Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 4 Predictions Including Notre Dame vs Georgia

Notre Dame vs Georgia

Conference play gets underway in a big way on week 4 of the college football season. On Friday night Utah battles USC, which sets the table for a big Saturday that includes Notre Dame vs Georgia and Wisconsin hosting Michigan. Steen Kirby, John Bava, Yesh Ginsburg, and Lukas Weese offer their predictions.

Utah at USC (Friday in Los Angeles, CA)
Line: Utah by 4

John: Expectations were high out of Utah’s defense heading into this season and the unit hasn’t disappointed. They currently lead the Pac-12 and are eighth nationally in yardage conceded per game. Zack Moss is a formidable presence in the Utes ground game as he comes into this game as the conference’s leading rusher. They face a Trojan squad reeling after a loss to BYU who Utah dispatched rather easy in Week One. Add in the fact the Utes are 5-1 against the spread over their last six Friday games, plus 12-5 in their last 17 road games and the trends favor the visitors. Utah 31, USC 24

Lukas: Utah has averaged 32 points per game this season. Their offense is mainly generated on the ground. I see the running game propel Utah to victory over their PAC-12 rival. Utah 24, USC 17

Yesh: Two weeks ago, I would have really liked USC in this game. After watching Stanford get shredded by UCF and seeing BYU manhandle USC, I’m thinking this is an easy Utah win. Utah 31, USC 17

Steen: USC are underdogs at home after a disappointing loss to BYU last week. The pressure continues to rise on Clay Helton, who seems to be coaching on borrowed time. Utah aren’t near as flashy or famous as a program, but they are a better team right now. Their defense should shut down USC and show why they are among the PAC-12’s best. Utah 28, USC 17

Michigan at Wisconsin (Saturday in Madison, WI)
Line: Wisconsin by 3.5

John: To say that Wisconsin’s defense has been stingy through two games might be a huge understatement. As of right now, they’re the only team in FBS that has yet to allow a single point. But the competition kicks up a notch this weekend when they welcome Michigan to Camp Randall Stadium. The Wolverines are coming off a rather shocking result as they needed overtime to avoid a historic loss to Army. Both teams should be well-rested as they’re coming off their bye but since this game’s in Madison, that should favor the Badgers. They’re getting much more consistent play at quarterback from Jack Coan in comparison to recent years under Alex Hornibrook. And Jonathan Taylor is proving once again he’s as good of a running back as it gets in college football. Wisconsin 34, Michigan 22

Lukas: I like the Wolverines in the upset. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ offense Will finally start clicking. The Michigan defense is legit and I see them slowing down the Badgers run game on the road. Michigan wins a close one to remain undefeated. Michigan 24, Wisconsin 20

Yesh: What has Michigan fixed since its tough game against Army? The Wolverines couldn’t get much done on offense. If that stays true against a very solid Wisconsin team, this game could become a blowout. Wisconsin 34, Michigan 10

Steen: Wisconsin has been dominant through two games while the Michigan offense has sputtered at times. This is a home game for the Badgers and Camp Randall should be rocking. Wisconsin will continue their impressive start to the season, outscoring a rival and running away with this win. Wisconsin 35, Michigan 14

Auburn at Texas A&M (Saturday in College Station, TX)
Line: Texas A&M by 3.5

John: Auburn has a narrow advantage in this series since Texas A&M joined the SEC, with the Tigers 4-3 vs the Aggies in that time. In 2019, A&M welcomes Auburn to Kyle Field and are favored despite the Tigers with a nine-spot edge in the AP poll. This might be due, in part, to the lack of experience of true freshman quarterback Bo Nix. He’s going to face an immensely hostile environment in College Station as well as a passing defense giving up under 200 yards per game. This one should be a physical smash-mouth contest with the Aggies repaying the faith of the oddsmakers. Texas A&M 17, Auburn 13

Lukas: I believe in Josh Nix. Despite being on the road, the Tigers have the offensive firepower as well as the physical defense to slow down the Aggies. Auburn 30, Texas A&M 21

Yesh: Is it weird to see a Top 10 team as an underdog? It shouldn’t be. Texas A&M acquitted itself well against Clemson, and Auburn has gotten off to really slow starts in every game this season. Auburn’s ranking is built off a good win over Oregon, but Auburn didn’t look so good in that game. Texas A&M 28, Auburn 20

Steen: I’m not sold on Auburn, TAMU’s only loss came against the elite Clemson and this is another tough road test for Freshman QB Bo Nix. Auburn may still have a good season but this line is too low. The Aggies will start SEC play with a confidence boosting win. Texas A&M 28, Auburn 21

Oklahoma State at Texas (Saturday in Austin, TX)
Line: Texas by 6

John: Texas will be playing its fourth straight home game when Oklahoma State makes the trip down to Austin. The Longhorns will be looking to erase a frustrating run of futility against the Cowboys, who’ve won five in a row on the road in this series. Though OK State’s offense looks like it’s still high-powered, the defense is a little shaky as they’re third from bottom among Big 12 teams in scoring defense despite a fairly easy first three games. Sam Ehlinger should be able to move the ball down the field with regularity. Texas 38, Oklahoma State 27

Lukas: Despite losing last week to LSU, Texas is still legit. Their offense is predicated on their passing, averaging 349.3 yards per game. I like the Longhorns to regain their confidence at home. Texas 35, Oklahoma State 17

Yesh: I’m seeing an upset here. Oklahoma State is criminally underrated, and the ‘Pokes have the best running back you’ve never heard of (Chuba Hubbard). People will know who he is once he runs all over Texas. Oklahoma State 41, Texas 35

Steen: Oklahoma State has put up a lot of yards and points on offense during their 3-0 start, but the defense has been much more of a question mark. Texas has also shown they can score but the defense hasn’t been quite as reliable. That sets things up to be an offensive slugfest between two high scoring teams that can run and pass with fluidity. OSU will hang in it, but Texas at home should be the favorite. Texas 42, Oklahoma State 31

Notre Dame vs Georgia (Saturday in Athens, GA)
Line: Georgia by 14

John: This is just the third meeting between these two historic programs. It’ll be the second with both in the top 10 of the AP poll as the two met in the 1981 Sugar Bowl with the Bulldogs number one and the Irish seventh. UGA prevailed 17-10 to win its last national title. These sides played a classic in South Bend two seasons ago with the Dawgs narrowly winning 20-19 en route to a return to the national title game where they fell to Alabama in overtime. Both are dead set at quarterback with Ian Book and Jake Fromm still yet to throw an interception this year. But what tilts this game in Georgia’s favor is their ridiculously formidable defense. It’s currently one of just six in FBS giving up single-digit points per game. Still, the Irish should be able to put up a fight. Georgia 27, Notre Dame 17

Lukas: This game will be closer than the spread indicates. But I like Georgia’s offense more than Notre Dame’s. Jake Fromm is an experienced college quarterback, who will find ways with his strong throwing arm to give the Bulldogs a win. Georgia 27, Notre Dame 17

Yesh: We haven’t seen much from either team this year, but this line feels way too high. Georgia looked good but not amazing against Vanderbilt. The offense also didn’t click as well as fans will hope. Georgia should win, but not by two scores. Georgia 28, Notre Dame 21

Steen: Georgia has yet to be tested early in the season, while Notre Dame needed a strong second half to get past Louisville to open the season. Facing the most difficult opponent they have all season, I expect Georgia to start slow but by the second half their superior talent should win the day and help the Dawgs to a massive home win. Georgia 28, Notre Dame 21