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2023-2024 cbhsports College Football 11/4 Preview

Image Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

College Football Playoff Top 6
1.Ohio State 8-0 (5-0) Big Ten This week: @ Rutgers (6-2) (12 PM ET, CBS)
2.Georgia 8-0 (5-0) SEC This week: @ 12.Missouri (7-1) (3:30 PM ET, CBS)
3.Michigan 8-0 (5-0) Big Ten This week: Purdue (2-6) (7:30 PM ET, NBC)
4.Florida State 8-0 (6-0) ACC This week: @ Pittsburgh (2-6) (3:30 PM ET, ESPN)
5.Washington 8-0 (5-0) Pac-12 This week: @ 20.USC (7-2) (7:30 PM ET, ABC)
6.Oregon 7-1 (4-1) Pac-12 This week: California (3-5) (5:30 PM ET, PAC12)

Biggest risers and fallers in the AP Top 25 this week (No previous CFP Top 25):

Risers
6.Oregon 7-1 (4-1) Pac-12 Week 9: #8 (Defeated 13.Utah, 35-6)
15.Louisville 7-1 (4-1) ACC Week 9: #18 (Defeated 20.Duke, 23-0)
19.Tennessee 6-2 (3-2) SEC Week 9: #21 (Defeated Kentucky, 33-27)
20.UCLA 6-2 (3-2) Pac-12 Week 9: #23 (Defeated Colorado, 28-16)

Fallers
11.Oklahoma 7-1 (4-1) Big 12 Week 9: #6 (Lost to Kansas, 38-33)
16.Oregon State 6-2 (3-2) Pac-12 Week 9: #11 (Lost to Arizona, 27-24)
18.Utah 6-2 (3-2) Pac-12 Week 9: #13 (Lost to 8.Oregon, 35-6)

Dropped Out
North Carolina 6-2 (3-2) ACC Week 9: #17 (Lost to Georgia Tech, 46-42)
Duke 5-3 (2-2) ACC Week 9: #20 (Lost to 18.Louisville, 23-0)

New
22.Kansas 6-2 (3-2) Big 12 Week 9: NR (Defeated 6.Oklahoma, 38-33)
25.Kansas State 6-2 (4-2) Big 12 Week 9: NR (Defeated Houston, 41-0)

Key games this weekend (Rankings based off of CFP Poll)
23.Kansas State (6-2) @ 7.Texas (7-1) (Saturday, 12 PM ET, FOX)
One of two huge battles in the Big 12 this weekend is in Austin between Texas and Kansas State. The Wildcats are red hot coming off of three dominant wins in a row over Texas Tech, TCU, and Houston. The next on the Texas slate for Kansas State is the Longhorns. Will Howard has thrown for 1,628 yards and 14 TDs and rushed for 313 yards and 6 more TDs. His overall play will be huge in determining the fate of this battle with the Longhorns. DJ Giddens may not be former Wildcat running back Deuce Vaughn but he has been great so far this season, rushing for over 700 yards and 7 TDs. Howard’s favorite targets over the first eight games for the Wildcats have been receiver Phillip Brooks (437 yards and 3 TDs) and tight end Ben Sinnott (364 yards and 3 TDs). Defensively for KSU, linebacker Austin Moore (43 tackles and 1.5 sacks) and safety Kobe Savage (43 tackles and 2 interceptions) will be important in stopping Longhorn back up quarterback Maalik Murphy and the Texas offense. In limited play against Houston after starter Quinn Ewers went out with an injury and a dominant win over new Big 12 foe BYU, 35-6, Murphy has thrown for 217 yards and 2 TDs. Running back Jonathan Brooks continues to shine for the Longhorns, nearly rushing for 1,000 yards and 7 TDs so far this season while receivers Xavier Worthy (572 yards and 4 TDs) and former Georgia Bulldog Adonai Mitchell (427 yards and 7 TDs) continue to shine for the Longhorns. Senior linebacker Jaylan Ford, who has accumulated 57 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack will look to lead his defense to a big Big 12 win to propel themselves inches closer to a Big 12 Championship game appearance. Projected Score: Texas 31, Kansas State 24

Texas A&M (5-3) @ 10.Ole Miss (7-1) (Saturday, 12 PM ET, ESPN)
Ole Miss can still make the SEC Championship if they win out and Alabama loses two more SEC games. If the Rebels can beat Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon, they will be cheering for LSU, a team they beat earlier in the season to knock off the Crimson Tide on Saturday night. Rebels running back, the talented Quinshon Judkins (691 yards and 9 TDs), has had a resurgent last few weeks after struggling out of the gates this season. His level of play has helped his quarterback, Jaxson Dart (2,080 yards and 14 TDs), continues to shine through eight games this season. Receivers Jordan Watkins (580 yards and 2 TDs), Trey Harris (536 yards and 6 TDs), and Dayton Wade (522 yards and 3 TDs). Ole Miss’ high scoring offense has helped their underwhelming defense throughout the season. Facing an up and down Texas A&M team entirely out of SEC Championship game contention makes this match up interesting. Since replacing starting quarterback Connor Weigman because of an injury, Max Johnson has thrown for 1,147 yards and 8 TDs but has thrown 4 interceptions. Those four turnovers have proved costly in losses to Texas A&M and Tennessee over the last month. The Aggies receiver duo of the veteran Ainias Smith (569 yards and 1 TD) and the younger Evan Stewart (506 yards and 4 TDs) has proved huge for Texas A&M this year. Attacking the Rebels’ secondary is a must if the Aggies want to go on the road and pull off the upset. The Texas A&M, headed by terrific linebackers Edgerrin Cooper (52 tackles and 7 sacks) and Taurean York (47 tackles and 1 sack) lead a talented Aggie defense that must not only defend the Jaxson Dart’s passing game but his legs (326 yards and 7 TDs). Score: Ole Miss 38, Texas A&M 27

9.Oklahoma (7-1) @ 22.Oklahoma State (5-2) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ABC)
The final Bedlam football game before Oklahoma leaves Oklahoma State and the rest of the Big 12 for the SEC. The final battle between the Sooners and Cowboys has huge Big 12 Championship game implications after Oklahoma took their first loss of the season to Kansas in Lawrence last Saturday. Oklahoma State would love to end their run playing the Sooners with a big win. Alan Bowman (1,580 yards and 8 TDs and 5 interceptions) must avoid turning the ball over against an improved Oklahoma defense. The running game Ollie Gordon II must continue to help his quarterback out, already rushing for over 1,000 yards 10 TDs. The Cowboys’ passing game will be necessary to beat Oklahoma with receivers Jaden Brady (349 yards and 1 TD), Brennen Presley (318 yards and 5 TDs), and Rashod Owens (308 yards and 1 TDs). If the Oklahoma State gets to Sooners QB Dillon Gabriel (2,302 yards and 19 TDs), led by Nickolas Martin (83 tackles and 5 sacks) they can rattle their offense like Kansas did last weekend to win that game. Oklahoma also must get their running game going, with tailbacks Tawee Walker (385 yards and 5 TDs) and Marcus Major (308 yards and 1 TD) to set up the Gabriel passing game with receivers Jalil Farooq (449 yards and 2 TDs), Andrel Anthony (429 yards and 1 TD), Nic Anderson (429 yards and 8 TDs), and Drake Stoops (394 yards and 5 TDs). Linebacker Danny Stutsman (73 tackles and 2 sacks) will look to stop the Oklahoma State offense and help his team move to 8-1 on the season. Projected Score: Oklahoma 28, Oklahoma State 27

12.Missouri (7-1) @ 2.Georgia (8-0) (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, CBS)
Georgia QB Carson Beck (2,462 yards and 14 TDs) proved he is a great quarterback when he dominated the Florida defense in Jacksonville last Saturday in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Without star tight end Brock Bowers due to injury, Beck got the ball to receiver Ladd McConkey, who had six catches, 135 yards, and a touchdown in his return from injury. Daijun Edwards continues to pace the Bulldogs on the ground, running for nearly 100 yards and 2 TDs against the Gators defense. The Bulldog defense continues to be great under Kirby Smart, being led by linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. (37 tackles and 2 sacks0) and Tykee Smith (33 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 1 sack). The Bulldogs will face their toughest test this season against a Missouri team who is two spots higher than LSU, a team they lost to head to head in the first College Football Playoff. Brady Cook has been phenomenal this season, throwing for almost 2,300 yards and 15 TDs while tailback Cody Schrader has rushed for over 800 yards and 9 TDs. Their backfield duo makes it easier for Luther Burden III, one of the top wide receivers in the country, has 905 yards and 6 TDs and Theo Wease Jr. (440 yards and 5 TDs). If the Missouri offense does their job, the Missouri defense must get off the field on third down to give their offense as many opportunities to score on the Bulldogs defense as possible. So, linebacker Tyron Hopper (43 tackles and 2 sacks) and defensive back Joseph Charleston (41 tackles) will be huge for the Tigers in this battle for first in the SEC East. Projected Score: Georgia 34, Missouri 24

5.Washington (8-0) @ 20.USC (7-2) (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, ABC)
Despite back to back losses in weeks 7 and 8 for USC, they came back to beat California in week 9 and are still a game back of first place in the Pac-12. Beating Washington, deemed to be the best team in the conference, will surely help them, even with Lincoln Riley’s team being out of the College Football Playoff with two losses. Washington has truly been amazing during the 2023 season due to its offensive playmakers. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and 24 TDs while his favorite targets Rome Odunzie has over 900 yards and 7 TDs and Ja’Lynn Polk who has almost 850 yards and 7 TDs as well this season. Tailbacks Dillon Johnson (430 yards and 6 TDs) and Will Nixon (153 yards and 1 TD) have helped set up Penix’s passing game. Having to deal with tremendous quarterback Caleb Williams (2,646 yards and 25 TDs) is the up and down Washington defense, led by linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio (57 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception) and defensive back Dominique Hampton (54 tackles and 1 interceptions). The unit will have to be fantastic on Saturday night to stop the Trojan offense, that goes up and down the field with ease. Following two consecutive losses to terrific defenses at Notre Dame and at home versus Utah, the Trojans came back from down 14 in the second half and beat rival California, 50-49. That win kept them at #24 in this week’s AP Poll, but they are ranked __ in the first College Football Playoff poll of this season. USC’s playmakers on offense, running back Marshawn Lloyd (766 yards and 8 TDs), Tahj Washington (711 yards and 5 TDs), and receiver Brenden Rice (519 yards and 9 TDs), are phenomenal but it will be up to the Trojan defense to stop Penix and the Husky offense. Safety Jaylin Smith, who has 56 tackles and 1 forced fumble and linebacker Mason Cobb has 55 tackles. They will be huge in determining if the Trojans can win this game and keep their small hopes of returning to the Pac-12 Championship Game for a second consecutive season. The Pac-12 needs Washington to win this game to keep themselves undefeated and in good placement for the College Football Playoff. Projected Score: Washington 45, USC 35

14.LSU (6-2) @ 8.Alabama (7-1) (Saturday, 7:45 PM ET, CBS)
A lot is at stake in the SEC West and nationally when ESPN’s College GameDay comes into town for the battle between Alabama (5-0 in the SEC) and LSU (4-1 in the SEC) in Tuscaloosa both off of bye weeks. Pending Ole Miss’ (4-1 in the SEC) results the rest of the season (the Rebels defeated LSU back on September 30th, giving them the head to head tiebreaker over the Tigers), this game could determine the SEC West’s champion. LSU gunslinger Jayden Daniels has been the top offensive player in the SEC this season, throwing for over 2,500 yards yards and 25 TDs so far this season. His receivers Malik Nabers has helped him out this season, using his 56 catches for 981 yards and 9 TDs and Brian Thomas Jr., who has 42 catches 732 yards and 11 TDs. To keep Alabama’s front seven honest, tailback Logan Diggs (611 yards and 6 TDs) and his offensive line must establish the run game to upset the Crimson Tide. The Tiger defense has struggled to stop opposing offenses, giving up tons of yards to top offenses, namely at Florida State and Ole Miss. Without starting safety Greg Brooks for most of the season, replacements Major Burns (50 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 sack) and Andre’ Sam (50 tackles and 3 interceptions) have shined. They must be able to stop Jalen Milroe (1,617 yards and 13 TDs) and his dangerous deep pass ability to give the LSU offense some help. Milroe must continue to use running backs Jase McClellan (569 yards and 4 TDs) and Roydell Williams (339 yards and 1 TD) to establish their short and medium passing games in addition to Milroe’s great long passing ability. Former Georgia receiver Jermain Burton, who has 23 catches for over 500 yards and 5 TDs and fellow receiver Isaiah Bond 360 yards and 3 TDs must step up if they want to able to keep pace with LSU’s high scoring offense. It will be up to the Alabama defense, led by linebackers Deontae Lawson (49 tackles and 2 sacks), Trezmen Marshall (40 tackles and 2.5 sacks), Jiihad Campbell (39 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 interception), and Dallas Turner (34 tackles and 8 sacks), who continue to shine for the Crimson Tide. The Alabama-LSU game always has huge implications in the SEC but nationally. The winner of this duel between Nick Saban and Brian Kelly will have a great shot to make it to Atlanta and a chance at a College Football Playoff berth. Projected Score: Alabama 31, LSU 28

By Carter Huff

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