Ole Miss vs. Tennessee-Martin Prediction, Game Preview

    Ole Miss vs. Tennessee-Martin prediction and game preview. How will the Rebels fare against the Skyhawks to open the season?

    September 3, 2015

    UT Martin looks exactly like Auburn – at least in terms of the uniforms. Coming off a decent 6-6 season, the Skyhawks have a good team returning with seven starters back on defense and enough balance on offense to be a decent scrimmage for the Rebels. Ole Miss gets two games – UTM and then Fresno State – before dealing with Alabama, and considering the way last year ended in the ugly bowl loss to TCU, there’s a little work to do.

    Below is the Ole Miss vs. Tennessee-Martin prediction and full game preview.

    Ole Miss vs. Tennessee-Martin Prediction & Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, September 5
    Game Time: 12:00 ET
    Network: SEC Network

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    Why You Need To Care

    Ole Miss lost its luster with the way 2014 finished up, but it’s still coming back loaded and still has enough talent to do even more. The talent is still there on defense to be among the best in the country, while the offense should be a bit more consistent once the backfield is more settled. No one’s going to do much against this D, so as long as the O isn’t screwing up, all should be fine.

    UT Martin came up with a strong year offensively, getting hot late winning five of its last six games with the lone defeat coming to Mississippi State. Quarterback Jarod Neal is a decent all-around playmaker, but the 1,138 yards and eight rushing touchdowns of Abou Toure are gone. It’s all going to be on Neal to make this interesting.

    Why UT Martin Will Win

    Will the Ole Miss offense get rolling? It’s been a dogfight for the quarterback job all offseason, but the backfield needed a little bit of work, too after not getting enough out of any one back throughout the year. The ground attack just never quite got going like it needed to, and that’s where the Skyhawk run defense needs to come through. The secondary gets five starters back and should be the team’s biggest strength as the season goes on, but …

    Why Ole Miss Will Win

    The UT Martin run defense was terrific throughout last season, and it’ll be fine in time, but all the starting linebackers have to be replaced and the front three isn’t big enough to hold up. Forget about the Skyhawks running on the Rebel defense that allowed just 140 yards per game. With a new stable of running backs, nothing is going to work against Robert Nkemdiche and company.

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    Player Who Matters

    Chad Kelly is absolutely, positively the Ole Miss starting quarterback – for now. The Clemson transfer has the ability, the tools and the upside to be exactly what the offense needs as long as he’s consistent. At 6-3 and 220 pounds he has excellent size with a live arm, and he has the experience after rocking at the JUCO level. If all goes according to plan, DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan will see time, too.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    The Ole Miss defense will come out roaring, while the offense will kick it in by the second quarter to put this away. This is the game to see what the depth looks like.

    Ole Miss vs. Tennessee-Martin Prediction

    And the time has come … the Ole Miss vs. Tennessee Martin prediction is …

    Final Score: Ole Miss 45, Tennessee-Martin 7

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