2023-2024 cbhsports College Football 10/28 Preview

Image Courtesy: The Athletic

AP Top 6
1.Georgia 7-0 (4-0) SEC This week: Florida (5-2) (3:30 PM ET, CBS)
2.Michigan 8-0 (5-0) Big Ten This week: Off
3.Ohio State 7-0 (4-0) Big Ten This week: @ Wisconsin (5-2) (7:30 PM ET, NBC)
4.Florida State 7-0 (5-0) ACC This week: @ Wake Forest (4-3) (12 PM ET, ABC)
5.Washington 7-0 (4-0) Pac-12 This week: @ Stanford (2-5) (7 PM ET, FS1)
6.Oklahoma 7-0 (4-0) Big 12 This week: @ Kansas (5-2) (12 PM ET, FOX)

Biggest risers and fallers in the AP Top 25 this week:

9.Alabama 7-1 (5-0) SEC Week 8: #11 (Defeated 17.Tennessee, 34-20)
13.Utah 6-1 (3-1) Pac-12 Week 8: #14 (Defeated 18.USC, 34-32)
15.LSU 6-2 (4-1) SEC Week 8: #19 (Defeated Army, 62-0)
16.Missouri 7-1 (3-1) SEC Week 8: #20 (Defeated South Carolina, 34-12)
19.Air Force 7-0 (4-0) Mountain West Week 8: #22 (Defeated Navy, 17-6)

10.Penn State 6-1 (3-1) Big Ten Week 8: #7 (Lost to 3.Ohio State, 20-12)
17.North Carolina 6-1 (3-1) ACC Week 8: #10 (Lost to Virginia, 31-27)
21.Tennessee 5-2 (2-2) SEC Week 8: #17 (Lost to 11.Alabama, 34-20)
20.Duke 5-2 (2-1) ACC Week 8: #16 (Lost to 4.Florida State, 38-20)
24.USC 6-2 (4-1) Pac-12 Week 8: #18 (Lost to 14.Utah, 34-32)

Dropped Out
Iowa 6-2 (3-2) Big Ten Week 8: #24 (Lost to Minnesota, 12-10)

25.James Madison 7-0 (4-0) Sun Belt Week 8: NR (Defeated Marshall, 20-9)

Key games this weekend (Rankings based off of AP Poll)
6.Oklahoma (7-0) @ Kansas (5-2) (Saturday, 12 PM ET, FOX)
Central Florida almost upset their former quarterback Dillon Gabriel (2,131 yardds and 19 TDs) and Oklahoma last Saturday afternoon in Norman. To avoid an upset against a much better Kansas team in Lawrence this weekend, Brent Venables’ team must rely on their running back duo of Marcus Major (308 yards and 1 TD) and Tawee Walker (239 yards and 4 TDs) to help Gabriel, who has also rushed for five touchdowns. Gabriel must get the ball down the field to his talented quartet of receivers including Jalil Farooq (438 yards and 2 TDs), Andrel Anthony 429 yards and 1 TD), Nic Anderson (387 yards and 8 TDs), and Drake Stoops (318 yards and 5 TDs). If linebacker Danny Stutsman, who has an incredible 70 tackle season so far (an average of 10 tackles per game) can help lead the Sooner defense to a quality showing against a Kansas offense without starting quarterback Jalon Daniels due to a back injury, they should win this game. In relief of Daniels, backup signal caller Jason Bean has thrown for over 900 yards and 9 TDs and just two turnovers. The trio of Jayhawks running backs, Devin Neal (659 yards and 6 TDs), Daniel Hishaw Jr. (437 yards and 6 TDs), and Dylan McDuffie (180 yards and 3 TDs), will be important for Bean to get settled in to the game if he in fact remains the starter for this week 9 Big 12 battle. In addition Lawrence Arnold (324 yards and 1 TD), Quentin Skinner (264 yards and 2 TDs), and Mason Fairchild (255 yards and 2 TDs) must be reliable receiving options against a red hot Oklahoma offense that will definitely continue to score throughout the game. To stop Oklahoma’s offense, safety Kenny Logan Jr. (45 tackles) and linebacker JB Brown (34 tackles and 2 sacks) must have big days. A win for the Sooners would put them in great position to clinch a spot in this season’s Big 12 Championship game with just a month left in the regular season. Projected Score: Oklahoma 35, Kansas 27

20.Duke (5-2) @ 18.Louisville (6-1) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Duke can put itself back in play for an ACC title game appearance with a win over Louisville on the road this Saturday and a victory over North Carolina on November 11. The Blue Devils gained multiple leads over fourth ranked Florida State in the first half last Saturday but after starting QB Riley Leonard (981 yards and 3 TDs) re-aggravated his high ankle sprain, the lead was lost for good by the Blue Devils. Jordan Waters, who has rushed for 464 yards and 9 TDs, and Jaquez Moore 390 yards and 3 TDs, were huge in Saturday’s loss to Florida State. They must be great again in Louisville if the Blue Devils want to win this game. The linebacking duo of Tre Freeman (56 tackles and 1 interception) and Dorian Mausi (47 tackles and 1 interception) will be huge in determining who wins this game. If the Cardinals establish their running game at home with Jawhar Jordan, who has rushed for 661 yards and 8 TDs the passing game can get going with Jack Plummer (1,901 yards and 13 TDs) at quarterback. Not turning the ball over will be important for Louisville’s quarterback, who has already thrown 8 interceptions through seven games. Plummer’s receiver Jamari Thrash has starred during the 2023 campaign, catching 39 balls for nearly 700 yards and catching 6 TDs. Catching Riley Leonard when he escapes the pocket will be important for the Cardinal defense. Linebacker TJ Quinn (54 tackles) and defensive back Devin Neal (37 tackles and 3 interceptions) will both be important in stopping Leonard and the Duke offense. A loss for Duke would mean absolutely no ACC title game appearance so Louisville has to be ready for a football team that is ready to play them hard. Projected Score: Duke 28, Louisville 24

1.Georgia (7-0) vs. Florida (5-2) (Jacksonville) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, CBS)
Florida can move into first place in the SEC East with a win over Georgia, who haven’t lost a game since the 2021 SEC Championship Game. Crazy things happen in Jacksonville between the Gators and Bulldogs, in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”. The winner of this game normally has control of the line of scrimmage. For it to be Florida, QB Graham Mertz (1,897 yards and 12 TDs) must rely on his tandem of running backs, Montrell Johnson (438 yards and 4 TDs) and Trevor Etienne (407 yards and 3 TDs), must follow their offensive line and establish the line of scrimmage against a talented Georgia front seven. Linebackers Smael Mondon Jr. (32 tackles and 2 sacks) and Jamon Dumas-Johnson (23 tackles and 2.5 sacks) must explode through the offensive line to stop Johnson and Etienne trying to get downhill and in the end zone. On the other side of the ball, Georgia QB Carson Beck, who has thrown for over 2,000 yards and 12 TDs this season, has been without superstar tight end Brock Bowers, who has caught 41 footballs for 567 yards and 4 TDs, due to a high ankle sprain, will keep him out for most of the rest of the season. The offensive production must be replaced by tailback Daijun Edwards (460 yards and 6 TDs) and pass catchers Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (333 yards and 2 TDs) and Dominic Lovett (282 yards and 1 TD). If not, the Gators defense, headed by linebacker Shemar James (50 tackles and 1 sack), will have an easier time defending against the first year Bulldog starter Beck. The Florida-Georgia rivalry is always a must watch game but with Missouri coming to town just a game back of the Bulldogs in the SEC East standings like Florida next week, it is important for Kirby Smart’s team to take care of business. Projected Score: Georgia 31, Florida 27

8.Oregon (6-1) @ 13.Utah (6-1) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, FOX)
Utah is riding high after an emotional win over USC at the LA Coliseum last Saturday win, giving them their fourth consecutive win over the Trojans. The Utes’ backup quarterback Bryson Barnes played phenomenal against USC’s defense, throwing for 235 yards and 3 TDs along with multiple clutch runs to get the Utes’ a game winning field goal in the final seconds of the game. Offensive playmakers also shined for Utah such as tailback Ja’Quinden Jackson, who rushed for 117 yards and receiver Sione Vaki went for 149 yards and two TDs on just five catches. Safetes Cole Bishop (35 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 2 sacks) and Sione Vaki (34 tackles, 1 interceptions, and 1 sack; who is also a Utes’ tailback) must the terrific Oregon offense led by their quarterback Bo Nix (2,089 yards and 19 TDs). The Ducks bounced back from their loss to Washington on October 13 with a win over Washington State last Saturday. If Nix is able to get the ball to his playmakers, Bucky Irving (649 rushing yards and 7 TDs), Jordan James (463 yards and 8 TDs), Troy Franklin (768 receiving yards and 8 TDs), and Tez Johnson (368 receiving yards and 4 TDs) the Ducks will be able to move the ball easily and win this important Pac-12 game as both teams would be eliminated from Pac-12 Championship and College Football Playoff contention with a loss. For Oregon defensively, defensive backs Tysheem Johnson, who has 39 tackles and 1 sack, and Evan Williams, who has 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks on the year. They will be instrumental in shutting down Bryson Barnes and the Utah passing game to make their offense unilateral with the run game. As ESPN’s College GameDay comes to town, the battle between the Ducks and Utes is majorly important for the Pac-12 title race. Projected Score: Oregon 38, Utah 35

3.Ohio State (7-0) @ Wisconsin (5-2) (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, NBC)
Ohio State’s defense stepped up and played great against a talented Penn State offense in a top seven battle in Columbus in a 20-12 win over the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes now head to Madison to face the Badgers under new head coach and Ohio State alum Luke Fickell, who led Cincinnati to a College Football Playoff appearance in 2021. The Ohio State defense has been fantastic all season long, being led by linebackers Tommy Eichenburg (54 tackles and 1 sack) and Steele Chambers (42 tackles and 1 interception). The Buckeyes’ offense was not fantastic against the Nittany Lions but on an off day, at least they know their defense can step up for them. Their talented receiving core, led by Marvin Harrison Jr. (766 yards and 6 TDs), Cade Stover (429 yards and 3 TDs), and Emeka Egbuka (303 yards and 3 TDs). If their junior slinger Kyle McCord, who has thrown for 1,937 yards and 12 TDs, can get the ball to them, they should control this game especially with the Buckeyes’ running back room having injury problems with TreVeyon Henderson (295 yards and 5 TDs) and Miyan Williams (158 yards and 3 TDs). On the other side, former Buckeye Luke Fickell’s team must have semblance offensively to get the job done against his alma mater. SMU transfer signal caller Tanner Mordecai has thrown for almost 1,200 yards, 3 TDs, and 3 interceptions while fellow quarterback Braedyn Lock has thrown for 370 yards and 2 TDs. With the lack of quality quarterback play in Madison, they must rely on star running back Braelon Allen, who has rushed for 704 yards and 8 TDs at about midseason. Safety Hunter Wohler (70 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack) and linebacker Jake Chaney (44 tackles and 2 sack) must make sure the Badgers’ defense does not get exposed in primetime on NBC by the Buckeyes’ talented offense. With the Badgers atop the Big Ten West and the Buckeyes tied atop the Big Ten East with Michigan, this game is very important for the Big Ten as the season moves to November. Projected Score: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 21

By Carter Huff

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