Jalen Hurts

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) is now the backup.

Alabama, Auburn and Jacksonville State play home openers Saturday, and all three should win comfortably.

All are playing those games in which they pay somebody to come to campus for a paycheck and a beating.

This week's games:

Arkansas State (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0): Arkansas State has challenged some Power 5 conference teams in recent years, including losing by only a touchdown at Nebraska last year and to Missouri at home in 2015.

The Red Wolves have an experienced quarterback in third-year starter Justice Hansen, who has 62 career touchdown passes. All eyes will be on Alabama's quarterback situation, however.

Tua Tagovailoa is the clear-cut starter, and it's unlikely he's losing the job unless he gets hurt. If he can make it through the year, then 2016 and '17 starter Jalen Hurts will remain on the bench.

Does Alabama continue to play him sparingly all year? Does Nick Saban use him in no more than four games, which would keep him eligible for a redshirt season based on the new NCAA rule? If so, does Hurts play Saturday or does Saban keep him sidelined just in case he's needed down the line?

And if Alabama saves his year of eligibility, how will Saban handle it if Hurts decides to use that year at another SEC school?

Hurts says he will graduate in December, which would allow him to transfer as a graduate student and be eligible to play immediately. … Alabama 48, Arkansas State 13.

Alabama State (1-0) at No. 7 Auburn (1-0): The Southwestern Athletic Conference's head coaches and sports information directors picked Alabama State to finish second in its division this year, even though no Hornets player was picked to the preseason All-SWAC first team.

Quarterback Darryl Pearson Jr. was a second-team pick, however, and worth watching. He threw for 164 yards in the season-opening win over Tuskegee, 26-20 in overtime.

The Tigers could be excused for struggling for motivation Saturday after last week's exciting win over Washington, but they still should sail through easily ... Auburn 38, Alabama State 12.

Mississippi Valley State (0-1) at Jacksonville State (0-1): The Gamecocks lost their opener to North Carolina A&T two weeks ago, and they'll make Mississippi Valley State pay for it.

Zerrick Cooper should start at quarterback, but this should be a good week to get a good look at backup Zion Webb, who played only one series against A&T. He's a talented player, and fans should enjoy seeing him play. He can make plays passing or running. … Jacksonville State 34, Mississippi Valley State 7.

No. 18 Mississippi State (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0): Kansas State needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat South Dakota last week. Mississippi State and KSU have played twice all-time with MSU winning both in the 1970s. … Mississippi State 24, Kansas State 13.

UCLA (0-1) at No. 6 Oklahoma (1-0): Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who's bidding time before he begins playing baseball for the Oakland A's, completed 9 of 11 for 209 yards last week against Florida Atlantic. … Oklahoma 42, UCLA 14.

No. 3 Georgia (1-0) at No. 24 South Carolina (1-0): Georgia has won three straight in this series. South Carolina beat Coastal Carolina 49-15 last week, which apparently was good enough to push the Gamecocks from unranked to No. 24 in both major polls. … Georgia 31, South Carolina 20.

No. 2 Clemson (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0): Freshman Trevor Lawrence completed 9 of 14 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns in Clemson's 48-7 win over Furman in the season opener. … Clemson 31, Texas A&M 16.

Kentucky (1-0) at No. 25 Florida (1-0): Florida has won 31 straight in this series. The last Kentucky win came in 1986, which is almost 12 years before current Wildcat star Benny Snell was born. … Florida 24, Kentucky 17.

No. 13 Penn State (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0): One of the country's great rivalries until Penn State moved to the Big Ten in 1990. The two schools restarted their series two years ago and have split the two previous meetings. … Penn State 29, Pittsburgh 21.

No. 17 Southern California (1-0) at No. 10 Stanford (1-0): A rematch of two of the last three Pac-12 title games. Stanford won in 2015 and USC in 2017. … Stanford 24, USC 23.

Last week: 6-4 (Not a good opening week. Missed on Virginia Tech's win over Florida State, LSU's win over Miami, West Virginia's win over Tennessee, and Maryland's win over Texas. That's the second straight year I've missed on Maryland/Texas.)

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.

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