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SEC Fearless Predictions, Oct. 13
Auburn QB Brandon Cox
Auburn QB Brandon Cox
Posted Sep 10, 2007

Previews and Predictions for the Week 7 SEC Games.

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

SEC Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 
Oct. 6Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1 

How are the picks so far? SU: 43-8 ... ATS: 28-14-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 7, Part 2

SEC Game of the Week

LSU (6-0) at Kentucky (5-1)   3:30 PM ET CBS
Why to watch: Now we get to see just how far Kentucky football has come in the last year. Now we get to see LSU's defense play a real, live offense (or, at least one who's only real option is running it big, strong quarterback). Now we get to see LSU as the unquestioned number one team in America. After LSU's 33-30 Bluegrass Miracle in 2002, these two didn't play for a few years, and then renewed acquaintances last season in Baton Rouge. After getting annihilated 49-0, Kentucky went on a run, winning ten of its next 11 games before losing 38-23 at South Carolina last week on two fumble returns for scores. While the loss was a major setback in the pie-in-the-sky SEC title dreams, things can quickly change with a win this week, and with Florida coming to town next week. LSU stopped South Carolina 28-16 a few weeks ago, and last week, pounded its way to a tough 28-24 win over Florida. If you believe the Tigers are unbeatable in Death Valley, then this game might be their toughest remaining test before the SEC championship game. If LSU shuts down Kentucky's offense, then it'll truly be time to get fired up over this D, but if the Wildcats pull off yet another upset in the year of upsets, then the entire college football world changes yet again.
Why LSU might win: Yeah, everyone wants to see LSU against an offense like Kentucky's, but we've seen what happens when Kentucky plays a tough defense. Last week, South Carolina had no problems whatsoever generating pressure on QB Andre Woodson, and the pressure paid off, forcing a slew of turnovers and too many misfired passes. The LSU defensive line is the best in the SEC at getting into the backfield, so if Woodson isn't getting rid of the ball quickly, of if the UK coaches aren't able to come up with a few wrinkles to protect him out of the pocket, the passing game could break down.
Why Kentucky might win: The LSU secondary hasn't been tested yet. Technically, Florida can throw the ball, and no one's denying the talent of the Gator receivers, but Woodson and Kentucky are at another level of sophistication when it comes to throwing the ball. Of course, the Tiger secondary is loaded with talent, but this might be the first time it's truly pressed. There's also the beat-up factor. LSU might still be recovering from the heavyweight fight it was in last week, described by many players and coaches as one of the most physical games they'd ever been involved in. Just how quickly can the Tigers bounce back?
Who to watch: Woodson was starting to get the Heisman hype coming his way, and then he had the relatively rough outing against the Gamecocks. He's still in the hunt for a finalist spot, and he's still the darling of the pro scouts, but if he has a good game against LSU and pulls off the win, his already blue-chip stock will go through the roof. Easier said than done. Since taking over as the unquestioned starter at the beginning of last year, he has thrown for 200 yards or more in 17 of the 19 games. One non-200-yard game came in a blowout over Texas State, when he didn't need to throw after the first half and still ended up with 197 yards and three touchdowns, and the other was in the loss to LSU, completing 14 of 37 passes for 151 yards and an interception. It was also the only time in the last 19 games that he didn't throw a touchdown pass. With his running backs hurting, Kentucky's chances are all on him.
What will happen: LSU will be in for a fight. It'll take three quarters before the offense finally starts to take over with the running game. The UK running game won't go anywhere, but Woodson will have a nice, efficient game. He just won't be able to do enough to overcome the power of the Tiger offense.
CFN Prediction: LSU 28 .. Kentucky 20 ... Line: LSU -9.5
Must See Rating: (5 Hideki Matsui's "collection" - 1 The Heartbreak Kid) ... 4

SEC Saturday, Oct. 13

Alabama (4-2) at Ole Miss (2-4)   12:30 PM ET GamePlan
Why to watch: Ole Miss has lost the last three times against Alabama, and four of the last five, but it's hoping to build off a nice 24-0 in over Louisiana Tech and turn the season around. Bama overcame a two-game slide with a win over Houston that required a last-second broken up pass in what almost became one of the year's bigger chokes. At 2-1 in SEC play, and with Tennessee and LSU coming up over the next two weeks, a road win in Oxford is a must. Rebel head coach Ed Orgeron desperately needs this win to get the program on the map, and to take some of the heat off, while Bama is just looking to get in, get the win, and move on to bigger and better things.
Why Alabama might win: The Ole Miss run defense is struggling way too much. Even in the shutout over Louisiana Tech, it allowed 150 rushing yards, and with the Bama passing game inconsistent and inefficient, it'll be a steady dose of Glen Coffee, who had a big day against Houston, with Terry Grant getting his share of the workload. The hope is to keep John Parker Wilson from having to throw 30 times, while controlling the game and the clock by pounding the ball on long drive after long drive. Three touchdowns probably wins this.
Why Ole Miss might win: Despite being 1-2 in Oxford, the Rebels have played well at home, with the two losses coming to top-ten caliber teams Missouri and Florida. They'll sell out against the run and take their chances with Wilson, who's completing just 54% of his passes and hasn't been able to get enough deep passes. Bama has only faced two teams that run consistently well, Arkansas and Georgia, and got run on by both. If BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the running game can get rolling again, Ole Miss has a shot.
Who to watch: Two of the league's best new linebackers will go at it after breakout performances. Ole Miss JUCO transfer Ashlee Palmer isn't Patrick Willis, but he's doing a good job of making every tackle possible, with 15 stops against Louisiana Tech. Currently second in the SEC in tackles with 59, he'll hit the double-digit mark again this week as he butts heads with the Tide ground game. Alabama freshman Rolando McClain has done a little bit of everything, making 41 tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss. McClain and sophomore safety Rashad Johnson will be the centerpieces of the Tide defense for the next few years.
What will happen: Both teams will run well in a tight game, but a few key Ole Miss turnovers will turn things the Tide's way. Bama will get more of a passing game than the Rebels will to open things up late.
CFN Prediction: Alabama 31 ... Ole Miss 24 ... Line: Alabama -6.5
Must See Rating: (5 Hideki Matsui's "collection" - 1 The Heartbreak Kid) ... 2.5

Tennessee (3-2) at Mississippi State (4-2)   2:30 PM ET GamePlan
Why to watch: Tennessee not only got back among the living with a shockingly dominant 35-14 win over Georgia, it's not the lead dog in the SEC East pack. The one SEC loss came to Florida, who after losing to LSU, has two league defeats, meaning the Vols control their own destiny with two of the East's big hitters out of the way and with South Carolina coming to Knoxville. They haven't faced Mississippi State since 2003, when they won 59-21, and have only played twice since winning 28-14 in the 1998 SEC Championship. The Bulldogs are 1-2 in SEC play, but are in the hunt for a bowl bid after a 4-2 start, surpassing the team's win total in every season since 2000. While they'll be the underdog in every game the rest of the way, until, possibly, the season-ender against Ole Miss, they'd love to try to catch the Vols looking ahead to next week's date at Alabama.
Why Tennessee might win: The Vols should be able to load up everyone and Smokey against the run and be just fine. Mississippi State's passing offense has been non-existent, even though Wesley Carroll connected on nine of 12 passes against UAB. The Bulldogs have only thrown for more than 200 yards once this season, so as long as the Vols can keep RB Anthony Dixon in check, and can avoid the big turnover, they should be fine, If they can get up early, like they did against Georgia, this will be over in the first quarter.
Why Mississippi State might win: The defense has been phenomenal. If you're not a die-hard SEC fan, there's no way you could name any of the key parts of the puzzle, but this is a talented, tough defense that can occasionally be a brick wall. The secondary had its problems against South Carolina, but for the most part, it's been terrific. Erik Ainge and the Vol receivers have to be sharp, or else Derek Pegues and a Bulldog secondary that's taken back four picks for touchdowns will pounce.
Who to watch: Ainge has been terrific considering all the receiving corps was starting from scratch, but the key Tennessee is the running game. In the three wins, the Vols have rushed for close to 200 yards, while in the losses, the ground game gained just 111 yards against Cal and 37 against Florida. The rotation against Georgia worked extremely well, with Arian Foster running 17 times for 98 yards and three touchdowns. LaMarcus Coker getting eight carries, and Montario Hardesty running for 68 yards on 14 attempts.
What will happen: MSU's defense will keep it close, but Tennessee is playing with a swagger it didn't have earlier in the year. If it comes out fast and fired up, like it did against Georgia, this will be an easy win. If it thinks it can just go through the motions, this will be a battle. The Vols will pull away in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 28 ... Mississippi State 20 ... Line: Tennessee -7
Must See Rating: (5 Hideki Matsui's "collection" - 1 The Heartbreak Kid) ... 2.5

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 7, Part 2


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