2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Nov 20 Ole Miss-LSU
LSU WR Rueben Randle
LSU WR Rueben Randle
Posted Nov 17, 2010

Fearless Predictions for every SEC game, Nov. 20, Part 2

2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 12 ... Nov. 20, Part 2

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

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- Nov. 20 (Arkansas-Mississippi State)

Appalachian State (9-1) at Florida (6-4) Nov. 20, 12:30

Here's The Deal … Just how down is Florida? Mentally, the program appears demoralized and drained, suffering through the overblown up of beating Georgia in Urban Meyer's self-described "greatest win ever," and the ugly lows of getting absolutely nothing going on offense in the last two home games against South Carolina and Mississippi State, with the 36-14 clunker against the former costing the Gators a shot at the SEC title. Florida will go bowling, but there's a chance for the year to enter a whole new level of bad if the team doesn't strap on the chinstraps for a jacked up Appalachian State. The Mountaineers are at it again with a 9-1 record and a dominant offense, and while this might not be the unstoppable powerhouse it was when Armanti Edwards was running the attack, this is still a really, really good team with the capability to pull off the win. This is the last regular season game of the year for ASU before going off to the FCS playoffs, having won the Southern Conference again, but a win in Gainesville might be even bigger than anything the program might do over the next several weeks.
Why Appalachian State Might Win: Florida has become bad at playing football. The last two wins came against Georgia in overtime and against Vanderbilt, and while some of the losses are to heavyweights like Alabama and LSU, this is Florida; it shouldn't be struggling this much. The offense has gone from mediocre to pathetic, trying to throw the ball on a miserable South Carolina secondary last week with no success whatsoever. If the Gator spread offense isn't working, the team isn't scoring. The ASU defense is terrific at getting into the backfield and is great and stopping plays before they start, and against the struggling Gator offensive front, the Mountaineer linebackers should be able to make several plays to get to the speedy runners before they can get into space. Offensively, the ASU passing game is efficient and sharp, helped by an offensive front that doesn't allow the quarterbacks to get touched.
Why Florida Might Win: Florida has had problems so far against good running backs who can pound away a bit behind a strong line. ASU has the strong line, but it gets the running game going with quarterback DeAndre Presley, who leads the team with 727 yards and 11 touchdowns. While he's having a great year throwing the ball with 17 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, those four picks came in the last three games. The Florida linebackers are too fast to have too many problems against a running quarterback, and if any coaching staff knows how to deal with a spread attack, it's Florida's. If field position matters, and for a struggling Gator offense, it does, Florida should have a huge advantage thanks to Chas Henry and the terrific punting game. ASU averages a paltry 35.53 yards per punt return.
What To Watch Out For: The Appalachian State offensive line is the real deal. With almost all the key parts back coming into the season, the line has gotten better and better as the season has gone on. With a veteran front line, experienced receivers, and players across the board used to being in big games, going to Gainesville isn't going to be any big deal unless Florida gets up early. The Gators abandoned the spread almost immediately against South Carolina, choosing instead to commit to the passing game. Big mistake. Meyer isn't going to do that this week as he'll rotate the quarterbacks to give ASU different looks, and as good as D.J. Smith and the ASU linebackers are, Florida should be able to run.
What Will Happen: Florida will try. While the team might be demoralized after last week's loss, Meyer and the coaching staff will get enough players involved and will light enough of a fire to get the team to play well enough to squash the dangerous ASU threat. It'll be a fight for a while, though.
CFN Prediction: Florida 34 … Appalachian State 17 … Line: No Line
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 2
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Ole Miss (4-6) at LSU (9-1) Nov. 20, 3:30, CBS

Here's The Deal … No, LSU isn't going to play for the national title. It might be the top-ranked one-loss team in the BCS rankings, but because it didn't win the SEC West, it'll take a major PR campaign to get a sniff of Glendale if Auburn ends up losing twice. Even so, the Tigers will go to a BCS game, possibly the Sugar Bowl, if they beat Ole Miss this week and Arkansas to close to finish a tremendous 11-1, and there's a great chance to finish the season in the top three in the final rankings and possibly No. 2 depending on what Auburn does. But first, they have to get by a desperate Ole Miss team that's quirky enough to pull off the upset if everything breaks right. The Rebels are in an ugly slid losing four of their last five games, and it's going to take their best effort of the season by far to have any sort of a chance to pull off the upset to keep bowl hopes alive. After getting destroyed by Tennessee last week, the defense has gone bye-bye, but LSU isn't necessarily an offensive juggernaut and could struggle a bit if Ole Miss comes up with an inspired effort. The athletes are there and the lines are decent, but the team has to put it all together. LSU might be caught napping if it's looking ahead to the Arkansas showdown.
Why Ole Miss Might Win: The defense has been lousy in all phases at times, but it's been particularly miserable against the pass. Everyone who can throw the ball overhand is getting fat against the Rebel secondary, but LSU can't do that. Even against ULM, the nation's 114th passing offense only got a combined 8-of-22 passes for 95 yards from Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, and they're not going to start lighting it up now. Ole Miss has been strong against the run, even though it might not have seemed like it late against Tennessee, and there's a chance the LSU offense sputters and struggles as it plays down to its competition. The LSU offensive line is playing well, but Ole Miss has the defensive front active enough and athletic enough to blow things up in the backfield.
Why LSU Might Win: Ole Miss is bad. The offense might be No. 2 in rushing and averages 219 yards per game, but 425 yards came against Fresno State, 218 came against Auburn's awful defense, and 298 came against Louisiana-Lafayette. The passing game isn't explosive enough to pick up the slack with Jeremiah Masoli inconsistent and coming off a three-interception game. LSU's run defense got lit up by Auburn, but has been a rock against everyone else allowing more than 150 yards just one other time, allowing 152 yards against Mississippi State (an easy win) and stuffed everyone else. If Ole Miss can't run the ball, it's going to be in big trouble. Ole Miss isn't going to be able to run the ball.
What To Watch Out For: Is Jeremiah Masoli healthy? He didn't blame his miserable performance against Tennessee on any lingering effects of a concussion, but he was way off completing 7-of-18 passes for 80 yards and three interceptions, and he only ran for 22 yards. Brought in to provide a spark for the offense, and a veteran presence, he has run reasonably well with 468 yards and four touchdowns, and he has thrown 12 touchdown passes so far, but he's not leading the way to wins. Even when he's on, throwing for 327 yards and three scores against Arkansas, and rushing for 104 yards against Vanderbilt, the team loses. However, if Ole Miss is going to have any shot this week, Masoli has to be the best player on the field, and he has to be mistake free. If backup Nathan Stanley is in, it's over.
What Will Happen: LSU won't be pretty, and the passing game still won't work, but Ole Miss will make several key mistakes to blow several chances to take control of the game. It's the afternoon game on CBS. They're always entertaining no matter whose playing.
CFN Prediction: LSU 31 … Ole Miss 17 … Line: LSU -16
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 2.5
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Tennessee (4-6) at Vanderbilt (2-8) Nov. 20, 7:30

Here's The Deal … Tennessee finally got to the easy portion of the schedule, and it's taking advantage blowing away Memphis and Ole Miss by a combined score of 102-28, and now comes another step forward against a bad Vanderbilt team. As bad as the Vols have been, the six losses came to Oregon, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina … that's not that bad. Now, with the offense getting hot at the right time, the miserable season could end up finishing strong and with a bowl bid by beating the Commodores this week and getting by Kentucky at home next week. Can the Commodores pull off the shocker? The team is on a five-game losing streak and hasn't been close to anyone since beating Eastern Michigan in early October. The offense is disastrous, the defense isn't playing well, and it's playing out the string time, but there's a chance to close with a flurry with a shocker this week and with a weak Wake Forest coming to Nashville to close. It's going to take something special to pull this off, and it's going to take a total collapse from the Vols, but that could happen at home. Vandy is overdue for a good game.
Why Tennessee Might Win: The Commodore offense isn't working in any way. With injuries in the backfield and no passing attack to rely on, there's little pop. Yeah, Vandy ran for over 200 yards against Kentucky and balanced things out with 198 yards, but even with the best offensive performance in weeks it was still an 18-point loss when the attack fizzled in the second half once the Wildcats woke up. Tennessee's defense has stepped up its play in a big way over the last few weeks, allowing just 64 rushing yards to Memphis and 99 passing yards to Ole Miss, while coming up with seven interceptions in the last two games. Even if Vandy runs for over 200 yards, it's not going to be nearly enough.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: Tennessee's offense might be red-hot, but it might be a mirage. The offense struggled so much throughout the year to run the ball, and it didn't do much until late against Ole Miss, that if Vandy can come up with a special effort against the Volunteer passing attack, there's a chance to keep the game close. The Commodore pass defense has hardly been special this year, but it's coming off two of its better game in weeks. It's all relative, Florida and Kentucky still threw well, but at least the secondary wasn't getting lit up. It's going to take several picks and an inspired effort this week, and considering the Commodores are first in the SEC in tackles for loss, plays behind the line could blow up the Vol attack.
What To Watch Out For: Tyler Bray has been magnificent. The Vols' freshman quarterback followed up his 325-yard, five touchdown effort against Memphis with 323 yards and three scores against Ole Miss, and against a Commodore defense that's among the worst in the nation in passing efficiency defense, Bray could be on the verge of throwing for 1,000 yards in three weeks. While the production is being spread around, senior Denarius Moore has become the main man catching six passes for 228 yards and a score against South Carolina and ten passes over the last two weeks. With a touchdown catch in each of the last three games, he has become a dangerous go-to target.
What Will Happen: Tennessee isn't going to stop the music now. The Volunteer secondary might be totally depleted thanks to a slew of injuries, but Vandy isn't going to be able to take advantage while Bray and the UT offense go nuts for the third week in a row.
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 44 … Vanderbilt 14 … Line: Tennessee -9
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 2
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- Nov. 20 (Arkansas-Mississippi State)