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4-Down Territory: SEC Twin-Bill Headlines November's First Weekend


First Down: Friday into Noon: #23 Oregon State (6-2) at Washington (6-2) Friday 10:30 ESPN2: The winner stays alive in the Pac 12 race and the loser is out. Washington QB Michael Pennix already has 2934 yards and has been the driving force for Washington. He could be the key to this one….#2 Ohio State (8-0) at Northwestern (1-7) Noon ABC: This is the first of 3 “check the box” games between The Buckeyes and the season-ending game against Michigan. With Northwestern struggling to make plays on offense, the Buckeyes should have this one in hand….Texas Tech (4-4) at #7 TCU (8-0) Noon Fox: If there is a vulnerability for TCU it is definitely on defense. But having said that, it does not look like Texas Tech will be able to exploit that enough to keep pace with TCU…..#17 UNC (7-1) at Virginia (3-5) 12:00 ACC: A tale of two quarterbacks here with Virginia’s dynamic Brennan Armstrong taking a massive step backwards this year. A year ago he was a 4,400+ yard passer with 31 TDs, a year later his numbers are way off. For UNC, QB Drake Maye has racked up 2,671 yards, 29 TDs and just 3 interceptions to go with 439 rushing yards and 3 TDs. He may be the best QB that most of the country has not yet seen…..#19 Tulane (7-1) at Tulsa (3-5) Noon ESPNU: In a game that should be “The Weather Channel Bowl” the green wave rolls in to play the golden Hurricanes of Tulsa. Tulane has a win over Kansas State and has two big conference games left. Of note: if the 12-team playoff were held now, Tulane would be the 12th seed. These games will have much bigger meaning in a few years.


Second Down: Mid-Afternoon Specials: #8 Oregon (7-1) at Colorado (1-7) 3:30 ESPN: The Ducks need to get started fast and get the starters rested. Colorado continues to struggle…#18 Oklahoma State (6-2) at Kansas (5-3) 3:30 FS1: Which Oklahoma State team will show up? While OSU is still in the Big 12 hunt, any time you lose 48-0 you have to take a hard look at everything you’re doing……Michigan State (3-5) at #16 Illinois (7-1) 3:30 Big Ten Network: The Illini continue to be the surprise of the Big Ten and with a win here and next week against Purdue they clinch the West. Sparty has a boatload of off-field distractions, and the Illini are laser focused. That spells big trouble for a Spartan defense that had trouble stopping the run against Michigan. On defense the Illini have picked off 15 passes—which leads the country. One area of concern for Illinois, despite a +8 turnover margin, they’ve lost 10 fumbles…..Arizona (3-5) at #14 Utah 6:30 (3:30 pacific) PAC 12 Network: Arizona’s offense will be a challenge for the Utah defense—but can they keep up? Salt Lake City has proven a tough place to play and that should continue on Saturday…..#22 Syracuse (6-2) at Pitt (4-4) 3:30 ACC Network: Pitt struggled with field position last week andpunting has been a problem all season in flipping the field. UNC ran over half of their 2nd-half plays in Pitt territory. Pitt needs to keep the Orange on a long field and match-up with some