2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Nov 20 Ark-Miss St
Arkansas TE D.J. Williams
Arkansas TE D.J. Williams
Posted Nov 17, 2010

Fearless Predictions for every SEC game, November 20

2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 12 ... Nov. 20 Games

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

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- Nov. 20 (Ole Miss-LSU)

CFN SEC Predictions: SU: 66-13   ATS: 29-42


Arkansas (8-2) at Mississippi State (7-3) Nov. 20, 7:00, ESPN

Here's The Deal … Yeah, if this is the best SEC matchup of the weekend, it's a down weekend, but it really, really matters for Arkansas, who's still in the hunt for a BCS game. If the Hogs can beat the Bulldogs this week, beat LSU on Thanksgiving weekend, and get an Alabama loss to Auburn, they're almost certainly going to be Sugar Bowl bound if Auburn plays for the national championship. Getting hot after the loss to the Tigers, Arkansas has won four straight, including a 41-20 blasting of South Carolina, and now the offense has put up 41 points or more in four of its last five games and is on a far better offensive run than it was over the first half of the season. The defense is still suspect, but it's good enough to get by. Meanwhile, it's gravy time for a Mississippi State team that has turned things around under Dan Mullen in just two years. The tragic death of lineman Nick Bell and last week's blowout loss to Alabama derailed an otherwise terrific year, and there's still a chance to come up with the first ten-win season since 1999 with a win this week, a win in the Egg Bowl over Ole Miss, and a bowl victory. This is hardly a special team, but it finds ways to win and it gives max effort every week. There have been some nice wins, beating Florida in Gainesville and beating Georgia, and the signature moment was only losing to Auburn 17-14, but winning this week would be the most important victory of the season.
Why Arkansas Might Win: The Hogs could simply outscore the Bulldogs. Yeah, duh, anytime a team wins it outscores the other, but Arkansas has the ability to get the offense moving and put up a number that MSU can't come close to matching. The only times this year the Bulldog attack has done anything, meaning scoring more than 24 points, were against Memphis, Alcorn State, Houston, and UAB. Meanwhile, Arkansas was only held under 24 once, by Alabama. The passing game could get going early, and if MSU has to start throwing to come back, it's over. Arkansas is 14th in the nation against the pass.
Why Mississippi State Might Win: MSU has to grind out yards and control the clock. The Arkansas defense isn't bad, but the Bulldog line has the potential to pound away and keep the chains moving and to keep Ryan Mallett off the field. The teams that have been able to run the ball on the Hogs, Alabama and Auburn, won. Arkansas is 0-2 when allowing 200 yards or more, and 8-0 when allowing under 200, and MSU averaged 212 rushing yards per game. The defense will live up yards, but it doesn't give up points in bunches and it becomes a rock when its back is against the wall. 18th in the nation in red zone defense, the Bulldogs might let Mallett throw, but they'll force field goal attempts instead of touchdowns. That's not necessarily a bad thing considering …
What To Watch Out For: PK Zach Hocker has been a find. Arkansas has a big-time offense that can score points in bunches, but having a reliable bomber has helped. Hocker, a true freshman, has hit 11-of-12 attempts with his one miss coming against Texas A&M in early October. These haven't been cheap, nailing 5-of-6 shots from beyond 40 yards, including a 51-yarder. With the way MSU will likely hold in the red zone, Hocker could end up being the star of the show. For MSU, getting Vick Ballard going is a must. Not necessarily a workhorse, with just one game this year with 20 carries, he's productive when he gets his chances. In this game, he has to do more and he has to be a scorer with just one touchdown in the last four games after scoring 11 times in the first six games.
What Will Happen: MSU will play inspired at home for a half, and will frustrate Mallett for stretches, but the Bulldog offense won't be able to put the game away. Mallett will come up with two good drives in the third quarter, and MSU won't be able to answer.
CFN Prediction: Arkansas 24 … Mississippi State 17 … Line: Arkansas -3.5
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 3.5
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Georgia State (6-4) at Alabama (8-2) Nov. 18, 7:30, ESPNU

Here's The Deal … It's throw a bone time as Alabama will throw some money and some exposure to former Tide head coach Bill Curry's program. Georgia State is starting from scratch, and it hasn't been awful in its inaugural season with a 6-4 record and with several thrilling, close battles. Of course, this is nothing more than a light scrimmage for an Alabama team taking a break as it prepares for the monster showdown against Auburn, and all this will be is a chance for the Tide backups to get their feet wet for next year. For the Panthers, in their final game of the season, this is their first chance to face an FBS team and it'll be a chance to get a bit of notoriety on a national stage.
Why Georgia State Might Win: The Panthers don't make dumb mistakes. Considering the program is still trying to figure out what it's doing, it doesn't beat itself with penalties. Turnovers are a problem, but the errors are coming from trying as opposed to screwing things up. The line play has been shockingly solid, doing a good job in pass protection so far while the defensive front holds up relatively well against the run. None of this really matters, of course, since playing Campbell and Morehead State isn't the same as dealing with Alabama, but all things considered, the Panthers aren't a total mess.
Why Alabama Might Win: This is all about the backups. The starters might get a quarter, but this will be over instantly. Georgia Southern turns the ball over too much, and it doesn't generate anything against the run. If you can't run on Lambuth, you're not going to run on the Tide. All that matters this week is staying sharp after a strong effort against Mississippi State while keeping Greg McElroy and the passing game going. Even this late in the season, keeping the timing down for the passing game is a must before having to gear it up for the shootout when the Tigers come to town.
What To Watch Out For: McElroy has three games left in his college career, and he'll play just a little bit in this one meaning A.J. McCarron will get a long look. The redshirt freshman completed 2-of-5 passes for 50 yards against Mississippi State, and he'll handle the bulk of the offense this week as he'll give the coaches a decent chance to show what he can do in live action. The 6-4, 190-pounder was an Elite 11 Quarterback with a live arm and a lightning quick release, and he has the tools and the potential to be terrific with a bit more work. He might not be all that mobile and he might need to get a little bigger with time in the weight room, but he has tremendous drop-back passer talent. He fits into the mold of what an Alabama quarterback is supposed to do, and he could end up adding more of a deep ball element to the equation when it's his time to shine.
What Will Happen: Nick Saban will keep the score down out of respect to Curry. The first quarter will be ugly, and then the Bama backups will get to see the field to shine a little bit going into the offseason.
CFN Prediction: Alabama 45 … Georgia State 0 … Line: No Line
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 1
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Troy (5-4) at South Carolina (7-3) Nov. 20, 12:21, GamePlan

Here's The Deal … South Carolina isn't used to playing games that matter, and it has been in a strange position over the final month of the season. The home date with Arkansas meant nothing, the Gamecocks played like it, and they got ripped 41-20. The Florida date last week was for the SEC East title, the Gamecocks played like it, and the came up with one of the greatest wins in school history with a 36-14 blasting. And now there's this. It's Senior Day, and there will be several players who'll want to try because it's the final time running on the field, but this game doesn't matter a lick with the rivalry date at Clemson up next and the battle for the SEC title against Auburn to follow. There's no at-large BCS bid coming if the Gamecocks don't win the SEC title, and there are always going to be pockets of fans that care about beating Clemson as much as anyone else on the slate, so it'll be interesting to see who gets on the field. For Troy, any sign of life would be nice after losing two of its last three games to blow its hold on the Sun Belt title. The defense has been a disaster, and while the offense has been great, it hasn't been good enough. If the Trojans can upset the sleepy Gamecocks, they'll become bowl eligible, but that shouldn't be a problem with Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic to follow.
Why Troy Might Win: To stress this again, this … doesn't … matter. If South Carolina decides to try, this will be a brutally ugly blowout with the Trojans powerless to come up with a defensive stop, but the intensity won't be there in a true sandwich game and there will be a pitch count on RB Marcus Lattimore, if he gets any real work at all. Troy's offense has been explosive all season long, and that includes a battle at Oklahoma State with 270 passing yards and 38 points. The offense had one brain cramp, scoring just 14 points in a strange loss to ULM, but it has scored 30 points or more in the other eight games. Offensively, the passing game should be able to throw at will on the Gamecock secondary, while defensively the pass rush should get into the backfield.
Why South Carolina Might Win: Even if South Carolina isn't trying, and/or if it's playing it's backups, the offensive production should still roll on a Troy defense that hasn't been close. Florida International, not exactly an offensive powerhouse, ran for 448 yards with three different players tearing off 100 yards last week. The pass defense has allowed 220 yards or more in every game but one, and the run defense has gotten steamrolled over by anyone who has tried. USC might not win in an ugly blowout, but that doesn't mean it's still not good enough to win.
What To Watch Out For: At 6-0 and 214 pounds, Troy redshirt freshman quarterback Corey Robinson might not be all that big, but he can throw, setting the national high school record with 5,872 yards and 91 touchdowns. Kentucky's former Mr. Football, he's a smart, accurate passer with the speed to make things happen on the move, and he's showing it off as the type of bomber who the program will build around for the next three years. He has thrown for 2,553 yards and eight scores, but he's having problems with interceptions throwing nine in the last four games. He'll make mistakes against the Gamecocks, but he'll keep pushing the ball down the field.
What Will Happen: Troy won't think this is a show; it'll think it's a fight. It'll put up a ton of yards and it'll throw a major scare into the SEC East champions, but it'll also turn the ball over five times and the South Carolina offense will take advantage. USC will win, but it'll be interesting.
CFN Prediction: South Carolina 34 … Troy 27 … Line: South Carolina -23
Must See Rating: Casino Jack – 5 … Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition -1 … 2.5
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- Nov. 20 (Ole Miss-LSU)