Paschall's Picks: Ten wins possible for Rebels

Paschall's Picks: Ten wins possible for Rebels

October 31st, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

OTHER PICKS

Texas A&M 55, UTEP 16

Va. Tech 16, Boston Coll. 13

Syracuse 28, Wake Forest 21

UNC 23, N.C. State 22

Clemson 34, Virginia 15

Oregon State 31, USC 24

Ohio State 42, Purdue 19

No. Illinois 29, UMass 10

MTSU 30, UAB 17

Michigan St. 27, Michigan 18

Notre Dame 35, Navy 12

Texas Tech 38, Okla. State 31

UCLA 52, Colorado 9

Fresno State 41, Nevada 26

Texas 49, Kansas 14

Nebraska 33, Northwestern 28

Arizona 44, California 23

Last year, Vanderbilt suffered four early losses before erupting for a seven-game winning streak to end the season.

Ole Miss may be in the process of pulling a similar surge.

The Rebels made early-season headlines by shredding Texas on the road but then lost three straight against Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M. They were expected to lose a fourth in a row when LSU arrived in Oxford on Oct, 19, but Ole Miss pulled out a 27-24 upset before improving to 5-3 with last week's rout of Idaho.

"I think you have to condition yourself in the early stages of building a program to be happy with where you are," Ole Miss second-year coach Hugh Freeze said Wednesday. "There were certain games when you got through where you weren't real happy -- we had a chance to win at Auburn and here against A&M. Those two were disappointing losses, but when you look at the whole spectrum of how our kids have improved and how they're competitive in every game we play in, I'm pleased with where we are.

"Each position has improved, and I'm excited about the stretch run."

For Ole Miss to turn 5-3 into 9-3 with a shot at 10-3, the Rebels must defeat Arkansas, Troy, Missouri and Mississippi State. Their next three games are at home.

Last year's Rebels finished with wins over Mississippi State and Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl to cap a 7-6 season, but Freeze said his second team has more depth due to a stellar 2013 signing class. Freeze also likes this year's running game better and said quarterback Bo Wallace has improved.

"We have a chance to make some noise and have a good second year in our journey," Freeze said.

Pasquali's Pix:

Mississippi State at South Carolina: The Gamecocks have won the past six meetings and have Connor Shaw, who needs to star in the next Terminator. Gamecocks 27, Bullies 20.

UTC at Appalachian State: Chattanoogans will have to forgive that opening loss to UT-Martin if the Mocs improve to 7-2 for the first time since 1980. Mocs 24, Mountaineers 19.

Georgia vs. Florida: Each team is coming off a needed open date, but only the Bulldogs are getting Todd Gurley back. Bulldogs 17, Gators 10.

Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech: The Panthers are seeking revenge after losing the the Sugar Bowl after the 1955 season and the '56 Gator Bowl to Bobby Dodd's Yellow Jackets. Jackets 35, Panthers 28.

Auburn at Arkansas: The Razorbacks have allowed 104 consecutive points. Otherwise they would be higher in the BCS standings. Tigers 34, Razorbacks 17.

Tennessee at Missouri: Look for the laces on the football to be facing away this week when the Tigers try field goals. Tigers 33, Volunteers 20.

Alabama State at Kentucky: Former Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell is alive and well, rushing for 833 yards and 6.8 yards a carry this season for ASU. Wildcats 38, Hornets 19.

Miami at Florida State: Where have you been? We've missed you. Seminoles 45, Hurricanes 20.

Last week:

Winners....................19

Pelinis........................6

Pasquali is 187-38 overall (83.1 percent) this season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 523-757-6524.