Auburn Tigers (8-0 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Mississippi Rebels (3-4 SU, 3-3 ATS), 6:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, October 30, 2010, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss. TV: ESPN2
by Ryno, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Aub -7/Ole Miss +7
Over/Under Total: 60.5
Three weeks in a row, the No. 1 team has lost. First it was Alabama, then it was Ohio State, and most recently it was Oklahoma. Now, the Auburn Tigers are No. 1 in the BCS. Will the Tigers survive a week as the No. 1 team? In order to do so, they will have to overcome the Ole Miss Rebels on the road.
Auburn is undefeated at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. The Tigers have already defeated three ranked teams this season - No. 12 South Carolina, No. 12 Arkansas and No. 6 LSU (rankings at the time they played). The Tigers have proven they can win shootouts and defensive battles. They won 17-14 at Miss. State in Week 2 and they won 65-43 at home over Arkansas two weeks ago.
The Tigers are led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Cam Newton. The versatile QB has 1,364 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 65.2 percent of his pass attempts. More impressively, he has 1,077 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns with a 6.9 yards-per-carry average. Newton is incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands. He can burn opponents with his arm or his legs.
Last week, the Tigers on 24-17 at home over LSU. With the game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter, Onterio McCalebb ran the ball 70 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Newton was 10-for-16 passing for 86 yards, so the Tigers didn’t accomplish much through the air. But they flat out dominated on the ground, running for a ridiculous 442 yards on 51 carries. Newton had 28 carries for 217 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Auburn held LSU to just 128 passing yards and 115 rushing yards.
Ole Miss is not a great team this year. The Rebels’ three wins have come over Tulane, Fresno State and Kentucky. Their four losses have come to Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Arkansas. After losing 23-10 at Alabama two weeks, the Rebels lost 38-24 at Arkansas last week. Ole Miss is led by QB Jeremy Masoli, who transferred from Oregon and received a waiver that gained him immediate eligibility to play this season. In the loss to Arkansas, Masoli was 21-for-36 passing for 327 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 15 times for 98 yards. But the Rebels only had 87 other rushing yards and they allowed 204 rushing yards. Ole Miss WR Markeith Summers had three receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Masoli has 1,260 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns and six interceptions. He has completed 56.5 percent of his pass attempts. Masoli also has 400 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. The Rebels don’t have any receiver with more than 19 receptions, while five different players have at least 13 receptions for the year. Seven different Ole Miss players have receiving touchdowns this season.
This game is going to be a QB battle between Masoli and Newton, both of which are very versatile. Newton is certainly the favorite in that matchup, as is Auburn, but Ole Miss will be looking for a huge upset win at home. They key for both teams is certainly stopping the other team’s QB.
Auburn is 5-1 ATS in its last six conference games, 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite, and 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a road favorite, 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games, and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games vs. teams with a losing record. Ole Miss is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog. The over is 5-1 in the Rebels’ last six home games. The over is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these teams at Ole Miss. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams. Auburn is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams at Ole Miss.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Will number 1 go down again? Yep. Take Ole Miss to cover and possibly win straight up.