Auburn, Baylor look to keep rolling while Stanford, Miami have conference titles in sight

Rachel Wenzlaff

No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 25 Georgia

Auburn’s impressive 9-1 record and Georgia’s losing its chance at a championship are two of college football’s biggest surprises this season. The Tigers have a chance at a BCS bowl, an SEC title and are seen as Alabama’s biggest road block on its way to the national championship game. But a loss to the Bulldogs would erase those hopes. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall isn’t as polished as you would expect for a team with a 9-1 record, but he has obviously been doing enough to pull out the wins on both the passing and rushing fronts. Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray is much more efficient, passing for almost twice the yards as Marshall. But this game is Georgia’s last chance to prove itself before its disappointing season ends.


Texas Tech vs. No. 4 Baylor

The Bears are looking to creep one game closer to a Big 12 title while the Red Raiders are trying to pull themselves back together to avoid an ugly finish to what was previously a spotless 7-0 season. Baylor is coming off a huge, confidence-booting, 29-point win against Oklahoma, re-igniting its already strong momentum, while the Red Raiders have lost three straight games. Baylor has one of the top offenses in college football led by Heisman hopeful, quarterback Bryce Petty, who’s passed for 2,657 yards and 21 touchdowns. But the freshman quarterback duo of Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb have tag-teamed their way into making Texas Tech the No. 1 passing offense in college football, throwing for a combined 4,082 yards and 24 touchdowns. Expect this to be a high-scoring game.


USC vs. No. 5 Stanford

After a demoralizing loss to Notre Dame, USC’s season looked like a lost cause but the Trojans rallied to win three consecutive games and revived their chances at a Pac-12 Championship game appearance. The Cardinal are coming off of a monumental win against Oregon. USC quarterback Cody Kessler has completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 1,977 yards and 12 touchdowns while Stanford’s Kevin Hogan has completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,596 yards and 13 touchdowns. Since Lane Kiffin’s firing, USC has been one of the most consistent teams defensively, but Stanford has proved its defense won’t lie down and let offenses run over them. If Stanford can hold Oregon scoreless for three quarters, USC’s offense shouldn’t present it many problems.


Duke vs. No. 23 Miami

Both the Hurricanes and the Blue Devils are 7-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Miami had a flawless 7-0 record until Florida State demolished it. The Hurricanes went back to Miami and suffered another tough loss to Virginia Tech. Miami gained 352 total yards against the Hokies but ran for only 28 yards. The Hurricanes muffed a punt, a kickoff, and had a punting miscue in the Virginia Tech game alone. Duke’s season is almost opposite of Miami’s. The Blue Devils started the season off 2-2, but are on fire right now after winning five straight games. Duke still isn’t perfect, though. They will need to control their turnovers to out score an injury-depleted Miami offense.