SEC Fearless Predictions - Week 2, Part 2
Posted Sep 7, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week two SEC games.

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

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week Two

Texas State (1-0) at Kentucky (0-1)  6 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Another year, another Kentucky loss to Louisville. After getting its doors blown off in an ugly 59-28 pounding by the Cardinals, UK needs to relax, get as much work in as possible in this light scrimmage against Texas State, and then try to make some early noise in the SEC with a home date against Ole Miss coming up on the 16th. Coming off a tough 27-23 win over Tarleton State, TSU is playing its first game ever against an SEC team and its only game this year against a D-I program..
Why Texas State might win: The Bobcats ran for 220 yards on Tarleton State last week while Kentucky ran for 22 on Louisville. Led by dual-threat quarterback Chase Wasson, TSU has a good offense that should be able to put some points on the board against a shell-shocked Wildcat defense playing again after a short week. If Texas State sounds remotely familiar, it gave Texas A&M all it could handle last year in a 44-31 shootout.
Why Kentucky might win: The Bobcat secondary allowed 356 passing yards last week. Kentucky might have had mega-problems with Louisville, but it was able to connect on several deep passes and get the speedy receivers the ball on the move. Louisville is a legitimate national title contender playing at home in a rivalry game, so getting blown out last week might be getting a bit overblown. Kentucky isn't that bad.
Who to watch: Kentucky WR Keenan Burton was one of the only bright spots in the Louisville loss catching four passes for 127 yards and a 73-yard touchdown and returning a kickoff 100 yards for a score. He needs to keep establishing himself as a big-play weapon so things open up more for Rafael Little and the running game.
What will happen: Kentucky will find a little bit of its mojo by doing a Louisville impersonation on the Bobcats.
CFN Prediction
Kentucky 48 ... Texas State 14 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1

Arizona (1-0) at LSU (1-0)  6:30 pm EST ESPN2 Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Desert Swarm, meet Death Valley.  Upstart Arizona travels to Baton Rouge for the program’s biggest non-conference game in a decade.  Win at LSU, and you can start saying the Cats have turned the corner and are pointed big things under Mike Stoops.  They were inconsistent in the opener with BYU, but snuck out with a momentum-building, 16-13 win on Nick Folk’s last-second field goal.  Compared to last season, LSU has had a very quiet start to the season, and the entire community is thankful for the normalcy.  The Tigers opened with a matter-of-fact, 45-3 win over UL-Lafayette, but the big story was the presence of QB JaMarcus Russell and RBs Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent, all of whom finished last year on the shelf.  Russell was particularly sharp, however, Broussard and Vincent are still somewhere south of 100%.   
Arizona might win: Okay, so the Desert Swarm comparisons are premature, but this Arizona defense is very good…and very fast.  The best way to neutralize LSU’s speed is with speed, and the Cats have it up front and especially in the defensive backfield.  Last week, they held high-scoring BYU to a paltry 13 points and 24 yards rushing and got a pair of sacks from stud JUCO transfer Louis Holmes.    
Why LSU might win: Arizona had lots of problems moving the ball in Week 1, and things figure to get a whole lot tougher in Week 2.  Despite having to fill holes on the front seven, the Tiger D was in mid-season form, running its streak of consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown to 10.  Arizona QB Willie Tuitama needs to rebound from a shaky start, but it won’t be easy against one of the nation’s stingiest secondaries.   
Who to watch: For LSU to be more than just a contender for the SEC West, Broussard has to be the back he was before the ACL tear.  He had 46 yards and a score on eight carries Saturday, but is still carrying a few too many pounds from the long layoff.  An improved Arizona run defense presents a stiff test before next week’s pivotal trek to Auburn.    
What will happen: Mike Stoops clearly has the Wildcats headed in the right direction, but snapping LSU’s eight-game winning streak over Pac-10 opponents is skipping ahead too many chapters.  Tuitama has never seen the kind of pressure he’ll get Saturday night, and it’ll result in at least two picks for the opportunistic Tiger secondary.               
CFN Prediction
LSU 28 ... Arizona 13 ... Line: LSU -14.5
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 3

Utah State
(0-1) at Arkansas (0-1)  7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to Watch:  Both teams are coming off brutal opening game defeats – Utah State lost to Wyoming 38-7, while Arkansas was destroyed by USC for the second consecutive season.  The Hogs will take their anger out on an Aggie team that’s still trying to find an identify under head young head coach Brent Guy. This has to be when the Arkansas running game gets rolling, or there will a huge concern. Of more excitement is the official debut of the Mitch Mustain era as the super-frosh gets his first start after seeing a little time against the Trojans.
Why ­­­­Utah State Might Win:  Aggie QB Leon Jackson III is a much better QB than he showed in the opener against Wyoming.  When at his best, he’s a dual threat who puts stress on opposing defenses when he has the ball in his hands.  He also punted eight times last week, which makes him a true throwback. If the Hogs don’t account for him and his decent receiving corps, this might be closer than Arkansas might like.
Why Arkansas Might Win:  RB Darren McFadden might not be all the way healthy, but even at 85 or 90% he’s a threat that Utah State can’t stop.  Expect to see his carries and touches increase as his stamina returns, and expect him to add more pop to a ground ganme that had problems putting the ball on the turf last weekend. LB Sam Olajubutu will have the responsibility of containing Jackson and not allowing him to get outside the pocket and hurt the Arkansas defense with his scrambles. The Arkansas All-American had ten tackles against USC and should have at least that many against Jackson and the Aggie offense.
Who to Watch:  The battle to watch will be Arkansas CB Matterral Richardson and Chris Houston against Utah State WR Tony Pennyman and Kevin Robinson.  Throughout the USC game, Herring kept his corners in press man coverage, allowing the front seven to be as aggressive as possible against USC.  He’ll continue to be aggressive against Utah State, which puts the Aggie WR duo, considered one of the best pairs in the WAC, in single coverage against the two Hog cover corners.  If Jackson can get a few seconds to throw, the pressure is 100% on Richardson and Houston to not get beat.
What Will Happen:  McFadden is going to get 12 to 15 touches in this game, which isn’t good news for the Aggies.  He averaged nearly five yards per carry after sitting out most of fall camp, so the Aggies can expect McFadden to carry the offense on Saturday.  Of course, all eyes are on Mustain, which increases the importance of McFadden’s role in this game. All the parts will click in an easy Hog win.

CFN Prediction
: Arkansas 41 .... Utah State 10
... Line: Arkansas -28
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1.5

Air Force (0-0) at Tennessee (1-0)  7 pm EST GamePlan Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: It's amazing how one win over a Pac 10 team can take a supposedly floundering program and make it a national title contender. It was never a question of ability with Tennessee last season, but there was an issue with playing up to the skill level and putting it all together. In a 35-18 dismantling of the Bears that was far more impressive than the final score indicates, Tennessee showed the speed, offensive balance and NFL-caliber talent that everyone was waiting to see break out all through 2005. Now the key is to keep the momentum going with Florida coming to town next week. Air Force is playing its first game of the year and is hoping the Vols will be flat in the biggest of sandwich games. The Mountain West season starts up for the Falcons next week with a trip to Wyoming.
Why Air Force might win: Every coach is afraid of the unknown. Control freaks all, coaches really believe their own rhetoric when they say they have to worry about an inferior opponent. Air Force has game tap to go on, but Tennessee doesn't necessarily know just how advanced Shaun Carney and the Falcon passing game might be. Xs and Os won't be the problem for the Volunteer coaching staff, but getting the team amped up with the Gator game next week and making it believethe Air Force option offense is quirky enough to provide problems will be hard.
Why Tennessee might win: What always beats the option? Speed. If a first-round caliber back like Marshawn Lynch couldn't lead a ground game to more than 64 yards, what chance does Air Force have of doing too much more? The Falcons don't have nearly enough defensive team speed to stay with any aspect of the Tennessee offense and it isn't going to be fast enough in the backfield to get to the outside on the Vol defensive front seven.
Who to watch: Either Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe really is a difference maker or the light bulb turned on for Erik Ainge, the Vol passing game took an impressive turn in the Cal game after struggling so badly last year. Ainge wasn't flawless, but he was great at getting the ball in the right spot to allow his receivers to make plays. Yeah, the receivers like Robert Meachem certainly helped, but you're doing something right if you're averaging over 26 yards per completion.
What will happen: It'll take at least a quarter for Tennessee to get into it, and then the floodgates will open. If the Vols come in fired up, the Air Force offense won't go anywhere.
CFN Prediction
: Tennessee 40 ... Air Force 13
... Line: Tennessee -20
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week Two