Week 12 Preview

ian book
The production of Ian Book will be key in the Irish trying to stay undefeated against Syracuse. (Photo Courtesy: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune

Wednesday

Buffalo vs Ohio, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

This was setting up to be a championship game in the MAC East up until Ohio laid an egg last week and lost to a previously 3-6 Miami (OH) team by a score of 30-28. Buffalo is currently sitting at 9-1 and if they can go in and win this game on the right shoulder of Tyree Jackson and the dangerous running back duo of Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks, they’re looking at possibly being in the top-25 next week.

Pick: Buffalo

Saturday

USF vs Temple, Noon ET, ESPNNews

USF has really struggled recently having lost three in a row after a 7-0 start and Temple is playing a lot better after a win over Cincinnati and Houston in the last three weeks and a game in which they challenged UCF, but came up short. With the way these two teams are playing and with it being a home game for Temple, it has me really favoring Temple.

Pick: Temple

(12) Syracuse vs (3) Notre Dame, 2:30 PM ET, NBC

This is the biggest of the two tests remaining for Notre Dame in their quest for an undefeated season and this is a big one because Syracuse has been playing really well. Notre Dame is still the better team and if they come in and play well and if Ian Book is able to play at the level he was playing at before missing last weeks game against Florida State, the Irish should be able to get a win, but that Syracuse offense will have something to say about that. This should be a really fun one in Yankee Stadium to see if Notre Dame can pass one of their last tests to try and get to the finish line of an undefeated regular season.

Pick: Notre Dame

Virginia vs Georgia Tech, 3:30 PM ET, ACC Network

A couple weeks ago this looked like a game that nobody should care about, but the way that things have been playing out in the ACC Coastal, this has become an important one, especially for Virginia, who is only a game behind Pitt in the division and already has a head-to-head loss against Pitt. Defending the triple option at this point in the season is always tough, especially with the way that Georgia Tech has been playing recently, but I think Virginia will go in and get a good road win on the backs of their defense.

Pick: Virginia

UAB vs Texas A&M, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

It’s the annual late season bye, non-bye week for SEC teams and this is the most interesting of the matchups. UAB is a really good Conference USA team and I think they could give the Aggies some issues and keep this game competitive, but ultimately the Aggies will have too much talent and that will eventually win out.

Pick: Texas A&M

Duke vs (2) Clemson, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN

The Blue Devils have been kind of an up and down team this season, but they have won two in a row and are sitting at 7-3 on the season. If they are able to get off to a nice start they could possibly go into Death Valley and keep things interesting, but Clemson is playing as good as anyone in college football right now so I ultimately think Clemson will pull away in this one.

Pick: Clemson

(16) Iowa State vs (15) Texas, 8:00 PM ET, Longhorn Network

After a sluggish start to the season, Iowa State has been playing really well since they inserted Brock Purdy into the lineup at quarterback. They’re playing much better than Texas at the moment, but going on the road to Austin will not be easy one bit, especially with star running back David Montgomery being suspended for the first half of this game after being involved in a brawl in the teams’ win last week over Baylor. I believe having Montgomery out for the first half and having a freshman quarterback on the road against one of the better defenses in the conference will be a tough ask and the Longhorns will get things rolling again behind the good play of Sam Ehlinger.

Pick: Texas

(24) Cincinnati vs (11) UCF, 8:00 PM ET, ABC

College Gameday is making it’s way to Orlando for this one! And it’s not too hard to see why. UCF hasn’t lost a game in two seasons and if you haven’t seen Cincinnati play yet this season, they play really physical and really disciplined. They also run the ball really well on the back of Michael Warren II. The Bearcats are more than capable of beating UCF, but I think with Gameday being in Orlando and with this being a prime time game, UCF will want to make a statement and they’ll go out and get a ranked win.

Pick: UCF

San Diego State vs Fresno State, 10:30 PM ET, CBS Sports Net

Both of these teams are coming off of rough losses. The Fresno State loss wasn’t as bad of a loss as they lost last Friday at Boise State, but San Diego State lost at home to UNLV and that was a bad loss. I think Fresno State is still one of the two best teams in the Mountain West along with Utah State and I think they’ll have a bounce back performance and the offense will be too much for a limited San Diego State offense.

Pick: Fresno State

 

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