Upset Alert: Three Reasons Why Ole Miss Will Beat Wake Forest

Derek StephensSenior Analyst ISeptember 1, 2008

There comes a time in a journalist's writing career (or should I say hobby) where he or she goes out on a limb and makes a prediction he questions.

For me, that time is now.

However, I truly believe if there is a big upset this weekend, Ole Miss has as good a chance to knock off Wake Forest as any other team this weekend.

Don't get me wrong.  I believe Wake Forest has a great team, but I believe that Ole Miss has been slightly underrated by many people because of their results last year.

Here are three reasons Ole Miss has a good shot of upsetting Wake Forest.

1) Rain favors the running game

People said when back-to-back 1,000 yard rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis graduated that the running game would suffer.  They failed to realize Houston Nutt pulled in a top five RB class in the class of 2008, according to Rivals.com.  Brandon Bolden, Enrique Davis, and Devin Thomas all saw the field Saturday.

As Hurricane Hanna makes its way to the Carolina shore, the chances of the game being wet become more and more likely. 

Ole Miss rushed for 216 yards last week against Memphis last week.  Although it's CUSA Memphis, the score has always been close with the Tigers, even when Ole Miss had good success.  This year, however, the game was out of reach after the first quarter. 

Ole Miss also used the Wild Rebel to success (the formation Darren McFadden used at Arkansas) as Dexter McCluster rushed for a 32-yard TD and Brandon Bolden pulled a trick play and threw a 37-yard pass to QB Jevan Snead out wide.

2) The stadium will not be a factor

Ole Miss will be traveling to Gainesville, Baton Rouge, Fayetteville, and Tuscaloosa this year.  What do all those have in common that differs from Winston-Salem?  A big-time college atmosphere. 

Most of the kids on this team are used to going to hostile environments and playing in front of crowds over 80,000. 

Even last week, Ole Miss debuted at home in Vaught Hemingway Stadium (which is around middle tier as far as seating goes in the SEC) and packed over 56,000 seats. 

BB&T Field at Groves Stadium holds a little more than half of that at 31,500.

3) Jevan Snead doesn't make mistakes

When you look at his stats from Saturday, nothing wows you.

That's okay for Ole Miss fans though.

Ole Miss fans expect a lot out of Jevan Snead, but they also understand that this was his second career start (one being at Texas).  He has a gunslinger arm and was 10 of 22 last week for 185 yards, two TDs, and zero INTs. 

Being an eyewitness at the game, the majority of the passes Snead didn't complete were long balls that were a little overthrown.  Ole Miss fans are okay with that too, because it seemed every QB since Eli tried to put the ball right on the money and ended up underthrowing it for a pick.


If Ole Miss' defense can hold Riley Skinner with their spread, I believe Ole Miss can and will shock everyone and beat Wake Forest Saturday afternoon.  They have an abundance of talent brought in by a great recruiter, coach Ed Orgeron, that a great gameday coach, Houston Nutt, has inherited.

Nobody thought the Wild Rebel would have success against anyone at Ole Miss.  However, Dexter McCluster runs it to perfection in a different style from what McFadden did at Arkansas. 

Ole Miss fans have been talking about this game since the end of last season as the "great indicator" on how much success they will have this year.  The fans, players, and coaching staff know how much this win would go as far as team confidence, recruiting, and chances at something they haven't accomplished since 2003—a bowl game.

Predicted Score: Ole Miss 38, Wake Forest 34