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College soccer Week 11 – A information to the most important video games

Drama highlighted a Week 10 of faculty soccer, and whereas Week 11’s slate does not fairly present the firepower of two top-10 matchups and Clemson’s journey to Notre Dame, there’s nonetheless a lot on the road.

If Alabama needs to maintain any hope alive to make the SEC title recreation, it must beat Lane Kiffin and the one-loss Rebels in Oxford. The Crimson Tide enter the essential SEC West matchup with two losses, one thing sometimes unthinkable in mid-November below Nick Saban.

The subsequent step for the upstart No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs is a visit to Austin, the place they’ve crushed Texas 4 of the previous 5 occasions they’ve headed south. The Horned Frogs clinched a berth within the Big 12 title recreation already however must hold an ideal document rolling in the event that they need to keep within the College Football Playoff combine.

Speaking of the playoff, No. 3 Michigan hosts Nebraska, opening as a 31-point favourite. The Wolverines will possible use the sport as a tune-up earlier than internet hosting a ranked Illinois crew and a visit to Columbus for the most important recreation of the season.

Out west, Oregon hopes to maintain its playoff hopes alive as rival Washington heads to Eugene trying to play spoiler. And UCF and Tulane meet in one of many largest Group of 5 matchups this season.

These are the most important storylines forward of Week 11’s motion.

No. 9 Alabama (7-2, 4-2) at No. 11 Ole Miss (8-1, 4-1): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

This is not a really sophisticated recreation to determine. Ole Miss needs to do one factor particularly on offense: run the soccer. The query is, can Alabama cease it?

On the face of it, the reply could be sure. The Crimson Tide are giving up the third-fewest speeding yards per recreation within the SEC this season (104.0). But dig deeper, and 37.6% of rush makes an attempt have resulted in 5 or extra yards gained. And, eradicating sacks, opposing quarterbacks are averaging 5.32 yards per rush.

During Saturday’s loss at LSU, quarterback Jayden Daniels ran for 95 yards and a landing. A number of weeks earlier, throughout Alabama’s different loss to Tennessee, Hendon Hooker ran for 56 yards.

Don’t suppose for a second that Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin did not discover that. His quarterback, Jaxson Dart, is a lot succesful within the run recreation, totaling 473 yards on the bottom this season.

What’s extra, Dart has two nice operating backs to play off. Quinshon Judkins, the bruiser and lead again, has 1,036 yards speeding. Zach Evans, a extra explosive change-of-pace again, has 680 yards.

Alabama coach Nick Saban referred to as the Rebs “one of the best running teams in the country.” They’re third nationally with 267.4 yards per recreation.

“They do a really good job with formation multiples, motions, trying to get the defense to adjust,” Saban stated. “They’ve got really good running plays, but they’re running those same plays out of all those different multiples, which is trying to put different players in different positions, so you make a mistake, you have a gap open and they hit a play on you.

“So that is a kind of the place you need to have 11 guys on the identical web page doing the proper issues or they are going to discover a option to get to you.”

Ole Miss’ 83 runs of 10 or more yards is the most in the FBS — and 13 more than the second-ranked teams, North Texas and Oregon.

Further complicating matters is the question of motivation for Alabama, which has two losses before the Iron Bowl for the first time since 2010.

Unless LSU implodes and loses both of its remaining SEC games — unranked matchups on the road at Arkansas and Texas A&M — the Tide won’t reach the SEC championship game.

“I do know individuals have form of written us off to a point,” Saban said, “however on the similar time, I believe we have now quite a lot of satisfaction as a corporation. I believe we have to get targeted on what it takes to win video games.” — Alex Scarborough

No. 4 TCU (9-0, 6-0) at No. 18 Texas (6-3, 4-2): Saturday, 7:30 ET on ABC

The Horned Frogs roll into Austin in one of the biggest games in school history, the same week they landed at No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

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Yet, they’re a 7-point underdog to the Longhorns, the most points the Horns have been favored by over a top-five team since the 1978 FBS/FCS split.

“We have not crushed a top-five crew right here at [Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium] since 1999, so it is a fantastic alternative for us to hopefully put together nicely and play nicely for our followers,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I’m wanting ahead to an electrical and a fantastic intimidating surroundings.”

Texas jumped out to big first-half leads at Oklahoma State and Kansas State and ended up losing to the Cowboys and holding on against the Wildcats. That’s been an issue since the beginning of last season, as the Longhorns have blown four 14-point leads over that time, most in the FBS. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs are 4-0 this year when trailing in the second half, tied with 2010 Auburn and 2012 Ohio State as the only teams to go 4-0 or better in that instance in the past 15 seasons.

The Texas defense (including special assistant Gary Patterson, the former TCU coach) will face a challenge with the big-play Frogs. TCU has 13 touchdowns of 40-plus yards this season, the most in the FBS and the most in a season in at least 15 seasons. The Texas D, meanwhile, has allowed just seven plays of 40 yards all year, tied for third fewest in the Big 12.

The matchup also features the top two rushers in the league, Bijan Robinson (1,129 yards) and Kendre Miller (1,009). Robinson leads the FBS in missed tackles forced with 68, while Miller is fourth with 55.

The game is a massive chance for Texas to stay in the Big 12 race. ESPN Analytics gives Texas a 73% chance to make the Big 12 title game with a win and just a 39% chance with a loss. TCU, meanwhile, would clinch a spot with a win and fall to 86% with a loss.

It’s also a huge statement chance for TCU in the College Football Playoff race. The Horned Frogs ranked seventh in the first College Football Playoff ranking, leading to concern that their “model” wasn’t getting the respect of the committee, before bumping up to fourth this week after Clemson and Alabama losses. A win at Texas would go a long way toward earning more respect.

“I do suppose there’s at all times additional motivation whenever you play in opposition to the big-brand crew, whether or not it is Oklahoma, whether or not it is Texas,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. “They’ve received quite a lot of Twitter followers, TikTook followers, all that.” — Dave Wilson



Heather Dinich discusses why TCU has to win out if it needs an opportunity on the playoff.

Nebraska (3-6, 2-4) at No. 3 Michigan (9-0, 6-0): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App

Michigan’s offense this season has gone through running back Blake Corum, who is tied for the most rushing touchdowns among FBS backs with 16.

Corum is No. 4 in rush yards with 1,187, No. 1 in rushing first downs and No. 11 in runs for 10 or more yards this season. With 17 total touchdowns this season, Corum has accounted for nearly 40% of Michigan’s offensive touchdowns.

“He’s undoubtedly having an MVP season for us right here at Michigan. Be onerous to think about that he would not, the best way he is going, win the Heisman Trophy,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Leading in touchdowns, main factors scored, persistently actually good each recreation, and there is been fairly just a few backs who’ve gained the Heisman Trophy. And I’d wager my truck that Blake Corum is on tempo or forward of lots of these operating backs which have gained that Heisman Trophy.”

Corum has run his way into the Heisman conversation, and Nebraska now has the challenge of slowing him down. Nebraska is allowing an average of 182.9 rush yards per game, which ranks 108th among all FBS programs.

The team is allowing 4.51 yards per rush, which ranks 99th, and has allowed 18 rushing touchdowns this season, ranked 106th among all teams.

Interim coach Mickey Joseph knows the team will have its hands full with Corum this weekend and will need to focus on stopping the run.

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“He might be one of many high backs within the nation. I believe he’s getting Heisman votes proper now,” Joseph said. “If you watch the movie, he runs low to the bottom, he runs with violence and he has a very good burst. When he sees it, he sees it and he bursts by way of the opening. He is a very good soccer participant.”

Joseph has had the unenviable task of keeping focused a team whose head coach was fired just three games into the season. He not only has to prepare the team for its weekly opponent but also has to make sure it continues to fight through the end of the season.

“We speak to them about having quite a lot of satisfaction, about not being damaged, and to proceed to struggle, and that we began one thing and we’re going to end it in opposition to adversity, however we have now to bow our neck and we have now to play soccer,” Joseph said. “That is the one manner you’ll be able to strategy it, however like I stated, it’s a good group. It is an effective group of youngsters, and they don’t seem to be going to give up.” — Tom VanHaaren

No. 25 Washington at No. 6 Oregon (8-1, 6-0): Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Fox

The arc of the Ducks’ season has taken on a storybook approach. After getting welcomed into the year with a blowout at the hands of Georgia, that valley has quickly turned into an eight-week-long peak: eight wins, zero losses and at least 40 points scored in each game. And, aside from that disappointing season-opening performance, the Ducks have handled the two other top-25 opponents they’ve faced in UCLA and BYU with relative ease. Washington sneaked into the top 25 this past week, making it the third ranked opponent the Ducks have welcomed to Eugene and giving this week’s matchup a bit more juice than expected, especially given the games Oregon is facing in the near future.

“This is a kind of weeks that you do not have to offer any additional gasoline for our gamers to be excited and able to roll,” Oregon head coach Dan Lanning said earlier this week. “They all perceive the importance of this recreation, how necessary it’s, and so they’re undoubtedly able to assault.”

Any concern with Oregon looking ahead to big games against Utah and rival Oregon State won’t faze his team, according to Lanning. If anything, it appears that all the waking up the Ducks needed happened in Week 1, and they have not taken any opponent lightly since. It helps that quarterback Bo Nix has looked the part of a Heisman contender, not only throwing for nearly 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns but also being more efficient and less turnover-prone. The Huskies’ defense will require another stellar performance after two easy weeks against Cal and Colorado.

Of course, a stumble against the Huskies — who have looked much better of late and are still led by one of the better quarterbacks this season in Michael Penix Jr. — could jeopardize not just a conference championship for Oregon but a playoff run too. To hear Lanning talk about it, though, the Ducks are hitting their stride at the perfect time.

“Obviously approaching from Game 1 wasn’t the end result we needed,” Lanning said of how the schedule has shaken out. “But since then, our gamers have finished a very good job of getting nice resolve and attacking what we will get higher at every week, and that basically hasn’t modified.”

Should the Ducks keep winning, the Georgia loss will continue to look less and less like a blemish and more like the spark they needed. — Paolo Uggetti

No. 22 UCF (7-2, 4-1) at No. 17 Tulane (8-1, 5-0): 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

A year after stumbling to a 2-10 season, Tulane has put together one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college football this season — not only ranked in the CFP for the first time but also 5-0 and alone in first place in the AAC for the first time as well.

Its home game Saturday against UCF will most certainly have an impact not only on who plays for a conference championship but also who gets the coveted Group of 5 spot in the New Year’s Six. UCF and Tulane are the only two Group of 5 teams in the latest CFP rankings.

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A UCF win would give the Knights the edge to play for the American championship, as they would have beaten both Tulane and Cincinnati head-to-head. Plus they finish out the season with Navy and USF, two teams with losing records.

A Tulane win would keep it undefeated and atop the standings, but it has a much harder finish to its season — with games left against two winning teams, SMU and Cincinnati. With a handful of teams all in the mix to play in the conference championship game, there are no clinching scenarios on the table for this week.

For his part, Tulane coach Willie Fritz has tried not to hype up what the game against UCF means with his team. Nor has he tried to overplay the historical significance of where Tulane is headed down the stretch. But make no mistake, this is a huge opportunity that awaits.

This matchup against UCF marks the first time a ranked Tulane team hosts another ranked team since Nov. 26, 1949, when No. 10 Tulane hosted No. 13 LSU … in an SEC matchup. Tulane has lost 60 consecutive games against AP-ranked teams, the longest streak in the poll era (since 1936).

“I simply suppose it is my job to attempt to have our guys as ready as they will probably be and speaking about what-ifs, and this, that and the opposite factor — I depart that to different individuals to do,” Fritz said during his news conference this week. “We simply need to go 1-0.”

Tulane has had success this season due to its protection, which ranks No. 11 within the nation in scoring protection (16.9 factors per recreation) and No. 16 in complete protection (307.3 speeding yards per recreation). Against UCF, the Green Wave, in all probability, are getting ready for 2 quarterbacks.

UCF coach Gus Malzahn has not stated whether or not Mikey Keene or John Rhys Plumlee will begin Saturday. Plumlee sustained a concussion in opposition to Cincinnati two weeks in the past, and Keene got here into the sport and led the Knights to the upset win. Keene received the beginning final week, main them to a different win, 35-28 at Memphis. — Andrea Adelson

Clinching situations for Week 11

Power 5


• Clemson has clinched the Atlantic Division.

• North Carolina clinches the Coastal with a win at Wake Forest OR losses by Duke (vs. Virginia Tech) and Georgia Tech (vs. Miami). According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 51% likelihood the Tar Heels clinch the division this week.

Big 12

• TCU clinches a spot within the Big 12 championship recreation with a win at Texas. According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 27% likelihood the Horned Frogs clinch a spot within the championship recreation this week.


• Georgia clinches the East with a win at Mississippi State OR a Tennessee loss to Missouri. According to ESPN Analytics, there’s an 85% likelihood the Bulldogs clinch the division this week.

• LSU clinches the West with a win at Arkansas AND an Ole Miss loss to Alabama. According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 54% likelihood the Tigers clinch the division this week.

Group of 5

Conference USA

• UTSA clinches a spot within the Conference USA championship recreation with a win in opposition to Louisiana Tech. According to ESPN Analytics, there’s an 84% likelihood the Roadrunners clinch a spot within the championship recreation this week.

• North Texas clinches a spot within the Conference USA championship recreation with a win at UAB AND a Rice loss at Western Kentucky. According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 30% likelihood the Mean Green clinch a spot within the championship recreation this week.


• Toledo clinches the West with a win Tuesday in opposition to Ball State AND a Western Michigan loss Wednesday in opposition to Northern Illinois. According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 40% likelihood the Rockets clinch the division this week.

Sun Belt

• Coastal Carolina clinches the East with a win in opposition to Southern Miss OR losses by Georgia State (vs. UL Monroe) and Old Dominion (vs. James Madison). According to ESPN Analytics, there is a 75% likelihood the Chanticleers clinch the division this week.



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