Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh Bowl Game Picks for BBVA Compass Bowl 1/5

Last Updated: January 4th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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BBVA Compass Bowl 2013The X’s and O’s of the BBVA Compass Bowl predictions aren’t shared by many expert handicappers, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are giving up all of our insight and telling you all of the keys to the game for the Ole Miss Rebels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers. The BBVA Compass Bowl picks are some of the hardest to make this year of all of the bowl games, so don’t miss out on all of our Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh predictions!

2013 BBVA Compass Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
2013 BBVA Compass Bowl Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
2013 BBVA Compass Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, January 5th, 1:00 p.m. (ET)
2013 BBVA Compass Bowl On TV: ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Panthers have to want to be here in Birmingham
The words “Anywhere but Birmingham” have come up quite a bit over the course of the last month and change for the Panthers, as they really wanted to go anywhere but here for their bowl trip in the winter. The truth of the matter is that the upperclassmen are right; they shouldn’t have to be coming to the same bowl game for the third straight year. But alas, the options are the Compass Bowl or no bowl for the Panthers, and they weren’t good enough to warrant going anywhere else on the Big East bowl ladder. The truth of the matter is that this club limped through the motions in the Compass Bowl last year, getting blown to bits by the SMU Mustangs 28-6. Of course, the way that SMU dismantled the Fresno State Bulldogs in this year’s Hawaii Bowl as big time underdogs does help out the credibility of that loss to the ‘Stangs, but it doesn’t sting any less. Will we see the Panthers team that came out with their hair on fire a month and change ago versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, or the one that was romped by the Youngstown State Penguins at the outset of the year? That’s the big question in this one and will be the deciding factor in this game.

BBVA Compass Bowl Odds at BetRevolution Sportsbook
Ole Miss Rebels -3.5
Pittsburgh Panthers +3.5
Over/Under 54
Click Here to Bet Your BBVA Compass Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Bo Wallace has to play like the man that he was in the final three games of the year
There had to be some clamoring through nine games to sit QB Bo Wallace down as the starting quarterback of the Rebels. The team was 5-4 at the time and still one win away from bowl eligibility, and it knew that it was probably going to be an underdog in each of the last three games of the year. As it turns out, Ole Miss was favored over the Vanderbilt Commodores in a game that was lost, but it was still a defining moment for Wallace. Prior to that game, he had averaged just 204.0 passing yards per game and had just 11 passing touchdowns. In his last three, which came against Vanderbilt, the LSU Tigers, and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, mind you, he averaged 335.7 passing yards per game and had eight TDs. The transformation has been remarkable for this young man, and the end result has been more points and more efficiency offensively in spite of the fact that the defenses that he has been facing have been outstanding. If Wallace plays like the man from November and less like the man from September and October, the Rebs could put a slew of points on the board.


Key #3: The Panthers have to find a way to run the football
It’s odd to think that a smash mouth team like Pittsburgh would have a tough time moving the ball on the ground, but that’s exactly what happened this year. The team ranked just 92nd in the nation, averaging 137.4 rushing yards per game. The big problem has been opening up holes for the often injured RB Ray Graham. Graham averaged 5.7, 6.2, and 5.8 yards per carry over the course of the first three years of his career, but he averaged just 4.7 yards per carry this year. Many figured that Graham was going to threaten being a 1,500+ yard back and could have led the nation in rushing this year, so 222 carries, 1,042 yards, and 11 TDs seems to be a bit underwhelming. To make matters worse for Graham in this game, his starting right guard, OL Arthur Doakes has been sent home for violating team rules, and he is going to be running the ball against a defense that ranks 31st in the nation at just 134.3 rushing yards per game. This could be key for the Panthers, as if they can’t run it, we just don’t trust that QB Tino Sunseri can throw this team to victory.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Friday, January 4th, 2013 @ 11:50 am (EST)
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