No. 23 Ole Miss Rebels (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. No. 25 LSU Tigers (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Saturday, October 22nd, 9:00PM (EST)
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MISS +6/LSU -6
Over/Under Total: TBA
College GameDay will be in the SEC this week for a big showdown between Texas A&M and Alabama on Saturday. However, the night cap for this Saturday will belong to another SEC pairing when the no. 23 Ole Miss Rebels travel into Death Valley for a date with the no. 25 LSU Tigers inside Tiger Stadium. For the Tigers, this will be the first big challenge against a ranked opponent since Les Miles was let go from the program following the loss at Auburn. Therefore, this will be interim coach Ed Orgeronís opportunity to prove that he has righted the ship at LSU as he goes up against a Rebels team where he was formerly the head coach from 2005-2007.
Since taking over, Orgeron has breathed life back into the LSU offense scoring 40 plus points in both blowout wins over Missouri and Southern Mississippi. This week we get to see if the newfound spark on offense is truly legit or perhaps just a product of the competition the Tigers have faced. One thing that is certain is that they cannot afford any poor offensive performance because the Rebels are notorious for scoring points. Despite the 3-3 record, Ole Miss has scored at least 30 points in every game this year and has averaged 39.7 points on the season (20th in FBS).
The Rebels are led by one of the best pure throwing quarterbacks in the country in senior Chad Kelly. Kelly is actually coming off his worse performance of the season in last weekís 34-30 loss to Arkansas where he only completed 18 of 39 passing for 253 yards. However for the majority of the year, he has been very strong with nearly 2,000 yards passing already to go with 14 touchdowns and just 5 picks. The Rebels rely heavily on Kelly to move the football and they have developed a solid repertoire in the passing game despite a number of very young receivers on the outside.
This Saturday night Chad Kelly and the Rebels will attempt to do something very few teams have been able to do in the last decade which is to beat LSU in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. Since 2005, LSU owns one of the most impressive stats in college football as the Tigers are 53-5 SU at Tiger Stadium in night games and just for the record; they are 4-0 this season in night games at home. Therefore despite what the numbers or trends may lead you to believe, Ole Miss is going to have to play one heck of a football game in order to win.
The good news for the Rebels is the fact that LSU has struggled a pretty good bit against the pass. On paper it may not look too bad as LSU has given up 208 yards per game through the air which ranks 44th in the FBS. However if you consider the fact they have only played one offense that ranks inside the top 80 in passing offense, then you can see how those numbers may not look as bad as they actually are which is the major concern I have for the Tigers this Saturday night.
If the defense can hold strong, I believe LSU is playing with enough confidence to take advantage of a vulnerable Ole Miss defense. Quarterback Danny Etling has found some consistency behind center and WR Malachi Dupre finally had a breakout game last week against Southern Miss. If they can get some efficiency in the passing game, it will only make things easier for Leonard Fournette who will be back for the first time in several weeks this Saturday. Fournette has been sidelined with an ankle injury but his return gives the offense an immediate boost heading into this Saturdayís showdown with the Rebels.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Itís hard to ignore LSUís home record at night and it is even harder to ignore their recent success on offense. With Ole Miss still searching for answers on defense, I like LSU to pull this one out. Take LSU -6
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