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GAMES OF THE WEEK

Nov. 21, 2011
Nov. 21, 2011

Table of Contents
Nov. 21, 2011

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
SPECIAL REPORT: SCANDAL. SHAME. A SEARCH FOR ANSWERS.
PRO FOOTBALL
  • Remember the 49ers? After eight dismal years, the former glamour team has been reborn—as a band of blue-collar misfits led by an intense new coach and a roster full of NFL castoffs

PRO HOCKEY
PRO BASKETBALL
  • J.J. Barea, the breakout star of the NBA Finals, wants to get back to work. Until he does, he'll be hanging out with his girlfriend— a former Miss Universe—on the tropical island where he's a hero

HEY SIXTEEN
  • HAS A LOT ON HER MIND. THE YOUNGEST WINNER IN LPGA TOUR HISTORY HAS THE GAME, THE DRIVE AND THE CHARISMA TO BE THE NEXT MEGASTAR IN WOMEN'S GOLF. IF ONLY SHE COULD FIND A DATE TO THE PROM

Departments

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Here are the teams and the themes to follow this weekend

NO. 18 USC AT NO. 4 OREGON

This is an article from the Nov. 21, 2011 issue

What we've learned about the Trojans

They are playing their best ball of the season. In last Saturday's 40--17 rout of Washington, USC, which has won five of six games, rushed for 252 yards and passed for 174 more.

What we've learned about the Ducks

Oregon—again—has the most explosive offense in the Pac-12. LaMichael James ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks knocked off previously undefeated Stanford 53--30.

What it will mean on Saturday

This will be a high-scoring track meet that will serve as a de facto bowl game for the postseason-banned Trojans. The Ducks, however, still have BCS title hopes and will pull away late.

NO. 17 NEBRASKA AT NO. 20 MICHIGAN

What we've learned about the Huskers

The most reliable tailback in the Big Ten is Rex Burkhead, who rushed for 121 yards in a 17--14 win over Penn State. Stopping Burkhead is the key to stopping the Nebraska offense.

What we've learned about the Wolverines

The Michigan defense played its best game of the season against Illinois, preventing the Fighting Illini from crossing midfield for the first 43 minutes of a 31--14 win.

What it will mean on Saturday

This will be a bruising, pound-the-ball game. Whichever team runs for more yards will win—and that team will be Nebraska. The Huskers stay alive in the Legends division.

NO. 5 OKLAHOMA AT NO. 25 BAYLOR

What we've learned about the Sooners

Oklahoma is back in the national title hunt. Last Saturday's bye came at a good time for the Sooners, who must find a replacement for injured receiver Ryan Broyles, who's out for the year.

What we've learned about the Bears

Robert Griffin III is the most dangerous pass-run threat in the nation. Down 24--3 in the fourth quarter to Kansas, Griffin led a furious comeback as Baylor beat the Jayhawks 31--30 in overtime.

What it will mean on Saturday

For Baylor to have a shot, Griffin will have to play the game of his life—but he won't. Even with the Dec. 3 showdown against Oklahoma State looming, the Sooners will be focused on Saturday and win big.

NO. 16 KANSAS STATE AT TEXAS

What we've learned about the Wildcats

They may be the best fourth-quarter team in the nation. Collin Klein (left) threw for a career-high 281 yards as K-State overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Texas A&M 53--50 in quadruple overtime.

What we've learned about the Longhorns

An injury-ravaged offense without its top three backs rushed for just 76 yards in a 17--5 loss at Missouri. Freshman QB David Ash isn't good enough yet to make teams pay for loading up against the run.

What it will mean on Saturday

The Wildcats won't need any fourth-quarter magic. K-State messes with Texas, but the game will be close if Longhorns freshman running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron are cleared to play.

SMU AT NO. 11 HOUSTON

What we've learned about the Mustangs

Since starting the season 5--1, they've lost three of their last four and dropped from 12th in rushing defense to 40th. Navy pounded SMU for 335 yards on the ground in a 24--17 win.

What we've learned about the Cougars

After sitting out all of 2010, running back Charles Sims (207 rushing yards in a 73--17 blowout of Tulane) has regained the ability that earned him several accolades as a freshman in '09.

What it will mean on Saturday

Off to their best start ever and with a shot at a BCS berth, the Cougars win by four touchdowns, thanks to another statistically robust performance from Heisman candidate Case Keenum.

PHOTOBO RADER/WICHITA EAGLE/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.COM