After a bye week for us here at BCMG, week 12 of the College Football season is upon us. We are now knee-deep into November which means things are about to get even crazier. The College Football Playoff Ranking Committee will be watching games extra close this weekend. Teams that currently find themselves in the top eight in the country have no more room for errors. In this weeks edition of BCMG's CFB Predictions, we are taking six games to breakdown. This is your ultimate preview of Saturday's top matchups.
UCLA @ 11 Oregon
Game Time: 3:30 EST
Venue: Autzen Stadium - Eugene, OR
Line: Oregon -17
In Saturday's matchup, Washington State gave Oregon a little scare in the first half, jumping out to an early 19-7 lead. But Oregon fought back and won handily with a score of 43-29. The Ducks are coming into this game as one of only two ranked teams in the PAC-12. The Ducks will just need to play their game and let QB Tyler Shough throw the ball, as he had 312 yards and four TD's in last week's win. For the Bruins, who come in as heavy underdogs, they will need to step it up big-time if they even want to cover the spread. Head Coach Chip Kelly needs a big time win to keep him off of the hot-seat as he has done almost nothing for this program. For UCLA to have a shot, RB Demetric Felton is going to need the ball and is going to need to get up field like he did last Sunday morning when he ran for 107 yards. I expect this game to be close because it is PAC-12 football, but I think Oregon will win a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: 41-28 Oregon
7 Cincinnati @ UCF
Game Time: 3:30 EST
Venue: Bounce House - Orlando, FL
Line: Cincinnati -5.5
Cincinnati has one of the best defenses in the country, allowing just 12.8 points per game and about 300 yards of offense per game. On Saturday, they will play an explosive offense that has had some trouble getting going during the start of games this year. For the Bearcats to win, the defense needs to keep up their amazing play and the offense will need to find a way to be a little more productive. For UCF, they slipped up in the beginning of the season as they fell to Tulsa and Memphis with a combined difference of nine points. QB Dillon Gabriel will have his hands full playing this stellar defense and will need to be very smart with his decisions on Saturday. I expect the Bearcats to run away with this one in the last few drives but UCF will keep it close throughout the game. Cincinnati just has a way better defense than UCF and that is what will win the Bearcats this game.
Prediction: 34-21 Cincinnati
14 Oklahoma State @ 18 Oklahoma
Game Time: 7:30 EST
Venue: Memorial Stadium - Norman, OK
Line: Oklahoma -7
This game will most likely determine who plays in the Big XII Championship Game down in Jerry's World and might also give us an idea of which of these defences is better. Each team has had an amazing defense as of late and will need to keep it up in order to win Bedlam. Oklahoma State comes into this game struggling to get their offense going as they were shutout in the first half of last week's win against Kansas State for the first time since 2014. Even though there is doubt about the Cowboy offense getting going on Saturday, WR Tylan Wallace is back and I believe his absence was the biggest reason why the offense was slow last week as the passing game runs through him. The Sooners come into Saturday with a lot of confidence, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Once they got their leader back in DE Ronnie Perkins, the defense has looked amazing. For Oklahoma to win, QB Spencer Rattler is going to have to reduce the freshman mistakes and get the ball out quickly against this stingy Cowboy defense. I anticipate this game to be a shootout, and even expect the defences to get in on the scoring. I think Wallace and RB Chuba Hubbard will have big days and will lead the Cowboys to victory over the Sooners for the first time since 2014 when WR Tyreek Hill ran back a punt with a minute left to send the game to OT where the Cowboys ultimately won the game.
Prediction: 38-34 Oklahoma State
9 Indiana @ 3 Ohio State
Game Time: 12:00pm EST
Venue: Ohio Stadium - Columbus, OH
Line: Ohio State -20.5
This was not a game that I circled on my calendar at the start of the season. Not in a million years did I think this was going to be a top 10 matchup but here we are. Indiana's hot streak of late has a lot to do with their offensive line protecting QB Michael Penix Jr. When Penix can get comfortable, he has proved to be extremely good and has shown out this year. In order to win this week, the Hoosiers have to take care of the ball and not give the Buckeyes any leeway. For Ohio State, their defense has to be hitting on all cylinders. They have to stop Penix early and often. Maybe two turnovers will get the job done, but they need to make plays on both sides of the ball. It is clear that all the pressure in this game is on the shoulders of QB Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is their first real "test" of the season. If they walk out tomorrow night with a top 10 win, their chances of making the College Football Playoff will be nearly guaranteed.
Prediction: 42-24 Ohio State
10 Wisconsin @ 19 Northwestern
Game Time: 3:30pm EST
Venue: Ryan Field - Chicago, IL
Line: Wisconsin -7.5
With Wisconsin only playing two games so far, we don't really know much about their team. What we do know is they aren't turning the ball over and they are converting on 3rd-downs. Historically, this has not been a good matchup for the Badgers. They have lost to Northwestern twice in the last four years due to silly mistakes and turnovers. While I'm pretty sure Wisconsin will take care of the ball on Saturday, there is still a chance for Northwestern to pull out the win. The Wildcats offensive and defensive lines have been nothing short of fantastic this year, and their run defense has been superb as well. Northwestern has mastered the art of always hanging around until the 4th quarter. I expect this game to come down to the final minutes, but with Wisconsin's personnel and play calling, I find it difficult to predict a Badger loss.
Prediction: 28-24 Wisconsin
Appalachian State @ 15 Coastal Carolina
Game Time: 12:00pm EST
Venue: Brooks Stadium - Conway, SC
Line: Coastal Carolina -3
The Sun Belt has one of its biggest matchups this weekend. With Coastal Carolina on this rise, they are favored over past Sun Belt giant, App. State. This matchup has quickly turned into a rivalry within the conference. Coastal, coming into this game with a Top-25 ranking, needs to come out of the gate guns blazing. App. State is more than capable of beating a Top-25 team, especially in their own conference. We are not yet sure the availability of Mountaineer Quarterback, Zac Thomas, who is a big piece to their offense. For Coastal Carolina, they need to do more of what they have been doing all season, limiting turnovers and keeping their defense off the field. If Coastal can keep App. State below 25 points, I like their shot of winning this weekend.
Prediction: 32-21 Coastal Carolina
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