Ole Miss Rebels (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 12th, 2016. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MISS +20/A&M -20
Over/Under Total: 55
Texas A&Mís outside hopes of making the College Football Playoffs ended last week with an upset loss on the road to Mississippi State 35-28. The Aggies only previously loss was at the hands of top ranked Alabama but the 2nd loss nearly guaranteed that they will no longer be in the playoff discussion. However, the Aggies are still looking to bounce back this week and close out the season strong which has not been something they have done well in recent years. Still, Texas A&M will have the opportunity over the next few weeks to reach double digit win totals for the first time since 2012 when they look to get back on track this Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels at Kyle Field.
Despite the ongoing concerns about another late season collapse in College Station, the Rebels have already collapsed in a monumental way. After spending the first 6 weeks of the season ranked inside the Top 15, the Rebels have lost 3 of their last 4 games including 3 straight games against SEC foes. Last week Ole Miss got the luxury of having a chance to fix some of their issues with a victory over Georgia Southern out of the FCS. However, more problems emerged following last weekís win over Georgia Southern as quarterback Chad Kelly was lost for the rest of the season with a knee injury and the Rebels struggled mightily in a 37-27 victory over their FCS counterpart.
With potentially the SECís best pure passer now sidelined, the Rebels are now in desperate need for answers to simply become bowl eligible before the year is out. Last week when Kelly went down, freshman Jason Pellerin stepped in to complete just 1 of 5 passes against Georgia Southern. Apparently the coaching staff is not too high on Pellerin because the early buzz out of Oxford is that former 5 star recruit Shea Patterson will be stripped of his redshirt this week to lead the Rebels into College Station. The move itself is somewhat questionable considering Ole Miss has just 3 games remaining and could save the highly recruited quarterback another year of eligibility with patience. However if early indicators are true, the Shea Patterson era is about to begin.
So what does that mean for the Rebels and this Saturdayís game against no. 10 Texas A&M? Well I would be very cautious about any exaggerated expectations. Despite being one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks out of high school, Patterson will still be making his first start on the road in the SEC against a Top 10 team if the rumors are true. That means this already young Rebels offense just got a lot younger. Still my concern is not necessarily aimed at Ole Missís offense but rather their defense. The potential concerns in this matchup are rather easy to identify. The Aggies have averaged 37.2 points per game on the season and the Rebels have relinquished 33.4 points per game over their last 5 contests.
The Rebels have not been able to stop anyone on the ground or through the air. Their run defense has been specifically horrible giving up 240 yards per game which ranks 117th in the FBS. Despite a reputation as a heavy passing offense under Sumlin, the Aggies have been a much better rushing offense this season with running back Trayveon Williams and quarterback Trevor Knight. The two have combined for 16 touchdowns this season and they should have little trouble adding to that total on Saturday. If they can mix in a few big plays in the passing game to Josh Reynolds and Christian Kirk, things could really get messy. So if you were thinking that the 20 point spread was way too high, it is likely right where it should be.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like the Aggies to dominate this game. Ole Miss is a mess right now and I am not buying into the trap. Take Texas A&M -20
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2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
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Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!