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College Football ’19: Week 13 Top 25 previews

Week 13 Top 25 previews

Each week, The Game Haus will preview every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Week 13 Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with our Week 13 Top 25 previews (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 9 Penn State (9-1) at No. 2 Ohio State (10-0), Noon, Saturday

Scouting the Nittany Lions: They have two wins in their last 12 trips to Columbus, and none in the last three. It does not help that star receiver KJ Hamler (46 receptions, 791 yards eight touchdowns) and key running back Noah Cain (350 yards, six rushing touchdowns) could be out. A victory here seems like a tall order for Penn State.

Scouting the Buckeyes: Star defensive end Chase Young (13 1/2 sacks) is back, and Ohio State just seems too strong in all areas for the Nittany Lions to have a chance at the upset. Though it could be close early, the Buckeyes should prevail with ease.

Winner: Ohio State

No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3) at No. 4 Georgia (9-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Aggies: Ranked for the Week 13 Top 25 previews, Texas A&M has won four in a row. However, all four of those opponents currently have a losing record. The Aggies are also 0-3 against top 10 teams this season.

Week 13 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of dawgnation.com

Scouting the Bulldogs: Aiming for a fifth straight victory and sitting fourth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, life is good at the moment for the Bulldogs. They’ve already clinched the SEC East Division, but this is another chance to make a statement.

Winner: Georgia

No. 12 Michigan (8-2) at Indiana (7-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Wolverines: Looking for a season-high fourth consecutive victory, Michigan is playing its best football of 2019. It has outscored Notre Dame, Maryland and Michigan State by a combined 127-31 over the last three contests.

Scouting the Hoosiers: They’ve lost 23 straight games to Michigan, but this is one of the better teams the program has put on the field in recent seasons. Indiana, which gave Penn State a battle, should hang with the Wolverines, but likely to fall short.

Winner: Michigan

The Rest

Western Carolina (3-8) at No. 5 Alabama (9-1), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Tua Tagovailoa’s time at Alabama appears to be over, but that doesn’t mean the Tide have nothing to play for the rest of the way. They might be a long shot at the moment to be part of the College Football Playoff, but at least they will roll this weekend.

Winner: Alabama

Samford (5-6) at No. 16 Auburn (7-3), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The only real concern in this contest for the Tigers is that they aren’t looking ahead to next week’s Iron Bowl. It’s still possible they will be, but this is an opportunity to put forth a solid tune-up performance before their biggest game of the season.

Winner: Auburn

Illinois (6-4) at No. 19 Iowa (7-3), Noon, Saturday
Week 13 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of blackheartgoldpants.com

The Skinny: Iowa ended Minnesota’s perfect season last week, but the potential for a slip-up exists against the surging Illini. The Hawkeyes have won five straight and 10 of 11 in the series, but Illinois is aiming for a fifth consecutive Big Ten win for the first time since 2001.

Winner: Iowa

No. 11 Minnesota (9-1) at Northwestern (2-8), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: It’s uncertain if quarterback Tanner Morgan will be healthy to play for the Gophers. That could be an issue, but the reality is that Northwestern’s averaged just 9.0 points while going 0-7 in Big Ten play.

Winner: Minnesota

No. 22 Oklahoma State (7-3) at West Virginia (4-6), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The Cowboys aim for a season-high fourth straight victory and will look to improve to 4-2 on the road in 2019. They’ve also won four in a row over West Virginia, which is 0-3 at home in the Big 12 this season.

Winner: Oklahoma State

Texas State (3-7) at No. 23 Appalachian State (9-1), 2:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Appalachian State is again ranked and part of the Week 13 Top 25 previews. Looking to win at least 10 games for a second straight season, the Mountaineers have never lost to Texas State as Sun Belt members.

Winner: Appalachian State

Boston College (5-5) at No. 15 Notre Dame (8-2), 2:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Irish have won three in a row since being embarrassed by Michigan. They will try to conclude the home portion of their schedule with an 18 consecutive victory in South Bend. Notre Dame has won six straight versus BC.

Winner: Notre Dame

Texas (6-4) at No. 13 Baylor (9-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: In addition to finding a way to bounce back from blowing that 25-point lead to Oklahoma, Baylor must avoid a fifth consecutive defeat to Texas. Which actually seems feasible since the Longhorns are far from reliable.

Winner: Baylor

No. 21 SMU (9-1) at Navy (7-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: SMU and Navy are tied for first along with Memphis in the American Athletic Conference’s West Division. There’s plenty riding on this game, and the Mustangs have yielded 105 points in the last two games. Plus, they’ve lost four straight at Annapolis.

Winner: Navy

Pittsburgh (7-3) at No. 25 Virginia Tech (7-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Both of these teams sit 4-2 in the ACC’s Coastal Division, one-half game behind first-place Virginia. Pitt won last season’s meeting by 30, but the Hokies are 5-2 in the last seven matchups at home.

Winner: Virginia Tech

Purdue (4-6) at No. 14 Wisconsin (8-2), 4 p.m., Saturday
Week 13 Top 25 previews
Jonathan Taylor / Photo courtesy of espn.com

The Skinny: This should again be the Jonathan Taylor Show. He’s the NCAA career leader for rushing yards through three seasons (5,634) and is trying to top 200 for a third consecutive contest. He ran for 321 in last season’s triple-overtime victory at Purdue.

Winner: Wisconsin

No. 18 Memphis (9-1) at South Florida (4-6), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Sitting 18th in the CFP rankings, Memphis is the highest rated among Group of Five teams. They’ll try for a fifth consecutive win and fourth straight at South Florida.

Winner: Memphis

Temple (7-3) at No. 17 Cincinnati (9-1), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: While the Bearcats continue to live dangerously on the road, they are quite good at home. Cincinnati has won 12 in a row at home since losing to Temple there in November 2017.

Winner: Cincinnati

Arkansas (2-8) at No. 1 LSU (10-0), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Tigers are closing in on the SEC West crown and a date with Georgia in the conference title game. First, it must pay attention to a lowly Arkansas squad that fired coach Chad Morris less than two seasons into his tenure.

Winner: LSU

No. 6 Oregon (9-1) at Arizona State (5-5), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 13 Top 25 previews
Justin Herbert / Photo courtesy of theathletic.com

The Skinny: A Heisman Trophy contender prior to the season, Justin Herbert won’t win the award but he’s doing his job well. The senior has thrown seven touchdowns over the last two games, and we’ll overlook those two picks. Oregon has won 11 of 12 over ASU, which is mired in a four-game skid.

Winner: Oregon

TCU (5-5) at No. 8 Oklahoma (9-1), 8 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Sooners are probably still on a high from that comeback win over Baylor. However, the focus must be on keeping the wagon rolling, even if injured star receiver CeeDee Lamb (44 receptions, 983 yards, 13 touchdowns) can’t go. Oklahoma has won five straight over TCU.

Winner: Oklahoma

No. 7 Utah (9-1) at Arizona (4-6), 10 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Utah is eyeing a seventh straight win while closing in on the Pac-12 South Division title. The Utes have also won three in a row over Arizona, which is looking to avoid a six consecutive defeat.

Winner: Utah

No. 20 Boise State (9-1) at Utah State (6-4), 10:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: A fourth straight win here will give Boise the Mountain Division title of the Mountain West. However, like Utah State, the Broncos are uncertain about who their quarterback will be Saturday. Plus, talented linebacker Curtis Weaver (12 1/2 sacks) is also hurt.

Winner: Utah State

 

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