After an incredible streak of great games every weekend, Week 13 is a bum one. A very bum one. Three games between ranked teams are the spotlight. None of the teams playing though, are top eight. Most of the games this week are rivalry games, as seen below.
However, there are some very interesting upset possibilities, and hopefully, those can clean the murky waters.
No.19 USC vs. No.9 UCLA
The battle of LA is upon us.
First off, though,there is no way UCLA is the ninth best team in the Nation. I’d take Kansas State, Michigan State, Auburn etc…. over them. C’mon, lets try to stay away from a power ranking format.
Anyways, this has very interesting PAC-12 implications to it. These two teams and the Arizona teams are in a cluster at the top of the South. UCLA needs this win, and a win next week to against Stanford to play Oregon for the PAC-12 Championship.
The other teams have very tough paths, though USC could possibly sneak in. The Sun Devils; I don’t want to talk about it. It’s not looking good.
As for this game, the Bruins have rejuvenated themselves after an odd, but good start to their season. Brett Hundley has been great, and has the Bruins ranked with the 32nd best offense in the country. Hundley has a maximum of four games left in his college career. Go out there and make a statement. Sling it around!
The Trojans though, have a stingy defense that isn’t great on paper, but does make great plays, and sets up the offense very well. The USC offense is their spotlight. The passing game featuring Cody Kessler is phenomenal! He’s thrown only three interceptions this whole year!
The rushing attack doesn’t stand out, mostly due the explosiveness of the passing game. This match-up will be decided by passing. Who can throw the most? Prediction: UCLA-38 USC-32
No.15 Arizona vs. No.17 Utah
I actually know a little more about this Utah team now, after they’ve burned in every prediction I’ve gave them.
I don’t care how good the Wildcats are doing. I’m thrilled, yea, but Anu Solomon scares me. i really don’t think he is good. It’s a deception thing. His accuracy and decision-making is awful, honestly.
But hey! They’re winning! Solomon has put up huge numbers, and does have a great arm. His weapons around him are producing, and the offense is taking off. The passing game is insanely explosive, until Solomon decides to lob a ball or throw it to a defender.
Arizona really doesn’t play defense, but with the type of offense they run, it really doesn’t matter.
Utah, on the other end, is a very balanced team. They’re offense is good, and so is their defense. None of which is better than the other. In a game against a good team, they’l give up points, but have answered back. Their running game is the driving force of the offense; they average 177 yards a game. QB Travis Wilson isn’t a playmaker, and looks like a biker-dude, but does get the job done.
Arizona just needs to score. If they can do that, and make some good defensive stops, they set up well for this game. Prediction: Arizona-35 Utah-28
No.25 Minnesota vs. No.23 Nebraska
Man, the Cornhuskers really got A) Beat up by Wisconsin B) Punished by the committee.
The real match-up of this game will be between the Cornhusker offense and Gopher defense. Minnesota’s defense is exceptional against the pass, ranking 27th in the Nation. The run defense though, isn’t as great, and that’s where the problems occurs.
Last week, I defended Nebraks and Ameer Abdullah. I claimed Abdullah was better overall than Melvin Gordon, and that made me look really smart after Saturday :(. Anyways, the committee hammered Nebraksa, sending them way down the charts.
However, this week, they’re out to defend themselves. Playing a not-so great run defense, Abdullah can run all over the place. He could go off somewhat similar to Gordon last week. And that’s what will carry the Cornhuskers to a win. Prediction: Nebraska-24 Minnesota-7