Week 14 Preview
Friday December 4
MAC Championship: Bowling Green (9-3) at Northern Illinois (8-4), Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Bowling Green comes into this game as the favorite. The Falcons have one of the most potent offenses in all of college football that averages 44.2 points per game. Quarterback Matt Johnson has thrown for 4465 yards on the season and could eclipse the 5000-yard mark in a bowl game. His leading receiver is Roger Lewis, who has 1401 receiving yards and has the potential to play in the NFL. The defense has been the issue for the Falcons as they give up 27.8 points per game.
Northern Illinois lost their last game to Ohio, but still managed to make the championship game. The Huskies’ offense isn’t as good as it is most seasons. Quarterback Drew Hare is out for the season, making the offense worse. The last two games have been especially tough as Northern Illinois is only averaging 24 points per game in that stretch. The defense has played well this season only allowing 391 yards per game.
Bowling Green’s offense will not be stopped in this game, with Johnson and Lewis connecting for multiple scores.
Final Score: Bowling Green 39 Northern Illinois 30
Saturday December 5
AAC Championship: #22 Temple (10-2) at #19 Houston (11-1), Houston, Texas
Temple has made the American Championship thanks to their defense. Linebacker Tyler Matakevich has been a starfor the Owls and is the active leader in tackles in the FBS. The defense allows 18.8 points per game. Quarterback P.J. Walker has been the key player on offense for the Owls and has thrown for 2450 yards this season.
Houston may have lost their chance at an undefeated season when they lost to Uconn two weeks ago, but still has a chance at a conference championship. Quarterback Greg Ward is leading the offense with his dual threat abilities and has accounted for over 3000 total yards. Ward has been banged up as of late, but should be good to go in this game. The Houston defense has played great against the run, holding opponents to 117 rushing yards per game.
The Cougars get this game at home and should be able to get their offense rolling early with Ward at quarterback. Houston’s defense will then shut down the Temple running game and get the victory.
Final Score: Houston 31 Temple 24
C-USA Championship: Southern Miss (9-3) at Western Kentucky (10-2), Bowling Green, Kentucky
Western Kentucky has only two losses this season, one to Indiana and one to LSU. The Hilltoppers have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Brandon Doughty, who has thrown for 42 touchdown passes and over 4000 yards this season. The WKU defense has been lights out in C-USA games this season and haven’t given up more than 30 points since week two.
Southern Miss has had a great turnaround this season after going 3-9 last season. The best player on the Southern Miss offense is quarterback Nick Mullens. He has thrown for 3964 yards this season and has orchestrated the Golden Eagles to score 41.7 points per game. The defense is good against the pass only allowing a little more than 200 passing yards per game.
Doughty will get the Hilltoppers their first C-USA Championship by eclipsing the 300-yard mark.
SEC Championship: #18 Florida (10-2) at #2 Alabama (11-1), Atlanta, Georgia
Alabama looks like they belong in the College Football Playoff, but needs to get by Florida in the SEC Championshi to lock up their spot. Running back Derrick Henry has three straight 200 yard games and is a leading contender for the Heisman. Quarterback Jake Coker hasn’t had the best season, but is playing well enough for Alabama to win. The Crimson Tide defense is the best in the country against the run completely shutting down running games to 78 yards per game.
Florida has been playing really poorly to finish the season. The offense has been the main problem for the Gators and didn’t even manage to score against Florida State last week. Running back Kelvin Taylor is the best player on offense, but he hasn’t been able to get into the end zone often lately. The Gator defense is just behind Alabama’s in terms of how good they are. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves can shut down any wide receiver in the country.
The Alabama defense won’t let Florida score and Henry will take care of the rest.
Final Score: Alabama 40 Florida 0
MWC Championship: Air Force (8-4) at San Diego State (9-3), San Diego, California
San Diego State has had a wonderful season thus far and can get to ten wins if they can win the MWC Championshipgame. Running back Donnell Pumphrey has rushed for almost 1500 yards. The Aztec defense has been great allowing fewer than 100 yards rushing per game.
Air Force has a great rushing attack, averaging 323 yards per game on the ground. This has helped the Falcons to average 34.4 points per game. The Air Force defense has played great this season, but allowed New Mexico to score 47 points last week.
The Aztec defense will not be able to stop the Air Force ground game and will lose as a result.
Final Score: Air Force 28 San Diego State 23
Pac 12 Championship: #20 USC (8-4) at #7 Stanford (10-2), Santa Clara, California
Stanford got an exciting last second win against Notre Dame last week and now face USC. Quarterback Kevin Hoganplayed the best game of his career against Notre Dame and is on a hot streak. Running back Christian McCaffrey may be invited to the Heisman ceremony and is a great all-purpose back. The Cardinal defense has been average this season, but has stepped up in a few games.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler is one of the most efficient passers in the country and has a very talented target in wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. This duo has helped the Trojans account for 280 passing yards per game. The Trojan defense has a lot of NFL talent, but has only held one Power Five team to under twenty points.
Stanford will win this game because McCaffrey will make plays for the Cardinal offense.
Final Score: Stanford 32 USC 27
Big Ten Championship: #5 Michigan State (11-1) at #4 Iowa (12-0), Indianapolis, Indiana
Iowa completed the regular season undefeated and now will get a chance to face Michigan State. The Iowa offensive line drives the offense that has been extremely balanced all season. Quarterback C.J. Beathard has protected the football, while making plays and the Hawkeyes have a lot of solid running backs. The defense has been the other keyto the undefeated season and is only allowing 19 points per game. Cornerback Desmond King is a ball hawk and alsomakes plays in the return game.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook has had a fantastic season considering his offensive line hasn’t played great and the running game isn’t that solid. The Spartans defense has also disappointed, but has a physical force in defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who disrupts a lot of plays for opposing offenses.
Iowa will win in the trenches and therefore also win the game. King will shut down Michigan State wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, which won’t leave Cook with any options.
Final Score: Iowa 24 Michigan State 19
ACC Championship: #10 North Carolina (11-1) at #1 Clemson (12-0), Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemson is the number one team in the country and needs to win one more game to get into the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has had the most consistently good numbers all season and is a very qualifiedHeisman contender. The defense has had an amazing year, despite losing a lot of talent to the NFL draft from last season. Defensive end Shaq Lawson has thrived on his extra playing time and can get to the quarterback as well as stop the run.
North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams has also had a very nice season, but did have one bad game. That game was their loss to South Carolina, which has been haunting the Tarheels ever since. The North Carolina defenseis one of the best in the ACC, but do surprisingly allow more passing yards per game than rushing yards.
Clemson will not choke in a big game as usual and will make the College Football Playoff after a win. Watson will be able to move the ball on North Carolina.
Final Score: Clemson 35 North Carolina 26
Five Players to Watch
- Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Lawson has had a great year, but needs to get pressure on Marquise Williams to get his team the ACC Championship.
- Marquise Williams, QB, UNC
Williams has to use his dual-threat ability in order to gash the Clemson defense for a lot of yardage.
- Desmond King, CB, Iowa
King has been one of the best corners in the country and will be tasked with slowing down Aaron Burbridge in this game.
- Shilique Calhoun, DE, MSU
Calhoun has been great at pass rushing and now needs to help stop the run to get the Spartans to the Playoff.
- Treone Harris, QB, Florida
In order for Florida to win the SEC Championship, Harris simply has to have the game of his life.