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No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels (7-0 SU, 7-0 ATS) vs. No. 24 LSU Tigers (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date and Time: Saturday October 25th, 2014. 7:15PM EST
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MISS -3.5/LSU +3.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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The 3rd ranked Ole Miss Rebels have had a dream start to their 2014 season with a perfect 7-0 mark for the first time in more than 50 years. In fact the Rebels, along with their rivals in Mississippi State, are surprisingly the only remaining unbeaten teams left in the SEC. However before we look too far ahead to a potential Egg Bowl matchup that could very well have college football playoff implications, the Rebels must put their focus towards a big road trip this Saturday in Baton Rouge against the no. 24 LSU Tigers.
Very few teams have been able to go into Death Valley on a Saturday night and escape with a win during Les Miles tenure in Baton Rouge. As a result, the Tigers find their selves just 3.5 point underdogs this Saturday despite two losses already on the season. In fact, the Tigers were blown out by Auburn 41-7 earlier this month in one of the teams worse performances in recent history. However, LSU was able to bounce back with a pair of wins over Florida and Kentucky. The Tigers completely demolished Kentucky 41-3 last Saturday in Baton Rouge in their best performance of the season.
After struggling to find success on the ground which has been a moniker of Les Miles offenses at LSU, the Tigers finally exploded last week by racking up 303 rushing yards in the blowout victory. Running back Terrance Magee led the efforts on the ground last week with 127 rushing yards. However Magee only ranks 3rd on the team in rushing this year as the Tigers host an impressive stable of running backs led by Kenny Hilliard and highly touted freshman Leonard Fournette. Fournette leads the team with 544 rushing yards and 7 scores on the season. Despite who is running the ball, it finally appears that LSU is running the football like they have expected all season. This week we will see just how much improvement this offense has made against the best defensive line in the SEC in Ole Miss.
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Not only do the Rebels have the best defensive line in the SEC led by DE Robert Nkemdiche, but the entire defense ranks 1st in the FBS holding opponents to just 10.6 points per game. The Rebels defense has been simply dominate holding opponents to 20 points or less in each game which includes high powered offenses like Alabama and Texas A&M. Therefore LSUs offensive line is going to have to play one heck of a game if they are going to get their running game going strong enough to keep the chains moving on a consistent basis.
Offensively, Ole Miss has been pretty solid racking up 35.4 points per game which ranks 30th in the FBS. Quarterback Bo Wallace is having a great season. Despite inconsistency concerns throughout his career, the senior has hit 66% of his passes for 1,899 yards with 17 touchdowns and 6 picks on the season. The reduction in interceptions has especially been pivotal for the offense along with the emerging big play threats of wide receivers Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core. Both receivers have brought home 4 touchdown receptions to add to the additional 4 touchdowns from senior wide out Vince Sanders. If you accompany Bo Wallace and the receiving corps success along with a solid running game, the Rebels offense has been pretty stout. As long as the defense continues to play at a high level and the Rebels keep finding way to score points, they have a legitimate shot to run the table.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Rebels are a perfect 7-0 ATS this season which only confirms the extent of their breakout success. Normally I would never bet against LSU at night in Death Valley, but the Rebels defense is absolutely stout. The defense will not be effected by the noise of Tiger Stadium and I believe they will be the major difference in this game. Take Ole Miss -3.5