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SEC Fearless Predictions, Nov. 25, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 21, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week 13 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 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

How are the picks so far? SU: 76-11 ... ATS: 43-32-2

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 13
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Kentucky (7-4) at Tennessee (8-3) 12:30 PM EST GamePlan Saturday, November 25th
Why to Watch: Can Kentucky really finish second in the SEC East? If Rich Brooks' team can beat the Vols for the first time since 1984, after losing 21 straight, it'll finish behind Florida as the East's second best team. To do that, it'll have to play night-and-day better than it did in a near choke in a 42-40 win over UL Monroe last week needing a missed two-point conversion to survive. Tennessee is still hoping to somehow sneak into a big bowl game like a New Year's Day bowl, but unless the SEC gets two teams into the BCS, the Music City Bowl is more likely. The Vols bounced back from a bad performance against Arkansas to throttle Vanderbilt 39-10 to keep hopes for a ten-win season alive.
Why Kentucky Might Win: When was the last time Tennessee faced a vertical passing game like Kentucky's? The league's best passing attack has been bombing away on everyone averaging 273 yards per game, while QB Andre Woodson has been terrific at keeping the mistakes to a minimum. LSU's JaMarcus Russell, South Carolina's Syvelle Newton and Florida's Chris Leak all threw effectively against the Vols able to dink and dunk their way up and down the field. However, they had interception issues. As long as Woodson doesn't throw three picks, UK should be O.K.
Why Tennessee Might Win: Erik Ainge has to be giddy as a kid after three pieces of pumpkin pie with whip at the idea of bombing away on the nation's worst defense, while the running game should be able to do whatever it wants to. UL Monroe ran for 351 yards and four touchdowns last week on the Wildcats, but the big problem throughout the year as been pass defense allowing a nation-worst 271 yards per game. Back from an ankle injury, Ainge showed how much better the offense is with him completing 21 of 26 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns against Vanderbilt last week. Also, this might be the game ...
Who to Watch: ... Robert Meachem seals up a spot on the All-America team. Already in the hunt for major post-season honors, the Volunteer junior could be in for a 150-yard day against a UK secondary that can't cover, can't tackle, and should spend most of the game staring at No. 3 running away from it. As good as Meachem has been the SEC's hottest receiver is Kentucky's Keenan Burton with nine touchdowns in the last four games and 20 catches for 286 yards and five scores in the last two. Not just an explosive receiver, he's also been a tremendous kickoff returner averaging 25 yards per try.
What Will Happen: Oh this will be fun. Expect lots of scoring and over 600 passing yards between the two teams, but the Tennessee offense will also add about 250 yards on the ground.
CFN Prediction
: Tennessee 48 ... Kentucky 23  ...  Line: Tennessee -18
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 3

Mississippi State (3-8) at Ole Miss (3-8) 2:00 PM EST Saturday, November 25th
Why to Watch: The Egg Bowl might not hold any national interest and is only a battle between two 3-8 teams, but it's vital for momentum going into the off-season. Both programs are on the upswing, even if the wins aren't flowing, with Ole Miss battling LSU in an overtime loss and pushing Alabama and Auburn to the wall in recent weeks, while MSU had a nice game in a loss to Arkansas and beat Alabama a few weeks ago. The loser finishes in the bottom of the West, while the winner will turn the heat down for a few months.
Why Mississippi State Might Win: Ole Miss is one-dimensional with no passing game to help out BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the ground attack. The Bulldogs held Darren McFadden to 84 yards last week and the Hogs to 128 yards. If Quinton Culberson and the linebackers can be in the right positions, like they were throughout last week, and don't miss tackles, the middling Rebel offense will sputter and cough.
Why Ole Miss Might Win: Forget about MSU running the ball. The ground game has been better over the last few weeks with its second best game of the year last week against Arkansas, but it still only ran for 154 yards. Now that starting QB Michael Henig is out after breaking his collarbone, the explosiveness should be gone from the Bulldog attack meaning Patrick Willis and the Rebel linebackers should be able to fully focus on teeing off on the ground game. 
Who to Watch: The quarterback situations for each team will be under the microscope. Ole Miss starter Brent Schaeffer is the starter, and the coaching staff desperately hopes he has a big game to springboard him into the off-season. Seth Adams stepped in against LSU when the offense was bogging down and completed three of five passes for 23 yards, and he could see time again if Schaeffer has another average performance. For Mississippi State, now-starting quarterback Omarr Conner wasn't bad earlier in the year, but the offense didn't go anywhere with him under center. In his final game, he gets one last shot.
What Will Happen: Don't expect fireworks in any form. It'll be a hard fought battle with the team that limits its mistakes coming up with the win. MSU will get a better game from its defense and will win on a late score.
CFN Prediction
: Mississippi State 20 ... Ole Miss 17  ...  Line: Ole Miss -3
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 2

Georgia Tech (9-2) at Georgia (7-4) 3:30 PM EST CBS Saturday, November 25th
Why to Watch: While this might not be a rivalry to anyone outside of Georgia, and the Bulldogs might have a bigger beef with Florida and Tennessee, this is still a good grudge match. Georgia Tech has bigger fish to fry next week with the ACC championship game, but first it's looking for the first win over Georgia since 2000. If the Dawgs were ever ripe for the picking in the rivalry, this is the time with a team struggling to find any sort of consistency. It was able to thump Auburn with its best performance of the year to turn the season around after a stunning loss to Kentucky, and a win over Tech would mean a nine-win season is still possible. The Yellow Jackets don't just need this game, the ACC does, too. If Tech ends up as the ACC champion, a loss to an SEC also-ran isn't going to look good on a national scale.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Can The Georgia offense show up two games in a row? Auburn went through the motions on defense and got picked apart, and run over, by Matthew Stafford. The Dawg balance was as good as it's been all season long, but there were three fumbles adding to a rough season hanging on to the ball. Georgia Tech is fantastic at limiting mistakes and great at forcing turnovers, so it'll be a shock if it doesn't finish +2 in turnover margin. The Dawgs aren't going to be able to run the ball this week like they were able to at Auburn, so Stafford has to be sharp. Unfortunately, Tech is seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Why Georgia Might Win: The Yellow Jacket offense isn't exactly going to light up any Christmas trees. Even with Calvin and James Johnson making several big plays, the passing game is mediocre at best. The Georgia secondary has the athleticism and talent to put the clamps down on the Johnson's and should force Tech QB Reggie Ball into one of his patented 36% passing days. Also, remember where Tech's head might be. This might be a rivalry game, but next week's game is more important.
Who to Watch: Will Georgia have anyone to run the ball? Danny Ware appears to be good to go after suffering a knee/ankle injury against Auburn, while Kregg Lumpkin is fighting through a knee problem. These two have be more than just consistent, they need to carry the offense to keep the Tech linebackers from teeing off on Stafford. The freshman has to limit his mistakes. He didn't throw any picks and was efficient against Auburn, and Georgia won. He threw eight interceptions in the previous three games, and Georgia lost to Kentucky and Florida and barely beat Mississippi State.
What Will Happen: Tech will take home the Governor's Cup with a balanced offense, a oh-my-goodness touchdown catch from Calvin Johnson, and a swarming day from the defense.
CFN Prediction
: Georgia Tech 26 ... Georgia 17  ...  Line: Georgia -2
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 3

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 13
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