College football is entering the back part of the season. Storylines are forming and teams are making their pushes for the postseason. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 10.
1. SEC East Title on the Line
Georgia will play Florida this weekend in Jacksonville. Both teams have one conference loss so this game will likely decide the SEC East. The Bulldogs have plenty of talent, but did not look good against South Carolina. They’ve had a bye week to correct some things and will need a balanced offensive attack to beat Florida’s defense. That responsibility will fall on quarterback Jake Fromm, as D’Andre Swift has been doing a great job running the football for Georgia this season.
The Gators have had backup quarterback Kyle Trask lead the team since Feleipe Franks went down with a season-ending injury. Trask has done well to help the team achieve its current 7-1 record and Florida is the 28th best passing offense in the country. If he can help the Gators score 30 points, they will likely win the game. That is easier said than done though.
2. Can SMU Stay Unbeaten?
One of the biggest surprises of the college football season is SMU being unbeaten. The Mustangs are 8-0 and look to be one of the favorites to get the group of five conferences’ New Year’s Six Bowl bid. SMU has a great passing attack that ranks 17th in the country and is led by former Texas quarterback, Shane Buechele. The hopes of SMU fans are up for the first time in a long time, but they’ll play a tough Memphis team on the road this week.
Memphis will be pumped up for this primetime game. The Tigers have had a solid program for a few years now and have just one loss this season that came at the hands of the Temple Owls. They too have a good passing offense, which ranks 25th in the country. Brady White leads the Tigers and he’ll have to play his best for Memphis to ruin SMU’s New Year’s Six Bowl chances, which could create some chances for themselves.
3. Will Notre Dame Bounce Back?
Notre Dame looked awful against Michigan in week 9. Their gameplan was bad and the players clearly were off. Michigan was the more physical team, which resulted in them winning the game and deservedly so. The Fighting Irish are still a solid team, but they will have to stay motivated against Virginia Tech, who have rebounded after a rough start to the season.
The Hokies lost to Boston College to start the season and then also dropped a game to Duke a few weeks later. Virginia Tech has won three straight games coming into this one and sit at 5-2 on the season. Because the ACC Coastal is so weak, they still have a chance to win their division. Justin Fuente’s team scores 30 points per game and allows 29.6, so they’ll have to grind out a win if they have any chance.
4. Can Pac-12 Teams Keep the CFP Hopes Alive?
While it was once thought that the Pac-12 Conference would be on the outside looking in on the College Football Playoff, two teams have slim chances of getting in. Oregon lost the opening game of the season to Auburn, but haven’t lost since. They don’t have the most impressive wins, but do have a great defense and Justin Herbert leading the offense. With other teams falling by the wayside, a one-loss champion from the Pac-12 could really make a case for the CFP. Oregon will play USC this week and will have to slow down their passing attack to be that one-loss team by the end of the year.
Utah didn’t play well against USC, which has cost them in the rankings. They still sit at 7-1 and have proven to be one of the toughest teams in college football. They travel to Washington, a team that has been ranked sporadically throughout the season. It will be a tough game, but the Utes should be able to run the ball and play defense well enough to win. That’s improtant, as they just moved into the top 10 of the AP poll. With a few more consecutive wins they will move ever so closer to the top four.
5. Kansas State at Kansas
Kansas State will travel to Lawrence to play Kansas for the Governor’s Cup. Both teams are coming off of wins. The Wildcats pulled off a big home upset against the Oklahoma Sooners. Head coach Chris Kleiman has done a fantastic job in his first year. They average 32.7 points per game and allow 21.9 points per game. They look like they’ll be going bowling this year and could even do more damage.
Les Miles has led Kansas to three wins now in eight games. That is much better than they had been doing and now the Jayhawks are coming into this game after kicking a game-winning field goal to beat Texas Tech. Pooka Williams has been one of the best running backs in the country with 704 rushing yards. Williams will have to play well for the Jayhawks to have a chance at an upset.