Plenty of teams are taking the cream puff route on their match-ups this weekend, gearing up for rivalry weekend in week 13. Despite a lackluster slate of games this week, there are still good games to be had. I’m 29-26 this season, going considerably cold after a hot start, time to get back to it. These are our college five.
Khalil Tate has been lighting up the college football world for the last six weeks, destroying opposing defenses by rolling through the PAC-12 and briefly throwing Arizona into the conference championship race while dabbling in the Heisman Trophy discussion himself.
Tate has 1,293 yards on the ground and 998 passing yards, with 19 total touchdowns, quickly becoming an electric quarterback, putting himself in the company of some of the top players in the conference. In the streak, the Wildcats have averaged 46.5
Oregon, on the other side, has scored more than 20 points once in the last five games. They have struggled and looked sluggish for the majority of October. While the Ducks defense has been surprisingly improved, jumping from 126th last season to 56th this year. However, the Ducks will struggle (like everyone else) to slow Tate down. With the Wildcats defense not exactly stout either, giving up 31.9 points per game. This is set for a shootout.
Predictions: Arizona wins 41-36
The Horned Frogs will be fighting for a win after dropping games to Oklahoma and Iowa State. But they have to hit the road against the the Red Raiders and quarterback Nic Shimonek, who has amassed 3,314 and 28 touchdowns.
The Horned Frogs have a defense that only allows 16.3 points per game in their corner, however they have struggled recently against quarterbacks that can throw the deep ball. They have also had turnover problems from quarterback Kenny Hill, who has started to play shaky football lately, with four turnovers in October. The Red Raiders will be at home and ready to force the upset behind a superior quarterback in Shimonek.
Prediction: Texas Tech wins 31-24
The quarterback clash between USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen will feature 6,292 combined passing yards along with 45 touchdowns. Both the secondaries in this game will be pushed to the very brink, and the key will be in turnovers, as both quarterbacks will be running up numbers.
The only way one team edges out the other is turnovers, with Chosen Rosen tossing nine picks and Darnold with 11. With the home crowd rolling in the Colosseum because of the rivalry, the Bruins are in a prime spot to stumble late. Darnold will record a turnover early, But Rosen is the quarterback who commits the back breaking one late.
Prediction: USC wins 35-28
Another big PAC-12 game (just watch the PAC-12 the next two weeks for maximum happiness) and this is another one that the home crowd could factor into. The defense of Cal has taken a big jump from the one that let up 42.6 points per game last season, now only allowing 29.4 this year. They also have done a good job getting to the quarterback, producing 24 sacks and 30 quarterback hurries.
On the other side, Bryce Love will look to build on the Heisman campaign he has put together, look for a monster game from the running back as K.J. Costello will be starting again after his win over Washington. While the young signal caller looked good throwing the deep ball to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, make no mistake, this team will run the ball. The ground and pound will outlast the improved Cal defense.
Prediction: Stanford wins 40-31
The Big Ten is giving us the best game of the weekend, as the Badgers try to stay perfect in their bid for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Wolverines have not had the kind of season they were hoping for struggling through a week schedule and losing to both of the mere two good teams they have played so far. Winning the Big Ten Conference championship is out for Michigan so they are left to play the role of possible spoiler this weekend and next when they play Ohio State.
The two teams will play heavy defense, Wisconsin has 35 sacks headed into this game while Michigan has produced 33. By running wild on Michigan’s defensive front with 85 tackles for loss, Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor will have the opportunity to make his case for Heisman consideration.
If the shifty back can get outside and burn the defense in open space, it will be a very long game for the Wolverines. They have to try and capture lighting in a bottle and keep him right in front of the defense. That is a task that has yet to be accomplished this season, as Taylor has averaged 152.5 yards per game on the ground.
Prediction: Wisconsin wins 27-20
Other Pac-12 Games:
Arizona Wildcats at Oregon Ducks, 4pm, P-12 Network
Big Game 5pm, Fox
UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans, 5pm, ABC