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Games to watch this weekend
All eyes will be on the Big 12 this Saturday as Baylor and Oklahoma State go head-to-head. Obviously Ohio State and Oregon will be rooting for Oklahoma State. Arizona State and UCLA are battling for PAC-12 South supremacy. The winner there has a chance at a date with either Oregon or Stanford in the PAC-12 title game.
No. 4 Baylor (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) @ No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1), 8:00 p.m.: This is easily the biggest game of the weekend. Baylor needs the win to stay in the BCS national title hunt and to keep itself on track to secure the Big 12 title.
The Cowboys still have Big 12 title aspirations, so they need the win, too. Baylor hasn’t won a league title since 1980 when it was part of the Southwest Conference. You’d think with an offense averaging 61 points and 685 yards per game wouldn’t have any issues. Not so fast. Oklahoma State is fresh off a 38-13 win at Texas. The Cowboys defense picked off QB Case McCoy three times and limited the Longhorns to 389 total yards, nearly 50 fewer than their season average.
But Baylor is a different story altogether. The Bears have scored 59 or more points seven times. Their latest triumph was a 63-34 win over Texas Tech last week. Bryce Petty, overlooked by Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, has 2,992 yards passing, 24 TDs and just 1 INT. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Baylor’s rushing has been just as impressive as two of its rushers (Lache Seastrunk, Shock Linwood) have more than 800 yards on the ground and 19 TDs between them. As dominant as Baylor has been, if the Cowboys can pull off the upset, they will control their own destiny in the Big 12.
No. 17 Arizona State (8-2, 6-1, PAC-12) @ No. 14 UCLA (8-2, 5-2), 7:00: The winner in this one will get one step closer to wrapping up the PAC-12 South title and a conference championship game berth. Arizona State has been living dangerously lately, beating Utah 20-19 on Nov. 9 and needing a big fourth quarter to pull away from Oregon State last week.
Normally the Sun Devils offense, led by QB Ted Kelly (2,838, 24 TDs, 10 INT), is versatile and potent. It was anything but against Oregon State as Kelly tossed two interceptions. But the Sun Devils defense forced five turnovers, two of which were interceptions returned for TDs by Robert Nelson.
Arizona State’s defense will need to be on its toes to stop a UCLA team that is averaging 39 points per game over its last three contests. Sophomore QB Brett Hundley, who hit a wall in late October, has come back strong in November, throwing for 659 yards, 6 TDs and no INTs over his last three games. Hundley has also run for 143 yards and 3 TDs over that stretch.
No. 12 Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2 SEC) @ No. 22 LSU (7-3, 3-3): This game has no national or SEC title implications, but it is another chance for Johnny Manziel to convince more Heisman voters he should win the trophy again…No. 8 Missouri (9-1, 5-1 SEC) @ No. 24 Ole Miss (7-3, 3-3): Missouri has quietly emerged as a threat to Alabama, but the Tigers won’t be taken seriously nationally if they can’t win at Ole Miss…No. 19 Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) @ Minnesota (8-2, 4-2): No national championship implications here, but the Big Ten Legends division title could come into play for Minnesota if Michigan State loses at Northwestern.