LSU, Alabama headline the upcoming weekend
Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @jojocornrow
Last weekend’s college football brought one of the most insane turns of events that we could ever hope for. With six seconds remaining in the game, the Duke Blue Devils punched the ball across the goal line to take a 27-24 lead over the Miami Hurricanes. On the ensuing kickoff, the Blue Devils elected to squib kick the ball up the middle of the field in hopes to kill the remaining time on the clock and deterring any attempt the Hurricanes might make at a return. Miami surprised Duke with one of the most amazing fumblerooski plays to-date. The Hurricanes tossed eight laterals before the ball finally reached Miami cornerback Corn Elder, who ran the ball 91 yards down the sideline to score the winning touchdown. Miami’s miracle score gave the Hurricanes a 30-27 victory.
This weekend looks to shake up the AP Top-25 as several teams within the rankings going head-to-head. Clemson is home against Florida State in an ACC contest. TCU looks for conference supremacy against Oklahoma State. Utah travels to Washington for a rainy Pac-12 contest. Alabama hosts LSU in a yearly heavyweight bout. Here’s a quick look at the weekend slate to keep an eye on.
Cincinnati Bearcats at Houston Cougars
Cincinnati travels to take on Houston and play spoiler to their New Year’s Six Bowl hopes. The Bearcats have won the last five head-to-head contests, including the last two years by seven points each. Cincinnati plays tough, but struggles to close games having beaten only one team with a winning record this season.
Houston’s defense has been outstanding this year with 22 takeaways through eight games. Keep an eye on quarterback Greg Ward Jr., who leads the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers
Florida State will brave Memorial Stadium to take on Clemson in a battle for first place in the ACC Atlantic. The Seminoles are likely staring at their last chance to take the first spot in the division. Florida State looks to add to their current three game-winning streak against Clemson.
The undefeated Tigers come into the contest looking to continue on the road to their first conference title since 2011. Clemson has outscored conference opponents this season by an average of 27.3 points.
TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State hosts TCU in a Big 12 contest with major postseason implications. Both teams come into this game undefeated with the winner taking control of the conference. TCU crushed Oklahoma State last season in a 42-9 win. Trevone Boykin had an impressive October throwing for 14 touchdowns in four games.
The Cowboys have flown under the radar thus far with TCU and Baylor absorbing most of the conference spotlight. Though still unblemished, Oklahoma State has narrowly escaped several games despite untimely turnovers.
Utah Utes at Washington Huskies
Utah takes on Washington with the forecast calling for a cold, rainy afternoon in Seattle, WA. The Utes are 0-8 all-time against the Huskies; including 0-2 under current head coach Kyle Whittingham. Utah is coming off a bye week looking to bounce back from a loss to USC.
The Huskies sit in the bottom half of the conference and is limited to playing spoiler for the remainder of the season. Washington is led by quarterback Jake Browning, who threw four touchdown passes on Halloween in a 49-3 win over Arizona.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State is home to Minnesota in a big test for both teams. The Golden Gophers’ tough defense has proven to get up for games against ranked opponents, swinging the turnover differential to zero against in such games. Minnesota is just 4-4 on the season but played has TCU to a six-point loss and Michigan to within three.
Ohio State will be without starting quarterback J.T. Barrett this weekend so opening day starter Cardale Jones will be under center. Jones’, whose play diminished for several weeks before being replaced by Barrett, mental toughness will be on display Saturday without Barrett to come in behind him.
LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide
LSU will take on Alabama in an annual heavyweight bout. The Crimson Tide have won the last four contests in this historical series. Running back Leonard Fournette has carried the Tigers on his back to a 7-0 record by rushing for 150-plus yards in every game this season.
The Crimson Tide is well equipped to handle Fournette, allowing a miniscule 78.5 rushing yards per game. Running back Derrick Henry leads Alabama’s offense by accounting for 14 total touchdowns on the season.
This weekend has major postseason implications, especially in the Big 12 and SEC. The stakes have been raised with the release of the playoff polls. The Playoff Committee is watching and postseason dreams can be dashed any moment.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.