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SEC Fearless Predictions, Nov. 15
South Carolina LB Eric Norwood
South Carolina LB Eric Norwood
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 13, 2008


Previews and Predictions for the Week 12 SEC Games

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

- SEC Fearless Predictions Aug. 30 | Sept. 6 | Sept. 13 | Sept. 20
- Sept. 27 | Oct. 4 | Oct. 11 | Oct. 18 | Oct. 25 | Nov. 1 | Nov. 8

How are the picks so far? SU: 53-18 ... ATS: 26-36

- SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 11, Nov. 15, Part 2 (MSU vs. Bama)

SEC Game of the Week

South Carolina (7-3) at Florida (8-1), 3:30 EST CBS
Why to watch: It’ll be Steve Spurrier’s second trip to The Swamp since taking over the job at South Carolina. On the first trip, his Gamecocks had Florida in big trouble, with a shot at a game-winning field goal in the final seconds, but Jarvis Moss came up with the block and the Gators escaped with a 17-16 win that propelled the late-season run to the 2006 national title. The 2008 Gators are four games away from playing for the whole ball of wax again, needing to get through this week and roll through Citadel and Florida State before facing Alabama in the SEC title game. Outside of a big upset, the winner of that game will play for the national title. South Carolina is pushing for a New Year’s Day bowl and could make a huge statement in what would be the biggest win of the Spurrier era by far. On a nice run of six wins in the last seven games, USC has a puncher’s chance of throwing the BCS into a tizzy.
Why South Carolina might win: Florida hasn’t faced a defense like South Carolina’s all season long, and that includes Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. The Gamecocks are playing another level defensively, especially on defense, ranking third in the nation allowing just 257 yards and 15.6 points per game. The secondary is fast enough and talented enough to handle the Florida weapons one on one, while the linebackers are playing well enough to keep the speedy Gators bottled up. Florida is fine up the middle but is dominant when it gets on the outside. South Carolina doesn’t allow much to happen outside.
Why Florida might win: Florida doesn’t make mistakes; South Carolina does. The Gators have turned it over a mere five times in the last five games, while the Gamecocks have given it away 34 times on the year with at least two turnovers in every game. Florida fumbled it three times in the loss to Ole Miss, that’s no coincidence. The Florida offense is so efficient and so effective, that even if the Gamecocks can shut down one aspect, and slow down another, someone else will step up. It’s not going to take too many points to pull this off; South Carolina doesn’t have enough firepower.
Who to watch: South Carolina junior LB Eric Norwood would be on his way to SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors if Alabama safety Rashad Johnson wasn’t putting on such a show. Norwood has been a true hybrid as part defensive end when needed and part linebacker, but this year, he’s doing it all with seven sacks, 54 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss. It’s not going to be his job to keep Tim Tebow in check, but he needs to get to the Florida quarterback and make his presence felt.
What will happen: South Carolina will give Florida its toughest test the rest of the way. The Gators will be in for a 60-minute dogfight with the Gamecock defense playing impressively throughout, but it won’t be able to stiffen when the offense turns it over four times. Florida will struggle offensively, but it’ll get one big play from the special teams and one touchdown from the defense to get by.
CFN Prediction: Florida 30 … South Carolina 17 ... Line: Florida -21
Must See Rating: (5 Quantum Of Solace – 1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) … 4
 
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Saturday, November 15

Georgia (8-2) vs. Auburn (5-5), 12:30 EST GamePlan
Why to watch: Georgia is out of the SEC title hunt, Florida has wrapped up the SEC East title thanks to a 49-10 blasting of the Dawgs a few weeks ago, but there’s still a chance for an 11-win season complete with a New Year’s Day bowl game. It would take a miracle to get into the BCS, but the Capital One Bowl wouldn’t be a bad second prize. Auburn, before the season, might have looked ahead to this game as a possible SEC Championship preview, but the offense went into the tank, the defense got all banged up, and now it’ll take a win either this week or in two weeks against Alabama just to get to a bowl game. The Tigers have beaten just one FBS team, Tennessee, since September 13th, Tommy Tuberville is being rumored to be in the mix for the Clemson job, and Alabama has grown into the type of superpower that’s starting to look like USC East. This isn’t a great time to be an Auburn fan, but with upsets over the Bulldogs and the Tide, the season could take a mega-swing to the positive.
Why Georgia might win: Auburn still isn’t scoring. Don’t let the 37 points put up against UT Martin fool you; the offense has major issues. Everyone knows that, but the real question mark might suddenly the pass defense. The Tigers are only allowing 175 yards per game, but UTM might have given Georgia a perfect blueprint on how to move the ball by sticking with the short to midrange passing game dinking and dunking to death. Skyhawk QB Cade Thompson didn’t put up big numbers, but he completed 27-of-46 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Cade Thompson isn’t Matthew Stafford.
Why Auburn might win: The Tigers have nothing to lose. Yeah, there might be talk about going bowling, but really, no one will give a hoot if Auburn gets the lowest of SEC bowl invites. What’s more important is for Auburn to get its first decent win of the season, and Tennessee and Mississippi State don’t count. The offense opened things up a bit last week against UTM as the passing game was able to stretch its legs, and now Georgia’s suddenly awful defense has something more than the Tiger running game to worry about. Don’t look too much into the battle last week against UTM; Tuberville knows how to use a tune-up game to, well, tune-up and rest up.
Who to watch: Graham Harrell, Sam Bradford … Kodi Burns? Fine, so Burns, the Auburn starting quarterback, isn’t going to lead the nation in passing any time soon, but the sophomore started throwing more over the last two games pitching it 43 times for 319 yards with three interceptions in the 17-7 loss to Ole Miss, and last week, he completed 12-of-20 passes for 130 yards to go along with 158 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Georgia’s run defense has been strong but the back seven couldn’t handle Kentucky’s Randall Cobb last week, so expect this game to be all about Burns and his mobility He has to be on from the opening snap.
What will happen: Auburn will be rested and ready, especially on the defensive front, but the offense won’t produce enough to get over the hump. The Tigers will turn it over four times and they’ll all be costly.
CFN Prediction: Georgia 31 … Auburn 17 ... Line: Georgia -8
Must See Rating: (5 Quantum Of Solace – 1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) … 3
 
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UL Monroe (3-7) at Ole Miss (5-4), 2 EST
Why to watch: Say UL Monroe around the SEC, especially this time of year, and everyone will remember the stunning win over Alabama last year. The Warhawks have had their chances against the SEC to try to repeat the magic of the win over the Tide, but they got shut down by Auburn in the season opener 34-0 and pushed Arkansas in a 28-27 loss. In Sun Belt play, ULM has struggled to get to 2-4, but its last two losses came by a total of four points. Ole Miss is on a two-game winning streak and with a win can be bowl eligible for the first time since Eli took the team to the Cotton Bowl following the 2003 season.
Why UL Monroe might win: Could Ole Miss be on letdown alert? The Rebels are coming off a win over Auburn and are almost certain to be looking ahead to LSU and Mississippi State to close things out. The pass defense has been the worst in the SEC this year and will give up big plays in bunches. ULM is known for running the ball, but the Kinsmon Lancaster and the passing game have been better this year and it should be able to efficiently move the ball.
Why Ole Miss might win: ULM can forget about running the ball. If Lancaster isn’t on, the Warhawk offense could go nowhere against a Rebel run defense that’s not giving up a thing. The ULM lines aren’t playing well, allowing sacks in bunches while not generating any sort of a pass rush. Ole Miss leads the SEC in tackles for loss and should be camped out in the ULM backfield.
Who to watch: Ole Miss is starting to get a bit more out of junior RB Cordera Eason, who has been the most effective weapon on the ground over the last two weeks running for 81 yards against Arkansas and 104 yards and two scores against Auburn. While not a workhorse, his 19 carries against the Hogs was a season high, he has fresh legs and has been showing excellent pop when he gets a hole to burst through.
What will happen: Ole Miss will dominate on the lines and it won’t let Lancaster and the ULM offense do anything consistently. The Rebel offense will run for well over 200 yards.
CFN Prediction: Ole Miss 30 … UL Monroe 16 ... Line: Ole Miss -21
Must See Rating: (5 Quantum Of Solace – 1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) … 2
 
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- SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 11, Nov. 15, Part 2 (MSU vs. Bama)