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2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Nov. 6, Ark-USC
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 3, 2010


Fearless Predictions for every SEC game, November 30, Part 2


2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 10 ... Nov. 6, Part 2

SEC 
East | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State

- More College Football Picks (and NFL, too) 

- Oct. 30 (Alabama - LSU)

Chattanooga (5-3) at Auburn (9-0) Nov. 6, 1:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … Auburn gets a week off from its national title chase with a battle against a Chattanooga team that had a five-game winning streak snapped in a shootout against Elon. This is the Mocs’ one and only battle against an FBS team, and it has enough of an offense to be more than just a speed bump. It’ll be an Auburn win, but it might take a little bit of work to get it done. With a dangerous passing attack, the Mocs should be able keep pushing the ball against an Auburn defense that’s been shaky at times, and while Cam Newton and the running game should be able to turn it on at any time to put the game away, the less effort needed before dealing with Georgia and Alabama to close things out, the better.
Why Chattanooga Might Win: The Tigers have the 94th ranked pass defense in America, and while that’s partly because teams have had to crank up the passing attack to offset the Auburn ground game, there have been problems against anyone who can throw. Chattanooga’s B.J. Coleman has been terrific this year with 21 touchdown passes and with 432 yards against Furman and 386 yards and five touchdowns, however …
Why Auburn Might Win: … he threw nine interceptions in the last two games. The Mocs are tremendous at taking the ball away, but that’s against FCS teams and it’s not likely that they’ll come up with a slew of big plays if Auburn isn’t taking many chances. UTC is going to have to take chances of its own, and it could have major problems considering they’ve lost 11 fumbles and 12 picks so far. Of course, the big key against Auburn is being at least decent against the run, and while the Mocs’ numbers are solid overall, teams that can run, like Citadel and Georgia Southern, haven’t have any problems. If Auburn can run wild on LSU, it can run wild on anyone. The Moc defensive front isn’t going to have any chance of holding up.
What To Watch Out For: Finally, it should be time for Cam Newton to take a break. He’ll get to put up some numbers early, but he hasn’t been able to see too much pine time with so many close games and few chances to take a breather. This is where the Tiger backup quarterbacks should get involved, and it should take about a half before it happens. Barrett Trotter has had some injury issues, but he has seen the most mop-up time so far and is the most promising of all the backups. The 6-2, 210-pound sophomore has a strong, accurate arm and good running skills. Senior Neil Caudle is the safest reserve option with strong passing skills and could see a little work just to get a little bit of the rust off in case of emergency.
What Will Happen: Chattanooga will do just enough to be annoying for just over a quarter, but the Auburn running backs will take over with a few home runs to let everyone breathe easily. No. 2 will be on the bench in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Auburn 45 … Chattanooga 10 … Line: No Line
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 1
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Arkansas (6-2) at South Carolina (6-2) Nov. 6, 7:00, ESPN

Here’s The Deal … This game doesn’t matter. Oh sure, it could end up determining the bowl pecking order and it might be a big deal for the East, who desperately needs to come up with something positive in a season when the West is dominating, but this is nothing more than an extremely interesting exercise unless Florida gacks against Vanderbilt. All that matters is next week’s showdown in Gainesville when South Carolina fights for the East title, but for a Gamecock team that is trying to push towards its first SEC title game appearance, a little positive momentum would be nice. Coming off double-digit wins in the easy part of the slate, beating Vanderbilt and Tennessee, it’s time to come up with another big win just so show the world that the Alabama win wasn’t a fluke in any way. But again, all the focus, no matter what happens, will quickly be on to more important things.

With losses to Alabama and Auburn, this game doesn’t matter too much for Arkansas, either, unless there are some massive upsets over the next few weeks. Even so, the Hogs can still make a ton of noise with games against Mississippi State and LSU and can still push for a great New Year’s Day bowl game. More than that, though, this would be the team’s biggest win of the season and it would show that the program is taking the steps forward under Bobby Petrino. So far, the best win was at Georgia, who turned out to be a dud, and it’s time to come up with the type of victory that could make the Hogs red hot going into the offseason, with or without Ryan Mallett. Arkansas has won three of the last four in the matchup, and a win would go a long way to determining the final SEC pecking order.

Why Arkansas Might Win: The South Carolina pass defense continues to be AWFUL. It’s one thing for Alabama’s Greg McElroy or Kentucky’s Mike Hartline to have big days against the Gamecock secondary, but Tennessee, who’s mediocre at best throwing the ball, got production out of both Matt Simms, who threw for 153 yards and a touchdown, and Tyler Bray, who threw for 159 yards and two scores. This just in, Mallett can throw a little bit. Even with a banged up receiving corps, Mallett was able to come up with a career-high of 409 yards with three touchdown passes, and he has a chance to do even better this week with the struggling defensive backfield now without starting corner Chris Culliver, who’s out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle. He was nearly perfect in last year’s win over the Gamecocks completing 23-of-27 passes for 329 yards, and if he’s able to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry, he should be able to keep the offense moving. On the defensive side, the Arkansas pass rush should be able to make big things happen in the USC backfield against an offensive line that’s doing a decent job of bringing the power, but it’s not protecting the passer.
Why South Carolina Might Win: Welcome to Marcus Lattimore and the power running game. The Arkansas defensive front has done a good job of holding up so far, but teams that wanted to run the ball have been able to. Alabama hasn’t quite run as well as it has wanted to against the top teams, but it was able to rumble for 227 yards last week, while Auburn, who runs on everyone, rolled up 330 yards and six touchdowns. South Carolina won’t put up huge numbers on the ground, but with Lattimore pounding away, the chance will be there to control the game and keep Mallett off the field. The Gamecocks might not throw like Arkansas does, Stephen Garcia isn’t Mallett, but the passing attack has been ultra-efficient with so many defenses freaking out about Lattimore and cheating up the safeties to stop him. When given time to let his receivers work deep, Garcia is great at connecting on the deep play. Mallett is seventh in the nation in passing efficiency, but Garcia is fifth.
What To Watch Out For: Are the quarterbacks going to have their targets to work with? Arkansas didn’t have Joe Adams against Vanderbilt thanks to an ankle injury, but the bigger problem is the loss of Greg Childs for the season with a knee injury. With the top targets out, Mallett spread the ball around to eight different receivers with Jarius Wright leading the way with six catches for 87 yards and two scores. Future NFL tight end D.J. Williams came up with a touchdown grab, but he has still been underutilized and is way overdue for a huge game. South Carolina also has a bit of a concern with top target Alshon Jeffery hurting with a knee injury. Dominant this year, with 52 catches for 935 yards and seven touchdowns, and with five grabs for 116 yards and a score last year against the Hogs, Jeffery needs to play a key role.
What Will Happen: It’ll all come down to mistakes. Mallett will throw for over 300 yards, and Lattimore will run well with over 100 yards in a tough, physical performance, but the key will be which team loses the turnover battle. The Gamecocks will be more balanced offensively, and Garcia will come up with one of his why-doesn’t-he-do-that-every-game performances, while the bombed on secondary will come up with two late picks to secure the win heading into the showdown against the Gators.
CFN Prediction: South Carolina 34 … Arkansas 30 … Line: South Carolina -3
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 4
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Louisiana-Lafayette (2-6) at Ole Miss (3-5) Nov. 6, 7:00, EXPNU

Here’s The Deal … Ole Miss has shown the bizarre ability to lose to anyone, collapsing against Jacksonville State in the opener and suffering the indignity of losing at home by two touchdowns to Vanderbilt, but this would be a particularly rough loss. Louisiana-Lafayette has been a shocking disaster giving up 54 points in a loss to a Western Kentucky team that couldn’t buy a win since joining the FBS ranks. On a four game losing streak, the Ragin’ Cajuns aren’t doing anything on defense, and the offense isn’t picking up the slack. The Rebels are on a three game losing streak, but there’s no shame in losing to Alabama and Arkansas on the road, and getting steamrolled over by Auburn. At 3-5, this is a must win to get back in the bowl hunt, and with a trip to LSU still to deal with, along with a date at Tennessee and a home game against Mississippi State, there’s no margin for error. The time is now for the team to start playing.
Why Louisiana-Lafayette Might Win: As is the case in any upset bid, winning the turnover battle is often a must. For all the problems the Ragin’ Cajun defense has had, coming up with takeaways has been a plus with 13 interceptions, including four against Ohio and three against Troy, and the five fumble recoveries haven’t been bad. Turnovers aren’t necessarily a problem for the Rebels, but being -0.38 on the year in turnover margin isn’t good. The Rebel secondary has been torched way too often, ranking dead last in the SEC in pass efficiency defense, which would be a huge problem against a ULL passing game that cranks out 261 yards per game, but …
Why Ole Miss Might Win: … starting quarterback Chris Masson isn’t going to play with a knee injury. While that doesn’t mean the Ragin’ Cajun passing game is necessarily dead, it could be a problem considering there’s no running game to lean on. ULL hasn’t even been close on defense this year, giving up 400 yards or more five times, and allowing 377 yards or more in every game. The pass defense has been miserable with no pass rush allowing quarterbacks way too much time to work, and the secondary hasn’t come through when it had its chances. On the other side of the ball, the ULL offensive line has been a nightmare in pass protection, and the fantastic Ole Miss pass rush should take advantage.
What To Watch Out For: ULL’s Brad McGuire started out his career as a dangerous dual-threat quarterback who was supposed to be the main man starting last season, but he ended up being used in a hybrid role of fullback, H-Back, and running quarterback. Thrown into the job last week when Masson went down, he threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for 33 yards. He’s a big, tough X factor who could carry the team and the game all by himself. For Ole Miss, the offense will be looking to carve out a bigger role for Jeff Scott, a playmaking freshman who had come up with some nice plays here and there as a reserve back, and then he came up with a 134-yard, one score day against Auburn with an 83-yard dash. Brandon Bolden is still the main man for the ground game, but he could use some help.
What Will Happen: The Ragin’ Cajuns will bomb away and will be annoying for the Rebels, who’d love nothing more than to have an easy layup before dealing with the rest of the SEC slate. But the Ole Miss offense won’t be stopped, QB Jeremiah Masoli will account for well over 300 yards of total offense, and a late flurry will finally put the game away.
CFN Prediction: Ole Miss 55 … Louisiana-Lafayette 24 … Line: Ole Miss -27
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 2
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Tennessee (2-6) at Memphis (1-7) Nov. 6, 8:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … At long last, an opponent that’s having as many difficulties as Tennessee. Off to their worst start in nearly a quarter-century, the Volunteers have dropped four straight and are the last SEC team without a conference win. Ironically, their only FBS victory came in double-overtime against UAB, the other Conference USA team on the schedule. Memphis gets a rare opportunity to host the state’s most prominent program, which it’s bowed to in 21-of-22 meetings. It’s been a rough year for the Tigers and rookie head coach Larry Porter, who could not have imagined the rebuilding plan would be this detailed or painful. Besides the win over Middle Tennessee, the program has only been competitive one other time, losing six games by no fewer than three touchdowns.
Why Tennessee Might Win: The Vols will have no problem building on last weekend’s offensive spark against South Carolina. The attack produced more than 400 yards for the first time since the opener with Tennessee-Martin, excelling through the air. Matt Simms and Tyler Bray were sharp, but the latter, a blue-chip true freshman, will get the first start of his brief career. He has a few good targets, headed by WR Denarius Moore, who burned a good Gamecock secondary for six catches for 228 yards and a score. It’s an ideal time to hand the ball to Bray, who’ll look across the line at a Memphis defense that’s allowed 25 touchdown passes, including 14 in the last three games.
Why Memphis Might Win: This might be the worst Tennessee defense the Tigers have faced in this long series. The Volunteers can’t stop the run or the pass, ranking next to last in SEC total D. While the Memphis attack hasn’t been special, it does house some young playmakers with upside potential. Jerrell Rhodes is a first-year back with a lot of talent, and veteran Gregory Ray is coming off a career-best 176 yards and a score on the ground in the Houston loss. Whether true freshman Ryan Williams or Cannon Smith gets the ball from Porter, he’ll be looking for big-play receiver Marcus Rucker.
What To Watch Out For: The Volunteers have just 10 sacks this season, one of many indications that this not a typical defense in Knoxville. Against a brutal Memphis offensive line, they should no problems beefing up those numbers. DE Gerald Williams is one player in particular, who’s had a quiet final season, but still has four more games to turn things around and once again begin impressing NFL scouts.
What Will Happen: Finally. Tennessee gets a rare opportunity to be the bully and will revel in it for all 60 minutes. As meek as the Volunteers have been this fall, they have substantially more talent than Memphis, which has been borderline FBS in 2010. Bray will perform as the future face of the program, throwing three touchdown passes and getting plenty of support on the ground from RB Tauren Poole.
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 45 … Memphis 10 … Line: Tennessee -19.5
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 1.5
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- Oct. 30 (Alabama - LSU)