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College Football ’18: Week 11 Previews

Each week, The Game Haus will offer previews of every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with those Top 25 previews for Week 11 (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 16 Fresno State (8-1) at Boise State (7-2), 10:15 p.m., Friday

Scouting the Bulldogs: They have won seven in a row and lead the West Division of the Mountain West Conference. Fresno State has also allowed just 36 points in its last five games.

Week 11
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Scouting the Broncos: This is a rematch of last year’s conference championship game, won by Boise 17-14 on the blue turf. Also in the Broncos’ favor, they will try for a 10th consecutive home victory over Fresno State.

Winner: Boise State

No. 8 Ohio State (8-1) at No. 24 Michigan State (6-3), Noon, Saturday

Scouting the Buckeyes: Urban Meyer’s team did not look all that impressive in disposing of Nebraska last week, which means the concern level surrounding the team is still relatively high in Week 11. Ohio State has not dropped two straight Big Ten road games since 2011.

Scouting the Spartans: They’ve been hard to figure out at times this season, but the constant is an offense that still has trouble scoring more than 24 points a game. In fact, Michigan State has only done that once during this Big Ten campaign.

Winner: Ohio State

No. 2 Clemson (9-0) at No. 17 Boston College (7-2), 8 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Tigers: Firmly entrenched as the No. 2 team in the College Football Playoff rankings, Clemson faces an interesting test this weekend. Perhaps its last, biggest hurdle before the CFP semifinals roll around.

Scouting the Eagles: Steve Addazio’s team will be trying for a season-high fourth consecutive victory in Week 11. That’s the good news for BC. The bad: The Eagles have lost seven in a row against Clemson and been outscored 124-34 in the last three.

Winner: Clemson

The Rest

Wake Forest (4-5) at No. 22 North Carolina State (6-2), 7:30, Thursday

The Skinny: A fifth consecutive bowl appearance is in the cards for the Wolfpack, who avoided a third straight defeat by beating Florida State last week. They also might have some payback in mind after Wake ended their three-game series winning streak last season.

Winner: North Carolina State

Louisville (2-7) at No. 13 Syracuse (7-2), 7 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Considering Louisville is 0-6 in the ACC, Syracuse is in prime position to win at least eight games in a season for the first time since 2012. The Orange also will be trying for a fourth consecutive victory overall in Week 11.

Winner: Syracuse

South Carolina (5-3) at No. 19 Florida (6-3), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The Gators find themselves amid a two-game slump. The offense looks sluggish, and a quarterback change might be in the air. Defensively, Florida has been generous while giving up more than 30 points in each of the last two games.

Winner: Florida

Wisconsin (6-3) at No. 21 Penn State (6-3), Noon, Saturday
Week 11
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The Skinny: Is is OK to call both teams underachievers? Maybe, but Penn State must find a way to rebound from last weekend’s embarrassing 42-7 loss at Michigan. Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley is still hurting, while Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook is dealing with the effects of another concussion.

Winner: Penn State

Navy (2-7) at No. 11 UCF (8-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The Knights’ winning streak is likely to reach 22 games in Week 11, as their pursuit of a New Year’s Six bowl continues. Why? Because Navy has both lost six in a row and allowed at least 42 points in each of the last three games.

Winner: UCF

TCU (4-5) at No. 7 West Virginia (7-1), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Two straight wins following their loss at Iowa State has the Mountaineers tied for first in the Big 12 with Oklahoma. They’ve dropped four of the last six meetings with TCU, so while the Horned Frogs are having a rough season, West Virginia can’t take them lightly.

Winner: West Virginia

No. 18 Mississippi State (6-3) at No. 1 Alabama (9-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: At this point, the Crimson Tide might be able to beat the New York Giants. OK, that’s a stretch – maybe. But last weekend’s 29-0 win at LSU solidified Alabama’s dominance. It will try for an 11th consecutive victory over Mississippi State in Week 11.

Winner: Alabama

No. 10 Washington State (8-1) at Colorado (5-4), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Cougars are going for a sixth straight victory, but they might want to be careful with this one. Washington State is clearly the better team, but Colorado severely needs to end a four-game slide that has suddenly put its hopes of a bowl appearance in jeopardy.

Winner: Washington State

Baylor (5-4) at No. 23 Iowa State (5-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
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The Skinny: How about them Cyclones? Winners of four in a row and one game off the Big 12 lead, Iowa State has been the surprise of the conference. Keep an eye on freshman quarterback Brock Purdy, who has thrown 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in five games this season. .

Winner: Iowa State

Oklahoma State (5-4) at No. 6 Oklahoma (8-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Let the Bedlam begin. The Sooners are looking to keep their spot atop the Big 12, while the Cowboys will be trying to avoid a third loss in a row overall. In this rivalry, Oklahoma has won three straight and 13 of the last 15 against Oklahoma State.

Winner: Oklahoma

No. 4 Michigan (8-1) at Rutgers (1-8), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: These are good times in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are amid an eight-game winning streak, and moved into the fourth spot of the College Football Playoff rankings. Now, they visit Rutgers, which has lost 21 consecutive games against Top 25 opponents.

Winner: Michigan

No. 12 Kentucky (7-2) at Tennessee (4-5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: It’s already been a special season for the Wildcats, but a major highlight of the campaign could come with a victory at Tennessee in Week 11. Kentucky has not won in Knoxville since 1984, but they enter this contest the favorite, and are looking to rebound from last weekend’s loss to Georgia.

Winner: Kentucky

San Jose State (1-8) at No. 14 Utah State (8-1), 4 p.m., Saturday
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The Skinny: Riding an eight-game winning streak, no team in the Mountain West is hotter than Utah State. Don’t expect the Aggies to cool off in Week 11 against a San Jose State squad that is 1-16 on the road since the start of the 2016 season.

Winner: Utah State

South Florida (7-2) at No. 25 Cincinnati (8-1), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: A victory by Cincinnati would keep hope alive in the American Athletic Conference’s East Division. A third straight defeat for South Florida would essentially end their chances. The Bulls, however, have won three consecutive games in this series.

Winner: Cincinnati

Auburn (6-3) at No. 5 Georgia (8-1), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: This is a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship game, and while Georgia will be back to defend its title, Auburn will not get a shot at redemption. Still, the Tigers are in search of a third consecutive victory, and would love to halt any momentum the Bulldogs might have heading into the league’s championship contest.

Winner: Georgia

No. 9 LSU (7-2) at Arkansas (2-7), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: LSU proved to be another hurdle Alabama had to clear, which the Tide easily did last week. The Tigers, though, should get back on track in Week 11 against Arkansas, which has lost three straight road contests and six of the last seven away from home.

Winner: LSU

Florida State (4-5) at No. 3 Notre Dame (9-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Florida State has won three straight in the series, but Notre Dame is obviously the better of the two teams at the moment. The Irish, ranked third in the CFP rankings, can also move the Seminoles closer to seeing their 36-year bowl streak come to an end with a loss in this contest.

Winner: Notre Dame

No. 15 Texas (6-3) at Texas Tech (5-4), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Longhorns are in danger of losing three in a row following their six-game winning streak. They’ve also allowed at least 38 points in three of the last four games. Texas Tech, however, has not beaten Texas at home since 2008.

Winner: Texas

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