College football is 10 weeks into what is shaping up to be a great season. Now that more is known about all teams involved, fans can know what to watch for in the coming weeks. This list will narrow it down to five things to watch for in week 11.
1. Tua Tagovailoa’s health
Alabama is certainly the best team in the country, especially after defeating LSU 29-0. They are extremely banged up at the quarterback position though, which is something to watch in the coming weeks.
Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could visibly be seen limping after running for a touchdown. He is playing out of this world right now, even with a banged up knee. Alabama will want to do everything in their power to make sure that he doesn’t get severely injured. The problem for the Crimson Tide is backup quarterback Jalen Hurts was only available in an emergency situation against LSU, but really looked like he wouldn’t have been able to play.
The Crimson Tide play Mississippi State this week. They are a solid team, but Alabama should win comfortably. Their main focus will be keeping Tagovailoa healthy for the postseason.
2. Can Ohio State fix their problems against Michigan State?
Ohio State lost to Purdue, then followed it up with a narrow victory over Nebraska. This week they will play a physical team in Michigan State, who is fully capable of ending the Buckeye’s College Football Playoff hopes.
The Buckeyes have had trouble in two main areas. They give up big plays and they fail to run the ball effectively. Michigan State will be a good barometer to tell if Ohio State has improved in these areas. The Spartans will put a tough front to run on. The Buckeyes should be able to limit big plays against Michigan State and if they can’t, they are in real trouble.
If Ohio State can’t beat the Spartans, they’ll really struggle against Michigan in a few weeks.
3. Fresno State vs. Boise State
One of the best games on the schedule for the weekend is in the Mountain West Conference. One-loss Fresno State will take on two-loss Boise State in a game that could be a preview of the Mountain West Conference Championship Game for the second straight season.
Fresno State made the initial CFP committee rankings at number 23 and are on the way up after winning again this week. They allow just 12.3 points per game, while scoring 38.4. Marcus McMaryion leads a passing attack that ranks 24th in the country in passing yards per game with 280.8. If they win out and UCF slips up, they will be the Group of Five conference team that qualifies for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
Boise State is behind Utah State in the Mountain Division of the conference, but they will play them in the regular season finale. The Broncos sport a better passing attack than Fresno State, as they average 318.9 passing yards per game. Their defense will have to step up though against the Bulldogs to help secure a win.
It may not be a big conference, but this game features two solid teams.
4. Can Pitt take the ACC Coastal?
The ACC Coastal has been the craziest division in college football. No one seemingly wants to run away with the title. Although they can’t lock it up just yet, Pitt controls their own destiny and can take one step closer to the ACC Championship Game with a win Saturday.
Pittsburgh plays Virginia Tech, who has struggled after losing starting quarterback Josh Jackson for the season. The Panthers rank in the 80s for both points allowed and points against per game this season, but have found a way to grind out games in the ACC for a 4-1 record in the conference. Virginia Tech will still play them tough, but Pitt should be able to handle the Hokies.
If the Panthers can win this game, they’ll play Wake Forest and Miami in their last two games to clinch the Coastal. Miami has a 2-3 record in conference, while Wake Forest is 1-4.
There is one notable rivalry game this weekend with the Oklahoma Sooners taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Oklahoma State has had a rough season by their standards, but would love the chance to ruin their rival’s chances of making the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma State has four losses on the year already and seemingly trade wins for losses. They have showed up in select games though with wins over Boise State and Texas. The key for them is scoring at least 38 points. When they do they win, when they don’t they lose. Their defense has glaring issues, but so does their opponent’s this week.
The Sooners still just have the one loss to Texas, but have glaring defensive issues. They will give up a lot of points in this game, which will put more pressure on their offense. Luckily their offense is up to the challenge. They average 48.9 points per game and quarterback Kyler Murray is a Heisman Trophy candidate. If the Sooners protect the football they will probably win the game.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.