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SEC Fearless Predictions, Oct. 20, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 18, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 8 SEC Games, Part 2


SEC
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. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1 

How are the picks so far? SU: 48-9 ... ATS: 30-18-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Part 1

SEC Saturday, Oct. 20


Arkansas (3-3) at Ole Miss (2-5)   2:00 EST
Why to watch: Someone has to win an SEC game. The two winless teams in the league have hardly been awful, but neither has been able catch a big break. Ole Miss lost late to Alabama on a controversial reversed call on its final drive. Arkansas lost to Alabama, Kentucky, and Auburn in the final moments, and could just as easily be 6-0 as it is 3-3. Things don't get any easier with South Carolina and road trips to Tennessee and LSU still ahead, and it needs this win to get in the hunt for a bowl game. It's not going to be a walk in the park, with the Rebels playing tough at home despite losing three of four games.
Why Arkansas might win: Arkansas runs the ball, Ole Miss can't stop the run. It might be as simple as that. After being stopped cold by Auburn, there's no way Darren McFadden and Felix Jones can be kept under wraps to games in a row. Considering Ole Miss couldn't handle Georgia, Florida or Missouri on the ground, the Hogs should be able to rumble at will. The Rebel defensive back seven can tackle, but they're going to have to make way too many plays down the field.
Why Ole Miss might win: While Arkansas is always happy to get points in bunches by handing the ball off, Ole Miss has discovered something in its passing game. It took a while to settle on a full-time quarterback, but all of a sudden, Seth Adams has emerged as the type of passer who can keep the pressure on for a full four quarters and get the offense moving enough to take the pressure off RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Ole Miss, for the first time since Eli Manning was winging it around, is balanced. Adams throws too many interceptions, but he'll also pressure the Hog secondary more than it has been since it faced Kentucky and Andre Woodson.
Who to watch: Is this finally the week Marcus Monk gets back in the mix for the Hogs? The star receiver has had to deal with a knee injury suffered late this summer, and he still doesn't appear to be 100%. Even so, he's ditched the idea of redshirting, wanting to get back in the mix now and will use up his eligibility. If he's the player he was last year, he could be the spark the offense needs.
What will happen: McFadden will have the type of game that gets him back into the Heisman chase, Jones will be equally as electrifying, and Ole Miss will give away four turnovers to prevent any sort of a comeback.
CFN Prediction: Arkansas 34 ... Ole Miss 24  ... Line: Arkansas -5
Must See Rating: (5
Keeping Up with the Kardashians - 1 Ellen's dog plea) ... 2.5

Florida (4-2) at Kentucky (6-1)   3:30 EST CBS
Why to watch: Everyone who predicted Kentucky would be seventh in the initial BCS rankings and Florida 15th, give yourself a gold star. These are heady times for the UK program after a thrilling triple overtime win over the No. 1 LSU Tigers, but the schedule doesn't get any easier with Georgia and Tennessee, along with Florida, still to deal with. The Wildcats are battling history having not beaten the Gators in 20 years, with the last win coming in 1986. After a week off, Florida has had time to heal up from its brutally physical loss to LSU, and the extra rest appears to have done wonders for the team's bumps and bruises. It also allowed the team to deal with the tragic death of Michael Guiliford after a motorcycle accident.
Why Florida might win: Don't just dismiss the time off factor. Florida had lost two games in a row and was beaten up. It's not an excuse for LSU's loss to Kentucky last week, but after the way the Tigers and Gators went through, that was hardly a 100% team the Wildcats faced. Florida should be able to slam the ball on a UK defense that held up in the end, but gave up 261 yards and three touchdowns to the LSU running attack. Now that RB Kestahn Moore appears to be healthier and ready to build on the 79-yard day against LSU, the Gators should be able to run for over 250 yards without a problem.
Why Kentucky might win: The Gators have been stunningly average against the pass so far this year, and it's not like they've all come in garbage time comeback mode. Ole Miss was able to throw surprisingly well, while Auburn's Brandon Cox was able to come up with an ultra efficient 17 of 26 day in the Tiger win. Andre Woodson is playing at a Heisman level, and it doesn't have all that much to do with the statistics. He's able to come up with a throw here and a drive there that's keeping the UK offense working, and he should be able to pick apart the Gator secondary if he gets a little bit of time.
Who to watch: Kentucky senior linebacker Wesley Woodyard has been a tackling machine for the second straight season. A year after making 100 stops, he's been even more active and even more effective, leading the SEC with 76 tackles, highlighted by an 18-tackle day against Arkansas. UK wasn't a rock against the run against LSU last week, but Woodyard made more than his share of plays with 11 tackles. Against Tim Tebow, it'll be Woodyard's job to keep the decent gains from turning into backbreaking long runs. He'll be in on at least ten tackles.
What will happen: Before the season, this appeared to be a dangerous landmine trap for Florida. Kentucky's win over LSU combined with Florida's two-game losing streak changed that in a hurry. The rested Gators will come in effective and ready. You don't beat Urban Meyer when he's had two weeks to prepare.
CFN Prediction: Florida 38 ... Kentucky 27  ... Line: Florida -7
Must See Rating: (5
Keeping Up with the Kardashians - 1 Ellen's dog plea) ... 4.5


Mississippi State (4-3) at West Virginia (5-1)
3:30 EST, ESPN GamePlan
Why to watch: Despite a loss to South Florida earlier in the season, No. 9 West Virginia still has lofty goals for 2007 that include a Big East championship and a BCS bowl game.  If everything breaks right, there might be even more in the works. While banged-up offensive stars Steve Slaton and Patrick White got much-needed breaks from a week off, it’s still uncertain whether the latter will be healthy enough in time for kickoff.  If White’s a scratch, West Virginia will turn to Jarrett Brown, a proven backup for the program who’s not quite as fast as White, but it seen as the future of the program with his multitude of skills.  Although Mississippi State is making progress under Sylvester Croom, it would get far more widespread coverage with an upset over a top ten oppoenent.  Since getting routed by LSU in the opener, the Bulldogs have been competitive every weekend, needing just two more wins to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2000.
Why Mississippi State might win: The Bulldogs have a feisty defense led by a couple of playmakers and all-star candidates, DE Titus Brown and DB Derek Pegues.  They’ve held four opponents under 20 points this fall, and allow just 25 points a game, numbers that’ll keep them in this game, especially if White is less than 100%.  Mississippi State RB Anthony Dixon is a 240-pound load that’s capable of extending drives, softening the interior of the opposing defense, and keeping the high-powered Mountaineers offense on the sidelines.
Why West Virginia might win: Unless South Florida secretly switches jerseys with Mississippi State on Saturday, pencil in the Mountaineers offense for at least 30 points, regardless of who’s taking snaps.  The Bulldogs simply can’t reach that number with a one-dimensional offense that’s starting its third quarterback of the season, true freshman Wesley Carroll, and is 115th nationally passing the ball.  Jeff Casteel is quietly doing a fantastic job with a West Virginia defense that hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in the first half of any game this season.
Who to watch: West Virginia is allowing a mere 261 yards a game, largely due to the linebacker trio of Reed Williams, Mortty Ivy, and Marc Magro, the team’s three leading tacklers.  The entire front seven of the Mountaineers has been instrumental in holding opponents to less than 100 yards a game on the ground, a major hurdle for Dixon and the Mississippi State offensive line.
What will happen: Although the Mississippi State defense is capable of keeping this game from getting out of control, the offense doesn’t have enough weapons to actually win it.  West Virginia will build an early lead, and play keep-away until the clock runs out. 
CFN Prediction: West Virginia 38 … Mississippi State 17  ... Line: West Virginia -24
Must See Rating: (5
Keeping Up with the Kardashians - 1 Ellen's dog plea) ... 3


SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Part 1