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SEC Fearless Predictions, Oct. 27, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 24, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 9 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. 20Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1 
 

How are the picks so far? SU: 52-11 ... ATS: 33-21-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 9, Part 1

SEC Saturday, Oct. 27

Miami University (4-4) at Vanderbilt (4-3)    2:00  
Why to watch
: The two teams take a break from their conference schedules as they each look for a win to get that much closer to bowl eligibility. For Vanderbilt, this is a must-win with at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee and Wake Forest to close things out. It'll take a minor miracle to win two of the last four, but getting one, to get to six wins, is more than possible, and now the Commodores are confident after stunning South Carolina 17-6 in Columbia last week. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Miami, who's leading the MAC East race but lost to Temple last week. As crazy as this might sound, MU has a showdown with Buffalo next week, but could use this win to get back on track after losing to the Owls.
Why Miami University might win: Miami should be able to load up against the run and turn out fine. Vandy might have one of the nation's best receivers in Earl Bennett, but it's struggling to get the passing game consistently going averaging just 167 yards though the air. The Commodores win on defense, forcing mistakes, and opportunistic offense, so if the RedHawks can avoid key turnovers and use its big advantage in the punting game to win the field position battle, they could make this a battle. Vandy doesn't score, putting up just 41 points over the last three games, but ...
Why Vanderbilt might win: ... it's not like MU is lighting up the scoreboard. Even with a 47 point outburst against Bowling Green two weeks ago, the inconsistent RedHawk offense is only averaging 20 points per game. This is an inefficient attack that gets passing production in spurts. Vandy's excellent corners should be able to keep the deep plays under wraps, while the front line should have little trouble generating pressure into the backfield.
Who to watch: It's not necessarily a positive that a corner makes plenty of tackles, but Vandy's D.J. Moore has done it all with 53 stops, good for second on the team, and has picked off five passes. A do-it-all playmaker, he's averaging over 27 yards per kickoff return while also getting a few carries on offense. Coming off an eight tackle, two interception day against South Carolina, he'll be avoided as much as possible by the MU offense.
What will happen: Vanderbilt can't afford to letdown against anyone. Miami's defense is playing well enough to give the Commodore offense from exploding, but the offense won't be able to take advantage of several prime chances.
CFN Prediction: Vanderbilt 26 ... Miami University 16 ... Line: Vanderbilt -13.5
Must See Rating: (5
America's Most Smartest Model - 1 Marie Osmond on DTWS) ... 1.5

FIU
(0-7) at Arkansas (4-3)   2:00
Why to watch
: Arkansas takes a week off from the SEC schedule after finally getting its first conference win of the season in a 44-8 domination of Ole Miss. With a rough final four games against South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, with the battles against the Vols and Tigers away from Fayetteville, the Hogs need to use this apparent layup to get the backups some work and hope for an easy win. FIU is on a 19-game losing streak, but has improved a bit over the last few games. This is a payday for the school, and it hopes to be competitive for more than just a few drives.
Why Florida International might win: It's all about the letdown factor. Arkansas is simply looking to show up, win easily and move on before dealing with South Carolina. The Golden Panthers have an aggressive defense that's decent at getting into the backfield and should be able to come up with a few plays behind the line. The passing game has picked up over the last few weeks and should be able to throw it around a little bit if the Hogs aren't bringing their full intensity.
Why Arkansas might win: The Golden Panthers struggle against the run. Four teams have been able to crank out 200 yards or more, as FIU lacks the defensive front to handle the Hog O line. Arkansas got stuffed by Auburn, but has rolled on everyone else, cranking out rushing yards in chunks and being every bit as good as everyone expected it to be. FIU will try to load up to slow down Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, but QB Casey Dick has thrown well in the easy wins, completing 11 of 17 passes with three touchdown passes against the Rebels.
Who to watch: Of course McFadden is a superstar of the highest order, and a possible top five draft pick if he chooses to enter the NFL Draft early, but more and more, the scouts are starting to pay special attention to Jones, a speedster of the highest order as both a runner and a kickoff returner averaging 9.5 yards per carry and 31.6 yards per kickoff return. Despite not getting more than 16 carries in any game this year, he has five 100-yard games and a 96-yard day. While he might not be a workhorse this week, he might get a chance to see a bit more work in what should be a blowout.
What will happen: Arkansas will be able to go through the motions and still come away with the easy win. FIU simply doesn't have enough scoring pop to make this close.
CFN Prediction: Arkansas 45 ... FIU 9 ... Line: Arkansas -39.5
Must See Rating: (5
America's Most Smartest Model - 1 Marie Osmond on DTWS) ... 1

Ole Miss
(2-6) at Auburn (5-3)    6:00  GamePlan
Why to watch
: If there's an award for the nation's best 5-3 team, it has to go to Auburn after losing in heartbreaking fashion to both South Florida and LSU. Fine, so there's that matter of the home loss to Mississippi State, but the team has played far better over the last five games and still has a shot at a special season by winning out. Before dealing with Georgia and Alabama, after the light scrimmage against Tennessee Tech, the Tigers have to get past an Ole Miss team that can't seem to catch a break. 0-5 in conference play, the Rebels battled hard against Alabama and Florida, but were obliterated by Georgia and Arkansas. It's a stretch to suggest a win this week would turn things around, but with Northwestern State and Mississippi State still to play, there's a chance for a nice flourish if they can pull off the upset. Auburn is 12-2 against the Rebels since 1993.
Why Ole Miss might win: You'll have to forgive Auburn if it eases up on the throttle. After an emotional revenge win over Arkansas, and the heartbreaker against LSU, it might be next to impossible to gear it up for a date with the league's worst team. As good as the Tigers might be, Mississippi State showed that crazy things do happen, especially after a tough loss. The 19-14 Bulldog upset came on the heels of the USF shocker, and all this week, Auburn has been buzzing about the LSU ending more than Ole Miss game. The Rebels might not be solid on either side of the ball, but Auburn's offense, while improved, isn't always sharp. The Rebels have to pounce on every opportunity, and if they come into Jordan-Hare fired up, they might be able to pull off a Mississippi State.
Why Auburn might win: The defense continues to play tremendously well. It took everything in the bag, and a strange, but successful, final play call for LSU to win last week, and before that Auburn was able to keep Florida, Vanderbilt and Arkansas to a total of 31 points. The run defense has been fantastic all season long, but the three losses came on the three worst days against the run. Against USF, MSU and LSU, the Tigers struggled started giving up passing yards after the run defense had a few problems. It's not like they were steamrolled over, only allowing 135 yards to the Bulls, 172 to the Bulldogs, and 169 to the Tigers, and Ole Miss isn't getting much from its ground game. Auburn should be able to stuff BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the running game, meaning it'll be up to ... 
Who to watch: The quarterback situation at Ole Miss continues to be a major problem even this late in the season. Seth Adams was starting to look like a possible playmaker who could make the Rebels a dangerous team against the league's big boys. And then he started to struggle with his decision making. Accurate for the first half of the year, he struggled over the last three games with ten interceptions, including four against Arkansas on a 9-of-21, 79-yard performance that forced the coaching staff to go with Brent Schaeffer for a stint. Schaeffer once again showed he's not an SEC caliber quarterback, and Adams is once again the starter. However, he's on a short leash and will get pulled early if he makes any big mistakes.
What will happen: Ole Miss will throw its best game at Auburn in what'll turn into a tough defensive struggle. The Tigers will win the game by winning the turnover margin.
CFN Prediction: Auburn 24 .. Ole Miss 13 ... Line: Auburn -17
Must See Rating: (5
America's Most Smartest Model - 1 Marie Osmond on DTWS) ... 2.5

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 9, Part 1