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SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 13, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week eight SEC games, part 2


SEC
East  Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State
- Part SEC Predictions: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
Week 6 | Week 7

How are the picks so far? SU: 49-10 ... ATS: 28-23-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8
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Tulane (2-4) at Auburn (6-1)  2:30 PM EST Saturday October 21st
Why to Watch: All is right again in the Auburn world after a breathtaking second half to beat Florida 27-17 to get back into the SEC title hunt. With the No. 4 ranking in the BCS, hopes of a national title are still alive with a breezy schedule ahead until facing Georgia in mid-November. Now it's stat-padding time needing to win impressively week in and week out to move up in the human polls as the next few weeks play out. Tulane has been better than last year, but it's still trying to get back on track and play consistently. The Green Wave has enough offensive talent to throw the ball around a little bit if Auburn is letting down.
Why Tulane Might Win: Will Auburn still have the defensive fire shown against Florida, or will it come out sluggish? Tulane QB Lester Ricard will bomb away, while Matt Forte and the running game are just good enough to keep the Tigers from pinning their ears back and rushing the passer. Even though it might not show up in the win-loss column, the team is playing far better than it did when it got blasted by LSU 49-7 a few weeks ago.
Why Auburn Might Win: The Tulane defense is awful and it isn't going to force the mistakes needed to come up with the upset. Ranking 116th in the nation in turnover margin, the Green Wave D has only forced six turnovers so far and hasn't even been close to slowing down anyone's passing game. If Auburn is trying at all, it should be able to come up with at least five sacks against the struggling TU tackles and keep the inconsistent offense to around 250 yards of total offense.
Who to Watch: Auburn QB Brandon Cox has been good, but nothing special so far with only five touchdown passes and two interceptions. It's time the Tiger attack opens things up a little bit to see what it can do when the vertical passing game gets going. Tulane's secondary gives up yards in chunks, so look for Auburn to try to take a few deep shots early on with Cox forcing his passes more than he has over an ultra-efficient last few games. Courtney Taylor is way overdue for a huge game and should get in the end zone for the first time all season.
What Will Happen: Auburn will get hit with a few haymakers from Ricard, but the defense will take over with too much of a pass rush for the Green Wave to handle.
CFN Prediction
: Auburn 38 ... Tulane 10 ... Line: Auburn -32
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 2

South Carolina (4-2) at Vanderbilt (3-4)  3:00 PM EST Saturday October 21st
Why to Watch: Vanderbilt appeared to be on its way to yet another Vanderbilt season after a loss to Ole Miss, and then it pulled off a stunning, thrilling 24-22 win at Georgia to fuel bowl hopes. With winnable games ahead against Duke and Kentucky, and likely losses against Florida and Tennessee, this might be the swing game for a possible post-season berth. South Carolina, who has won five straight over the Commodores, had a week off after a shaky performance in a 24-17 win over Kentucky. This hasn't looked like a good enough team to beat the big boys, so this is a must win for bowl hopes with Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida and Clemson still to play, along with a layup against Middle Tennessee.
Why South Carolina Might Win: South Carolina should have a big advantage in field position thanks to the punting game, Vandy can kick, but it can't return with Alex Washington and Earl Bennett having no room to move. The Gamecock punting has been tremendous ranking second in the nation with Ryan Succop bombing away. Also expect the underrated USC defense to keep Vandy to under 20 points. The Commodores aren't sharp enough throwing the ball to be any threat to push the ball deep. However ...
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: ... Vanderbilt's defense has been fantastic. Michigan got 27, Arkansas got 21, and Georgia got 22, with seven being generated by the Bulldog D. South Carolina has had to get tricky to make things happen, so if the Commodores can avoid giving up the big play, and sniff out some of Steve Spurrier's quirky play calls, the D should keep the Gamecocks in check.
Who to Watch: The Vanderbilt offensive line has had to undergo an overhaul after the loss of starting tackle Brian Stamper to back surgery and starting guard Josh Eames to an ankle injury. There's no replacing Stamper, who was on his way to an All-SEC season before going down, but Elliot Hood will give it a try at right tackle. Helping things out might be a bigger role for Mac Pyle, who is still having problems with a knee injury. The front five didn't allow a sack to Georgia's great line, but it might not be able to give QB Chris Nickson the same time he got last week.
What Will Happen: Don't expect many points. South Carolina will dink and dunk all game long, while the defense will generate the most pressure Chris Nickson has faced all year long.
CFN Prediction
: South Carolina 20 ... Vanderbilt 14 ... Line: South Carolina -3.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 2.5

Fresno State (1-5) at LSU (5-2)  9 PM EST ESPN2 Saturday October 21st
Why to Watch: Remember back in August when LSU and Fresno State fans looked at this game as one of the dangerous beartraps of the 2006 season? After the way the Bulldogs pushed USC to the wall last year, many figured this was going to be a much-watch battle ... nyuh-uh. Fresno State has completely gone into the tank bottoming out with a loss to Utah State and getting annihilated 69-37 by Hawaii as part of a five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, LSU has destroyed everything in its path at home this year going 5-0
outscoring its opponents 236 to 30 and allowing only 13 points in the first half. Can this be more than just a scrimmage for the Tigers before the showdown at Tennessee next week? Can Fresno State make a statement and turn its season back around? Probably not, and no, but this still might be worth watching to see the LSU machine roll again.
Why Fresno State Might Win: Not much is going right for Fresno State at the moment, but it can bomb away a little bit. Tom Brandstater connected with Bear Pascoe for a 75-yard touchdown to open things up against Hawaii last week, and No. 2 QB Sean Norton, who should see a little bit of time, can also chuck ithrowing for three scores on the Warriors. FSU, who was good enough to come close to beating Oregon just a few short weeks ago, should be able to put up more points than most have been able to in Death Valley. Fresno State gets the rap of just getting up for the showcase games against the big boys, and this is one of them.
Why LSU Might Win: The secondary has been picked apart to death. Facing Hawaii's Colt Brennan and Oregon's Dennis Dixon didn't help the stats, but it had problems with Utah State's Riley Nelson, Washington's Isaiah Stanback, and Colorado State's Caleb Hanie. Worse yet, the defense, which has only forced four turnovers so far, isn't likely to generate the mistakes needed to keep this close.
Who to Watch: LSU QB JaMarcus Russell has to be licking his chops. Not only has the FSU pass defense been abysmal, but Russell has been out of this world at home so far. In five games, the junior has completed 76 of 98 passes (78%) for 1,203 yards and 12 touchdowns with only one interception. It'll be a shock if he doesn't pad the stats in this apparent layup.
What Will Happen: Fresno State still has the talent make this a battle, but it's not playing nearly well enough to slow down the LSU machine at home.
CFN Prediction
: LSU 45 ... Fresno State 17 ... Line: LSU -32
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Knights of Prosperity) ... 2


SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8
| Get Tickets for These Games