Ole Miss Rebels vs. California Golden Bears
Date and Time: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
Opening College Football Odds: Ole Miss -3.5
Ole Miss vs. California TV Coverage: ESPN
If you like points, you've come to the right place with the Rebels and Golden Bears.
Ole Miss has scored 47 and 45 points in its first two games of the season, and it has one of the more devastating quarterback/wide receiver combinations in college football right now in Shea Patterson and A.J. Brown.
Brown is a freakishly talented receiver built in the mold of Laquon Treadwell. The sophomore has eight receptions and two touchdowns in each of his first two games, and he's totaled 389 yards, an average of 24.3 yards per reception.
Patterson is also a sophomore and one of the many who is expected to carry this program out from underneath the Hugh Freeze debacle. Patterson has thrown for 429 and 489 yards in his first two games as the Rebs' starter, and he has nine touchdowns against just one interception.
We can't even imagine what Sonny Dykes would've done in a game like this one. Throw for 600 yards? Give up 700 yards? Score 70 points and lose?
Of course, even though Dykes is gone, the Golden Bears are still offense-oriented and still have a lot of growing up to do on the defensive side of the ball. The team has allowed 505.5 yards per game, including 326.0 through the air, a stat that has to have Patterson smiling.
Cal even gave up 20 points to Weber State last weekend in a somewhat uncomfortable victory. Fortunately for the Golden Bears, they avoided the indignation that would have come with losing to an FCS school by scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter to pick up a 33-20 triumph.
5 – The number of touchdowns the Golden Bears have scored this season that have covered at least 30 yards.
California might be a little more focused on ball control now that Justin Wilcox is in charge, but it still has its home run hitters for sure. Patrick Laird, in particular, has 200 rushing yards and three scores on just 15 carries this year. To put this in comparison, Vic Enwere has 22 carries and just 39 yards.
It's just not Cal's ground game making big plays either. Vic Wharton III has 10 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown in his first two games of the season, something that Ole Miss is going to have to account for.
The Rebels have a slew of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and this raw talent is going to have to make sure to defend literally the entire field.
Ole Miss vs. California Free Picks
This is the last kickoff of the evening (alongside the Stanford/San Diego State game), and you can bet there is going to be a lot of action on both sides. There is ardent support for the SEC against every other conference in America, and we have a hunch that most of the action at all of the top 10 sportsbooks will lay on the Rebels.
Though it's easy to look at Cal and suggest that this is a look-ahead spot to the game against USC in its next encounter, let's not forget that Ole Miss has its trip to Tuscaloosa coming in two weeks, too before going to Auburn. This is a crucial game for the Rebels to continue with their momentum going into those two big SEC road tests.
If the Brown/Patterson combo continues playing at a high level, we think the Rebs will have just enough in the tank to ultimately get out of NoCal with a 'W' in what should be a ridiculous shootout.
College Football ATS Pick: Play Ole Miss at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ole Miss 55, California 42