the gridiron, building on a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1897. Notre Dame holds a commanding lead in the series at 48-29-1, but fell to the Spartans 36-28 at Notre Dame Stadium last season.
Last week, Notre Dame defeated Boston College 49-20, as quarterback Brandon Wimbush ran for a Notre Dame quarterback record 207 yards and added four touchdowns on the ground. Running back Josh Adams also ran for 229 yards in the game, as the Fighting Irish finished with 515 total rushing yards. (The school’s overall individual rushing record was set by Julius Jones, who ran for 262 yards against Pitt in 2003, and the modern team rushing yards record of 597 was set in 1969 against Navy.)
Michigan State is back after a week off, and has wins over Bowling Green and Western Michigan under its belt. Sparty will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the teams’ most recent matchup in East Lansing, in 2012, when No. 20 Notre Dame defeated 10th-ranked Michigan State 20-3.
Here are the rest of the Big Ten and SEC games our selection committee members will attend:
Syracuse (2-1, 0-0 ACC) at No. 25 LSU (2-1, 0-1 SEC) – 7:00 p.m. on ESPN 2
Rutgers (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at Nebraska (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) – 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network
No. 8 Michigan (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Purdue (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) – 4:00 p.m. on FOX
No. 20 Florida (1-1, 1-0 SEC) at Kentucky (3-0, 1-0 SEC) – 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network
No. 15 Auburn (2-1, 0-0 SEC) at Missouri (1-2, 0-1 SEC) – 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU
Other Big Ten and SEC games being played this week:
UNLV (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West) at No. 10 Ohio State (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten) – 12:00 p.m. on Big Ten Network
UMass (0-4) at Tennessee (2-1, 0-1 SEC) – 12:00 p.m. on SEC Network
UCF (1-0, 0-0 AAC) at Maryland (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 3:00 p.m. on FS1
No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (3-0, 0-0 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Louisiana Tech (2-1, 1-0 USA) at South Carolina (2-1, 1-1 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Georgia Southern (0-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) at Indiana (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) – 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network
No. 4 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Iowa (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 p.m. on ABC