The Locksmith's Pick Six: Week 3

Tom Luicci

AUBURN over Kentucky, giving 7½

Basing this on two expectations: That Auburn QB Bo Nix will show considerable improvement as a sophomore (he was pretty good as a freshman last year, too) and that Wildcats’ QB Terry Wilson will need a little more time to shed some rust after missing the final 11 games last year with a knee injury.

Louisville over PITTSBURGH, taking 3

Not willing to concede yet that the Cardinals are as bad as they looked in the loss to Miami. Too much offensive talent there. And it’s not as if Pitt has playmakers on offense to exploit a defense that was gashed for too many big plays. Jury is out on the Panthers, who have beaten two teams so far (Austin Peay and Syracuse) that may combine to win one game this year.

Iowa State over TCU, giving 2 ½

Good players deserve second chances. ISU QB Brock Purdy is too good to have another clunker of a game – and feasted on TCU’s defense a year ago. Uncertainty at QB can’t help Horned Frogs against a snarling Cyclones team eager to make amends.

Mississippi State over LSU, taking 16½

There are going to be a lot of growing pains for the defending national champions after they lost 14 players to the NFL Draft. One thing MSU coach Mike Leach can do is have an immediate impact with his pass-happy approach. Stanford transfer K.J. Costello should like this Leach offense. A lot.

West Virginia over OKLAHOMA STATE, taking 6½

Mountaineers showed signs of life in the running game in their opener, something they struggled with all of last year. That and solid defense can keep this close, especially since Cowboys’ three-QB system wasn’t a hit in the opener against Tulsa.

Tennessee over SOUTH CAROLINA, giving 3½

Vols come in with plenty of momentum after last year’s strong finish. Does anyone want to play for Will Muschamp anymore? Even in a pandemic year he may lose his job – which won’t happen to many coaches because of the financial crunch schools are now facing. Muschamp needs to finally put up or shut up.



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