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2009 SEC Fearless Picks, (VU at UF, & more)

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Posted Nov 5, 2009


Previews and Predictions for the Week 10 SEC Games, Part 2

2009 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 10 ... Nov. 7 Games, Part 2

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- Week 10, Part 1
 

Furman (4-4) at Auburn (6-3), 12:00 EST, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: Just when it seemed like Auburn was in big trouble and wasn’t going to be able to pull up out of its nosedive in a three-game losing streak, it rolled over Ole Miss 33-20 to become bowl eligible. Now it’s time to sharpen up a bit and take it easy before two nasty final games against Georgia and Alabama. Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn used these types of layup games to rest key players and take it as a week off, but considering how much work the passing game needs on its consistency, and with the struggles on special teams, the Tigers need to use this game to finish strong. Furman is basically playing as expected, with a nice offense that’s producing well in the Southern Conference, but the inexperienced defense is having problems. The Paladins played one FBS team this year, Missouri, and was thumped 52-12.
Why Furman might win: Furman can throw well and it stems from an offensive line that gives Jordan Sorrells time to work. The offense has allowed a mere six sacks on the season and the efficient passing game has benefitted from it. Auburn has a decent pass rush, but an elite one, and it’s not going to do too much to get into the backfield. If the Tigers are looking ahead, and they’re almost certain to, they could wake up in the second half and find they’re in a game.
Why Auburn might win: Furman can’t play defense. The defensive line should be destroyed by the Auburn offensive line and there should be no pressure whatsoever on Tiger QB Chris Todd. The secondary can be dinked and dunked on to death, and it has to cheat up to try to keep the midrange passing plays in check. If Todd doesn’t get hot this week and get the passing game on track, after making positive steps against Ole Miss, it’s never going to happen.
Who to watch: Todd started out red hot highlighted by nine touchdown passes in a two game stretch against West Virginia and Ball State, but he has only thrown for two scores over the last five games. However, as much as he struggled against Kentucky and LSU, he came back strong against Ole Miss completing 12-of-22 passes for 212 yards and a score. He won’t need to be great to beat Georgia next week, but he’ll have to be razor sharp if the Tigers are going to upset the Tide at the end of the month. This game is key to use as a live scrimmage.
What will happen: Auburn will take target practice. The Tigers aren’t going to open the throttle to full, but they won’t have any problems putting this away in the first half.
CFN Prediction: Auburn 48 … Furman 10 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 1
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Vanderbilt (2-7) at Florida (8-0), 7:15 EST, Saturday, November 7, ESPN2

Why to watch: Florida finally showed up again and looked like the No. 1 team in the country in a 41-17 blasting of Georgia. Now it’s important to keep the production going against a struggling Vanderbilt team that has a nice defense, even though last week’s loss to Georgia Tech didn’t show it, and no offense, even though last week’s loss to Georgia Tech didn’t show it. The Commodores hung punch for punch with the Yellow Jackets last week in the first half, and then got their doors blown off in the second half in a 56-31 loss. On a five game losing streak and with the only wins coming over Western Carolina and Rice, this wasn’t exactly the season the program was hoping for after going to a bowl game last year. Florida is firmly entrenched in the No. 1 spot in the BCS, and now it’s time to prove it again. If the Gators really are special, they win this game in a walk, but if they struggle there will be reason to worry about the games against South Carolina and Florida State over the next few weeks.
Why Vanderbilt might win: The only chance Vandy has of making this interesting is to hope Florida is unfocused. There’s been a lot of yelling, a lot of “let’s go!” type of cheerleading, and a lot of talk, but as the Brandon Spikes eye-gouge of Georgia RB Washaun Ealey showed, the overall discipline might not be there. The Vandy run defense has struggled this year, but the secondary has been fine. Florida didn’t get much out of its wide receivers before, and now there will really be problems with Deonte Thompson hurting with a rib injury.
Why Florida might win: The Gators could probably win this game without throwing a single pass. Georgia Tech ripped through the Commodore defense with its ground game, and it was more like a normal rushing attack than the triple option it usually runs. Florida is trying to get away from just being all about the dive play, but that’ll work every time the team wants to run it. If that’s established early, and the speedy Gators can start to find room on the outside, 400 yards of rushing offense is possible (Tech gained 404 and six scores last week).
Who to watch: Is Riley Cooper the answer? Florida hasn’t been getting nearly enough out of its wide receivers, and while Cooper isn’t exactly Louis Murphy or Percy Harvin, he’s starting to come on as a key target. Steady throughout the year, but unspectacular, he came up with the spectacular against Georgia with a brilliant one handed touchdown grab as part of a four-catch, 78-yard, two touchdown day. The more he’s able to produce, the more open the middle will be for tight end Aaron Hernandez. Basically, Florida needs Cooper, or one of the wide receivers, to start to be more involved or else the national title dream could get popped in a few weeks.
What will happen: Consider it a miracle if Vanderbilt is able to keep this close past the first quarter. The Commodores can’t stop the run and can’t score. Florida is No. 1 in the SEC, and sixth in the nation running the ball, and the defense is second in the nation in yards allowed and points. Uh-oh.
CFN Prediction: Florida 45 … Vanderbilt 10 ... Line: Florida -32
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Memphis (2-6) at Tennessee (4-4),7:00 EST, ESPNU, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: Memphis and Tennessee meet for the 21st time in a series that’s been completely dominated by the Volunteers. The Tigers have broken through just one time in a 1996 upset at home. Tennessee is coming off a critical win in its quest to get back to the postseason, jumping on South Carolina in a hurry and holding on for an easy 31-13 victory. The Vols closed the month of October on a high note, having also blown out Georgia and darn near upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Memphis is simply playing out the schedule at this point, wondering if head coach Tommy West will be back on the sidelines again in 2010. For a program that’s grown accustomed to mid-tier bowl games, starting 1-4 in Conference USA play and losing the last two by an average of 20 points have been sobering for the Tigers.
Why Memphis might win: When Tennessee has gotten in trouble this season, it was because the offense disappeared and QB Jonathan Crompton handed the ball to the other team. Now, the Tigers clearly don’t have an SEC-caliber defense, but it does possess speed and the ability to make things happen. There’s quality in the front seven, led by massive true freshman DT Dontari Poe and sideline-to-sideline LB Greg Jackson. Memphis may not shut down the Volunteers, but if it can force field goals and force Crompton to turn the ball over, anything is possible. Wasn’t UT in a dogfight with Ohio earlier in the year?
Why Tennessee might win: Defense. Somewhat lost in a mediocre season has been the play of a Volunteer D that ranks No. 13 in the country and is allowing only 17 points a game. Neither running nor passing on Tennessee has spawned many big plays this fall, a particular concern for a sub par Memphis offense. While QB Will Hudgens will grow tired of running from DT Dan Williams and LB Rico McCoy, S Eric Berry will make sure that those rangy Tiger receivers are well-covered. Memphis couldn’t get beyond the teens in six of its last seven games with FBS opponents. There’s no reason to believe that trend changes in Knoxville.
Who to watch: A year after playing second fiddle and rushing for 271 yards, Tennessee senior Montario Hardesty is quietly finishing his college career on a positive note. One big game from 1,000 yards, he’s been the steadiest option of the offense, averaging 20 carries a game and allowing true freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku to be brought along at a more modest pace.
What will happen: The only way this is a game after halftime is if Tennessee completely looks past Memphis and ahead to the Ole Miss trip. It won’t. Instead, the Volunteers will force a slew of three-and-outs and get a couple of Crompton to Gerald Jones touchdown passes to coast above the .500 mark for the first time since the opening weekend.
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 38 … Memphis 10 ... Line: Tennessee -26
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Northern Arizona (5-3) at Ole Miss (5-3), 7:30 EST, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: Watch out. Ole Miss has been extremely flaky all year and appears to be just this close to being truly disastrous … Northern Arizona might provide the push over the edge. The Lumberjacks can wing it around, and while they’re 5-3 and coming off a loss, they’ve been close in every game this year including a 34-17 defeat at Arizona to start the season. They don’t quite have the makeup to win if Ole Miss is trying, but with this passing game, they have a shot at making this scary. The Rebels got ripped up by Auburn last week 33-20, and making this game even more of a distraction going into the Tennessee game next week is that it truly doesn’t matter. The Rebels have already beaten SE Louisiana, and while getting to six wins would be nice, there’s still work to do to become bowl eligible. With the way they turn the ball over and tend to stink once adversity strikes, this is a game to keep an eye on.
Why Northern Arizona might win: Turnovers. Ole Miss gives it away way too often with 13 interceptions, including two in each of the last two games, and has lost seven fumbles with three in the last four games. NAU is great in turnover margin losing the ball just ten times this year, and they almost never lose when they don’t turn the ball over. Of the ten giveaways, six of them came in losses, while the secondary is starting to make more and more plays picking off eight passes in the last four games. And then there’s the passing game that has gotten better and better as the season has gone on. NAU has thrown for 250 yards or more in every game but the opener against Arizona.
Why Ole Miss might win: NAU doesn’t run, and Ole Miss is solid against the pass. For all the problems and all the issues, the Rebels have been terrific so far in the secondary thanks to all the pressure generated by Greg Hardy and the defensive front. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas threw for 254 yards, but he had an ineffective day. South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia couldn’t do anything through the air in the second half. Offensively, Jevan Snead will have all day to throw; the Lumberjacks don’t generate much pressure ranking 113th among all FCS teams in tackles for loss and struggles to hit the quarterback.
Who to watch: QB Michael Herrick started out his career at Ole Miss when the writing was on the wall that Jevan Snead was going to be the main man. The junior left Oxford, signed on with Northern Arizona, and has been fantastic after a rocky first season with 18 touchdown passes and just five interceptions while bombing away game after game. Two of the picks came in the opener against Arizona and two came last week against Sacramento State. The fifth came against Montana meaning that NAU is 5-0 when he doesn’t throw an interception and 0-3 when he does. He’s the offense right now, and while he’ll want to show the Rebels what they missed out on, he has to be calm and cool and has to keep the mistakes to a minimum.
What will happen: Ole Miss will win, but it’ll be rocky enough to get the Rebel fans grumbling even more.
CFN Prediction: Ole Miss 30 … Northern Arizona 17 ... Line: 1.5
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … No Line
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- Week 10, Part 1