Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: College Football, Texas Longhorns, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/texas-hires-steve-patterson-its-new-athletic-director
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According to several media reports, Texas is set to hire Arizona State’s Steve Patterson as its next athletic director. Patterson graduated from Texas’ Law School in 1984 and edged West Virginia’s Oliver Luck for the job.

Patterson will replace DeLoss Dodds, who is set to retire in August 2014. At Arizona State, Patterson has helped to start a project for renovating Sun Devil Stadium and signed coach Todd Graham to an extension in early September.

Patterson was hired as Arizona State’s athletic director on March 28, 2012. 

Patterson has experience in several different areas, including stints with the Texans (1997-2003) and in the NBA with the Rockets (1989-93) and in Portland (2003-07).

Although he has been successful at each stop, Patterson did not hire Graham at Arizona State and this will be his first experience hiring a collegiate coach. Considering Texas is the top job in the nation, Patterson should not have a shortage of interested candidates - provided Mack Brown does not return in 2013.

Teaser:
Texas Hires Steve Patterson as its New Athletic Director
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:56
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Florida Gators, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/should-floridas-will-muschamp-be-hot-seat
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Life in the SEC is a challenge for any coach, and that's especially true when it comes to Florida's Will Muschamp. The SEC is the No. 1 college football conference, and there’s more pressure to perform at a higher level than anywhere in the nation.

Muschamp is an interesting case study. The third-year coach entered 2013 with an 18-8 record.

In Muschamp’s first season, the Gators went 7-6 and failed to beat a team with a winning mark. However, Florida rebounded back into the national title picture last season, recording 11 victories, including seven in SEC play.

Injuries have ravaged the Florida lineup in 2013, with quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones and defensive tackle Dominique Easley all suffering season-ending injuries.

Even though Muschamp is one year removed from an 11-2 record, should already be on the hot seat?

Should Florida's Will Muschamp be on the Hot Seat?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Is Will Muschamp in any danger of losing his job this offseason? No. But if Florida finishes 2013 at 6-7 or 7-6, he will head into next season on shaky ground. Injuries have played a large role in the Gators’ struggles this season, which is why Muschamp gets somewhat of a pass for this year. Perhaps what’s most puzzling about Florida is the talent on offense. According to 247Sports, the Gators had top-five recruiting classes in 2012 and 2013 and ranked No. 11 overall in 2011. This team has struggled mightily on offense since leading the SEC in yards per game (457.9) in 2009. Florida has ranked 10th or worse in the SEC in total offense in each of the last four years, including last in the conference in 2013. Why hasn’t the talent on offense developed? Even though Muschamp wants to build a team on defense and running the ball, the Gators aren’t getting it done, and the blame has to fall on the coaching staff. Offensive assistants Brent Pease (coordinator) and Tim Davis (line coach) have received the most criticism, and both could be coaching for their job in the final month of the season. The lack of talent development on offense is baffling for a program that recruits at such a high level, and Muschamp’s tenure in Gainesville could hinge on fixing that unit this offseason.

Mark Ross
From a share of the SEC East division title to the hot seat in less than a year? Such is life in the nation's toughest football conference, especially if you are the head coach at a school used to competing not only for conference tiles, but national ones too. Gator fans no doubt are not enjoying watching their team struggle while former head coach Urban Meyer is in the midst of a 21-game winning streak at Ohio State. In Muschamp's defense, he doesn't have Braxton Miller as his quarterback (or even Kenny Guiton for that matter), as Jeff Driskel was lost for the season after just three games. The defense also has suffered some key injuries and the end result is a Florida team that is at .500 entering November. Bowl eligibility shouldn't be a problem, not with games against Georgia Southern and Vanderbilt remaining, but Muschamp really could use a win against South Carolina or in-state rival Florida State to take some of the pressure off of him. I don't think Muschamp should be on the hot seat, not with all of the injuries he's had to deal with this season, but it's never a good thing when Gator fans start referring to you as "Ron Zook 2.0" either.

Josh Ward, (@Josh_Ward), Mr. SEC
Right now, no. Will Muschamp is only a year removed from winning 11 games at Florida and coming close to winning the SEC East. Muschamp’s SEC record (13-9) doesn’t look good, especially when it’s compared to Ron Zook’s (16-8) record during his three seasons in Gainesville. Overall, Muschamp hasn’t had enough success. But the results in 2012 show he can win at a high level at Florida. The Gators have been tormented by injuries this season, which have kept Florida from being able to compete with the best teams in the conference. The roster just isn’t good enough right now with so many players missing. But there won’t be any excuses next season. Muschamp will go through the offseason on every hot seat list in the country. He will be expected to have it all turned around by next year. If he doesn’t, the hot seat talk will be more than fair.

Teaser:
Should Florida's Will Muschamp be on the Hot Seat?
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 07:45
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-post-week-10-bowl-projections
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With 10 weeks in the books, college football’s bowl picture is starting to clear.

The third release of the BCS standings saw another change at the top. Florida State passed Oregon for the No. 2 spot behind Alabama. However, if both teams win out, the Ducks should pass the Seminoles and play in the national championship.

For now, we project Oregon to edge Florida State for the No. 2 spot. However, there’s a month to play and upsets and changes at the top of the BCS standings will happen.

Even though teams like Texas A&M, LSU and Wisconsin are out of the national title picture, the next month of the season will be important for their hopes of earning an appearance as an at-large team in the BCS. The Badgers rank No. 24 in the latest BCS standings and should be favored to win their final four games. However, coach Gary Andersen’s team needs some help, especially with Clemson having an opportunity for a marquee win (and BCS positioning) against South Carolina in the season finale. Big Ten foe Michigan State is also in the mix for an at-large spot, with the Spartans improving to No. 17 in the BCS standings.

West Virginia worked its way back into the bowl projections after beating TCU on Saturday. With games against Kansas and Iowa State remaining, the Mountaineers should be able to get to six victories.

The bowl season doesn’t start until December, but with one month to go in the season, it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like.

The post-Week 10 bowl projections are a mixture between projections for the next few weeks, how things would look if the season ended today, and the results from the first 10 weeks of action. Expect more changes over the next few weeks. With several teams projected to be right around the six-win mark, more at-large spots in bowls should open in the next month. 

A few teams barely missed the projections this week, including Maryland and Syracuse from BCS conferences. And Texas State, UTSA, Buffalo, Bowling Green, ULM, Arkansas State and Troy from the non-BCS ranks.

College Football's Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections for 2013

BowlTie-InDateProjection
New MexicoDec. 21Pac-12 vs. MWCColo. State vs. Oregon State
Famous Idaho PotatoDec. 21MAC vs. MWCUNLV vs. Ball State
Las VegasDec. 21Pac-12 vs. MWCBoise State vs. USC
New OrleansDec. 21Sun Belt vs. CUSAUL Lafayette vs. Tulane
Beef 'O' Brady'sDec. 23American vs. CUSAOhio* vs. MTSU
HawaiiDec. 24MWC vs. CUSASJSU vs. Rice
Little Caesars PizzaDec. 26MAC vs. Big TenNo. Illinois vs. North Carolina*
PoinsettiaDec. 26Army vs. MWCSDSU vs. Utah*
MilitaryDec. 27CUSA vs. ACCE. Carolina vs. Boston College
TexasDec. 27Big 12 vs. Big TenK-State vs. Iowa
Fight HungerDec. 27BYU vs. Pac-12BYU vs. Arizona
PinstripeDec. 28American vs. Big 12Rutgers vs. West Virginia
BelkDec. 28American vs. ACCHouston vs. Duke
Russell AthleticDec. 28American vs. ACCLouisville vs. Miami
Buffalo Wild WingsDec. 28Big 12 vs. Big TenTexas vs. Nebraska
Armed ForcesDec. 30MWC vs. NavyNavy vs. Utah State
Music CityDec. 30ACC vs. SECGa. Tech vs. Ole Miss
AlamoDec. 30Big 12 vs. Pac-12Oklahoma State vs. UCLA
HolidayDec. 30Pac-12 vs. Big 12Arizona State vs. Texas Tech
AdvoCare V100Dec. 31ACC vs. SECPittsburgh vs. Vanderbilt
SunDec. 31Pac-12 vs. ACCVa. Tech vs. Washington
LibertyDec. 31SEC vs. CUSATennessee vs. Marshall
Chick-fil-ADec. 31SEC vs. ACCClemson vs. Auburn
GatorJan. 1SEC vs. Big TenGeorgia vs. Minnesota
Heart of DallasJan. 1Big Ten vs. CUSANorth Texas vs. Notre Dame*
OutbackJan. 1SEC vs. Big TenMichigan vs. Missouri
Capital OneJan. 1SEC vs. Big TenMich. State vs. S. Carolina
RoseJan. 1BCS vs. BCSOhio State vs. Stanford
FiestaJan. 1BCS vs. BCSFresno State vs. Baylor
SugarJan. 2BCS vs. BCSTexas A&M vs. UCF
CottonJan. 3SEC vs. Big 12LSU vs. Oklahoma
OrangeJan. 3BCS vs. BCSFlorida State vs. Wisconsin
BBVA CompassJan. 4SEC vs. AmericanFlorida vs. Cincinnati
GoDaddyJan. 5MAC vs. Sun BeltToledo vs. Western Kentucky
National TitleJan. 6BCS vs. BCSAlabama vs. Oregon

* Indicates conference is not expected to fill its alloted bowl slots, leaving an at-large spot available.

Bold indicates team has accepted bid to bowl.


Related College Football Content

ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
College Football Week 10 Recap
Stats to Know from Week 10

Teaser:
College Football's Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-coach-hot-seat-rankings-post-week-10-edition
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College football’s coach on the hot seat carousel took an odd turn last week, as FAU’s Carl Pelini resigned over illegal drug use. Pelini’s resignation was the fourth coaching change of 2013, and the first since Miami (Ohio) parted ways with Don Treadwell.

Pelini’s dismissal certainly won’t be the last opening of 2013, but the carousel has been surprisingly quiet. But with several high-profile jobs hanging in the balance, December could see several changes among BCS jobs.

Eastern Michigan’s Ron English ranks as the No. 1 coach in Athlon’s hot seat rankings after Week 10. English has perhaps the toughest job in college football, but the Eagles have failed to make much progress under his watch.

Virginia’s Mike London ranks as the top coach from a BCS conference in this week’s hot seat watch. London has received the vote of confidence from his athletic director, but can he survive a 2-10 record? The Cavaliers made a bowl and finished 8-5 in London’s second season (2011). However, Virginia is just 6-15 over the last two years and is likely headed for a 2-10 finish.

After a last-second Hail Mary touchdown pass to beat Northwestern, Nebraska’s Bo Pelini slides down the hot seat rankings this week. Was the win over the Wildcats enough to save Pelini’s job? It’s possible, but let’s consider the Cornhuskers’ remaining schedule: at Michigan, Michigan State, at Penn State and Iowa. Getting to 8-4 or 9-3 should be enough for Pelini to save his job. However, a 7-5 or 6-6 finish would spell trouble.

Each week, we will take a look at the hot seat/pressure on a program for all 125 coaches. Some new coaches will rank high due to poor performances but aren't in any danger of losing their job.

And another important note when reading our coach on the hot seat rankings: Outside of the top 10-15 coaches, it’s all about the pressure on a program. While some coaches – like Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Indiana's Kevin Wilson – aren’t in any danger of being fired. However, both coaches need to continue to show the program is headed in the right direction.

Ranking All 125 CFB Coaches on Hot Seat/Pressure on Program to Win in 2013

RkCoachTeam2013 RecordAnalysis
1Ron English1-8Only two wins over FBS teams in last two years.
2Mike London2-72-10 finish appears likely for Cavaliers.
3Charlie Weis2-6Jayhawks likely headed for winless Big 12 season.
4Norm Chow0-8Warriors have allowed at least 30 points in every game.
5Charley Molnar1-8Minutemen had no answer for Jordan Lynch.
6Ron Turner1-7 
7Tim Beckman3-5Fighting Illini's struggles in Big Ten play continue.
8Dan Enos3-5CMU has been off since Oct. 19.
9Bo Pelini6-2Hail Mary TD a job saver for Pelini?
10Todd Monken0-8 
11Garrick McGee2-6Blazers play Marshall and ECU in back-to-back games.
12Dana Holgorsen4-5Win over TCU was huge for bowl hopes.
13Kevin Wilson3-5Hoosiers need upset to play in a bowl.
14Bobby Hauck5-4 
15Doc Holliday5-3 
16Dave Christensen4-4Will defensive coordinator change help?
17Mack Brown6-2
18Skip Holtz3-5
19P.J. Fleck1-8
20Sean Kugler1-7
21Doug Martin1-8
22June Jones3-5 
23Dan Mullen4-4Five turnovers too much to overcome.
24Rich Ellerson3-6
25Bill Blankenship2-6 
26Randy Edsall5-3
27Will Muschamp4-4Will the Gators make a bowl game?
28Bob Davie2-6Davie needs time to rebuild at New Mexico.
29Paul Petrino1-8
30Paul Haynes2-8Disappointing year for Golden Flashes.
31Joey Jones3-5All five losses have been by a touchdown or less.
32Brian Polian3-6
33Troy Calhoun2-7
34Jim Grobe4-5WR Michael Campanaro a big loss for Wake.
35Kirk Ferentz5-4
36Bobby Petrino5-4 
37Rick Stockstill5-4 
38Jeff Quinn6-2
39Kyle Flood5-3Good rebound game by QB Gary Nova.
40Matt Rhule1-8Temple playing better in recent weeks.
41Rocky Long4-4
42Terry Bowden3-7Zips making slow progress under Bowden.
43Darrell Hazell1-7
44Tony Levine7-1
45Bret Bielema3-6
46Dave Doeren3-5
47Mike Leach4-5
48Trent Miles0-9GSU making progress in Miles' first season.
49Sonny Dykes1-8 
50Paul Chryst4-4Panthers have to protect QB Tom Savage better.
51Willie Taggart2-6Bulls have found a QB in Mike White.
52Bryan Harsin4-4Red Wolves still in mix for bowl.
53Jim McElwain4-5 
54Ron Caragher5-3
55Scott Shafer4-4Bowl hopes still alive with win over Wake Forest.
56David Bailiff6-3
57Brady Hoke6-2Wolverines simply dominated by Michigan State.
58Mark Stoops2-6 
59Dennis Franchoine6-3
60Justin Fuente1-6
61Larry Fedora3-5Tar Heels in good position to make bowl game.
62Matt Wells5-4 
63Paul Rhoads1-7
64Larry Blakeney5-4
65Paul Johnson6-3
66Steve Sarkisian5-3
67Frank Beamer6-3Hokies need win over Miami to stay in Coastal mix.
68Kyle Whittingham4-4
69Mark Richt5-3
70Butch Jones4-5
71Ruffin McNeill6-2
72George O'Leary6-1
73Frank Solich6-2
74Jerry Kill7-2Kill and Claeys have Golden Gophers on a roll.
75Ken Niumatalolo4-4
76Dabo Swinney8-1
77Mike MacIntyre3-5Buffaloes more competitive under MacIntyre.
78Tommy Tuberville6-2
79Dave Clawson5-3
80Dan McCarney6-3
81Curtis Johnson6-3
82Larry Coker4-5Coker doing a great job of building UTSA.
83Bob Stoops7-1
84Matt Campbell5-3
85Todd Berry5-4 
86Brian Kelly7-2
87Rod Carey9-0
88Mark Helfrich8-0
89Al Golden7-1
90Rich Rodriguez6-2
91Todd Graham6-2
92Jim Mora6-2
93Mike Riley6-3
94Bronco Mendenhall6-2
95Steve Addazio4-4
96Gary Pinkel8-1
97Les Miles7-2
98James Franklin4-4
99Mark Dantonio8-1
100Hugh Freeze5-3
101Tim DeRuyter8-0
102Gary Andersen6-2
103Gus Malzahn8-1
104Pat Fitzgerald4-5Injuries taking a toll on the Wildcats.
105Gary Patterson3-6
106David Cutcliffe6-2
107Mike Gundy7-1
108Pete Lembo8-1
109Mark Hudspeth6-2
110Bill O'Brien5-3
111Jimbo Fisher8-0
112Kevin Sumlin7-2
113Bill Snyder4-4Wildcats seem to be putting the pieces together.
114Charlie Strong7-1
115Steve Spurrier7-2
116Chris Petersen6-3
117David Shaw7-1
118Kliff Kingsbury7-2
119Art Briles7-0
120Urban Meyer9-0
121Nick Saban8-0
NREd Orgeron3-1
NRT.J. Weist0-3
NRMike Bath0-3
NRBrian Wright1-0FAU could finish 6-6 this year.

Related College Football Content

ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
College Football Week 10 Recap
Stats to Know from Week 10

Teaser:
College Football's Coach on the Hot Seat Rankings: Post-Week 10 Edition
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/northwestern-unveils-patriotic-uniform-michigan-game
Body:

With Northwestern needing two more wins to get bowl eligible, the Nov. 16 game against Michigan will be huge for its postseason hopes.

And the Wildcats will play that game with a new uniform combination, which helps to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Here’s a look at the uniform combination Northwestern will wear on Nov. 16 against the Wolverines:

 

 

Teaser:
Northwestern Unveils Patriotic Uniform for Michigan Game
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 12:28
Path: /college-football/2013-acc-post-week-10-power-rankings
Body:

With 10 weeks in the books, Florida State has clearly separated itself from the rest of the ACC. The Seminoles have dominated the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Athlon’s weekly ACC power rankings and jumped into the No. 2 spot in the release of the latest BCS standings.

After Florida State, Clemson and Miami are entrenched as the next two teams. The Tigers have an edge over the Hurricanes.

Georgia Tech and Duke are set as the No. 4 and No. 5 teams, but after that is anyone’s guess.

Boston College was dominated by North Carolina last Saturday, but the Eagles rebounded with a win over Virginia Tech in Week 10. Despite Boston College’s loss to the Tar Heels, we give a slight nod to the Eagles for the No. 6 spot over North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Syracuse makes a small jump in the rankings after beating Wake Forest 13-0.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Florida State (8-0, 6-0): The Seminoles continued to distance themselves from the rest of the ACC with an impressive 41-14 victory over Miami. Quarterback Jameis Winston tossed two picks, which led to the Hurricanes only scores of the night. However, Winston finished with 325 passing yards and one touchdown, while running back Devonta Freeman recorded 176 total yards and three touchdowns. Florida State limited Miami’s offense to just 4.8 yards per play and only 120 yards in the second half. Both sides of the ball were impressive for coach Jimbo Fisher, and there’s a good chance these two teams rematch in Charlotte for the ACC title in early December. The Seminoles have an easy path to 11-0 with Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho up next. And then there’s the rivalry game against Florida on Nov. 30 which is the biggest obstacle left in the regular season. Next Week: at Wake Forest
22Clemson (8-1, 6-1): As expected, the Tigers had little trouble in a 59-10 win over Virginia. The offense gashed the Cavaliers for 610 yards, and the defense held a struggling Virginia offense to 277 yards. Clemson averaged 6.9 yards per play, with quarterback Tajh Boyd throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers’ defense held the Cavaliers to 10 three and outs and forced three turnovers. Overall, it was a complete performance for Clemson, and coach Dabo Swinney has his team playing at a high level entering the bye week. After the bye, the Tigers host Georgia Tech and Citadel, then play rival South Carolina in the finale. Next Week: Bye Week
33Miami (7-1, 3-1): The Hurricanes dropped their first game of the year, losing 41-14 in Tallahassee to Florida State. Miami held its own (sort of) for a half, but the offense managed its only scores after picking up two turnovers. The Hurricanes’ offense never sustained a drive for a score in the second half and was limited to 4.8 yards per play. Miami’s defense forced only one punt and recorded only one sack on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Despite the loss, the Hurricanes are in the driver’s seat to win the Coastal Division. However, they will have to do it without running back Duke Johnson, who suffered a broken ankle against the Seminoles and is out for the rest of the season. Next Week: Virginia Tech
44Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2): The Yellow Jackets earned their third consecutive victory with an efficient 21-10 win over Pittsburgh. Georgia Tech’s offense generated 360 yards, with 276 coming on the ground. Running back David Sims led the team with 94 yards, while Robert Godhigh was the big-play threat, averaging 14.8 yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets held the Panthers to 228 total yards and sacked quarterback Tom Savage five times. Georgia Tech’s win over Pittsburgh ensured the Yellow Jackets would be bowl eligible for the 17th consecutive season. Next Week: Bye Week 
55Duke (6-2, 2-2): The Blue Devils had a bye in Week 10 and return to action next Saturday against NC State. Duke has two ACC losses, but coach David Cutcliffe’s team is still alive in the Coastal Division, especially with a game against Miami remaining on Nov. 16. Next Week: NC State
69Boston College (4-4, 2-3): After Duke, the next three spots in the power rankings are up for grabs. Boston College lost one week ago to North Carolina, but the Eagles deserve a bump after beating Virginia Tech. First-year coach Steve Addazio continued his impressive debut with the Eagles’ 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. Boston College’s offense recorded only 289 yards, but the Eagles scored 17 points off four Hokies’ turnovers, which was just enough for Addazio’s team. Running back Andre Williams posted another strong effort, gashing one of the ACC’s best defenses for 166 yards and two scores on 33 attempts. The Eagles need just two wins to get bowl eligible, which should be attainable with New Mexico State, NC State, Maryland and Syracuse remaining. Next Week: at New Mexico State 
76Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2): The blame for back-to-back losses for the Hokies has to fall on the offense. In Saturday’s loss against Boston College, Virginia Tech had no trouble moving the ball (446 yards, 6.4 yards per play). However, the Hokies had four turnovers and managed only 55 yards on the ground. Quarterback Logan Thomas has six interceptions in his last two games, which is problematic for an offense that isn’t built to score 30 points a game. The Hokies aren’t out of the Coastal Division title mix, but Thomas and the offense has to quickly figure things out with a trip to Miami on Saturday night. Next Week: at Miami 
88North Carolina (3-5, 2-3): For the first time since 2005-06, the Tar Heels have a two-game winning streak over their in-state rival. Saturday’s victory over NC State didn’t start out according to plan, as North Carolina fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter. But the Tar Heels battled and took the lead for good with just under 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. The two-quarterback system of Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams combined to complete 23 of 37 passes, with tight end Eric Ebron serving as the main target (nine caches for 70 yards). The Tar Heels’ defense stepped up in the second half, holding NC State to three possessions of three yards or fewer in the final two quarters. Next Week: Virginia
97Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3): The Panthers lost 21-10 to Georgia Tech on Saturday, giving Pittsburgh its first losing streak of 2013. Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled in recent weeks, scoring only 20 points once in its last four games. Quarterback Tom Savage completed 25 of 37 throws for 233 yards against the Yellow Jackets, but the senior was sacked five times and tossed one pick. The rushing attack never got on track, as Georgia Tech held the Panthers to -5 yards on 21 attempts. One bright spot for Pittsburgh was defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who recorded 11 tackles (six for a loss) and two forced fumbles. Next Week: Notre Dame 
1012Syracuse (4-4, 2-2): The Orange scored a key victory for their bowl hopes, defeating Wake Forest 13-0 on Saturday. Quarterback Terrel Hunt guided an efficient offense (4.6 yards per play), as he completed 18 of 30 throws for 144 yards. Syracuse averaged 4.1 yards per carry, with Prince-Tyson Gulley leading the way with 85 yards on 13 attempts. The Orange defense pitched their second shutout of the year and held Wake Forest to just 213 yards. After a 56-0 loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago, Saturday’s 13-0 win was a solid rebound effort by Syracuse. Next Week: at Maryland
1110Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4): The Demon Deacons’ bowl hopes took a hit with a 13-0 loss at Syracuse. And the loss was costly from the injury department, as receiver Michael Campanaro suffered a broken collarbone against the Orange and is likely to miss the rest of the regular season. With Campanaro sidelined, Wake Forest struggled to get anything going on offense. The Demon Deacons finished with just 213 yards (three yards per play) and only one drive in the second half went longer than 20 yards (23). Next Week: Florida State
1211Maryland (5-3, 1-3): The Terrapins had a much-needed off date in Week 10. After a 4-0 start, Maryland is just 1-3 in its last four games. The Terrapins have been outscored 74-37 in their last two contests. Injuries have ravaged the offense, including top receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Maryland should be able to get to a bowl, but it certainly won’t be easy with the injuries on both sides of the ball. Next Week: Syracuse
1313NC State (3-5, 0-5): The Wolfpack jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but North Carolina rallied to take home a 27-19 victory and bragging rights within the state until next year’s game. NC State’s offense got a spark from quarterback Brandon Mitchell on the ground (105 yards), but the senior struggled through the air (two interceptions, 130 yards). Momentum in the first half also shifted after NC State had a fake punt that was stopped for a loss of a yard on the 30-yard line, which allowed the Tar Heels a short field on a touchdown drive. The Wolfpack has lost four out of their last five games and still need three wins to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Duke, Boston College, East Carolina and Maryland remaining, the postseason isn’t out of the question for NC State. However, this team has to get more from Mitchell in the passing game in future weeks. Next Week: at Duke
1414Virginia (2-7, 0-5): The Cavaliers dropped their six consecutive game with a 59-10 defeat against Clemson. With a struggling offense, Virginia couldn’t afford to fall behind early. The Tigers jumped out to a 35-7 lead by halftime, which was simply too much for coach Mike London’s team to overcome. The final stat sheet wasn’t pretty for Virginia, as the Cavaliers’ offense managed only 277 total yards (3.3 yards per play), and the defense allowed 610 to Clemson. After recording 16 plays on its first two drives, Virginia had nine straight possessions of five plays or less. The Cavaliers are still looking for their first win in ACC action, and with North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech remaining, coach Mike London’s team is staring at a 2-10 final record. Next Week: at North Carolina

ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Florida State’s offense had its way with Miami’s defense on Saturday night, as the Seminoles gashed the Hurricanes for 517 yards and punted only once. Quarterback Jameis Winston was steady as usual, but Freeman was the catalyst for Florida State’s high-powered attack. The Miami native rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, and the senior caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. In three career games against the Hurricanes, Freeman has 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
The Eagles’ defense led the way in the 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies recorded 446 yards, but Boston College created four turnovers and sacked quarterback Logan Thomas four times. Edebali wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech’s line, recording eight tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup. Edebali also forced three fumbles, with the final turnover sealing the victory with just over a minute to go. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald also had a huge effort on Saturday, but Edebali gets the edge in a winning effort.

Team of the Week: Florida State
Boston College scored an upset win over Virginia Tech, and North Carolina’s road victory over rival NC State was noteworthy, but Florida State gets the nod as the ACC’s team of the week. The Seminoles continued to establish their dominance over the rest of the conference with a 41-14 victory over Miami. Florida State scored over 40 points for the eighth consecutive time this year, and the offense averaged 7.1 yards per play against the Hurricanes. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s two picks resulted in Miami’s touchdowns, but the Seminoles limited the Hurricanes to just 275 overall yards. Winston’s supporting cast stepped up, as Devonta Freeman rushed for 78 yards and caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation and should cruise to 11-0, with a date against Florida and then the Coastal Division champion the two biggest remaining obstacles on the schedule.

Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
In his first year calling the plays for Florida State, Pruitt continues to push all of the right buttons. The Seminoles allowed 115 yards in Miami’s first two possessions, but the Hurricanes managed only 144 yards in its next six drives. Miami’s only points were scored off turnovers by Florida State’s offense, and the Hurricanes failed to have a drive longer than six plays in the second half. Pruitt’s defense held Miami to 4.8 yards per play and limited its offense to just 4 of 11 on third-down conversions. Considering all of the starters Florida State had to replace coming into this year and hasn’t missed a beat, Pruitt has been one of the top assistant hires for 2013.

Freshman of the Week: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Florida State’s Jameis Winson had another strong performance against Miami, but we’ll give the Week 10 honor to Boyd. In a losing effort against Georgia Tech, Boyd caught 11 passes for 118 yards and one score. The freshman’s longest catch went for just 15 yards, but his 12-yard catch in the third quarter helped Pittsburgh pull within four in the second half.

5th Down

• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro is out four to six weeks with a collarbone injury. Campanaro suffered the injury during the first half of Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.

• Miami running back Duke Johnson suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the rest of the season.

• Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 166 yards in the 34-27 win over Virginia Tech. Williams has at least 166 yards in three out of his last four games.

• Florida State punted only one time against Miami.

• Georgia Tech held Pittsburgh to -5 rushing yards on Saturday night.

• After throwing six interceptions through the first seven games, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has six in his last two contests.

• NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell accounted for 235 of the Wolfpack’s 388 yards against North Carolina.

• Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has not thrown for more than 93 yards in each of his last two games.

• Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu had four tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks against Pittsburgh.

• Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a strong performance against Wake Forest, recording four tackles (one for a loss) and one sack.

• North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams led the Tar Heels with 51 rushing yards against NC State.

• NC State defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop had a solid game against North Carolina, recording five tackles (two for a loss) and one forced fumble.

• Virginia freshman Keeon Johnson led the team with five receptions for 77 yards against Clemson.

• Wake Forest averaged just three yards per play against Syracuse.

• Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has 30 receptions over his last three games.

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ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
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With Oregon and Stanford on bye in Week 10, it was a relatively quiet Saturday in the Pac-12.

However, the spotlight shifts to the Pac-12 on Thursday night, as the Ducks and Cardinal meet to stay alive in the national title picture.

Arizona State easily handled Washington State on Thursday night, improving to 6-2 this season. The Sun Devils appear to have a slight edge on UCLA for the top spot in the South Division.

USC continued to improve under interim coach Ed Orgeron, defeating Oregon State 31-14 in Corvallis on Friday night.

Arizona picked up a tough win at California, while UCLA defeated Colorado to round out the Week 10 action in the Pac-12.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: ACC Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Oregon (8-0, 5-0): The Ducks were on bye in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Stanford. Oregon-Stanford was pegged as the Pac-12’s No. 1 game this preseason and nothing has changed that outlook. The Ducks lost 17-14 to the Cardinal in Eugene last year, but Oregon has claimed two out of the last three meetings in this series. Next Week: at Stanford (Thursday)
22Stanford (7-1, 5-1): The Cardinal had a bye in Week 10 and host Oregon in one of the biggest games of college football’s 2013 season on Thursday night. Stanford won in Eugene last year, but the Ducks have claimed two out of the last three games in this series. In Oregon’s last trip to the Farm, the Ducks handled the Cardinal 53-30. Next Week: Oregon (Thursday)
33Arizona State (6-2, 4-1): Behind quarterback Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 42-14 halftime lead against Washington State and held on for an easy 55-21 win. Kelly finished with seven touchdowns, including five through the air on 22 completions. Running back Marion Grice had a quiet night, rushing for 94 yards on 18 attempts against the Cougars. The Sun Devils’ defense also delivered a strong performance, as Washington State managed most of its yards and points with the outcome no longer in doubt. Arizona State has won three in a row, and with four games remaining, is a slight favorite over UCLA to win the Pac-12 South. Next Week: at Utah
44UCLA (6-2, 3-2): After back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon, UCLA desperately needed a win to keep pace with Arizona State in the South Division. The Bruins did just that on Saturday, beating Colorado 45-23 to snap a two-game losing streak. Quarterback Brett Hundley turned in an efficient performance, throwing for 273 yards and two scores, while adding 72 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. UCLA’s defense forced only one turnover and generated one sack, but this unit held the Buffaloes to just 10 points in the final two quarters. Next Week: at Arizona 
56Washington (5-3, 2-3): The Huskies had an off date in Week 10 and are set to host Colorado in Week 11. The bye week came at a good time for coach Steve Sarkisian’s team, as Washington played Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and California in consecutive weeks without an off date. Sarkisian has the Huskies on the right track, but can Washington finally win more than seven games under his watch? Next Week: Colorado
67USC (6-3, 3-2): For the most part, interim coach Ed Orgeron has pushed all of the right buttons for USC since he was promoted to replace Lane Kiffin. The Trojans turned in an impressive performance on Friday night against Oregon State, scoring a 31-14 victory in Corvallis. Both sides of the ball delivered for Orgeron, as the offense had a balanced attack, rushing for 242 yards and passing for 247. Running backs Silas Redd and Javorius Allen chipped in over 100 rushing yards, while quarterback Cody Kessler was an efficient 17 of 21 for 247 yards. Oregon State recorded 369 overall yards, but the Trojans picked off quarterback Sean Mannion three times. Even with a shorthanded roster, it’s not out of the question USC finishes with nine wins this year. Next Week: at California 
75Oregon State (6-3, 4-2): After six consecutive victories, the Beavers have lost back-to-back games. Making matters worse for coach Mike Riley’s team is the upcoming schedule isn’t going to get any easier: at Arizona State, Washington and at Oregon. For the second week in a row, Oregon State’s passing attack struggled to get on track. Quarterback Sean Mannion was sacked only twice but tossed two picks and was pressured throughout the night. The Beavers’ defense struggled with tackling and allowed 242 rushing yards to USC. The bye week comes at a good time for Oregon State, which should allow Riley and the coaching staff to regroup before a tough three-game stretch to finish the season. Next Week: Bye Week 
88Arizona (6-2, 3-2): With Saturday’s 33-28 win over California, the Wildcats are bowl eligible for the second year in a row under coach Rich Rodriguez. The Golden Bears gave Arizona more of a fight than some may have anticipated, but Arizona used a balanced attack on offense to hold on for the five-point win. Running back Ka’Deem Carey topped 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, and quarterback B.J. Denker threw for 261 yards and added three rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats play their next three games at home, including a chance to play spoiler in matchups against Oregon and UCLA. Next Week: UCLA
99Utah (4-4, 1-4): The Utes had a much-needed bye on Saturday. Quarterback Travis Wilson will benefit the most from the off week, as the sophomore was dealing with a hand injury prior to the bye and completed eight passes (and four picks) in his last two games. Getting Wilson back on track will be huge for the Utes’ bowl hopes. Next Week: Arizona State
1010Washington State (4-5, 2-4): The Cougars have been in a bit of a slide since beating California 44-22 on Oct. 5. Washington State lost to Arizona State 55-21 on Thursday night, which dropped coach Mike Leach’s team to 4-5 overall. The Cougars were unable to get their offense on track early on, and the defense had no answer for the Sun Devils’ balanced attack. Washington State is on bye this Saturday and closes out the 2013 season with games against Arizona State, Utah and Washington, with two victories needed to get bowl eligible. Next Week: Bye Week 
1111Colorado (3-5, 0-5): The Buffaloes dropped their fifth straight game, losing 45-23 at UCLA on Saturday. However, Colorado gave the Bruins a battle and trailed only by eight points going into halftime. Freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau had a solid performance on the road, completing 25 of 36 throws for 247 yards and one score. The Buffaloes’ defense struggled to stop UCLA, as the Bruins averaged 7.2 yards per play and converted 6 of 11 third downs. Colorado needs three wins to get bowl eligible, which will be difficult with USC, Washington and a road trip to Utah remaining. Next Week: at Washington
1212California (1-8, 0-6): The Golden Bears losing streak reached seven games on Saturday, as Sonny Dykes’ team lost 33-28 to Arizona. Although Dykes certainly won’t be happy with a loss, California’s five-point defeat is its smallest margin of 2013. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff threw for 289 yards and four scores but tossed two interceptions. The Golden Bears’ defense kept Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey out of the endzone and held the offense to five yards per play. Saturday’s loss was a step in the right direction for California, and the Golden Bears need to build on that over the final three games. Next Week: USC

Pac-12 Week 10 Recap and Awards

by Braden Gall
 

Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
USC's Javorius Allen (133 yards, three touchdowns) played well for the Trojans. Arizona's B.J. Denker (305 total yards, four touchdowns) was huge on the road against Cal. But it's hard to argue that the Sun Devils quarterback wasn't the best player in the league this weekend. Late on Thursday night on the road, Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns and more than 300 yards of total offense against Washington State. He threw for 275 yards and five scores while rushing for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground while leading his offense to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 game with at least 50 points. Kelly is third in the league — ahead of Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley — with 313.9 yards per game in 2013.

Defensive Player of the Week: Devon Kennard, LB, USC
The former five-star recruit missed all of last year with an injury and it appears he is starting to round into all-conference form. Kennard posted a career-high two sacks in the upset of Sean Mannion and his potent Beavers passing attack. He added four total tackles. He has seven quarterback take downs on the season, trailing only Trent Murphy (9.5) and Tony Washington (7.5) in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the league at 323.0 yards allowed per game. 

Team of the Week: USC
With an interim head coach and a depleted roster in a stadium where it hadn't won at in nearly a decade, the Trojans got an unexpected Pac-12 road win. The defense played excellent football against a high-flying Beavers offense without Morgan Breslin, Su'a Cravens and Anthony Brown. The running game and return of Marqise Lee delivered on offense despite missing Kevin Graf and Randall Telfer. USC won it's third straight Pac-12 game and became bowl eligible. Interim coach Ed Oregeron is now 3-0 in Pac-12 since taking over for Lane Kiffin and it puts USC squarely in the divisional race, one game behind Arizona State.

Coordinator of the Week: Clancy Pendergast, USC
Oregon State boasts one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, and Pendergast's unit shut it down. On the road, the Trojans allowed just 277 yards passing to the No. 3-rated pass offense in the nation and only 92 yards on the ground. USC forced three Sean Mannion turnovers and held star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to just six receptions and 88 yards. USC is leading the Pac-12 in total defense (323.0 ypg) and has held Utah and Oregon State to a combined 570 yards after allowing over 500 to both Arizona State and Arizona.

Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
For the second week in a row, Wright gets top honors after a terrific showing in a Wildcats win on the road. Wright posted a career-high 11 total tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in the five-point win over Cal. He is 11th in the Pac-12 in tackles (7.5 pg) and is No. 3 among freshman (Addison Gillam, Cameron Walker). The Wildcats are bowl eligible and one game back of the Sun Devils in the South Divison with games left with both UCLA and Arizona State at home. USC's Leon McQuay II gets a mention for six tackles and two pass break-ups against Oregon State in place of star freshman Su'a Cravens.

Fifth Down

• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, rushing 32 times for 152 yards against Cal. B.J. Denker stole the show again, scoring four times and accounting for more than 300 yards of offense.

• USC's Javorius Allen (16) and Silas Redd (22) combined for 38 rushing attempts and 273 yards against Oregon State. Marqise Lee returned with five receptions, 105 yards and a touchdowns.

• UCLA's Devin Fuller touched the ball four times on offense and scored on three of them. He caught two touchdowns in three receptions and scored on his only rushing attempt. He totaled 107 yards from scrimmage.

• UCLA didn't have an injured Eric Kendricks, and tailback Jordan James returned to action. James carried six times for eight yards.

• UCLA's Brett Hundley was excellent against Colorado, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 72 and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). 

• The South Division went 3-0 against the North Division this weekend. 

• Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks lead the nation with 14 touchdown connections this season.

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Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
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Another showdown of top-10 teams in the ACC resulted in another Florida State blowout victory. The Seminoles dominated Miami for a 41-14 lead, which certainly doesn’t hurt Florida State’s quest to be one of the top-two teams in the BCS standings.

The Florida State-Miami game stole the spotlight in the ACC, but Boston College’s 34-27 upset over Virginia Tech is another good sign in the rebuilding project for first-year coach Steve Addazio. The Eagles need two wins to get bowl eligible, which should be possible with their remaining schedule.

Elsewhere in the ACC, North Carolina beat NC State, Syracuse pitched a shutout against Wake Forest, Clemson hammered Virginia, and Georgia Tech knocked off Pittsburgh 21-10.

ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Florida State’s offense had its way with Miami’s defense on Saturday night, as the Seminoles gashed the Hurricanes for 517 yards and punted only once. Quarterback Jameis Winston was steady as usual, but Freeman was the catalyst for Florida State’s high-powered attack. The Miami native rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, and the senior caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. In three career games against the Hurricanes, Freeman has 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
The Eagles’ defense led the way in the 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies recorded 446 yards, but Boston College created four turnovers and sacked quarterback Logan Thomas four times. Edebali wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech’s line, recording eight tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup. Edebali also forced three fumbles, with the final turnover sealing the victory with just over a minute to go. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald also had a huge effort on Saturday, but Edebali gets the edge in a winning effort.

Team of the Week: Florida State
Boston College scored an upset win over Virginia Tech, and North Carolina’s road victory over rival NC State was noteworthy, but Florida State gets the nod as the ACC’s team of the week. The Seminoles continued to establish their dominance over the rest of the conference with a 41-14 victory over Miami. Florida State scored over 40 points for the eighth consecutive time this year, and the offense averaged 7.1 yards per play against the Hurricanes. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s two picks resulted in Miami’s touchdowns, but the Seminoles limited the Hurricanes to just 275 overall yards. Winston’s supporting cast stepped up, as Devonta Freeman rushed for 78 yards and caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation and should cruise to 11-0, with a date against Florida and then the Coastal Division champion the two biggest remaining obstacles on the schedule.

Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
In his first year calling the plays for Florida State, Pruitt continues to push all of the right buttons. The Seminoles allowed 115 yards in Miami’s first two possessions, but the Hurricanes managed only 144 yards in its next six drives. Miami’s only points were scored off turnovers by Florida State’s offense, and the Hurricanes failed to have a drive longer than six plays in the second half. Pruitt’s defense held Miami to 4.8 yards per play and limited its offense to just 4 of 11 on third-down conversions. Considering all of the starters Florida State had to replace coming into this year and hasn’t missed a beat, Pruitt has been one of the top assistant hires for 2013.

Freshman of the Week: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Florida State’s Jameis Winson had another strong performance against Miami, but we’ll give the Week 10 honor to Boyd. In a losing effort against Georgia Tech, Boyd caught 11 passes for 118 yards and one score. The freshman’s longest catch went for just 15 yards, but his 12-yard catch in the third quarter helped Pittsburgh pull within four in the second half.

5th Down

• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro is out four to six weeks with a collarbone injury. Campanaro suffered the injury during the first half of Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.

• Miami running back Duke Johnson suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the rest of the season.

• Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 166 yards in the 34-27 win over Virginia Tech. Williams has at least 166 yards in three out of his last four games.

• Florida State punted only one time against Miami.

• Georgia Tech held Pittsburgh to -5 rushing yards on Saturday night.

• After throwing six interceptions through the first seven games, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has six in his last two contests.

• NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell accounted for 235 of the Wolfpack’s 388 yards against North Carolina.

• Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has not thrown for more than 93 yards in each of his last two games.

• Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu had four tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks against Pittsburgh.

• Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a strong performance against Wake Forest, recording four tackles (one for a loss) and one sack.

• North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams led the Tar Heels with 51 rushing yards against NC State.

• NC State defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop had a solid game against North Carolina, recording five tackles (two for a loss) and one forced fumble.

• Virginia freshman Keeon Johnson led the team with five receptions for 77 yards against Clemson.

• Wake Forest averaged just three yards per play against Syracuse.

• Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has 30 receptions over his last three games.

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2013 ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards
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Miami running back Duke Johnson was a key centerpiece of the offense against Florida State, rushing for 97 yards on 23 attempts. But the sophomore back suffered an ankle injury late in the game and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

Johnson is clearly one of the ACC’s top running backs and was on pace to shatter last year’s total of 947 yards. Prior to Saturday’s game at Florida State, the sophomore rushed for 823 yards and six touchdowns on 122 attempts.

With Johnson out, Miami will turn to backup Dallas Crawford and Gus Edwards. Crawford had 291 yards before the matchup against the Seminoles.

Crawford and Edwards are a capable duo, but there’s a clear drop off in talent without Johnson lining up in the backfield.

Miami provided no update on Johnson’s status for next week, but media reports indicated the sophomore is done for the year:

 

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Miami RB Duke Johnson Injures Ankle in Loss to Florida State
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California lost 33-28 to Arizona on Saturday, but the Golden Bears showed some signs of life on both sides of the ball.

Receiver Kenny Lawler was California’s top performer on Saturday, catching six passes for 72 yards and three touchdowns.

Lawler caught this impressive one-handed touchdown grab in the third quarter, which cut Arizona’s lead to 26-21.

 

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College football’s Week 10 slate wasn’t particularly deep with intriguing matchups, but there was plenty of intrigue.

Nebraska-Northwestern provided the weekend’s best finish, as the Cornhuskers scored on a 49-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game.

Quarterback Ron Kellogg barely got the pass into the endzone, but the ball was batted and caught by receiver Jordan Westerkamp for the touchdown.

Considering how much pressure coach Bo Pelini has been under the last few weeks, this win will help quiet some of his critics – at least until next Saturday.
 

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Last week, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah hurdled a Minnesota defender. This week, Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde matched Abdullah with a hurdle of his own.

Check out Hyde hurdling this Purdue defender in Ohio State’s blowout win:
 

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Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde Hurdles Purdue Defender
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Wake Forest’s offense suffered a huge setback in Saturday’s loss to Syracuse, as receiver Michael Campanaro suffered a dislocated collarbone in the first half. Campanaro is the Demon Deacons’ top offensive performer and one of the top receivers in the ACC.

Campanaro is out indefinitely, which puts a damper on Wake Forest’s hopes to get bowl eligible.
 

 

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For the first time since 2004, Florida State and Miami meet as top-10 teams. The Seminoles are squarely in the national title mix and a win over an unbeaten Miami team would be another notch on the resume for coach Jimbo Fisher’s team. Florida State is in a neck-and-neck battle with Oregon for the No. 2 spot in the polls, so winning and looking impressive is a priority for the Seminoles on Saturday night.

Miami has matched Florida State’s 7-0 mark, but the Hurricanes haven’t been quite as impressive on the stat sheet. Late comebacks were needed to beat Wake Forest and North Carolina, and quarterback Stephen Morris has already passed his interception total from 2012 (seven) this season (eight). 

Over the last few preseasons, the big question surrounding both programs was pretty simple: Is Miami (or Florida State) back? It may be hard for both teams to contend for the national title every year, but both programs are returning to their national prominence of the 1990s and 2000s. With the coaching staffs in place at Florida State and Miami, it’s hard to see these programs taking a step back. The Hurricanes have a little more work to do than the Seminoles in terms of rebuilding, but both teams are recruiting at a top-10 level. In other words, get ready for more top 10-15 showdowns between these two teams.

Florida State has won six out of the last eight games in this series and three in a row. Miami’s last win against the Seminoles came in 2009. Florida State has won two out of the last three games by at least 13 points.

Miami at Florida State

Kickoff: 8 ET
TV Channel: ABC
Spread: Florida State – 22

Three Things to Watch

Florida State’s run defense vs. Miami RB Duke Johnson
Miami’s gameplan on Saturday night is pretty simple: Don’t get into a shootout with Florida State. The Seminoles have too much firepower, and Jameis Winston will outplay Stephen Morris if this game becomes a back and forth affair. In order to keep this game close, Miami has to get running back Duke Johnson involved early and often. Johnson has at least 168 yards in two out of his last three games and averages 6.7 yards per carry. The sophomore is facing a Florida State defense that ranks third in the ACC but has allowed three rushers to reach 100 yards. The Seminoles have been vulnerable to power rushing games at times this year, and the Hurricanes with Johnson and an offensive line that averages 313.4 pounds per player will have an opportunity to churn out yards on the ground. If Miami can win the battle on first downs and put the offense in short-yardage situations on second down, the Hurricanes will have an opportunity to control the clock and keep Winston and Florida State’s offense on the sidelines.

Jameis Winston vs. Miami’s defense
How do you defend Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston? That’s the million-dollar question facing Miami coordinator Mark D’Onofrio. Blitzing Winston has not worked well for opposing defenses, and the Hurricanes seem unlikely to copy that strategy on Saturday night. Instead, Miami would be better off letting Florida State work its way down the field and not allow the Seminoles to hit on any big plays. Florida State has 16 plays in ACC games of 30 plus yards, and with Winston at the helm, is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. The Hurricanes ranked 11th in the ACC in total defense last year, holding opponents to 504.9 yards per game. But this unit has improved in 2013, as opposing offenses are recording 420.7 yards per contest (5.5 yards per play) this year. Miami is also better in the turnover department, forcing 19 through seven games this season. Stopping Winston isn’t going to be an easy task for D’Onofrio, especially with the Seminoles’ deep receiving corps and tight end Nick O’Leary. However, the Hurricanes need to force Florida State to work its way down the field in small chunks.

Florida State’s rushing attack vs. Miami’s front seven
Although quarterback Jameis Winston is one of the top players in the nation, Florida State’s offense isn’t just limited to the freshman. The Seminoles have one of the nation’s best offensive lines, three solid running backs, and a receiving corps that features four players averaging over 17 yards per reception. Receiver Rashad Greene is underrated nationally, leading Florida State with 39 receptions for 690 yards. Tight end Nick O’Leary is also among the nation’s best at his position, recording 17 receptions for 307 yards and six scores. Miami’s front seven is deeper and more talented than last season. However, the Hurricanes rank eighth in the ACC against the run, allowing 166.3 yards per game in conference games. Opponents are averaging 4.1 yards per carry, but Miami has managed to hold offenses to just five rushing scores in ACC contests. Florida State will use three running backs on Saturday night, which along with an offensive line that has been outstanding this year, will test Miami’s front seven.

Key Player: Stephen Morris, QB, Miami

The quarterback is always critical to the outcome of any game, but it’s even more important on Saturday night. Morris has not played at full strength for part of this season due to an ankle injury, but the senior has already tossed eight picks after throwing seven interceptions last year. Transitioning to new coordinator James Coley has also provided an adjustment period for Morris, but he has to play better, especially in a top-10 showdown. With Florida State owning one of the best defensive backfields in the nation, it’s important for Morris to have an efficient (and turnover free) performance.

Final Analysis

Even though this in-state rivalry is a top-10 matchup, Miami is a three-touchdown underdog. The Hurricanes are capable of keeping this game within striking distance if running back Duke Johnson is able to churn out the yards on the ground. If Florida State keeps the sophomore back under wraps, the Seminoles will jump out to a commanding lead. Having a healthy Stephen Morris under center should help Miami’s offense. However, Florida State’s defense presents a tough matchup, especially in the secondary. There’s no question the Hurricanes have to play a perfect game in order to win on Saturday night. Considering how impressive the Seminoles have been this year, it’s hard to see Miami leaving Tallahassee with a win. It wouldn’t be a total surprise to see the Hurricanes cover the spread or keep things interesting for three quarters, but Florida State is deeper and more talented – and on a mission to play for the national title.

Prediction: Florida State 45, Miami 20

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Minnesota and Duke are two of the biggest surprise teams in college football this season. The Golden Gophers and Blue Devils are 6-2 after eight games, and both teams are expected to play in a bowl for the second straight season.

Despite the absence of coach Jerry Kill on the sidelines, Minnesota has scored impressive wins over Northwestern and Nebraska. At 2-2 in Big Ten play, the Golden Gophers are a longshot, but still alive in the Big Ten Legends Division.

Duke scored its first win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg last Saturday, giving the Blue Devils a four-game winning streak headed into the bye week.

Under coach David Cutcliffe, Duke has made progress each season and has an outside chance at winning the Coastal Division, especially with a matchup against Miami still remaining in November.

Minnesota or Duke: Which team is the bigger surprise at 6-2?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Both teams have been a great story this season, but I have to go with Duke. The Blue Devils have made steady improvement under coach David Cutcliffe and are likely to make back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history. Although Duke made a bowl last season, the combined win total of the Blue Devils’ five victories over BCS teams was just 24-36. Duke also closed out the season by losing five consecutive games, including three defeats by 18 points or more. Minnesota also finished 6-7 last year, but I thought the Golden Gophers were in better shape in terms of overall personnel. Quarterback Philip Nelson and six starters returned from a defense that ranked fifth in the Big Ten in fewest yards allowed. Considering both teams have already matched their win total from last year, 2013 is already a huge success for both Minnesota and Duke. And with one month to go in the season, the Golden Gophers and Blue Devils have a chance at eight victories this year.

Mark Ross
Before the season started, Athlon picked Duke to finish 5-7 with a 2-6 mark in the ACC. The Blue Devils (6-2, 2-2 ACC) have already surpassed that win total and are guaranteed of a second straight bowl game under David Cutcliffe, which is a first in program history. This season's team is statistically better than the 2012 6-7 squad across the board, but the improvement is visibly apparent on the defensive side. Last season, the defense finished 101st or worse in the nation in all four of the major categories — total, scoring, rushing and passing. This season, Duke is among the top 40 teams nationally in both points allowed and passing defense, and its lowest ranking in the four major categories is 69th in rushing defense. In 2012, the Blue Devils allowed nearly 470 yards and more than 36 points per game. This fall, those numbers have dropped to 384 yards and less than 23 points per contest. Cutcliffe is known more as an offensive-minded coach, highlighted by his close ties to Peyton and Eli Manning, but this season's Duke's team is well-rounded and getting the job done on both sides of the ball. The last time the Blue Devils won seven or more games in a season was nearly 20 years ago when Fred Goldsmith went 8-4. That also was the last time Duke went bowling, until last season. The Blue Devils are going bowling again in 2103 and still have four games to play before they find out where. Well done, Coach Cut.

David Fox
Any time Duke is bowl eligible before November, it’s a surprise. Certainly, Minnesota is a surprise given the adversity of the season with Jerry Kill’s absence and changing quarterbacks. But I think we expected Minnesota to have the personnel and defense to take the next step in the third year in Kill’s system. On the other hand, Duke is bowl eligible with half of those wins coming on the road. True, Memphis and Virginia aren’t very good, but Duke in the past would lose games like that. More than that, Duke is winning with a new quarterback who replaced Sean Renfree. Generally, you’d pick against a team starting like Duke replacing a productive veteran with not just one QB, but two (Brandon Connette and Anthony Boone). The biggest turnaround, though, is the defense. The defense kept Duke from winning more than six games a year ago. In 2013, though, the Blue Devils are holding opponents to 86 fewer yards per game than a year ago. That improvement gave Duke the edge against Virginia Tech and means Duke could win seven, eight or nine games during the regular season.

Teaser:
Minnesota or Duke: Which team is the bigger surprise at 6-2?
Post date: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 07:15
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The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party could be the final hope for Georgia and Florida’s SEC East title hopes.

South Carolina’s win over Missouri last Saturday changed the outlook of the East Division title picture. The Tigers were on the verge of taking a commanding lead in the East Division, and with a game against Kentucky remaining, the race to win the SEC East was essentially over.

The Gamecocks' victory opened the door for Georgia and Florida, but the loser of Saturday’s game in Jacksonville is likely out of the mix for the East Division title.

Florida and Georgia were considered two of the top-15 teams in the nation this preseason, but both teams have been hit hard by injuries. The Bulldogs lost running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley for the season due to injuries, leaving the offense shorthanded with proven playmakers. The Gators lost quarterback Jeff Driskel with a leg injury against Tennessee, forcing unproven backup Tyler Murphy into the starting role. Defensive tackle (and likely All-American) Dominique Easley is also done for the year, while running back Matt Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury against LSU.

Florida owns a 48-40-2 series edge against Georgia. The Gators have won five out of the last eight meetings against the Bulldogs, but coach Mark Richt’s team has claimed the last two games in this series.

Florida vs. Georgia

Kickoff: 3:30 ET
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: Georgia – 3

Three Things to Watch

Georgia’s Wide Receivers vs. Florida’s Secondary
The Gators have been the toughest team in the SEC against the pass. Opponents are averaging just 178 yards per game in SEC play, and Florida has allowed just two touchdown passes. With a depleted receiving corps, can Georgia move the ball through the air? Quarterback Aaron Murray has completed 45 of 95 passes for 632 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in his career against Florida. But Murray is facing perhaps his biggest task against the Gators, as the Bulldogs are thin on proven bodies at receiver. Junior Michael Bennett is slated to return after missing two games due to a knee injury. However, Chris Conley is likely out, which leaves Rhett McGowan and Rantavious Wooten (combined 75 career catches) as the top options. Is Bennett ready to handle a full snap count this week? Considering the options at receiver, Georgia would be wise to get tight ends Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome more involved in the offense. With a secondary featuring three standout cornerbacks in Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and freshman standout Vernon Hargreaves III, Murray has to be precise with his passes, especially with an opportunistic defensive backfield ready to pounce.

Florida QB Tyler Murphy and RB Kelvin Taylor
Florida’s offense has struggled mightily this season. The Gators rank 13th in SEC-only games in total offense and yards per play, averaging just 306 yards per game and 4.6 yards per touch. This unit has not scored more than 17 points in its last two games and its 31 points scored against Tennessee was the high mark of 2013. Much like Georgia, injuries hindered the development of the offense for the Gators, but the offensive line remains a huge concern. Florida has allowed 13 sacks in SEC play and averages just 3.5 yards per rush. Quarterback Tyler Murphy has not passed for a touchdown in the Gators’ last two games, but the junior will have an opportunity to make plays against a Georgia secondary that is allowing opponents to complete 62.3 percent of its throws. Murphy has to play better, but he also needs more help from the supporting cast. Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor has provided a spark for the ground attack in the last two weeks, rushing for 126 yards and one touchdown on 22 attempts. After playing well in limited action, expect Taylor to see more opportunities on Saturday. For Florida to beat Georgia, Murphy and Taylor need to have one of their best games of the season.

The offensive lines
This position doesn’t have the glamour of the quarterback or skill position concerns in this game, but both Florida and Georgia’s offensive lines will be under fire on Saturday afternoon. As mentioned above, the Gators have experienced plenty of issues from their offensive line this season, but the Bulldogs front seven is a work in progress. With only three returning starters, Georgia ranks ninth in the SEC in total defense and if you include non-conference games from 2013 in the stat sheet, the Bulldogs rank last in the SEC in points allowed. While the overall production hasn’t been particularly impressive, Georgia has recorded 16 sacks in five SEC games. With the troubles of Florida’s offensive line, Bulldogs’ linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins (eight sacks, 28 quarterback hurries) could have a huge game. The Gators’ defensive line isn’t quite as intimidating without tackle Dominique Easley, but ends Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler are active off the edge.

Key Player: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Gurley has missed Georgia’s last three games with an ankle injury suffered against LSU. When healthy, the sophomore is arguably the top running back in the nation. Gurley has 450 yards and 71 carries this season, averaging 6.3 yards per rush. Florida leads the SEC against the run, holding opponents to just 100.7 yards per game on the ground. With Gurley back in the lineup, he should give the Bulldogs much-needed balance and will help to take some of the pressure off of quarterback Aaron Murray.

Final Analysis

Considering all of the injuries accumulated by both teams, a close, low-scoring game should be expected. Florida has the better defense, and the bye week should help quarterback Tyler Murphy get closer to full strength after a shoulder injury suffered against LSU. However, even with the Gators’ edge on defense, Georgia will find a way to win this game on the strength of senior quarterback Aaron Murray.

Prediction: Georgia 24, Florida 20

Teaser:
Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs 2013 Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
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Just one month of the 2013 college football season....

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Thursday, October 31st

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw gets highlighted for his performance against Missouri last week.

Saturday Down South ranks the top five teams in the SEC.

Washington receiver Kasen Williams will miss the rest of the season due to a leg injury.

West Virginia's Oliver Luck is the frontrunner to be Texas' next athletic director.

Sports Illustrated visited with former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson.

Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson has been suspended indefinitely.

Will Auburn have quarterback Nick Marshall in the lineup this Saturday?

Kevin Gemmell of ESPN's Pac-12 Blog has a good story on Colorado first-year coach Mike MacIntyre.

Syracuse kicker Ryan Norton is suspended for Saturday's game against Wake Forest.

Mississippi State defensive tackle Quay Evans was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of driving without a license. 

Maryland tackle Mike Madaras has decided to leave the team.

Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner will miss the rest of the season due to an arm injury suffered against Oregon State.

With Antone Exum's return, Virginia Tech's secondary is loaded with options.

A thin secondary is getting worse for Rutgers: Nadir Barnwell was suspended after being charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving.

Wyoming dismissed defensive coordinator Chris Tormey this week.

UTEP quarterback Jameill Showers is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

What are the biggest takeaways in the SEC from last Saturday?

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: October 31
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:45
Path: /college-football/2013-college-football-week-10-upset-predictions
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With the arrival of November, the final month of the regular season is officially here. And with just a month to go, the national title picture is just starting to clear, while there are several battles within all conferences for bowl positioning.

Athlon’s editors are back with another edition of the upset picks, and there are plenty of teams on alert this week.

Wake Forest, ULM and Minnesota are underdogs this week, but are three popular upset selections.

The favorites can't win every game each week, so it's no surprise one of the most popular discussion points every Saturday is upset picks. Each week on AthlonSports.com, the editors will give an upset pick for the upcoming week of action.

Week 10 Previews and Predictions: ACC Big 12 | Big Ten Pac-12 | SEC

College Football Week 10 Upset Predictions

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Wake Forest (+3.5) over Syracuse
Earlier this season, Wake Forest looked like a team that was in danger of finishing without a win in ACC play. But the last three weeks have been different, as the Demon Deacons have improved significantly since starting the year 1-2. Coach Jim Grobe and his staff made a few tweaks to the offense, which resulted in Wake Forest beating NC State and Maryland and nearly scoring an upset win over Miami last week. Both Wake Forest and Syracuse are still in the mix for a bowl game, and this matchup is critical for both program’s hopes of getting to six wins. The Orange has one of the ACC’s best rushing attacks, but the defense has struggled to stop the pass. With Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro picking up their performance over the last three weeks, the Demon Deacons’ passing attack will be too much for Syracuse to overcome.

David Fox (@DavidFox615): Minnesota (+9.5) over Indiana
Maybe it’s time to stop doubting Minnesota. The Gophers have won this season with two different coaches and two different quarterbacks. This team probably won’t go to the Big Ten championship game, but Minnesota has turned a corner of sorts. The offensive coaching staff has been one of the most creative in the league, but the Gophers haven’t gotten away from their bread-and-butter rushing attack. If we’ve learned one thing about the Indiana defense, it’s that the Hoosiers have trouble stopping the run. Navy, Missouri, Michigan State and Michigan all topped 230 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground against the Hoosiers. Three of them topped five yards per carry. This may end up being an up-and-down game, so I’d pick the team that has Ra’Shede Hageman to make the critical stop.

Mark Ross: Louisiana-Monroe (+3) over Troy
Troy has one more win (5-3) than ULM (4-4), is at home and riding a three-game winning streak. The Trojans, not surprisingly, are getting it done on offense. Troy is 26th in the nation in total offense, thanks in large part to 325 passing yards (16th) per game. Offense has been a little harder to come by for the Warhawks, who are 99th in total offense and all the way down at 109th in scoring (19.9 ppg). So why am I taking the visiting team in this one? Two reasons, the first being Troy does not play defense. The Trojans are giving up 472 yards (110th in the nation) and 32.8 points (99th) per game. The second is because the Warhawks have their best player back, quarterback Kolton Browning. The senior dual-threat signal-caller missed the first two games in October because of a torn quad muscle that initially was believed to be a season-ending injury. He started last week against Georgia State and threw four touchdown passes in the easy win. Browning was responsible for more than 3,500 yards of offense and 36 total touchdowns last season. To put it simply, he is a difference-maker and the main reason why I think ULM will go on a late run and potentially vie for the Sun Belt title, starting with a victory over Troy on Halloween night.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Boston College (+5.5) over Virginia Tech
Neither team is having much success on offense, and the Hokies are coming off one of the worst showing in school history after losing to Duke at home. This was a seven-point game last year and the Eagles have shown improvement under first-year coach Steve Addazio. At home, BC is 3-1 this year with its only loss coming to Florida State — a game in which the Eagles fought valiantly (48-34). Logan Thomas is playing horrendous football right now, and the offense cannot move the ball consistently at all.

Stephen Schindler (@SteveSchindler): Michigan (+6) over Michigan State
This week, Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint talked about Michigan State's status as the Wolverines' little brother. Despite this, the Spartans are the favorites for this game in East Lansing, with the winner taking a stranglehold on the Big Ten Legends Division. This year's edition of the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy pits Michigan's eighth-ranked scoring offense against the Spartans' stifling defense, which ranks third in points allowed. Behind quarterback Devin Gardner, Michigan has scored at least 40 points in five of its seven games this season. Gardner's biggest issue this year has been turnovers, which he will need to limit against a Michigan State defense that has a penchant for scoring itself as the unit leads the nation with five defensive touchdowns. I think Gardner is able to play smart football and get an early lead on the Spartans, forcing Connor Cook to beat the Wolverines with his arm. If Michigan can pile up a few touchdowns and put the pressure on Cook to make plays, Brady Hoke will walk out of Spartan Stadium with his first career win in East Lansing against the in-state rivals.

Teaser:
2013 College Football Week 10 Upset Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:32
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The ACC is back under the national spotlight in Week 10. Florida State-Clemson was the marquee national game two weeks ago, but the Seminoles easily handled the Tigers in Death Valley.

Is the stage set for another Florida State blowout on Saturday night? The Seminoles are a three-touchdown favorite over in-state rival Miami, with the Hurricanes needing a couple of late comebacks to beat North Carolina and Wake Forest – a combined 6-9 this season.

A blowout victory against Miami would serve Florida State well in the national title picture, but the Hurricanes also have the chance at a rematch – assuming they win the Coastal – in the ACC Championship.

Elsewhere around the ACC, Clemson travels to Virginia, while Wake Forest and Syracuse meet in an important game for bowl positioning. Pittsburgh looks to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Navy, meeting Georgia Tech for the first time as ACC opponents.

Virginia Tech travels to Boston College, and North Carolina makes the short trip to in-state rival NC State.

Week 10 Previews and Predictions: Big 12 | Big Ten Pac-12 | SEC

ACC Week 10 Game Power Rankings

1. Miami (+22) at Florida State (8 ET, ABC)
Normally, a matchup of two top-10 teams and in-state rivals wouldn’t produce a point spread of nearly three touchdowns. But that’s the hurdle facing Miami on Saturday night, as Florida State has clearly showed its one of the top-three teams in the nation. The Hurricanes are also undefeated, but close victories over North Carolina and Wake Forest have raised plenty of doubts on whether or not this team is worthy of its top-10 ranking. Florida State has a talent advantage at nearly every position in this game. On offense, quarterback Jameis Winston is already one of the best signal-callers in the nation, and the Seminoles have surrounded the freshman with a strong supporting cast. Although Miami’s defense has improved since last year, it will have its hands full against Winston. The biggest area of concern for the Hurricanes is the secondary, which ranks eighth in the ACC games against the pass. If there’s one area of vulnerability for Florida State, the rush defense could be it. The Seminoles struggled to contain Boston College running back Andre Williams, and NC State’s Shadrach Thornton rushed for 172 yards last week, although some of that yardage came with the starters out of the lineup. Miami needs a big day from running back Duke Johnson, which would allow the Hurricanes to shorten the game and keep Florida State’s offense on the sidelines. Johnson has to be the workhorse for Miami, but quarterback Stephen Morris also has to play better (six interceptions in three ACC games). The Seminoles have won four out of the last five in this series, with Miami’s last victory in Tallahassee coming in 2009.

2. North Carolina (-3.5) at NC State (12:30 ET, ACC Network)
Even though the combined record of these two teams is just 5-9, this is a huge game for bragging rights in North Carolina and for recruiting within the state for both teams. North Carolina won its first ACC game last week, handling Boston College in a 34-10 victory. The Wolfpack is 0-4 in conference play, but first-year coach Dave Doeren’s team has been shorthanded with quarterback Brandon Mitchell missing five games due to a foot injury. Mitchell returned last week against Florida State and completed 17 of 33 throws for 128 yards. The senior’s return should give the Wolfpack offense much-needed balance. Running back Shadrach Thornton is coming off a 100-yard performance against the Seminoles (173), and the sophomore will test a North Carolina defense that ranks last in the ACC against the run. The Tar Heels have one of the ACC’s top passing offenses (305.9 ypg), but balance has been an issue with a struggling rushing attack. Neither team holds an edge in turnover margin (tied for seventh in the conference), so this game could come down to which quarterback can make the most plays and avoid a costly mistake. This rivalry has been a one-sided affair in recent years. NC State has won five out of the last six, but the Tar Heels claimed a 43-35 victory last season.

3. Pittsburgh (+10) at Georgia Tech (7 ET, ESPNU)
After losing to Navy last week, Pittsburgh gets another dose of the option offense at Georgia Tech on Saturday. This is the first meeting between these two schools since 1976 and the first as ACC opponents. After losing three consecutive games, the Yellow Jackets have won their last two games by a combined score of 91-25. The rushing offense has led the way for coach Paul Johnson, recording 394 yards in each of Georgia Tech’s last two games. Pittsburgh’s defense should have a good idea of what to expect from the Yellow Jackets after playing Navy last week, and the Panthers did a respectable job against the Midshipmen (4.7 ypc). However, Georgia Tech’s offense is even tougher to defend and will challenge Pittsburgh’s front seven, including standout tackle Aaron Donald. The Yellow Jackets’ defense has improved under first-year coordinator Ted Roof, but the secondary ranks 10th in the ACC against the pass. If the Panthers can protect quarterback Tom Savage (24 sacks this year), opportunities for big plays for receivers Devin Street and Tyler Boyd should be available. Pittsburgh also needs running back James Conner to rebound, as the freshman has just 56 yards in his last three games.

4. Virginia Tech (-4.5) at Boston College (Noon ET, ESPN/ABC)
Virginia Tech’s trip to Chestnut Hill last season nearly cost the Hokies a chance to go to a bowl. Virginia Tech needed overtime to beat the 2-10 Eagles, and the Hokies are headed back to Alumni Stadium once again this year. While these two teams are meeting in the same stadium for the second consecutive season, much has changed since last year. Boston College has improved under first-year coach Steve Addazio and is in good shape to make a bowl game. Virginia Tech lost to Duke last Saturday but still has a chance to win the Coastal Division. This matchup is a battle of strength versus strength, as Boston College running back Andre Williams leads the ACC with an average of 144.3 yards per game. But the Hokies lead the ACC in rush defense, allowing just 2.6 yards per game. With running room expected to be limited, the Eagles need more from quarterback Chase Rettig. The senior threw for just 57 yards against North Carolina last week. Quarterback play for Virginia Tech is also under the spotlight, as Logan Thomas is coming of his worst performance in an ACC game this year. Thomas tossed four picks and completed just 55.3 percent of his passes against Duke. Virginia Tech doesn’t need Thomas to throw for 300 yards, but the senior has to be more efficient. Expect a low-scoring game, with turnovers and quarterback play the deciding factors.

5. Wake Forest (+3.5) at Syracuse (12:30 ET, RSN)
With just one month left in the regular season, every game for teams on the bowl bubble like Wake Forest and Syracuse grow in importance. The Demon Deacons started the year 1-2 but rebounded with wins in two out of their last three games and nearly upset Miami last Saturday. Quarterback Tanner Price and a revamped approach on offense have led the turnaround for the Demon Deacons. In his last three games, Price has thrown for 801 yards and six touchdowns, with just two interceptions on 120 attempts. The senior quarterback and receiver Michael Campanaro are one of the top pass-catch combinations in the ACC. Syracuse has struggled to stop the pass this season, ranking last in the ACC by allowing 242 yards per game. While the Demon Deacons want to throw to win, the Orange need to lean on their ground attack. Quarterback Terrel Hunt has completed only 25 of his last 58 passes and does not have a touchdown pass in ACC play. Behind running backs Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson-Gulley, Syracuse is averaging 253.3 rushing yards per game in conference action. Expect the Orange to challenge a Wake Forest defense that allowed 200 rushing yards to Miami last week.

6. Clemson (-17) at Virginia (3:30 ET, ESPN)
In a slight surprise, a matchup of a 7-1 team (Clemson) against a 2-6 squad (Virginia) doesn’t have the biggest point spread of the week. Regardless of the line, the Tigers shouldn’t have much trouble against Virginia. The Cavaliers have lost five in a row, and despite a few signs of life, the offense still ranks 10th in the ACC in passing and total yards per game. The problems for Virginia aren’t relegated to the offense, as the defense ranks 11th in the ACC (allowing 5.5 yards per play). Injuries have played a role in the defensive struggles, as tackle Brent Urban and cornerback Demetrious Nicholson have missed games due to injury. Urban and Nicholson are questionable for this week’s game. Clemson rebounded from its loss to Florida State with a 40-27 victory over Maryland last Saturday, and the Tigers should have the upper hand in this game. For Virginia to hang around, getting pressure on quarterback Tajh Boyd is a must. Clemson has allowed 21 sacks this year, so expect defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta to bring the pressure against Boyd. With the Cavaliers struggling on offense, an early 14-0 or 17-0 lead by the Tigers might be too much to overcome.

ACC Week 10 Pivotal Players

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Panthers weren’t terrible against the run in last week’s loss to Navy, holding the Midshipmen to 220 yards on 47 carries. The experienced gained by playing Navy and the option offense should pay off this week, as Pittsburgh travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. Donald is one of the top defensive tackles in the nation, and he’s been disruptive and tough to block all season. Stopping the option starts in the trenches. If the Panthers want to hold the Yellow Jackets’ ground game in check, Donald needs to dominate at the point of attack.

DreQuan Hoskey/Tim Harris, CB, Virginia
With Demetrious Nicholson questionable to play, Hoskey and Harris will be assigned the task of trying to slow down Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. Hoskey has six starts under his belt, recording 22 tackles and three pass breakups this year. Harris, a true freshman, has three starts and 13 tackles to his credit. Stopping Watkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd will be a difficult task, and it's up to Hoskey and Harris to eliminate any big plays from the Clemson passing attack.

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Florida State has one of the nation’s best offensive lines, but Miami isn’t too far behind. The Hurricanes have allowed only three sacks in ACC games, and Miami rushers are averaging 5.6 yards per carry. But the Florida State front seven is one of the best in the ACC, loaded with depth and talent at every position. Stopping the run has been an issue for the Seminoles at times this year, and the Hurricanes will likely lean on a heavy dose of running back Duke Johnson on Saturday night. Getting a good push from Jernigan would go a long ways to helping Florida State contain Miami’s ground game.

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
Miami’s offense is averaging 32 points a game in conference play, but as strange as it sounds, the Hurricanes simply can’t afford to get into a high-scoring shootout with Florida State. Running back Duke Johnson should expect to see 25-30 carries, and quarterback Stephen Morris has to have his best game of the year if Miami is going to pull off the upset. Morris threw only seven picks in 2012 but has eight through seven games in 2013. The transition to new coordinator James Coley hasn’t been completely smooth for Morris, but the senior has also dealt with an ankle injury. Morris doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards on Saturday. However, against a Florida State secondary that is among the best in the nation, the senior’s margin for error is virtually non-existent.

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Even with Boston College’s passing offense struggling to get on track last week, Williams still managed 172 yards in a 34-10 loss against North Carolina. The senior leads the ACC with an average of 144.3 yards per game, but Virginia Tech’s defensive line will be the toughest Boston College has faced this year. The Hokies have allowed just five rushing scores and opponents are managing only 2.6 yards per carry. Virginia Tech’s interior line is deep with tackles Derrick Hopkins and Luther Maddy, while ends James Gayle and J.R. Collins have combined for eight sacks. In order for the Eagles to have a shot at winning on Saturday, Williams has to get over 100 yards.
 

ACC Week 10 Predictions

GameDavid FoxBraden GallSteven LassanMitch Light
Va. Tech at Boston CollegeVa. Tech 28-10Va. Tech 20-17Va. Tech 27-17Va. Tech 24-20
UNC at NC StateNC State 14-10UNC 24-17UNC 31-27UNC 27-20
Wake Forest at SyracuseSyracuse 21-17Syracuse 24-23Wake 27-24Wake 30-17
Clemson at VirginiaClemson 42-10Clemson 41-10Clemson 44-17Clemson 41-10
Pittsburgh at Ga. TechGa. Tech 35-24Ga. Tech 34-30Ga. Tech 34-27Ga. Tech 38-28
Miami at Florida StateFSU 51-21FSU 42-20FSU 45-20FSU 34-17
Final Record60-1560-1560-1562-13

 

Teaser:
2013 ACC Week 10 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 07:15
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FAU coach Carl Pelini resigned on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the Owls. In two years with FAU, Pelini had a 5-15 record. 

Considering he had no ties to the area, Pelini was a strange fit at FAU and never seemed to be a good fit for the program.

One possible name for FAU is former FIU coach Mario Cristobal, who is currently serving as Alabama's offensive line coach. Cincinnati assistant Eddie Gran is another possibility for the Owls.

Assistant coach/offensive coordinator Brian Wright is expected to serve as the interim coach. 

Teaser:
FAU Coach Carl Pelini Resigns
Post date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 15:08
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Northern Illinois is in the mix for a bid to a BCS bowl once again this season, and the Huskies will play on Nov. 13 against Ball State with special military-themed uniforms.

The matchup with the Cardinals is Military Appreciation Night at Huskie Stadium, and Northern Illinois will add stars to the side of the jerseys, along with a red, white and blue logo on the helmet.

Ball State-Northern Illinois should be one of the top games in the MAC this season, and the military-themed jerseys are a solid look for the Huskies.
 

Teaser:
Northern Illinois Unveils Alternate Jerseys for Game Against Ball State
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With one month to go in the 2013 college football season, there’s still not much clarity in the SEC East. Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are still in the mix, and each team has been forced to navigate through the season with key injuries.

Missouri was on the doorstep of winning the East Division last week, but South Carolina rallied in the fourth quarter behind quarterback Connor Shaw. The Gamecocks are 4-2 in SEC play and have a favorable two-game stretch to finish their SEC slate with Mississippi State and Florida coming to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Georgia isn’t out of the mix, but the Bulldogs have to beat Florida and hope for two losses by Missouri.

Who will represent the East Division in Atlanta? Athlon’s experts debate the SEC East champion.

After Beating Missouri, is South Carolina the Favorite to Win the SEC East?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
South Carolina’s win over Missouri significantly changed the outlook of the East Division. Had the Tigers won on Saturday night, a division title and a trip to Atlanta would have been a near certainty for Gary Pinkel’s team. Instead, it’s back to square one. South Carolina has to be in the driver’s seat for the division crown, as its final two SEC games – Florida and Mississippi State – are at home. Missouri is the only team with one SEC loss in the East, but the Tigers have to go to Ole Miss and still have to play Texas A&M. Although Missouri is clearly improved from last season, I think this team stumbles once in its final two games. Georgia was my preseason pick to win the SEC East, but I’m not sure I can take the Bulldogs to win the division, especially with a road date at Auburn looming on Nov. 16. If healthy, Georgia might be the best team in this division. However, I think the Gamecocks have to be considered the favorite after Saturday’s win at Missouri. 

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
South Carolina is in the driver's seat now with the critical tiebreaker over Mizzou. The Gamecocks have two games left in the SEC, and both contests are winnable home matchups (Mississippi State, Florida). That puts South Carolina in the SEC East clubhouse at 6-2, while Missouri will have two games left to play. The Tigers should defeat both Tennessee at home and Kentucky on the road to reach 4-2 in SEC play. But the final two games — after Carolina is finished with SEC play — are extremely difficult. Gary Pinkel's bunch likely has to win out to get to Atlanta and its hard to see Mizzou defeating both Ole Miss on the road and Texas A&M at home. Odds are Mizzou is 6-1 with Johnny Manziel coming to town on the SEC's final regular season weekend, so how much fun is it that two "Big 12" teams could determine the SEC East on the final Saturday?

Josh Ward, (@Josh_Ward), Mr. SEC
South Carolina certainly has an opportunity to win the SEC East, but I will stick with my original pick from the beginning of the season – Georgia. The Bulldogs will have to win out, which is very doable. I think Georgia will beat Florida this week, win at Auburn on Nov. 16 (the Tigers will be coming off consecutive road games) and take care of Kentucky to finish out SEC play. If that happens and Missouri loses two of its final four games (three of them are losable), Georgia will be back in Atlanta playing Alabama for the SEC title. South Carolina’s remaining schedule is very favorable and a Georgia stumble would put the Gamecocks in great position to win the division. But I think Georgia will win out and get the breaks it needs to once again win the SEC East.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
Amazing how things have changed in the SEC East. A week ago, I was on the Missouri bandwagon, ready to see the Tigers head to Atlanta. This week, I’ve all but given up on Mizzou. Maybe it’s not a rational swing, considering the Tigers still have a lead in the division. But it’s tough to see Missouri regain the momentum to beat Ole Miss and Texas A&M to finish the season. If the Tigers held that 17-0 lead against South Carolina, they could have afforded a loss to the Rebels or Aggies. That’s not the case anymore. South Carolina has Mississippi State and Florida both at home and that’s it for the SEC. With Jadeveon Clowney rounding back into form and Connor Shaw proving he’s healthy, this may be the Gamecocks’ division to lose.

Teaser:
After beating Missouri, is South Carolina the favorite in the SEC East?
Post date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-25-freshmen-2013-after-week-9
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Projecting which freshmen will make an impact in any college football season is no easy task. But after nine weeks, there's enough data to know how the top newcomers are playing, so it’s time to examine how some of the top true and redshirt freshmen have performed this year.

Florida State’s Jameis Winston is a special talent that could have started right away but took a redshirt in their first season. Not only is Winston one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy, but the freshman is already one of the top players in college football.

Winston’s performance through nine weeks in 2013, along with Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel’s 2012 Heisman victory,illustrate what can happen when a special, elite freshman earns a starting spot under center.

But there’s another side to recruiting and incoming freshmen. Some players may take a couple of years to develop. And some players simply never live up to their lofty recruiting rankings.

Recruiting and talent evaluation is no exact science, which is why there are always a few names from outside of the top 100 or 200 of incoming freshmen that always seem to make an impact each year.

Athlon will update this list at the conclusion of 2013, but for now, here’s a look at the top freshmen nationally after nine weeks.

College Football's Top 25 Freshmen After Week 9

1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Not only is Winston the top freshman in college football, he could make a strong case to be the No. 1 overall player. The Alabama native leads the ACC with an average of 311 passing yards per game, and his 11.9 yards per attempt ranks second nationally to Baylor’s Bryce Petty. Winston has tossed only four picks on 183 attempts and is completing 69.9 percent of his throws. Against ACC competition, Winston has thrown for at least three touchdowns in every game. As long as Famous Jameis continues at this pace, Florida State should finish unbeaten and in the mix for a spot in the national championship.

2. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Considering Florida already had Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson at cornerback, Hargreaves wasn’t necessarily guaranteed a prominent role in Florida’s secondary this year. However, the true freshman has been one of the Gators’ top defenders through the first seven games, recording 19 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups. According to advanced data by GatorBait.net, Hargreaves has allowed just 10 catches on 36 targets this year. And another indication of how good Hargreaves has been this year was his recent selection as one of the 15 finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award.

3. Kendall Fuller/Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
We usually list one player per slot, but Fuller and Facyson are almost interchangeable as key cogs in Virginia Tech’s secondary. With Antone Exum missing the first seven games recovering from knee surgery, the Hokies threw Fuller and Facyson into the fire. Both freshmen responded and played at a high level from the opening snap. Fuller has more tackles than Facyson (31 to 17) and owns a slight edge in interceptions (5 to 4). However, Facyson missed one game due to injury. Thanks in part to the performance of Fuller and Facyson, the Hokies rank second nationally against the pass and have allowed just six touchdown tosses in eight games. With Exum and Kyle Fuller expiring their eligibility at the end of the year, Fuller and Facyson will headline the secondary in 2014.

4. Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema brought the same run-first mentality to Fayetteville that he used at Wisconsin, and Collins has been a perfect fit in the new offense. The Florida native leads the Razorbacks with 797 yards and has four rushing scores on 141 attempts. Collins is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and his 797 yards rank third in the SEC. The freshman had four 100-yard efforts in his first five games and had a solid showing against Alabama (77 yards). Expect Collins to be one of the key pieces in Bielema’s rebuilding effort.

5. A’Shawn Robinson, DE, Alabama
Robinson has quickly emerged as one of Alabama’s top defensive linemen this season. In eight appearances, the true freshman has 23 tackles (five for a loss) and four sacks. Robinson also has four quarterback hurries. In Saturday’s win over Tennessee, Robinson started at nose guard and started at end against Georgia State. At 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, the Texas native certainly doesn’t resemble a true freshman, and he will only get better with another offseason in Alabama’s weight room.

6. Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Hackenberg’s numbers aren’t as impressive as Florida State’s Jameis Winston, but the Penn State starter has been solid in his first season on campus. The true freshman has started all seven games for the Nittany Lions, throwing for 1,784 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hackenberg has eight interceptions but is averaging 254.9 passing yards per game. The Virginia native has not completed more than 54.5 percent of his passes in a Big Ten contest. However, Hackenberg will get better with more time under the tutelage of coach Bill O’Brien.

7. Su’a Cravens, S, USC
Cravens ranked as the No. 5 recruit in the 2013 Athlon Consensus 100, and the California native is already one of USC’s top defenders. In eight games, Cravens has 37 tackles (1.5 tackles for a loss), three interceptions and one forced fumble. Cravens enrolled early at USC and the experience paid off, as he has started all eight games and will be one of the centerpieces for the Trojans’ new coach to build around in 2014.

8. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Treadwell was the top wide receiver recruit in the 2013 signing class and has been as good as advertised. In eight games, Treadwell has 41 catches for 385 yards and two scores. The freshman is averaging only 9.4 yards per reception, but his emergence at the start of the season was valuable for an offense that was dealing with the absence of Vince Sanders. If Donte Moncrief leaves for the NFL after this season, Treadwell will be the Rebels’ No. 1 target in 2014.

9. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Ramsey’s versatility has already paid dividends for Florida State’s defense, as the Tennessee native started the season at cornerback and moved to safety after Tyler Hunter’s neck injury. In seven games, Ramsey has 29 tackles, one sack, one interception and a forced fumble. Florida State’s secondary boasts an impressive collection of speed, talent and athletic ability, and Ramsey has been a key reason why the Seminoles rank first nationally against the pass, allowing just 9.9 yards per completion this year.

10. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Boyd has been the perfect complement to No. 1 receiver Devin Street in the Steel City, and the true freshman has added another big-play element to Pittsburgh’s offense. Through seven games, Boyd has 34 catches for 526 yards and five touchdowns. The Pennsylvania native also has 106 rushing yards and one touchdown, while averaging 20.3 yards on kickoff returns. Boyd had three consecutive 100-yard games in September but has not topped 46 yards in each of his last three contests.

11. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
With Anthony Barr and Jack anchoring the outside linebacker spots in UCLA’s 3-4 scheme, the Bruins have a dynamic duo capable of getting to the quarterback on any play. Jack has six starts this season and has recorded 45 tackles (four for a loss), one interception and six pass breakups. The freshman had a strong performance in the Bruins trip to Oregon, forcing one fumble and blocking a punt in the first half. With Barr expiring his eligibility at the end of 2013, Jack will become an even bigger part of UCLA’s defense next year.

12. Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
LSU returned a veteran core for its offensive line this year, but this unit was forced to shuffle its starting five after guard Josh Williford ended his career before the 2013 season started. Hawkins has been a steady presence on the right side for coach Les Miles, starting all eight games, including one at left tackle against Furman. Hawkins played 87 snaps in the opener against TCU and has at least 60 in every SEC game this year.

13. Addison Gillam, LB, Colorado
The Buffaloes are in rebuild mode with first-year coach Mike MacIntyre, and Gillam should be one player Colorado’s new staff can build around. In six games, Gillam leads the team with 67 tackles (five for a loss), has two sacks and three pass breakups. If he continues at his current pace, the California native will set a Colorado record for tackles by a freshman. Gillam has been a key force on third downs and has started all six games at middle linebacker.

14. Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss
There’s no denying Nkemdiche’s talent. The true freshman was the No. 1 recruit in the 2013 Athlon Consensus 100 and was pegged for a huge role in Ole Miss’ defensive line rotation before the season started. Injuries have plagued the Rebels’ defense, including Nkemdiche, who suffered a hamstring injury in the narrow loss to Texas A&M. In six games, Nkemdiche has 15 tackles (four for a loss), two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry. Stats are always a misnomer for defensive players, and Nkemdiche’s impact goes beyond the box score. And when healthy, the freshman lineman would rank higher on this list.

15. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Rebels were forced to shuffle their offensive line after guard Aaron Morris was lost for the season in the opener against Vanderbilt. Tunsil was slated for a key role before Morris’ injury, but the coaching staff needed an even bigger contribution from the freshman. Tunsil has started five out of the last six games at left tackle and has been stellar in pass protection. Tunsil should anchor Ole Miss’ line for the next three seasons.

16. John O’Korn, QB, Houston
Houston has experienced quite a turnaround in coach Tony Levine’s second season. After a 5-7 mark in 2012, the Cougars are 6-1 and will be in the mix for the American Athletic Conference title. O’Korn’s emergence has been huge for the offense, especially after starter David Piland was forced to retire due to concussions. In seven games, O’Korn has 1,858 yards and 19 scores, while tossing just four picks on 220 attempts. The freshman is coming off his best performance of the season, completing 24 of 30 passes for 364 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-14 win over Rutgers.

17. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish’s defense isn’t quite as dominant as the 2012 version, but Notre Dame is still holding opponents to just 21.6 points a game. Smith ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2013 Athlon Consensus 100, and the Indiana native hasn’t disappointed. Smith has started all eight games for the Fighting Irish, recording 39 tackles (4.5 for a loss), one interception and one forced fumble.

18. Alex Redmond, OG, UCLA
Injuries and roster turnover have prompted a handful of freshmen to see immediate playing time for the Bruins’ offensive line. Redmond ranked as the No. 228 overall prospect in the 2013 signing class by 247Sports and has started all seven games at right guard in 2013. UCLA’s line is anchored by standout Xavier Su’a-Filo, but Redmond has been a key cog in a unit that is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 469.1 yards per game this season.

19. Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech
The Red Raiders have been forced to start two true freshmen at quarterback this year, and both players (Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield) have performed well in their first collegiate action. Webb has started the last three games for Texas Tech, throwing for at least 385 yards in each start. The true freshman’s season high for yardage (462) came against West Virginia, but throwing for 385 yards and two touchdowns on the road against Oklahoma is a solid showing as well.

20. Steve Longa, LB, Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights have struggled to stop the pass this year, but largely due to the front seven, this defense ranks 12th nationally against the run. Longa leads all Rutgers defenders with 69 tackles, and the redshirt freshman has six tackles for a loss, three sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles. If Longa continues at his current pace, he could be a first- or second-team all-conference selection at the end of the season.

21. Montravius Adams/Carl Lawson, DL, Auburn
Adams and Lawson were two of Auburn’s top pickups on the recruiting trail and have combined for three sacks so far this year. With Dee Ford and Nosa Eguae expiring their eligibility at the end of 2013, Adams and Lawson should move into starting roles in 2014.

22. Darian Claiborne, LB, Texas A&M
There’s a youth movement for the Texas A&M defense this season. The Aggies only list four seniors on the defensive two-deep, with two freshmen listed as starters for Saturday’s game against UTEP. Claiborne has made five consecutive starts at middle linebacker and ranks third on the team with 49 stops. The freshman also has six tackles for a loss and one interception. With all of the new faces stepping into key roles, Texas A&M’s defense has struggled, allowing four of its five SEC opponents to score at least 30 points. However, the experienced gained for Claiborne in 2013 should help this unit improve in '14 and '15.

23. Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
The Wildcats had one of the Pac-12’s worst defenses in 2012, ranking 11th or 12th in the four major categories. But with nearly everyone back from last season, and the emergence of young talent, Arizona has improved, ranking fifth in the Pac-12 in total defense. Wright has added athleticism to the linebacking corps and leads all Wildcat defenders with 49 tackles.

24. Tony Conner, LB/DB, Ole Miss
Conner is another true freshman with a prominent role for Ole Miss. In eight games, Conner has 40 tackles (two for a loss), one sack and one interception. Conner is also credited with two quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound hybrid safety/linebacker is improving with every snap, and his presence has been critical for a defense that is short on depth due to injuries.

25. Daquawn Brown, CB, Washington State
Mike Leach is in rebuild mode at Washington State, and the Cougars have promising young talent on both sides of the ball. Brown has already proven he is one of the key cogs for the future, starting three games this season, including on the road at USC and Oregon. In eight overall appearances, Brown has 45 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups. Look for Brown to emerge as one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-12 over the next three seasons.

Other Top Freshmen

Dominique Alexander, LB, Oklahoma
Athletic, quick linebacker has 40 tackles in eight games.

Joey Bosa, DL, Ohio State
Has played in all eight games and recorded 18 tackles and two sacks.

Stacy Coley, WR, Miami
Will be a future star for the Hurricanes and has 17 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns in six games this year.

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
Rushed for 326 yards through first three games but has just 56 in last three appearances.

Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
Pass-rush specialist for the Bulldogs, recording four sacks and 13 quarterback hurries in seven games.

Jacoby Glenn, CB, UCF
Tied for American Athletic Conference lead with 11 passes defended.

Jared Goff, QB, California
Goff has thrown for 2,592 yards this season, but the true freshman has tossed seven picks and has only one touchdown toss in his last three games.

Isaiah Golden, DT, Texas A&M
Never easy starting as a true freshman at defensive tackle in the SEC, but Golden has 19 stops in seven games.

Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Ranks second on the team with 17 catches for 318 yards and one score.

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Has played in all eight games and has caught 10 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Germain Ifedi, OG, Texas A&M
Ifedi has started eight games at right guard for the Aggies this year.

Eddie Jackson, CB, Alabama
Has played in nine games (with three starts), recording nine tackles and one interception.

Ryan Janvion, S, Wake Forest
Redshirt freshman leads the team with 59 tackles.

Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
Will be a future star for the Bulldogs. Has 17 tackles and five quarterback hurries in seven games.

Desmond King, CB, Iowa
True freshman has grabbed a starting role in Iowa’s secondary, recording 43 tackles and four pass breakups.

Hardy Nickerson, LB, California
Ranks second on the defense with 51 stops and has one forced fumble in eight games.

Shock Linwood, RB, Baylor
All-name team selection and top backup to Lache Seastrunk. The freshman has 443 yards and seven touchdowns on 55 attempts.

Johnny Mundt, TE, Oregon
The Ducks haven’t missed a beat with Colt Lyerla’s departure, as Mundt has picked up the slack. Mundt has 12 catches for 216 yards and two scores in eight games.

Marquez North, WR, Tennessee
Already the Volunteers’ No. 1 receiver, made key grabs in the win over South Carolina.

Caleb Peterson, OG, North Carolina
Peterson has started all seven games for the Tar Heels in 2013.

Darius Philon, DT, Arkansas
Pressed into starting role after injury to Robert Thomas, recording 26 tackles (six for a loss) and three sacks in eight games this year.

Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
Redshirt freshman has started all eight games for the Sooners, recording 31 tackles and 10 pass breakups. Sanchez has been a key player in Oklahoma’s secondary, which ranks ninth nationally against the pass.

Dan Skipper/Denver Kirkland, OG, Arkansas
Freshmen duo has started in each of the last four games for the Razorbacks.

Sojourn Shelton, CB, Wisconsin
Has started all seven games for the Badgers, recording 20 tackles and three interceptions thus far.

Cam Sutton, CB, Tennessee
Sutton was only a three-star prospect but has been a key piece in Tennessee’s secondary this year. He returned an interception for a touchdown against Western Kentucky and has 25 tackles and five pass breakups in eight appearances.

Thomas Tyner, RB, Oregon
Tyner will be a standout performer for Oregon in time, but playing time is limited with Byron Marshall and De’Anthony Thomas ahead on the depth chart. The true freshman has played in seven games, rushing for 437 yards and eight touchdowns. Tyner also has nine catches for 105 yards.

Ben Weaver, LB, Boise State
Leads all Boise State defenders with 72 tackles.

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
White could be the next in LSU’s run of standout defensive backs. The true freshman has 39 tackles, one interception and six pass breakups in 2013.

Dontre Wilson, RB, Ohio State
Dynamic playmaker averaging 9.6 yards per touch.

Teaser:
College Football's Top 25 Freshmen in 2013 After Week 9
Post date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-coach-hot-seat-rankings-post-week-9-edition
Body:

After a flurry of activity in late September/early October, the college football coach carousel has been quiet in the last few weeks. But is a period of calm signaling a busy offseason? It’s not out of the question.

Texas’ Mack Brown ranked No. 1 in the hot seat rankings just a few weeks ago, but the Longhorns have rallied with four consecutive victories. Although Texas has made some improvement, the schedule is going to get tougher, including a date at Baylor in the regular season finale.

Charlie Weis didn’t inherit a roster full of talent at Kansas, but the Jayhawks haven’t made much progress in his two seasons. The Jayhawks have lost 25 Big 12 games in a row and appear unlikely to win a conference matchup in 2013.

Nebraska’s Bo Pelini rebounded from a non-conference loss against UCLA with three consecutive victories, and the pressure on the program was on the way down. But a loss at Minnesota has Pelini back under the spotlight, as the Cornhuskers are 6-2 and have yet to play the toughest portion of their schedule.

Each week, we will take a look at the hot seat/pressure on a program for all 125 coaches. Some new coaches will rank high due to poor performances but aren't in any danger of losing their job.

And another important note when reading our coach on the hot seat rankings: Outside of the top 10-15 coaches, it’s all about the pressure on a program. While some coaches – like Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Indiana's Kevin Wilson – aren’t in any danger of being fired. However, both coaches need to continue to show the program is headed in the right direction.

Ranking All 125 CFB Coaches on Hot Seat/Pressure on Program to Win in 2013

RkCoachTeam2013 RecordAnalysis
1Ron English1-7Eagles have eight-game losing streak.
2Mike London2-6Schedule only getting tougher for Cavaliers.
3Charlie Weis2-5Jayhawks have lost 25 Big 12 games in a row.
4Bo Pelini5-2Will Pelini coach at Nebraska in 2014?
5Norm Chow0-7Warriors have lost four in a row by 10 points or less.
6Dana Holgorsen3-5WVU rebuilding, but missing bowl would not sit well.
7Charley Molnar1-7Minutemen have won just two games under Molnar.
8Ron Turner1-6Panthers headed for dismal 1-11 season.
9Dan Enos3-5Easy upcoming schedule could help save Enos' job.
10Tim Beckman3-4Fighting Illini have lost 17 straight Big Ten games.
11Doc Holliday4-3Season finale against ECU will decide C-USA East.
12Todd Monken0-7USM has lost 55-14 in back-to-back weeks.
13Mack Brown5-2Pressure has cooled with four consecutive victories.
14Skip Holtz3-5 
15P.J. Fleck1-8Finally broke into the win column. 
16Matt Rhule1-7Freshman QB P.J. Walker continues to impress.
17Garrick McGee2-5Blazers just 5-14 in two years under McGee.
18Sean Kugler1-6 
19Doug Martin1-7Barely avoided bad loss against Abilene Christian.
20June Jones3-4Can the Mustangs rally for a bowl?
21Rich Ellerson3-5
22Randy Edsall5-3Bye week should help Terps' regroup.
23Carl Pelini2-6Forced to resign this week.
24Bill Blankenship2-5Golden Hurricane in danger of missing bowl.
25Kevin Wilson3-4Can the Hoosiers find answers on defense?
26Dave Christensen4-4Loss to SJSU hampers Wyoming's bowl hopes.
27Bobby Hauck5-3Win over Nevada was program's first since 2004.
28Dan Mullen4-3
29Troy Calhoun1-7
30Rocky Long3-4
31Terry Bowden2-7Zips improving, but still a ways off.
32Paul Petrino1-7
33Joey Jones3-4
34Bobby Petrino4-44-4 record a disappointment for WKU.
35Kyle Flood4-3Scarlet Knights struggling with turnovers.
36Brian Polian3-5
37Jim Grobe4-4 
38Rick Stockstill4-4
39Jeff Quinn6-2Favorable schedule, but Bulls have won six in a row.
40Tony Levine6-1Quite a turnaround for Levine and Houston in 2013.
41Kirk Ferentz5-3
42Paul Haynes2-7
43Will Muschamp4-3
44Bob Davie2-5
45Sonny Dykes1-7
46Darrell Hazell1-6
47Scott Shafer3-4
48Bryan Harsin3-4
49Larry Fedora2-5
50Mike Leach4-4
51Trent Miles0-8
52Paul Chryst4-3
53Jim McElwain4-4McElwain has Rams moving in the right direction.
54Ron Caragher4-3
55Paul Johnson5-3
56Matt Wells4-4
57Bret Bielema3-5Bielema vs. Malzahn should be interesting this week.
58Willie Taggart2-5Taggart searching for answers on offense.
59Mark Stoops1-6UK playing hard for Stoops.
60Dave Doeren3-4
61Dennis Franchoine5-3Bobcats one win away from bowl eligibility.
62Ruffin McNeill5-2
63George O'Leary6-1
64David Bailiff6-2
65Dan McCarney5-3Quietly doing a good job in third season. 
66Tommy Tuberville5-2
67Larry Blakeney5-3
68Brady Hoke6-1
69Frank Solich6-2
70Jerry Kill6-2
71Steve Sarkisian5-3
72Mark Richt4-3
73Justin Fuente1-5
74Dave Clawson5-3
75Butch Jones4-4
76Dabo Swinney7-1
77Kyle Whittingham4-4
78Ken Niumatalolo4-3
79Paul Rhoads1-6
80Larry Coker3-5
81Mark Dantonio7-1
82Curtis Johnson6-2Johnson in mix for national coach of the year.
83Bob Stoops7-1
84Matt Campbell5-3
85Todd Berry4-4QB Kolton Browning back in the lineup.
86Steve Addazio3-4
87Rod Carey8-0
88Brian Kelly6-2
89Gary Pinkel7-1
90Mark Helfrich8-0Strong showing in second half for Helfrich.
91Al Golden7-0
92Rich Rodriguez5-2
93Todd Graham5-2
94Jim Mora5-2
95Mike MacIntyre3-4
96Bronco Mendenhall6-2
97Frank Beamer6-2
98Les Miles7-2
99Gus Malzahn7-1
100Mike Riley6-2
101James Franklin4-4
102Hugh Freeze5-3
103Tim DeRuyter7-0
104Gary Andersen5-2
105Jimbo Fisher7-0
106David Cutcliffe6-2Should make bowl for second consecutive season.
107Mike Gundy6-1
108Pete Lembo8-1
109Mark Hudspeth5-2
110Bill O'Brien4-3
111Gary Patterson3-4
112Pat Fitzgerald4-4
113Kevin Sumlin6-2
114Bill Snyder3-4
115Charlie Strong7-1
116Steve Spurrier6-2
117Chris Petersen5-3
118David Shaw7-1
119Kliff Kingsbury7-1
120Art Briles7-0
121Urban Meyer8-0
122Nick Saban8-0
NREd Orgeron2-1
NRT.J. Weist0-3
NRMike Bath0-3

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ACC Post-Week 9 Power Rankings
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Big Ten Post-Week 9 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 9 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

Teaser:
College Football's Coach on the Hot Seat Rankings: Post-Week 9 Edition
Post date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 07:16
Path: /college-football/will-bo-pelini-coach-nebraska-2014
Body:

After a loss to UCLA in early September, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini started to feel the temperature on his seat increase by a few degrees. However, the Cornhuskers rebounded by winning three games – albeit against overmatched opponents – and had some momentum going into a road date at Minnesota.

But any momentum Nebraska had was lost on Saturday, as the Cornhuskers lost 34-23 to the Golden Gophers.

The Cornhuskers have problems on both sides of the ball, and quarterback Taylor Martinez now has a hip pointer and is questionable to play in Week 10. If Martinez doesn’t start, freshman Tommy Armstrong will take the No. 1 spot on the depth chart.

While the offense is a concern, the defense is a bigger issue for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are allowing 5.8 yards per play and have allowed 20 or more points in four games.

Pelini is feeling the heat once again after losing to Minnesota. Even at 5-2, Pelini can’t be too confident about his job status, especially with a brutal November slate that features games against Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State and Michigan.

Will Bo Pelini Coach at Nebraska in 2014?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
After losing to Minnesota, Bo Pelini is coaching for his job in the final month of the season. Under Pelini, Nebraska has won at least nine games in every season but doesn’t have a BCS bowl appearance and has just one top-15 finish (2009) in the final Associated Press poll. And the defense – Pelini’s strong suit – ranks ninth in the Big Ten in yards allowed. It’s fair to wonder if the expectations in Lincoln are a tad too high, especially as the program transitions to the Big Ten. However, this is Nebraska and championships are expected. The Cornhuskers could be without quarterback Taylor Martinez this Saturday against Northwestern, and the schedule won’t get easier with games against Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa to close out the year. None of those five games are guaranteed victories for Nebraska. Even though Pelini seems to be losing ground, I think he will be back for another year in 2014. However, that’s banking on the Cornhuskers getting to eight or nine wins in 2013. And if Pelini returns next year, expect him to be on a short leash in terms of job security.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
I’d imagine the only way Bo Pelini remains at Nebraska is if the Cornhuskers win the Big Ten and reach the Rose Bowl. That’s still a possibility, of course. The Huskers still have games to play against Michigan and Michigan State for the division, and 7-1 in the Legends would be a pretty big feat. But the reality is that things look pretty dire for Pelini. The program has plateaued, and part of that plateau the last five seasons has included ranked Nebraska teams losing to unranked opponents. The defense, supposedly Pelini’s strong suit, isn’t getting any better, and the Huskers are looking at a new quarterback in 2014. Pelini has put the program on steadier footing since the Bill Callahan era, but there’s no momentum left. If Pelini is still the coach in 2014 and he doesn’t have a Big Ten title, it’s going to be awfully difficult for him to recruit or keep the support of people outside the program. Nebraska may not want to look for a coach when USC and potentially Texas are open, but the Huskers may have no choice.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
Needless to say, the next five weeks are critical for Bo Pelini's future at Nebraska. Best case scenario, the Huskers win four of the final five games, finish 9-3, clinch the Legends Division title and get crushed in the Big Ten title game by Ohio State. That would give Pelini his fourth division crown, an 0-4 record in conference title games and a sixth consecutive season with at least four losses. That might be the BEST case scenario for a team that just got run (literally) out of the building by Minnesota. That situation would offer one of the more unique coaching resumes ever constructed: Four division crowns and 24 losses in six seasons. Frankly, that is difficult to do and it would mean a major decision has to be made in Lincoln. However, odds are the much-maligned Nebraska defense costs the Huskers more than just one game the rest of the way, and Pelini misses out on the Big Ten title game altogether. That’s not good news for a coach who already has a tenuous relationship with his fanbase, administration and media. It feels like both parties might be benefit from an amicable divorce.

Mark Ross
Make no mistake, Saturday's road loss to Minnesota did Pelini no favors, but Nebraska still is very much in the hunt for the Legends Division title. That was the Cornhuskers' first conference setback with games against Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa left. If Big Red runs the table then guess who's going to Indianapolis? I know this may seem far-fetched right now, but the only two road games are in Ann Arbor and State College. The rest, including the pivotal meeting with the Spartans in the middle of November, are at home. At worst, Nebraska looks to have a reasonable shot at nine wins, either before or including the bowl game, which is what Pelini has done ever since he took over in 2008. I know that Husker fans have lofty expectations, and Pelini has had his share of inexplicable losses, head-shaking moments and stuck his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion. However, the bottom line is he is 54-22 overall and 31-12 in conference play as Nebraska's head coach. Does it really make sense to fire someone who has won more than 70 percent of his games? Can you guarantee me that this program will be better off in 2014 with someone other than Pelini? You would certainly be hard-pressed to find someone as colorful, that's for sure.

Teaser:
Will Bo Pelini Coach at Nebraska in 2014?
Post date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 07:16

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