College football is nearing the end of the regular season. With that, there will always be things to watch each week. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 15.
1. The Game
Ohio State is having a great season. Michigan is not. The Buckeyes may be favored by 30 points, but as they always say, the records can be thrown out in rivalry games. Ohio State will be looking to win and continue their hopes of making the CFP, while Michigan is looking to play the spoiler role.
The Buckeyes are 5-0 and have had great play from Justin Fields this year. Other than their game against Indiana, they haven’t had many close calls this year. Michigan is 2-4 as Jim Harbaugh is having his roughest year yet in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines will need to win to stay in bowl contention and if they lose, they may move on from Harbaugh.
2. AAC’s First Half of a Back to Back
Most conferences are able to schedule around having teams play in back to back weeks. With rivalry week coming in the last week of the season and the Championship Games the weekends after that, the power conferences are free from seeing teams play each other in back to back weeks. That won’t be the case in the American Athletic Conference, as Tulsa and Cincinnati are set to play in back to back weeks.
Tulsa comes into the game with their only loss coming to Oklahoma State. They have been led by quarterback Zach Smith and a defense that features several NFL-level players. Cincinnati has some great players themselves on the defensive side of the ball, which has helped them go undefeated this season. If the Bearcats can sweep the Golden Hurricanes, they could still be in the CFP talk.
3. Miami vs. UNC
The ACC Championship is already set, but there are two good teams that will not be in that game matching up this weekend. Miami has just one loss on the season. The offense has been rejuvenated by offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and quarterback D’Eriq King. While a conference championship may not be on the line in this game, Miami could still make a New Year’s Six Bowl Game with a win.
North Carolina is a tough team to figure out this season. They have three losses on the year. One loss came at the hands of Notre Dame, but two of the others were head-scratching. The Tar Heels also have losses to Virginia and Florida State. The offense has stars in Sam Howell, Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, but the defense needs to step it up in this game for the Tar Heels to get the win.
4. Iowa vs. Wisconsin
Two of the more consistent teams in the Big Ten West will square off this weekend. Wisconsin will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes. The Badgers are coming off of a loss to Indiana and also have a loss to Northwestern on the season. They have only played four games, but if they want to stay in the bowl hunt, they are desperate for a win. Their defense has allowed 12.3 points per game, but they really need their offense to start moving the ball more.
The Hawkeyes are 5-2 this year. After dropping their first two games to Purdue and Northwestern, but are now on a five-game winning streak. While they won’t be able to make the Big Ten Championship Game, with a win against the Badgers and a win on December 19 against an unnamed Big Ten opponent, they cold push their way to a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. The Hawkeyes will need to have their offense keep up the scoring, as they are undefeated on the season when they score more than 20 points.
5. Kyle Trask’s Big Game
This weekend, LSU will take on Florida. There will be a lot of passing in this game, which will make it exciting, even if the Gators are favored to win by a wide margin. The passing in the game should mean that Florida quarterback Kyle Trask will have a good outing. If he does, that will only make it more likely that the signal-caller will win the Heisman Trophy.
So far this season, Trask has passed for 3,243 yards, 38 touchdowns and three interceptions on 71.4 percent completion percentage. This is in only nine games. If Trask plays well against LSU and then in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, it will all but seal his Heisman victory.
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