College football is entering week 12. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 12.
1. Michigan State at Ohio State
Michigan State lost to Purdue a couple of weeks ago, but still are in play for the Big Ten Championship and possibly more. They will have a tough challenge this week as they travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. Their pass defense has been very bad this season and will have to be great against Ohio State’s weapons. If they can run the ball and control the clock, they could pull off the upset.
Ohio State is playing their toughest game of the year so far against the Spartans. They will have to remain disciplined against the run and make the Spartans beat them through the air. C.J. Stroud could have a monstrous day against Michigan State, which could help his Heisman campaign along with giving Ohio State the win. An Ohio State win likely sets up a top five or six matchup with their rivals, Michigan, in week 13.
2. Cincinnati’s Toughest AAC Game
A lot will be talked about Cincinnati’s schedule throughout the rest of the season with the College Football Playoff on the line. The Bearcats did defeat Notre Dame on the road for their best win, but the rest of the schedule has been lackluster at best. They have plenty of talent and are undefeated, but now face their toughest AAC game when SMU visits Cincinnati.
SMU started the season off with seven-straight wins. They have since lost two of their last three. The Mustangs should still be seen as a quality opponent for the Bearcats, as they will likely finish the year with nine wins. Cincinnati’s pass defense will be tested by Oklahoma-transfer Tanner Mordecai, who has passed for 3,261 yards this season. SMU could upset Cincinnati. If the Bearcats pull out the victory, they will keep their CFP hopes alive, although they will still likely need some help.
3. Oregon’s Physical Matchup
Oregon hasn’t looked the greatest, but remains in the CFP hunt with just one loss on the season. Their quest to make the CFP will be challenged this week when they take on Utah. Oregon will be focusing on slowing down Utah’s rushing attack and establishing the run themselves, as both teams excel in that regard. The team that wins in the trenches will likely win the game and if Travis Dye can run well for Oregon it could be the Ducks.
Utah, in a similar fashion, will try to make Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown beat them with his arm. On offense, Tavion Thomas will need to find running room and quarterback Cameron Rising will need to make some key throws. It will be a physical game that could test Oregon. This may not be the last time these two teams meet, as both are likely to make the Pac-12 Championship Game.
4. Wake Forest vs. Clemson
Wake Forest has been the best team in the ACC this year. They have one loss on the season, with none coming in the ACC (they did lose a nonconference game to UNC). In week 11, they defeated NC State, who was ranked. Their offense has helped them win games, as they score 44.7 points per contest. Sam Hartman will have to make plays against a very good Clemson defense.
The Tigers have struggled offensively this season, but defensively they allow just 15.3 points per game. If they can find a way to move the ball against Wake Forest, they have a real shot to win. A win will keep them alive in the ACC Championship race and could help turn around the narrative about their season. A loss would drop them to 7-4, which would be very disappointing given how they’ve finished in recent seasons.
5. Different Styles in Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
It wasn’t long ago that both of these teams were airing the football out plenty of times per game. Now, Texas Tech remains as the team that likes to attack through the air more. Although the quarterbacks have changed around, the Red Raiders have passed for 274.7 yards per game. While their offense hasn’t put up a ton of points this season, Texas Tech is coming off of a win over Iowa State where they scored 41 points.
Oklahoma State has uncharacteristically been running the ball and playing good defense this season. They rank eighth in the country in points allowed per game at 16.4. Jaylen Warren has over 1,000 rushing yards already and the team averages nearly 200 rushing yards per game. In a win over TCU in week 12, Spencer Sanders also played efficiently passing the ball, which helped lead to a blowout. Another win for Oklahoma State will set up a Bedlam game against Oklahoma where both teams could enter with just one loss.
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