Matchup: #3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU (Ole Miss -3.5, 45.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 25th @ 7:15 pm (EST)
Location: Baton Rouge, LA (airing on ESPN)
Preview: The #3 ranked Ole Miss rebels travel to Death Valley to take on the LSU Tigers in a pivotal SEC conference match up.
The Ole Miss Rebels have proved over the past couple of weeks that they are worthy of their #3 ranking, especially after avoiding a letdown last weekend and taking care of business against Tennessee 34–3. The Rebels were fairly dominant while most thought Tennessee would give them a game, as they were coming off consecutive victories over Alabama and Texas A&M. Ole Miss has the nations 8th best defense, allowing only 290.6 yards per game and just six touchdowns this season. They lead the nation in scoring defense allowing just 10.6 points per game. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace is getting the job done completing 65% of his passes for 1899 yards and 17 touchdowns. Behind running back Jaylen Walton, they are averaging 151 yards on the ground per game. Their leading receiver is sophomore Laquon Treadwell who has 34 receptions for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Rebels also have a +10 turnover ratio, 5th best in the nation.
The LSU Tigers are having a bit of a down year and are currently ranked 24th in the country, with a 6–2 overall record and 2–2 record in SEC play. The Tigers have a strong running game averaging 220 yards on the ground per game and are led by freshman standout Leonard Fournett who is averaging 5 yards a carry with seven touchdowns. LSU is struggling in the passing game however, averaging just 194 yards per game through the air. Sophomore Anthony Jennings has had his growing pains this season completing only 50% of his passes for 1048 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions, and has also been sacked 13 times. Their leading receiver is Travin Dural, who has only caught 26 balls for 665 yards and seven touchdowns and is a big play receiver but their struggles in the passing game are evident with Dural having only 26 receptions on the season. LSU’s defense is young, but has been strong ranking 14th in the nation in total defense, allowing 318 yards per game. They have an excellent pass defense ranking fourth in the nation allowing just 156 yards per day through the air.
LSU under Les Miles is 30–1 overall in his career during night games in Baton Rouge. Many know that Death Valley at night is a really tough place to play, however this same LSU team saw Mississippi State come in and get a 34-29 win this season. I see this game being a defensive struggle yet LSU’s one dimensional offense will not be able to get the job done at the end of the day. I expect a top notch effort from the Tiger defense, but I don’t think the young quarterback for LSU will be able to get a win against a top tier defense like Ole Miss. This is however a really tough spot for the Rebels as they have a home game against #5 Auburn next week, so you don’t know if 100% of the focus will be there. I see Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace making enough plays to escape Death Valley with a victory, although the LSU defense will make their fair share of plays in the game. Ole Miss has shown that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with, and I see this game coming down to a field goal with the Rebels getting the win. I’ll grab the points in this one, because you know the Mad Hatter will have a few tricks up his sleeve.
2014 Week 9 NCAA Football Pick: LSU +3.5, Under 45.5
Ole Miss at LSU Score Prediction: Ole Miss 16 – LSU 13