No. 4 Auburn Tigers (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. No. 7 Ole Miss Rebels (7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date and Time: Saturday November 1st, 2014. 7:00PM EST
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Oxford, M.S.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: AUB +2.5/MISS -2.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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Another big matchup awaits in the SEC West this weekend when the no. 4 Auburn Tigers travel to The Grove to meet the no. 7 Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels are fresh off their first loss of the season last Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Despite another strong showing from the Ole Miss defense, the Rebels offense did not have any success in a 10-7 loss to LSU. This week the Rebels look to rebound and keep their SEC Championship and NCAA Playoffs hopes alive against the 4th ranked Auburn Tigers.
The 4th ranked Tigers had a scare on the Plains last Saturday night against South Carolina. The Tigers trailed for most of the game and were tied at 35 late in the 4th quarter before pulling out a 42-35 victory. The win kept coach Gus Malzahns Tigers in the thick of the college footballs playoffs race but they have a very tough schedule in the coming weeks with 3 teams ranked inside the top 10 starting with no. 7 Ole Miss this Saturday. Auburn has relied on their offensive efforts all season behind one of the most dynamic rushing offenses in the country that has averaged 281 yards per game on the ground. However the Tigers will face one of their most difficult challenges of the season this Saturday against the Rebels no. 1 ranked scoring defense that has yielded just 10.5 points per game.
The battle upfront when Auburn has the football will be the matchup to watch in this game. The Tigers rushing attack with quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Cameron Artis-Payne has nearly been unstoppable in Malzahns infamous option-read style offense. The Tigers dynamic rushing attack racked up 395 yards against South Carolina last week and Marshall was equally impressive through the air hitting 12 of 14 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown. Obviously the passing game was opened through the Tigers relentless ground attack but it will be interesting to see how the offense reacts against a much tougher Ole Miss defensive front this Saturday.
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Ole Miss has one of the best defensive fronts in the entire country and they play very well against the run. Therefore it will be interesting to see if Auburn is able to churn out yards on the ground like they have been able to do each and every week. If not, perhaps the offense will have to rely on the arm of Nick Marshall rather than his legs. Yet the offensive concerns may be the least of the Tigers worries this week. A lot of concerns were raised last week on the defensive side of the ball as South Carolina racked up 535 total yards and 5 touchdowns through the air.
The majority of the Rebels offensive success this season has relied on the arm of senior quarterback Bo Wallace. If Wallace can just mimic a portion of South Carolinas success against Auburn in the passing game, then the Rebels will be in great shape when you factor in their scoring defense into the equation. On the season Wallace has hit 62% of his passes for 2,075 yards with 18 touchdowns and just 7 picks. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has also emerged as a big play threat in the receiving game with 38 catches for 529 yards and 4 touchdowns. For Ole Miss to win this game, Treadwell and fellow wide out Vince Sanders need to have big games. More importantly Bo Wallace has to play well and keep pressure on Auburns defense throughout the entire game.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think Auburns defensive concerns may be a bit overrated stemming from last weeks win against South Carolina. The Gamecocks went for every 4th down in that game in a Hail Mary attempt at the upset. Auburn is playing really well and I think the wrong team is favored this Saturday night. Expect a hard fought game on both sides but the Tigers will put out the victory. Take Auburn +2.5