Week 8 - LSU at Ole Miss

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Week 8 Fearless Predictions & Preview - LSU at Ole Miss

- Georgia at Vanderbilt | South Carolina at Tennessee
- Florida at Missouri | Auburn at Texas A&M
- LSU at Ole Miss | Arkansas at Alabama

LSU (6-1) at Ole Miss (3-3) Oct. 19 7:00, ESPN2

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Ole Miss, it's time to come up with a big win again. It seems like month ago since the Rebels opened up the season with a thrilling win over Vanderbilt and a stunning blowout over Texas, and now with three straight losses to Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M, all of the warm fuzzies from the recruiting class and the first few weeks of the season have gone away. Fortunately, the next few weeks should be better with Idaho, Arkansas and Troy, but first, breaking the three game losing streak against the Tigers would be nice.

LSU is still alive and kicking in the national title chase, but now it's about focus. The Tigers have to fight through a dangerous road trip and the scrimmage against Furman to get to Alabama and Texas A&M. Last week they came up with a tough 17-6 win over Florida that was easier than the final score, meaning that all six wins have been by double digits. However, the loss at Georgia means there's no margin for error. A BCS spot is there for the taking, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to flex a little bit of muscle and show that this really and truly might be the best team in the West.

Why LSU Might Win: Ole Miss might never have the ball. The Rebels don't do much with time of possession anyway, keeping the ball for just 27:28 per game, but LSU and its ability to control the ball and the tempo should be deadly. The Tiger ground game pounds away when it needs to, and Zach Mettenberger is outstanding at keeping the chains moving. LSU is third in the nation in third down conversions, hitting on a whopping 58% of its tries. On the flip side, Ole Miss is dead last in the SEC at stopping teams on third downs – LSU will go on march after march after march.

Why Ole Miss Might Win: Florida's defense might be a whole different animal than what Ole Miss brings, but the Rebels might be able to be disruptive against the run. There hasn't been any pass rush to speak of, but the defensive front has done a nice job of getting into the backfield and stopping plays before they can get going. The production has been steady, making lots and lots of nice things happen last week against Texas A&M while coming up with nine tackles for loss against Texas and seven against Alabama. The problem, though, is that the plays behind the line haven't translated into big stops against the run. Which means …

Who To Watch Out For: It's Jeremy Hill time. The LSU back has battled and bruised his way to seven yards per carry, and while he didn't score against Florida, he was able to get through the brick wall of a defense for 121 yards on 19 carries. Last year he was the difference maker in the 41-35 win over the Rebels, running for just 77 yards but scoring three times. He won't average just 3.9 yards per carry this time around.

What Will Happen: Ole Miss will come out with fire, energy and emotion, and that should be enough to carry it through to a huge game – and a close loss. The LSU offense will settle in, and after a rocky first half it'll take full control late by holding the ball for most of the fourth quarter.

Prediction: LSU 38 … Ole Miss 26
Line: LSU -7.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Bad Grandpa – 1 Vanilla Ice Goes Amish) … 3
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