Unbeatens Texas Tech, Oregon, Missouri all face tough tests this weekend

Rachel Wenzlaff

No. 10 Texas Tech vs. No. 17 Oklahoma

The Red Raiders have been crawling up in the rankings all season. Coming off a slow start against an unimpressive Kansas team and the lopsided loss against Texas still a stinging memory in the back of the Sooners’ minds, they are hungry for a victory, especially against a team from the Lone Star State. But the Sooners’ 9th-ranked defense has shown that it can have major slip-ups, which they can’t afford to have against Texas Tech, who boasts the second-most explosive passing offense in the nation. Oklahoma will have to keep its eyes to the skies if it wants to stop Tech’s freshman quarterback, Davis Webb. In a win over West Virginia last week, Webb broke the Red Raiders’ single-game freshman passing record with 462 passing yards — in only his second start. 


No. 12 UCLA vs. No. 2 Oregon

On paper, Oregon has the clear advantage, but this season of college football has proved that paper can’t be trusted. The Ducks have been virtually unbeatable and will need to keep it up to maintain hopes of winning a national championship. But the Bruins are looking to pull off an upset to erase memories of their loss against Stanford. UCLA’s offense has averaged 39.8 points per game and 500.2 yards, standard numbers by Oregon’s standard. The Ducks average 57.6 points and 643.1 yards per game and likely get star running back DeAnthony Thomas’s back this week. This could be a serious uphill battle for the Bruins. 


No. 20 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Missouri

Coming off their second loss of the season against Tennessee, the Gamecocks have no choice but to pull off an upset if they want to keep their SEC title hopes alive. Quarterback Connor Shaw left last week’s game with a knee injury and there is no timetable for his return. Both teams will be playing with their backup quarterbacks — South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson, who has seen plenty of action this year, and Missouri’s Maty Mauk, who will make his second start. Mauk will be hoping it goes something like his first, when he passed for 295 yards and a touchdown in a win over Florida.


No. 3 Florida State vs. North Carolina State 

Last year NC State was in almost exactly the same situation it’s in now. The Seminoles were ranked No. 3 with an undefeated record, while the Wolfpack were the clear underdogs. After allowing Florida State to take a 16-0 halftime lead, NC State came back to score 17 unanswered points and secure the upset. They proved they could surpass expectations. Now the question is: can they do it again? The Seminoles won’t make it easy. Last week, Florida State proved they are the elite team in the ACC by taking down one of their toughest opponents of the season. Not only did they defeat Clemson, they did it on the road in “Death Valley” by 37 points.