Each week, The Game Haus will highlight five players to watch from college football games featuring Associated Press Top 25 teams. From established stars to players on the verge of breaking out, we’ll offer some names to remember every week of the college football season.
Here’s a look at five players to watch in Week 11 (All times Eastern):
Rodney Smith, RB, No. 13 Minnesota
Matchup: vs. No. 5 Penn State, Noon, Saturday
Breakdown: Smith is 111 rushing yards shy of 1,000 for the season. One of our players to watch in Week 11, Smith has rushed for at least 103 yards while totaling six touchdowns over the last five games. However, he and the undefeated Gophers face a huge task against a Penn State defense that allows 9.6 points per game and 68.4 yards on the ground.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, No. 2 Alabama
Matchup: vs. No. 1 LSU, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: While coach Nick Saban considers his star quarterback a game-time decision for the Tide’s biggest matchup of the season, it appears he will play. The question is whether Tagovailoa can lead his team to victory if not 100 percent? A loss for Alabama, and there is a good chance its shot at a berth in the College Football Playoff will be dashed. Especially, if LSU or Georgia or Clemson continue to win.
Sage Surratt, WR, No. 22 Wake Forest
Matchup: at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: Clemson might have the best pro-ready wide receivers in the ACC, but Surratt is sure making a name for himself. The redshirt sophomore leads the conference in receiving yards (948), average yards per game (118.5) and receiving touchdowns (nine). He’s second with 62 catches, and faces a Virginia Tech defense that’s allowed an average of 359.8 passing yards over the last four contests.
Chris Orr, LB, No. 16 Wisconsin
Matchup: vs. No. 18 Iowa, 4 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: It’s been a special season for Orr (44 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 9 1/2 sacks), one of our players to watch in Week 11. The Badgers will need him to be at his best against an Iowa team that’s looking for a third straight win. Wisconsin has allowed 62 points while losing its last two games.
Kyahva Tezino, LB, No. 24 San Diego State
Matchup: vs. Nevada, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: The Aztecs boast one of the best defenses in the country (allowing 14.3 points per game) and one of our players to watch in Week 11 is a big reason why. Tezino ranks among the Mountain West leaders with 69 total tackles and 8.6 per contest. He’s an active player that might be one of the more unheralded defenders in the nation.