Week 9 SEC - Furman-LSU, FAU-Aub, Idaho-Miss

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Week 9 Fearless Prediction - Furman at LSU, FAU at Auburn & Idaho at Ole Miss

- Kentucky at Mississippi State | Vanderbilt at Texas A&M
- Tennessee at Alabama | South Carolina at Missouri
- Furman at LSU, FAU at Auburn, Idaho at Ole Miss

Furman (3-4) at LSU (6-2) Oct. 26, 7:00, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: LSU gets a week off to lick its wounds and rest up before getting two more weeks to prepare for the showdown against Alabama. Unfortunately, instead of gearing up for a showdown to decide the SEC West title and make a big statement in the national title chase, the Tigers are trying to get past a strange and disappointing loss to Ole Miss. Fortunately, dealing with the 3-4 Paladins shouldn't require too much of an effort. Furman might be 3-4, but three of the four losses could've gone either way.

Why Furman Might Win: This is a funky LSU team. It has the talent and it has the athleticism, but does it want to show up and play? It didn't wake up against Ole Miss until it was too late, and it's almost certainly going to want to get through this to get working on the Tide. Furman doesn't make a slew of mistakes and it has a decent enough defense to hold up for a few drives. If the Tigers aren't interested, this could last into the second half.

Why LSU Might Win: Furman doesn't have the offense. The passing attack doesn't come up with big plays and it's painfully inefficient. The points don't exactly come in bunches, having to fight for touchdowns and needing help from good field position and takeaways to set up a short field. The Paladins haven't scored more than 28 points so far, while LSU has scored fewer than 35 just twice, and that was against Florida and Ole Miss.

Who To Watch Out For: Furman linebacker Carl Rider is a hitting machine. The 6-2, 214-pound sophomore might be built like a safety, and he's just getting used to a full-time role on the defense, but he's tackling everything in sight. He's a smart, tough tackler who made 16 stops in the loss to Chattanooga and followed it up with 11 more against Appalachian State last week. He's not as big as some of the LSU running backs, but he'll hold his own.

What Will Happen: LSU will come out sluggish, but it'll pull away in the second half for a breather.

Prediction: LSU 52 … Furman 6
Line: LSU -47
Must See Rating: (5 The Counselor – 1 Last Vegas) … 1
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Florida Atlantic (2-5) at Auburn (6-1) Oct. 26 7:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: All of a sudden, with one thrilling win over Texas A&M, Auburn has found itself knee-deep in the hunt for the SEC title. With LSU's loss to Ole Miss, Auburn got all the help it needed, and now it can win the West by wining out – after getting by Florida Atlantic first.

The Owls aren't the pushovers they've been over the last few seasons, and while they might be 2-5, they're battling hard. They lost to Marshall by one two weeks ago, and the losses to Middle Tennessee and Rice were each by one score. There wasn't much happening against Miami and East Carolina, but still, the defense is just good enough to give Auburn problems if the focus isn't there. The Tigers have to go on the road to face Arkansas and Tennessee over the following two weeks, while FAU gets only its third home game of the year next week against Tulane.

This is the second time the two teams met. Auburn won the first matchup 30-14 two years ago.

Why Florida Atlantic Might Win: Facing the Texas A&M passing game had a little something to do with the statistical problems, but the secondary has had a problem against just about everyone else, too. The interceptions have been there, but everyone but Western Carolina has been able to crank out over 200 yards through the air. FAU might not have a high-powered air attack, but it averages 211 yards per game and should be able to push the ball down the field a little bit.

Why Auburn Might Win: The Tiger defensive front should be able to get behind the FAU line without too much of a problem. The Owls aren't good at keeping the quarterbacks upright, and Auburn has the defensive rotation up front to come up with stops and force several third-and-longs. AU leads the SEC in tackles for loss, averaging eight per game, and the middling FAU rushing offense won't go anywhere.

Who To Watch Out For: Everyone is gushing over Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall after his brilliant performance against Texas A&M, and rightly so, after running for 100 yards and two scores and coming up with 140 yards and two touchdowns against Ole Miss, but Tre Mason has been the steadying force. He powered and blew through the A&M defense for 178 yards and a score on 27 carries, and it's not the first time he came up with a huge day, running for 132 yards against LSU. He shouldn't need to touch the ball 20 times, but he'll be effective when he gets his chances.

What Will Happen: Don't be shocked if FAU's defense gives an unfocused Auburn a problem for a little while, but the firepower won't be there in the second half.

Prediction: Auburn 38 … Florida Atlantic 13
Line: Auburn -24.5 o/u: 50
Must See Rating: (5 The Counselor – 1 Last Vegas) … 2
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Idaho (1-6) at Ole Miss (4-3) Oct. 26, 7:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Congratulations, Ole Miss, you made it through the storm.

At Vanderbilt, at Texas, at Alabama, at Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU – who has had to deal with a harder first half of the season than the Rebels? And now it's fun time. Oh sure, Missouri has turned out to be a star, but the game is in Oxford and it's the only game – no, going to Mississippi State doesn't really count – that's going to be anything to really worry about. Banged up, battered and bruised, Ole Miss got by LSU last week in a 27-24 battle to the end, and now it gets to take a break, and it earned it.

Idaho was able to slip by Temple at home a few weeks ago, but it followed it up by getting ripped to shreds by Fresno State and losing at Arkansas State last week. The Vandals are struggling to find their footing under first year head coach Paul Petrino, and while they're not going to win this game, a decent showing would be a nice step forward before hosting Texas State.

Why Idaho Might Win: Does Ole Miss have any defensive ends left? The D was down to dive into the walk-on ranks in the second half against LSU, and the results weren't always pretty. If Idaho can get a little more time, there's a chance the passing game might be able to catch a little bit of a break. The Vandals are dead last in America in tackles for loss allowed, giving up close to ten per game, but Ole Miss might not have the healthy horses to take advantage of the situation.

Why Ole Miss Might Win: The Rebels shouldn't have to do anything cute. Bo Wallace and the passing game don't have to take any big chances, and there's no need to do anything more than hand off, and hand off some more against a run defense that gets blown over by a soft breeze. The Vandal run defense has been bad, the pass defense worse, and the offense can't stop giving the ball away. As long as Ole Miss doesn't make a ton of major errors – no pick-sixes, Bo – this shouldn't be a problem.

Who To Watch Out For: With Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott hurting, it took a few players to pick up the slack. Jaylen Walton turned into a star last week, running 18 times for 105 yards and two scoers, and he'll get more work again. Just 5-8 and 167 pounds, he doesn't have the size, but he can scoot. I'Tavius Mathers, a 5-11, 196-pound flash who was named Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year as a junior after tearing off 2,614 yards and 29 scores. Fast, tough and talented, he got his feet wet early last season, and ran for 52 yards on 13 carries last week.

What Will Happen: Ole Miss will score big early and coast the rest of the way. Idaho's offense will trip itself up far too often.

Prediction: Ole Miss 48 … Idaho 10
Line: Ole Miss -41 o/u: 58.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Counselor – 1 Last Vegas) … 1.5
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