Our College Football Preview Week 12 edition will get you up to speed with what you need to know heading into some huge games for both FBS and FCS Schools.
Starting with Louisville and Duke. Easy one this, Malik Cunningham goes bananas and The Cardinals win 62-22, just got a scoreline feeling you know. (Hope y’all got the tongue in cheek here with it being written after the game).
It’s Senior week in Miami and the only senior who might be there to celebrate is Charleston Rambo for The Hurricanes. They take on an also 5-5 Virginia Tech who are now Head Coach-less. Miami are favourites but have they fully quit on Manny Diaz now? Will the Hokies want to make a mark now Justin Fuente has gone? In front of what could be a smallish crowd this could be a dull one in Hardrock.
NC State takes on Syracuse in a game in which they are nearly two-touchdown favourites. The Wolfpack are hunting for an ACC title game appearance but take on The Orange who have bowl aspirations of their own. Behind only Clemson and Wake Forest who play this week, NC State can close the gap with a win here. Wolf pack to win and cover by pounding the rock.
Georgia Teach faces a huge uphill battle as they go to South Bend to face a Notre Dame team who can still make a push for the CFB playoffs. ND are -17 point favourites and I think they easily win by 21 or more.
ACC Battles all over the Slate
Florida State takes on Boston College and with Phil Jurkovic back The Eagles are a much better team. Only -2 favourites this seems to be a pick’em but I think BC out classes FSU who I don’t think can hang with Phil and Co.
Virginia and Pitt clash at Heinz Field but this game is up in the air with Brennan Armstrong injured and a risk to not play. If that’s the case Pitt wins easily. However, watch the injury report as if Armstrong is fit this could be a shootout.
North Carolina gets a small school Wofford in a cupcake matchup. I can’t find any lines for this game so I’m assuming NC will demolish Wofford. Sam Howell isneying some ACC records so could use this game to buffer his stats.
Finally we have the game of the week. Ash and I spoke about it on the podcast. Clemson hosts Wake Forest. This could be a belter. Wake games are fast, Clemson needs to score to keep up and I actually think Wake pips Clemson in this one. Clemson being -4 point favourites is almost a disservice to Wake and how they are playing. Clemson have been better but Wake has lit it up every game. They score at least 45 most weeks and Clemson will need to find something more than 30 points on offence as per usual of late to hang with The Demon Deacons. Wake by 6 in an upset.
Written by Stocks @5yardcollege
Texas travels to West Virginia with hopes of ending their five game losing streak. TCU host Kansas coming off their historic win in Austin against the Longhorns. #11 Baylor travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Chris Kleiman’s Wildcats. #9 Oklahoma State go on the road to face Texas Tech who are coming of their biggest win of the season against Iowa State.
Game of the Week – Iowa State @ #13 Oklahoma
Matt Campbell’s Cyclones will hope to completely end Oklahoma’s playoff chances this weekend with a win on the road in Norman.
The College Football Playoff Committee clearly don’t think much of Oklahoma’s resume, ranking them behind two-loss Baylor and two-loss Ole Miss. A loss this weekend would be the end for the Sooners so we should expect to see Lincoln Riley’s most effective gameplan.
Even though Spencer Rattler got some game time in the Sooners’ loss to Baylor, expect Caleb Williams to regain the starting position. His running threat will need to be utilised against the Cyclones to open up shots downfield. However, he will need to avoid Will McDonald and Eyioma Uwazurike, the Cyclones top defensive linemen who rank second and third in sacks in the BIG XII, respectively.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, who ranks fourth nationally in completion percentage (73.4), will be looking to perform like he did in the second half against Texas Tech. If he and running back, Breece Hall have strong performances then the Sooners’ defence will need to have one of their best games of the season.
I feel like I always say, “expect a close one” but yeah, expect a close one. Both of these teams are looking to save their seasons, albeit in different ways. Look out for a few trick plays to create some explosiveness from Riley. The Cyclones defence ranks 10th in the country, largely due to their wrecking-ball defensive ends.
Prediction: Iowa State 28-31 Oklahoma.
Written by Jake @dyanstybrit
Illinois need to win out to become bowl eligible, which would be a remarkable achievement. They start with a tough trip to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday to battle a fierce Iowa defense and not-so-fierce Iowa offense. Coach Bielema is up against the team he played for at university, but won’t be able to make the trip himself. COVID-19 has ruled him out.
Wisconsin will try to stretch their winning streak to 7 when they take on Nebraska. They should have no problem doing so, however the Cornhuskers have shown up on occasion this season and made life difficult for a favoured opponent. Braelon Allen will see plenty of touches as the lead-back. The 17 year old has 6 straight 100 yard rushing games and is really making a name for himself in the absence of Chez Mellusi.
Who knows what will happen between Minnesota and Indiana?! These 2 teams are highly inconsistent and both sides will be bitterly disappointed with how their seasons have turned out. Minnesota should be able to run the ball fairly well on this Indiana front which will allow the Golden Gophers to control the tempo. Indiana will give freshman Donaven McCulley more gametime at QB, hoping he can learn fast and have a big impact next season.
Michigan aim to advance their record to 10-1 ahead of ‘The Game’ in week 13. They are up against a 5-5 Maryland who need to protect Taulia Tagovailoa from the fearsome Wolverine pass rush. Aidan Hutchinson and David Okabo will be out to shut down the Terps QB.
Rutgers travel to Beaver Stadium looking to secure their bowl eligibility. It won’t be easy against a Nittany Lion defense who have only conceded upwards of 23 points on one occasion. In the early window, Purdue hope to continue their offensive success against a hapless Northwestern.
Game Of The Week – Michigan State @ Ohio State
We are treated to another top 10 clash in the Big Ten in the early window this week. Ohio State, off the back of destroying the Purdue defense, get a matchup with one of the worst defenses in the country. CJ Stroud can strengthen his Heisman resume if he balls out again.
The Buckeyes are 19-point favourites at time of writing, which is a lot! Michigan State will not be happy seeing that line, and will be determined to show their worth. Kenneth Walker III has been scintillating this year and will be excited to face Ohio State’s soft run defense.
Spartans coach Mel Tucker is on the verge of a lucrative long-term contract and is already delivering on his promise. He wanted to have Michigan State competing for titles, and as Tucker put it “We’re in November, and we’re in the hunt.”
A trip to ‘The Shoe’ full with 100,000 fans, with Big Ten East title aspirations on the line, is exactly the kind of game the Spartans have dreamed of. In a raucous atmosphere, can Michigan State spring the upset and bring Ohio State’s season crashing all around them?
For the second week running expect plenty of points from the Big Ten game of the week!
Written by Jack @JackCDCTT
The first PAC-12 game of the week is Saturday 2:00am GMT between Arizona and Washington State. Washington start life without HC Jimmy Lake when they travel to Colorado. UCLA and USC face off at the coliseum, in a big PAC-12 rivalry game. California and Stanford both are desperate for a win to avoid finishing bottom of the North. The penultimate week is rounded off with Arizona State on the road to face Oregon State.
Game of the Week – Oregon @ Utah
Its top of the North travelling to top of the South, in this massive PAC-12, week 12 match-up. Neither team can afford to slip up, with Oregon having the most to lose. The Ducks have been ranked #3 for the second week in the college play-offs and with teams behind them waiting for teams to slip up, Oregon can’t afford to do that. Even two wins might not be enough to keep them in the top 4. But if they do it convincingly then it will be hard not to. Utah have Arizona State chomping at their heels in the South. Knowing a loss here and the Sun Devils would have the advantage going into the final game.
Both teams have showcased good running games this season. When Ducks running back CJ Verdell went down, Travis Dye stepped up and has been a constant menace to opposition defences. Add freshman Byron Cardwell and QB Anthony Brown into the mix and you have a trio of capable runners. Utah also have 3 of their own talented runners with the ball. Tavion Thomas, TJ Pledger and Micah Bernard had all been involved this year. Leading rusher Thomas was held out of last weeks game but should be ready to go for this one. This is a must watch game in the PAC-12, where everything rides on a victory and a loss being catastrophic for their respective seasons.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87
Week 12 and we have only 4 all SEC match-ups, with the rest of the 6 SEC teams playing out of conference games. In the early Saturday kick offs there is 4 out of conference games that should be SEC wins. Georgia welcomes Charleston Southern, Texas A&M play Prairie View, Mississippi State are at home to Tennessee State and Kentucky entertains New Mexico State.
Florida have a big game against Missouri, where a loss would pile more pressure on HC Dan Mullen. Auburn are on the road against South Carolina. While it’s a case of how many Ole Miss will beat Vanderbilt by. To end the night, Tennessee are at home to South Alabama. The final out of conference game is LSU at home to Louisiana-Monroe.
Game of the Week –Arkansas @ Alabama
Arkansas travels to Alabama on Saturday hoping to throw a spanner into the works of the Crimson Tide play-off push. Arkansas’s win last week took them to 7-3 on the season, a real turnaround at the Razorbacks that only saw them win 7 games in the previous 3 seasons. Things are moving forward under HC Sam Pittman. They go into this game against the Crimson Tide with nothing to lose. A scary opposition for Bama, who can’t really afford another loss if they want to make the play-offs this season.
The Alabama offence has looked excellent at times but they have also had their disappointments. One thing that we should see a lot of is running back Brian Robinson Jr. Arkansas have struggled against the run this season and Robinson has been excellent, with 823 yards and 14 touchdowns from 164 carries. The Arkansas ground game has also been good, averaging 233.5 yards per game, 6th in the nation. The Bama defence is 4th in the nation at stopping the run. A match-up that could decide the game. Alabama should have too much for the Razorbacks but a team with nothing to lose is sometimes a dangerous one.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87