College Game Previews Week 12

November 19, 2015

Week 12 and the season winds up with a bang. As always happens, injuries are becoming a major factor for way too many teams as the marathon season heads to the finish line. For instance TCU has now lost JOSH DOCTSON/WR for certain and TREVONE BOYKIN/QB is banged up. In one of my games below you will note that QB/CONNOR COOK is an injury question mark for the Spartans. And so it goes… the regrettable side of sports. But guided by the mantra of Next Man Up we should be treated to some top notch college action.

MICHIGAN (8-2) by 5 @ PENN STATE (7-3)

The JAMES FRANKLIN rebuild job at PENN STATE is making strides, but the Wolverine rebirth under JIM HARBAUGH is flat-out rolling right now. HARBAUGH seems to be working his magic on graduate transfer QB JAKE RUDOCK. This guy now looks nothing like the plodding guy who led IOWA last season. I think Michigan has too many weapons and too much overall roster strength for the Nittany Lions at this stage of things. Clearly, Brady Hoke’s main issue was not in recruiting talent. I expect a close first half and Michigan dominance in the second half. Prospects to watch:

MICHIGAN                                                             PENN STATE

#15 JAKE RUDOCH/QB 6’3/208                           #14 CHRIS HACKENBERG/QB 6’4/235 JR
#24 WAYNE LYONS/CB 6’1/195                            #87 KYLE CARTER/TE 6’3/240
#35 JOE BOLDEN/LB 6’2/232                               #95 CARL NASSIB/DE 6’6/270
#39 SIONE HOUMA/FB 6’0/243                          #98 ANTHONY ZETTEL/DL 6’4/280
#43 CHRIS WORMLEY/DT 6’4/300 JR              #99 AUSTIN JOHNSON/DT 6’4/325 JR

LSU (7-2) by 4 @ OLE MISS (7-3)
This is a big game for LES MILES and his Bayou Bengals. They have lost 2 in a row and looked mediocre in doing so. OLE MISS has had a bye week to rest and regroup. But I do think that the LSU Defense will step it up against CHAD KELLY and force him to throw the ball way too much. When KELLY has to throw 40 times, or more, he’s very likely to put up a couple of INT, especially against an excellent LSU secondary. I look for LSU to take over the game in the second half and pull out a victory. The talent level of these secondaries and receiving corps is exceptional. Prospects to watch:

LSU                                                                           MISSISSIPPI 

#16 TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE/CB 5’11/191              #1 LAQUON TREADWELL/WR 6’2/220 JR
#28 JALEN MILLS/FS 6’0/195                              #5 ROBERT NKEMDICHE/DT 6’4/295 JR
#45 DEION JONES/LB 6’0/220                            #7 TRAE ELSTON/S 6’0/195
#52 KENDELL BECKWITH/ILB 6’2/245 JR      #74 FAHN COOPER/OT 6’5/312
#74 VADAL ALEXANDER/OT 6’6/320               #78 LAREMY TUNSIL/LT 6’5/305 JR
#83 TRAVIN DURAL/WR 6’2/192 JR                 #88 CODY CORE/WR 6’3/195

This should be a marvelous contest between two teams that currently enjoy 4 game winning streaks. The Trojans appear to be putting together the same kind of run they did under Coach O when he replaced LANE KIFFIN. HC CLAY HELTON seems to have the support of his players and they are playing well under his guidance. QB VERNON ADAMS is healthy again and leading the Ducks Offense on some big scoring drives. Expect some fireworks here, but also be on the watch for some standout defensive players. Forget their records and you may think your watching the PAC-12 title game, given the quality of both rosters. Prospects to watch:

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA                                 OREGON

#6 CODY KESSLER/QB 6’1/215                               #2 BRALON ADDISON/WR 5’10/190 JR
#13 KEVON SEYMOUR/CB 6’0/185                      #44 DeFOREST BUCKNER/DE 6’7/295
#21 SU’A CRAVENS/LB/S 6’0/225 JR                  #48 RODNEY HARDRICK/LB 6’1/245
#23 TRE MADDEN/RB 6’1/225                              #56 ALEX BALDUCCI/DT 6’4/310
#52 DELVON SIMMONS/DE 6’5/295                   #64 TYLER JOHNSTONE/OT 6’6/295
#99 ANTWAUN WOODS/DT 6’1/320                   #96 CHRISTIAN FRENCH/LB 6’5/250

MICHIGAN STATE (9-1) @ OHIO STATE (10-0) by 9
It is time for the Spartans to stand up and be counted, or be relegated to second class status for the remainder of the regular and post-season. The status of QB/CONNOR COOK could be the biggest question mark of the week. The team took care of Maryland pretty much without him, but I wouldn’t count on a replay of that against JOEY BOSA and the Buckeyes Defense. In fact speculation right now is that the BUCKEYES could threaten the NFL Draft record for First Rounders taken, if enough of their underclassmen come out early. But just as a note of solace to Ohio State faithful, URBAN has a track record of having a lot of talented underclassmen come back for their senior season. Maybe at the least the Spartans can soften up the Buckeyes for MICHIGAN next week with their physicality! Prospects to watch:

MICHIGAN STATE                                                   OHIO STATE
#8 LAWRENCE THOMAS/DT 6’4/305                     #11 VONN BELL/S 5’11/205 JR
#16 AARON BURBRIDGE/WR 6’1/208                     #1 BRAXTON MILLER/WR 6’2/215
#18 CONNOR COOK/QB 6’4/220 INJ                       #15 EZEKIEL ELLIOTT/RB 6’0/225 JR
#43 ED DAVIS/LB 6’3/233                                           #37 JOSH PERRY/LB 6’4/254
#66 JACK ALLEN/OC 6’2/295 INJ                            #68 TAYLOR DECKER/OT 6’7/315
#74 JACK CONKLIN/OT 6’6/315 JR                          #81 NICK VANNETT/TE 6’6/260
#76 DONOVAN CLARK/G 6’4/315                             #92 ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON/DT 6’4/300
#89 SHILIQUE CALHOUN/DE 6’5/250                   #97 JOEY BOSA/DE 6’5/275 JR

CALIFORNIA (6-4) @ STANFORD (8-2) by 6
A win here for CAL would make their season. For you geographically challenged BERKELEY and PAOL ALTO are a bridge ride away from each other. And they represent the brainiac championship of the West Coast. STANFORD needs to regroup and bounce back from a loss last week to Oregon that effectively eliminated them from serious FInal Four consideration. In fact that loss may have put the PAC-12 in serious jeopardy of not getting into the Final Four as a conference. It may also serve as a coming out party for CAL junior QB JARED GOFF. Like many I will be watching GOFF with a critical eye in this contest against Stanford’s tough Defense. If puts up good numbers and leads CAL to a win, he may again be considered the top QB for the 2016 NFL Draft. Which in turn might be enough to sway him into coming out early. Prospects to watch:

CALIFORNIA                                                              STANFORD

#2 DANIEL LASCO/RB 6’0/210                                  #8 KEVIN HOGAN/QB 6’4/225
#1 BRYCE TREGGS/WR 5’11/185                                #4 BLAKE MARTINEZ/ILB 6’2/247
#6 DARUIS WHITE/CB 6’1/180                                 #21 RONNIE HARRIS/CB 5’10/175
#7 JALEN JEFFERSON/LB 6’2/235                          #48 KEVIN ANDERSON/OLB 6’4/245 INJ
#16 JARED GOFF/QB 6’4/210 JR                               #51 JOSHUA GARNETT/OG 6’5/325
#73 JORDAN RIGSBEE/OG 6’4/300                         #78 KEVIN MURPHY/OT 6’7/300
#89 STEPHEN ANDERSON/TE/WR 6’3/220          #88 DEVON CAJUSTE/WR 6’4/230