College football now has all teams back. With that, there will always be things to watch each week. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 14.
1. Texas A&M at Auburn
Texas A&M has played well this year and are even still alive for a CFP spot. They would need some help to get there, but all they can do is keep winning. This week they play Auburn. The Tigers have had an up and down season, but are still 5-3 with losses to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. They have been decent in both rushing and passing the ball, but not great at either. If the Tigers play to their full potential, they can give Texas A&M a good game.
The Aggies did not play their best last week when they defeated LSU 20-7. They have just the one loss to Alabama and have relied on senior Kellen Mond and a solid defense that allows 22.4 points per game. In this game, Auburn should be favored, but if they play like they did against LSU, Auburn could make things interesting for other teams looking to make the CFP.
2. Will Ohio State be Able to Play?
Ohio State has had two games canceled this season. Earlier in the year, they were unable to play Maryland because the Terrapins had COVID. Now, Ohio State is having their own COVID issues and they had to cancel their game against Illinois. According to Big Ten rules, the Buckeyes will not be eligible for the Big Ten Championship if they miss one more game this season.
This week Ohio State plays Michigan State. There isn’t much doubt that the Buckeyes will be favored to win and probably by a big margin. The most important thing for the Buckeyes is getting healthy. Head coach Ryan Day has already tested positive, as well as members on the team. If Ohio State can’t play in the Big Ten Championship Game, it will be interesting to see how the CFP Committee reacts.
3. Indiana at Wisconsin
Indiana has had a dream of a season, where they have only lost one game this year, which came at the hands of Ohio State. They have a chance to make the Big Ten Championship if the Buckeyes have one more game missed due to COVID so every game matters. Michael Penix Jr. has provided good quarterback play as both a runner and passer, helping the Hoosiers score 32.8 points per game. He is now out for the season with a leg injury. Their defense has battled tough, only allowing 21.7 points per game.
Their matchup this week won’t be easy. Wisconsin comes into this game with a 2-1 record. They haven’t been able to play as many games due to COVID, but their only loss is to Northwestern. Their star freshman quarterback Graham Mertz and their defense gives them a chance in every Big Ten game they play. They may not be able to play in the Big Ten Championship Game because of missing so many games due to COVID, but they are still going to be a tough test for Indiana.
4. Liberty at Coastal Carolina
Liberty is 9-1 this season and are being led by Hugh Freeze. They have a few big wins, including one over Virginia Tech. Malik Willis has led the way at quarterback and has the Flames scoring 38.2 points per game. The offense has carried the team and has made them one of the tougher group of five conference teams out there.
Another one of the top group of five conference teams is Coastal Carolina. They were ranked 20th in the initial CFP rankings of the season and are undefeated at 9-0. Grayson McCall has helped make Coastal Carolina an offensive powerhouse as well. The Chanticleers score 38.7 points per game and are likely holding on to hope that they can be the group of five representative in a New Year’s Six Bowl.
Last week, Jaret Patterson had a legendary performance for Buffalo. The junior running back carried the ball 36 times for 409 yards and eight touchdowns. The eight touchdowns tied an NCAA record. Patterson had a chance to break the single-game rushing record and touchdown record, but was pulled on the Bulls’ final drive.
This week, Patterson and the Bulls play at Ohio. It will be the fifth game of the season for the Bulls, who will play six on the year. Patterson already has 920 rushing yards on the season in four games, so it will be interesting to see what he can do in the last two games of the regular season. At this point, the only question is how many yards could Patterson have rushed for in a full season?
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