Week 10 – Ole Miss at Georgia
Georgia RB Todd Gurley
Week 10 Fearless Predictions & Game Preview - Ole Miss at Georgia
Ole Miss (5-3) at Georgia (7-1) Nov. 3, 3:30, CBS
Here's The Deal: Was that the real Georgia, or was that a one-week aberration? The Dawgs called themselves out for being soft and not playing up to their capabilities, and they came out roaring against Florida last week in an emotional battle that changed the SEC title race and the national title picture. Now, all of a sudden, the puck is on Georgia's stick needing to win this week before getting the Auburn two-foot putt to go back to the SEC championship game for the second year in a row with an outside shot of playing for the whole ball of wax.
It has been a weird and rocky road to this point, struggling through too many games against mediocre teams before hitting rock-bottom in a 35-7 loss to South Carolina. Nothing worked, the Gamecocks came out and played like they cared, and all of a sudden, massive changes appeared to be on the horizon.
It's not an overstatement to say that if Georgia didn't beat Florida, head coach Mark Richt would've been on a major he-really-can't-get-over-the-hump hot seat. The Gators would've been crowned as the once-again superpower of the East, and the Dawgs would've been third in the pecking order. All that changed after an ugly 17-9 win in Jacksonville, but now Georgia has to show it can play with a lead.
Ole Miss is dangerous with an offense that has found some decent pop and explosion under new head coach Hugh Freeze, while the defense has done its part by not being awful. No, this isn't the most talented team in the SEC, and no, the defense isn't one of the SEC's best, but it's good enough. The SEC title is out of the equation with losses to Alabama and Texas A&M, but the Rebels can go bowling for the first time in three years with a win.
Georgia has owned the series winning the last nine times with the last loss coming in 1996.
Why Ole Miss Might Win: Georgia 29, Kentucky 24. The Bulldogs had to go to a special place to ramp themselves up for Florida, and even then the team didn't play all that well with just 273 yards of total offense with 14 penalties, three picks, and converting one of ten third down chances. That might have been a one-shot deal, and Georgia could easily slip back to its pre-Gator mold and be the mediocre team that struggled against a miserable UK team and had issues putting away Tennessee and Florida Atlantic. With a terrific pass rush and an aggressive defensive front that's great at screwing things up, it's possible the Rebels could catch an unfocused Georgia team napping a bit.
Why Georgia Might Win: Pound, pound, pound away. Georgia's offense has been a bit hit-or-miss, but it should be able to run hard and run well on an Ole Miss defensive front that's aggressive and active, but doesn't quite have the strength to hang on if someone gets the ground game going Texas ran at will and Texas A&M was able to crank out 290 yards and two scores. Arkansas came up with 167 yards last week helped by a big day from Dennis Johnson, and almost won. Georgia doesn't have to make things all that complicated. Start running, keep running, and let Aaron Murray connect on his third down chances. Even with the excellent pass rush, the Rebels have problems stopping teams on third downs.
What To Watch Out For: Todd Gurley was back to his old form, and at just the right time. After the ripping off four 100-yard rushing days in the first five weeks, the Georgia freshman struggled to get going against South Carolina and was held in check by Kentucky. 118 yards and a score later, he helped carry the struggling offense to the win over the Gators.
Ole Miss has a star freshman of its own who needs to meet up with Gurley early and often. Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche leads the team with 52 tackles to go along with two sacks and nine tackles for loss. He was fantastic against Alabama making 11 tackles with a sack and two forced fumbles, but he has been more steady than sensational.
What Will Happen: Either the Dawgs will be ramped up after their huge win and come out roaring, cranking out a blowout win with ease, or they'll revert to form and struggle with their focus and consistency. Go with the latter. Ole Miss will hang around, hang around, hang around and then it'll come up with the one big drive it'll need late to throw the East title back into chaos.
CFN Prediction: Ole Miss 30 … Georgia 27
ATS Consultants Line ( Click for more lines and picks) Georgia -14 O/U: 63
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 4
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