ACC & Big 12 Week 13 Preview: Will Rivalry Week Cause Mayhem Among Bowl Favorites?
In the 13th week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.
Here’s a quick look at some of the top games on the schedule this weekend:
No. 20 Syracuse (8-3, 5-2 ACC) at Boston College (7-4, 4-3 ACC) – 12 p.m. on ESPN
Syracuse and Boston College will meet for the 52nd time on Saturday. The Orange lead the all-time series 31-20, but the Eagles lead 13-11 in Chestnut Hill.
Syracuse is entering after a 36-3 loss to Notre Dame in which quarterback Eric Dungey left with a back injury in the first quarter. Redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito has completed 44 of 87 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns in relief of Dungey this season. The Orange offense boasts a scoring offense that ranks No. 10 in the nation averaging 40.6 points per game.
Boston College is looking to rebound from a 22-21 loss to Florida State last weekend. Despite the defeat, running back AJ Dillon had 37 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns against the ‘Noles. Dillon is averaging the 116.9 rushing yards per game, good for 10th most in the nation. He is just the fourth player in Boston College history to rush for over 1,000 yards in two seasons.
NC State (7-3, 4-3 ACC) at North Carolina (2-8, 1-6 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
The fourth-most played series in the ACC (dating back to 1894) continues Saturday in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels hold a 66-35-6 overall lead in the history but NC State has won the last two matchups (33-21 in 2017 and 28-21 in 2016).
The Wolfpack offense is led by quarterback Ryan Finley, who completed 26 of 36 passes for 316 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in a 52-10 rout of Louisville last weekend. Finley is ranked fifth nationally in passing yards per game with an average of 318. Finley’s most frequent target is wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who also ranks among the nation’s best at 7.7 receptions per game.
The Tar Heels ended a six-game losing streak last weekend with a 49-26 win over Western Carolina. Linebacker Cole Holcomb leads the ACC in total tackles (99), solo tackles (57) and tackles per game (9.9). Quarterback Nathan Elliott leads on the offensive side of the ball with 2,169 passing yards on the season and a 61.8 completion rate.
No. 24 Pittsburgh (7-4, 6-1 ACC) at Miami (6-5, 3-4 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
The Panthers head south this weekend as they take on the Hurricanes in Hard Rock Stadium. Miami carries a commanding 25-11-1 series record, including a 13-5-1 lead in games played at home. However, the Panthers and the Hurricanes have split the last four meetings, including a 24-14 Pittsburgh victory last season.
Pittsburgh clinched the Coastal Division and secured its spot in the ACC title game with a 34-13 win at Wake Forest last weekend. The Panthers are have won four straight since falling 19-14 at current No. 3 Notre Dame in Week 7. Pittsburgh’s running back duo of Quadree Ollison (1,106) and Darrin Hall (888) have a chance to make program history as the first pair to each crest 1,000 rushing yards in the same season.
The Hurricanes snapped its four-game losing streak and became bowl-eligible in their 38-14 win over Virginia Tech last weekend. The Miami defense is No. 3 nationally, allowing its opponents just 274.5 yards per game. Among its top performers are defensive lineman Gerald Willis III (55 total tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss) and defensive back Trajan Bandy (31 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass break ups).
No. 6 Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) at No. 13 West Virginia (8-2, 6-2 Big 12) – 8 p.m. (Friday) on ESPN
A place in Big 12 championship game is on the line this weekend in Morgantown. This will be the 11th meeting between the programs and Oklahoma leads the record 8-2, including a current six-game win streak. Friday’s contest will feature two Heisman hopefuls in Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and West Virginia’s Will Grier.
Oklahoma is on a 19-game true road win streak, the longest active streak in the FBS and the second longest in school history (the Sooners won 24 in a row from 1953-1958). The dominant Oklahoma offense ranks among the nation’s best in several statistical categories, including No. 1 in total offense (576.1 yards per game) and scoring offense (49.5 points per game). Quarterback Kyler Murray has the third-most total offensive yards per game (368.1) and the No. 2 passing efficiency in the nation (205.8).
West Virginia was upset 45-41 at Oklahoma State last weekend, only their second loss of the season. Quarterback Will Grier is right behind Murray in passing efficiency (No. 3, 174.2) and has the fourth-most passing yards per game in the FBS (332.5). Grier and wide receiver David Sills V have connected on 31 total touchdowns since the start of the 2017 season, the most among all FBS duos.
Kansas State (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) at No. 25 Iowa State (6-4, 5-3 Big 12) – 7 p.m. on FS1
Iowa State is looking to end a 10-game losing streak to Kansas State on Saturday, while the Wildcats head to Ames with bowl eligibility on the line. Overall, the Cyclones lead the series 49-48-4, a rivalry that dates back to 1917.
Last week, Kansas State finished with a 21-6 home victory over Texas Tech in which the defense held the Red Raiders to just 181 total yards and no touchdowns. The Wildcats rely heavily on their running game (202.5 yards per game, 14 total touchdowns), led by running back Alex Barnes. Barnes leads the Big 12 and ranks 11th nationally with 1,171 rushing yards on the season.
The Cyclones just had their school-record five-game win streak snapped in their 24-10 loss to Texas last week. True freshman quarterback Brock Purdy has recorded 1,445 yards passing and 241 yards on the ground along with 15 total touchdowns in just the last six games.
Here are a few additional games our representatives will be watching this week:
No. 14 Texas (8-3, 6-2 Big 12) at Kansas (3-8, 1-7 Big 12) – 12 p.m. (Friday) on FS1
Virginia (7-4, 4-3 ACC) at Virginia Tech (4-6, 3-4 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. (Friday) on ABC
Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3 ACC) at No. 5 Georgia (10-1, 7-1 SEC) – 12 p.m. on SEC Network
No. 11 Florida (8-3, X-X SEC) at Florida State (5-6, 3-5 ACC) – 12 p.m. on ABC
Baylor (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) at Texas Tech (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) – 12 p.m. on FS1
Wake Forest (5-6, 2-5 ACC) at Duke (7-4, 3-4 ACC) – 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network
South Carolina (6-4, 4-4 SEC) at No. 2 Clemson (11-0, 8-0 ACC) – 7 p.m. on ESPN
No. 15 Kentucky (8-3, 5-3 SEC) at Louisville (2-9, 0-8 ACC) – 7 p.m. on ESPN2
Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) at TCU (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) – 8 p.m. on FOX