Despite arriving in Atlanta with a 9-3 record, Mississippi remains one of the most underrated teams in college football. In fact, for the vast majority of the 2014 campaign, my power ratings had the Rebels as the best team in the nation. Let’s also note that Mississippi is 9-1 ATS in bowl games, 21-6-1 ATS versus non-conference opponents, 20-8 ATS on the road with extra time to prepare, 7-0-1 ATS in neutral field games and 17-7-1 ATS on artificial turf. Mississippi’s underrated status is also evidenced by the fact that the Rebels are 37-20 ATS versus teams with a winning record and 25-13 ATS over the last three seasons.
Mississippi’s strength is its defense that is allowing just 13.8 points per game on 322 total yards at 4.6 yards per play and 23.2 yards per point to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play against a mediocre defensive squad. The Rebels are also 3-2 SU and ATS on the road this season where they are limiting opponents to 15.2 points per game on 348 total yards at 4.8 yards per play and 22.9 yards per point.
Overall, the Rebels are 1.2 yards per rush play, 1.2 yards per pass play and 1.1 yards per play better than average defensively, which is good enough to slow down a potent TCU attack that is 1.1 yards per play better than average (6.8 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.7 yards per play).
Mississippi Defense vs. TCU Offense:
- +0.2 yards per rush play advantage
- -0.3 yards per pass play advantage
- +0.0 yards per play advantage overall from line of scrimmage
Mississippi also possesses a very good offense that is 0.7 yards per play better than average (6.3 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.6 yards per play). Mississippi’s passing game has been very good this season, averaging 276 yards at 8.3 yards per pass play against a group of secondaries that would combine to allow just 6.9 yards per pass attempt to a mediocre quarterback. And, the Rebels should have success exploiting a pedestrian TCU secondary that is average at best (7.0 yards per pass play to teams that would combine to average 7.0 yards per pass play).
In fact, the matchup is ideal for the Rebels as they have an explosive passing game (1.4 yards per pass play better than average), whereas TCU’s secondary is the team’s weak link (7.4 yards per pass play on the road). Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace should have success throwing the ball as the Rebels possess a solid 1.4 yards per pass play advantage over the Horned Frogs’ secondary.
Finally, Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze is 7-1 SU and 8-0 ATS as an underdog of less than ten points. The wrong team is favored in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – grab the points and invest with confidence.