Ole Miss Rebels vs. Tennessee Volunteers Preview and Free Pick

Ole Miss Rebels
(4-5, 3-6 ATS)

Tennessee Volunteers
(3-6, 4-5 ATS)

Tensions are going to be riding high in a nationally televised NCAA football betting affair on CBS on Saturday afternoon, as the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Ole Miss Rebels in a game which will likely eliminate one of these teams from bowl eligibility this year.

The Rebels are still really kicking themselves for not winning that game against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at the outset of the season. Had they won that one, this game would lock up a bowl berth. However, with two games left against the LSU Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs, just having to win one of the two, let alone both, is going to be a very, very hard task. QB Jeremiah Masoli probably thought that he was helping out his potential NFL stock by walking on at Ole Miss, but that might not have been the case. He is proving that he can crank out the deep ball with no issues, but he really isn’t proving that he is that much of a passer. Completing 57.3 percent of his passes for 1,521 yards with 12 scores and another 446 yards on the ground are numbers that you can get from 25 other quarterbacks in the country this year. What Masoli is finding out is that life in the SEC is significantly harder than it was in the Pac-10. This is the best chance he has really had to shine in a conference showdown though, and the Rebs badly need him to take advantage on this national spotlight.

The Vols have to win out to go to a bowl game this, and HC Derek Dooley isn’t giving up hope quite yet. They will likely be favored in each of their L/3 games, and cannot miss a single beat to get the job done. However, for a team that is already 0-5 in conference and is the last winless team in the SEC, this is going to be a difficult task. It seems as though the quarterback of the future is going to be the one getting most of the snaps in this one, as QB Tyler Bray, a freshman from California threw for 325 yards and five TDs last week against the Memphis Tigers in the most impressive offensive showing of the season for UT. RB Tauren Poole was counted on for 101 yards on just 16 carries with a score on the day. This is a man that has already rumbled for 117 yards on the Alabama Crimson Tide and 109 yards on the LSU Tigers, so we know that Poole can scoot against the best in the biz. He has 729 yards and eight TD this season in total. Is the defense going to have enough, though? This unit gave up between 38 and 41 points in each of its L/3 games prior to the ‘W’ over the Tigers last week.

Tennessee’s only home wins this year came in overtime against the UAB Blazers and in resounding 50-0 fashion against the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks. Don’t think for one second that the fans up on Rocky Top don’t want to see something special happen after losing to Oregon, Florida, and Alabama, three of the better teams in the country. Ole Miss is just overmatched in this game, as the Vols, behind another good game by their frosh, should get the job done.

College Football Free Pick: Tennessee Volunteers -2.5

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