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Week 2 SEC - Toledo at Missoui & More
Posted Sep 5, 2013

Week 2 SEC Fearles Predictions - Toledo at Missoui & More

Miami University (0-1) at Kentucky (0-1) Sept. 7, 12:00, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: The Mark Stoops era kicked off with a crashing thud, losing to WKU 35-26 despite a late comeback attempt. On the plus side, especially considering the problems of last season, the offense worked, cranking out 419 total yards and making things interesting over the final ten minutes, but a loss to a Sun Belt team is still a loss to a Sun Belt team. Miami University didn’t do much better in its opener against Marshall, getting bombed on in a blowout loss. Can the RedHawks take advantage of a Kentucky team looking ahead to Louisville?

Why Miami University Might Win: WKU came up with a nice, balanced attack to keep things moving against the Wildcats, but that’s not how MU rolls. The RedHawks need the short passing game to work to get by, and considering Hilltopper quarterback Brandon Doughty was able to keep things moving through the air, MU’s Austin Boucher should have a little more luck than he did against Marshall. He’s a good, accurate passer, but he didn’t show it against the Herd. The potential is there to do far, far more.

Why Kentucky Might Win: Marshall and quarterback Rakeem Cato might be far better at bombing away than Kentucky is, but there shouldn’t be any problem lighting up a RedHawk secondary that allowed 253 yards and five touchdowns in the loss to the Herd. Worse yet, the offense, particularly Boucher, couldn’t get going. MU doesn’t have a running game, and if Boucher goes 10-of-22 again, it’s going to be a long, long day.

Who To Watch Out For: And the Kentucky quarterback will be … Maxwell Smith. Jalen Whitlow completed 10-of-15 passes, but they only went for 78 yards and there wasn’t any pop to the attack. Smith stepped in and completed 8-of-13 passes for 125 yards and a score, providing a spark late in the game. Whitlow also added 75 rushing yards and a score, but Smith is the main man … for now.

What Will Happen: Kentucky will start capitalizing on the opportunities missed against WKU, and while the MU offense will work a little better for a full four quarters than it did against Marshall, the lack of a running game is going to be a problem.
Prediction: Kentucky 38 … Miami University 17
Line: Kentucky -17 o/u: 56.5
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

Western Kentucky (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0) Sept. 7, 12:21, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Can Western Kentucky be 2-0 in the SEC? Bobby Petrino’s opening act went well with a 35-26 win over Kentucky, but beating Tennessee would be something special. The Hilltoppers were supposed to get by a struggling and rebuilding Wildcat team, and the Vols are changing things around, too, under new head man Butch Jones. Everything went perfectly in Game One, with a 45-0 stomping of Austin Peay, and with road showdowns at Oregon and Florida coming up next, it’s time to take a step up in class. The defense worked well, the offense rocked, and the results were exactly what Vol fans have been waiting for, but with a big schedule ahead, a loss to a Sun Belt team could be a disaster for bowl hopes.

Why Western Kentucky Might Win: The offensive balance should keep Tennessee on its toes. The Vols had no problems last week, but now the defense that was such an issue last season is about to be tested. The Hilltopper offense stalled late, and Kentucky made a late rally, but for the most part, the offense did what it wanted with a strong midrange passing game to go along with a nice rotation in the backfield. The Vols might have to pick their poison.

Why Tennessee Might Win: The Kentucky quarterbacks actually completed their passes. They didn’t go anywhere until late. Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow combined to hit 18-of-28 passes, and this week it should be up to Justin Worley to do whatever he wants. Worley connected on an efficient 11-of-13 passes for 104 yards with three touchdowns, and if he’s given time, he should be able to make the midrange passing game go to open things up for …

Who To Watch Out For: Rajion Neal, who kicked off the Tennessee season with an early 47-yard touchdown dash on the way to 141 yards on 16 carries. The 5-11, 210-pound senior was the Georgia Player of the Year four seasons ago leading Sandy Creek to the AAAA state title, and he looked like it with one big run. Very slippery with good ability through the middle, he can provide a pop to go along with good speed and quickness. For WKU, Antonio Andrews is the star, but 6-0, 235-pound sophomore Leon Allen has the look of the team’s next great back running for 92 yards and a score on just ten carries last week against the Wildcats.

What Will Happen: Petrino will make sure Tennessee sweats and sweats a lot, but this is a different Vol team under Jones. The linebackers will keep Andrews and Allen in check. Tennessee’s A.J. Johnson and WKU’s Andrew Jackson will put on a show defensively, but in the end, the Vols will be a bit more consistent.
Prediction: Tennessee 34 … WKU 21
Line: Tennessee -13.5 o/u: 55
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 3

Toledo (0-1) at Missouri (1-0) Sept. 7, 3:30, ESPNU

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It’s the first ever matchup between Missouri and Toledo, Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel’s current job and his old one, and it’s a measuring stick; where does Mizzou stack up in the SEC East? Florida came up with a strong 24-6 win over the Rockets last week, using a powerful offense and tough defense to come up with a more dominant win than the final score indicates. The Tigers might not keep Toledo to two field goals, but after rolling through Murray State 58-14, it’s time to see if the offense can keep on rolling. With a likely shootout against Indiana coming up next, everything has to be clicking, but if Missouri is really good enough to make any noise this year, the next few weeks shouldn’t be a problem. However, Toledo won’t be a speedbump.

Why Toledo Might Win: Forget about what happened against a fantastic Florida defense; Toledo’s offense is far better than it looked. The Rockets couldn’t handle the physical nature of the Gators, and that’s not Missouri’s game or style. This is a far, far better matchup for a Rocket team that likes to speed things up a bit and get things moving. Florida ground the game down to a halt at times and owned the time of possession, but Missouri won’t do that.

Why Missouri Might Win: It’s only Murray State, but Missouri started to look like its old, Big 12 self. After a rocky 2012 and an interesting offseason with a big of a quarterback battle, James Franklin came out slinging, spreading the ball around well and moving the offense with ease. With near perfect balance, the Tigers were great in their warm-up act, and they were able to get several key backups involved. Now the team should be ready, and yes, this looked like a different team than the one that rolled SE Louisiana by 52 in last year’s opener, mainly because of …

Who To Watch Out For: Henry Josey, who looked fine coming off his horrible knee injury. The junior showed speed, quickness and a bit of power running 13 times for 113 yards and a score, ripping off a 68-yard dash, but he wasn’t alone when it came to backfield production. Sophomore Russell Hansbrough tore off 104 yards and two scores on just eight carries. He’s a lightning-fast 5-9, 185-pounder who got in a little mop-up work last year, but he appears ready for primetime now.

What Will Happen: Toledo will get the offense going early on to make Mizzou worry, and then the track meet will begin. Expect lots of big plays, lots of yards and lots of points as each team hits home run after home run. The big talk will be about the Mizzou defense and its struggles, but the offense will make up for it.
Prediction: Missouri 44 … Toledo 31
Line: Missouri -17 o/u: 65.5
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 3

Alcorn State (1-0) at Mississippi State (0-1) Sept. 7, 3:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Mississippi State has to show that its offense is working after sputtering and coughing in the 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs looked strong overall early, but they had nothing to show for it and failed to establish its attack. With the SEC opener up next, everything has to start working now or the Auburn game could be an issue. Alcorn State started out the year blasting Edward Waters 63-12, but that might be all the fun the team has this year. Not expected to make any noise in the SWAC, this could be ugly.

Why Alcorn State Might Win: This is a young, rebuilding team and program with nothing to lose, and it’s going to start bombing away from the start. The Braves ran wild last week rolling for 280 yards on the way to the blowout win, while the secondary didn’t allow anything deep. The defense is quick and aggressive, but again, Edward Waters. If ASU can start taking the ball away early, this might be fun for a quarter.

Why Mississippi State Might Win: Edward Waters. Alcorn State is about to feel the full weight of a Mississippi State team that couldn’t run the ball effectively enough and couldn’t get going after a decent start. Oklahoma State’s defense isn’t as good as it looked, and now the Bulldogs are going to get really, really physical to establish a tone for the rest of the way. It’s also a must to get the ground game moving to help out …

Who To Watch Out For: Sophomore Dak Prescott, a dual-threat option who adds a different style to the pure-passing Tyler Russell, who’s doubtful after suffering a concussion. The 6-2, 230-pound Prescott was wanted by LSU and several other SEC schools, but not necessarily as a quarterback. He was promised to be under center by MSU, and now he’ll get more of an opportunity.

What Will Happen: It’ll be over after two series. Alcorn State will be lucky to get 100 yards of total offense.
Prediction: Mississippi State 52 … Alcorn State 0
Line: Mississippi State -42.5 o/u: 58
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1

Samford (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:00, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Technically, Samford was one of those Week One FCS teams that beat an FBS team with a 31-21 victory over Georgia State, an FBS team that’s still trying to get out of the FCSland. Now things get considerably tougher for the Bulldogs against an Arkansas team that looked solid in the opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette as it goes through a relatively easy first part of the season before going to Rutgers and dealing with Texas A&M.

Why Samford Might Win: Head coach Pat Sullivan’s team has a good run defense and solid special teams, coming up big against Georgia State in the return game and allowing just 72 yards last week. It’s early, but the Bulldogs were sound and smart in the first week, but …

Why Arkansas Might Win: Samford was torched through the air. Georgia State’s Ronnie Bell threw two picks, but he threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns and had no problems spreading the ball around. Of course, Bret Bielema wants to get the ground attack moving first, and while Georgia State didn’t do anything with the running game, Arkansas will bring a far more physical style. It’s going to be a whole different ballgame.

Who To Watch Out For: This is the game for Arkansas to stretch the passing legs. Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins combined for 282 rushing yards and a score, and the Hogs can probably win this without throwing a pass, but it’s a chance for Brandon Allen to get some more live reps. He was good against the Ragin’ Cajuns, completing 15-of-22 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and he should be able to take target practice against the awful Samford secondary.

What Will Happen: It’s Bret Bielema against an overmatched foe. Don’t expect the music to stop just because the Hogs have a big lead.
Prediction: Arkansas 45 … Samford 7
Line: Arkansas -32.5 o/u: 47
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1.5