By Stewart Mandel
November 13, 2009
College Football Week 11
Saturday, November 14
7:30 p.m. (CBS College Sports) No. 16 Utah (8-1) at No. 4 TCU (9-0)
A fierce conference showdown between two top 16 team? Vegas scoffs at the notion. The Horned Frogs are 20-point favorites over the presumably formidable Utes. Credit respect for TCU, which has been dominant at home, and a lack of faith in Utah freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn, who will be making just his second start and will be facing the nation's fourth-ranked pass defense. Expect lots of sacks.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 15 Iowa (9-1) at No. 10 Ohio State (8-2)
Was it really only a couple of weeks ago that Iowa was sitting in the thick of the national-title hunt while Buckeyes fans were bracing for a possible New Year's trip to Orlando? Following Ohio State's impressive win at Penn State and Iowa's loss to Northwestern (and the loss of QB Ricky Stanzi), the Buckeyes sit a win away from a Rose Bowl berth -- and they're considered 16-point favorites to get it.
3:30 p.m. ET (FSN) No. 25 Stanford (6-3) at No. 11 USC (7-2)
USC's offense has gone in the toilet the past two weeks, and now it must play without top receiver Damian Williams. Meanwhile, Cardinal QB Andrew Luck boasts the arm and accuracy to exploit a shaky Trojans' pass defense. But a return to the Coliseum following two straight road trips should rejuvenate Pete Carroll's team, particularly QB Matt Barkley, who can pick apart the nation's 102nd-ranked pass defense.
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) No. 1 Florida (9-0) at South Carolina (6-4)
Steve Spurrier has wreaked havoc on his alma mater before, knocking off the Gators in Urban Meyer's first season and coming within a blocked field goal of ruining Florida's 2006 national title season. Since then, however, the Gators have won two meetings by a combined score of 107-37. South Carolina's reeling offense doesn't figure to fare much better against the Gators' second-ranked defense.
3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU) Idaho (7-3) at No. 6 Boise State (9-0)
Idaho coach Robb Akey isn't backing down from his school's much-lauded rival. "I want to be the least popular individual with all the WAC administrators after we get done on Saturday," said Akey, "because if we take care of business there's not going to be a BCS bowl for Boise State." If the Vandals were hosting this one, you might give them a fighting chance. But the Broncos don't lose on the blue turf; more often than not, they humiliate people.
Noon ET (ESPN2) No. 7 Georgia Tech (9-1) at Duke (5-4)
It's all come down to this: To clinch a spot in the ACC championship, the Jackets just need to win at Duke -- only that's no longer as easy as you might think. Georgia Tech's defense has been notably erratic, and Blue Devils QB Thad Lewis (15 TDs, five INTs) has the arm to exploit it. It's far more likely, however, that Josh Nesbitt and the Georgia Tech offense will cause fits for Duke's 62nd-ranked rushing defense.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 12 Miami (7-2) at North Carolina (6-3)
Jacory Harris and the 'Canes poured it on against Virginia last week, rolling up 52 points and 515 yards at Landshark Stadium. However, Miami hasn't been nearly as dominant on the road, averaging 25 points (compared with 38.2 at home), and Harris -- who has 12 interceptions on the year -- will be going against a fierce Tar Heels defense that ranks fifth nationally against the pass and forces two turnovers per game.
7 p.m. ET (Versus) No. 18 Arizona (6-2) at Cal (6-3)
The Wildcats are in unfamiliar territory: They control their own destiny in the hunt for their first Rose Bowl berth since ... ever. Quarterback Nick Foles (71.4 percent completions, 12 TDs, five INTs) has a chance to tee off on the Bears' 117th-ranked pass defense. Cal, on the other hand, will be without injured star RB Jahvid Best and looked last week like a team whose season is heading in the wrong direction.
8 p.m. ET (ABC) Notre Dame (6-3) at No. 8 Pittsburgh (8-1)
Upset Special: While much of the nation has already chalked this one up as Irish coach Charlie Weis' final undoing, Notre Dame may be poised to finally beat a ranked team. Why? While the Panthers have developed an unquestionably solid offense behind QB Bill Stull and RB Dion Lewis, their defense has faced just one top 30 offense all season: N.C. State's. They lost. Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate and Co. should have a big night.
Record Last Week: 5-5               Overall: 56-44

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