Nov 16, 2018

ACC & Big 12 Week 12 Preview: High stakes as the season winds down

In the 12th week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.

Here’s a quick look at some of the top games on the schedule this weekend:

No. 16 Iowa State (6-3, 5-2 Big 12) at No. 15 Texas (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) – 8 p.m. on Longhorn Network

Riding a five game win-streak, Iowa State travels to Texas in a battle of Top-25 teams currently tied for third in the Big 12 standings. The Longhorns lead the all-time series 13-2 and are 7-1 against the Cyclones in Austin.

Iowa State has rattled off five straight conference victories for the first time in school history this season. The Cyclone defense has been a huge reason for the run and has been stellar the whole season. The unit has held eight opponents below their season scoring average and leads the Big 12 in total defense at 344.4 yards allowed per game (32nd nationally) and scoring defense at 20.4 points allowed per game (22nd nationally).

On average, the Cyclones are limiting opponents to 12.6 points below their season scoring averages.

This matchup will also feature a marquee quarterback battle, as Iowa State’s Brock Purdy has been sensational, averaging 263.0 yards passing, 307.6 yards of total offense and is completing 68.6 percent of his passes. Purdy has accounted for 15 of ISU’s 21 TDs in the last five games (13 passing, 2 rushing).

On the other side, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has completed 205 of 319 passes for 2,483 yards (12th in school history) and 20 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 248.3 passing yards a game and has also rushed for 343 yards and nine scores.

The game will also feature a secondary storyline, as Texas head coach Tom Herman was the Cyclones’ offensive coordinator (OC) from 2009-11, helping the Cyclones appear in two bowl games in his three seasons as OC. Herman is the second former Cyclone OC to become the head coach for the Longhorns. Mack Brown was Iowa State’s OC from 1980-81.

No. 9 West Virginia (8-1, 6-1 Big 12) at Oklahoma State (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on ABC

Oklahoma State enters Saturday’s game having won three in a row over West Virginia, marking the longest streak for either side in the series. The game will also be the Cowboys’ fourth matchup this season against a ranked opponent, as well as the second consecutive opponent to be ranked in the top seven.

Led by quarterback Will Grier, West Virginia will rely heavily on its passing attack, which ranks third nationally in team passing efficiency, fifth in passing offense, seventh in completion percentage, 10th in scoring offense 12th in total offense. Grier personally ranks fourth in the nation in passing yards per game (329.0) and fifth in passing touchdowns (31).

Oklahoma State will look to get its offense going through wide receiver and playmaker Tylan Wallace, who is one of 11 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists. Wallace is averaging more catches (6.8, 13th nationally) and yards per game (128.2, third nationally) than each of the past three Biletnikoff Award winners.

No. 12 Syracuse (8-2, 5-2 ACC) at No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0) – 2:30 p.m. on NBC

Notre Dame will host Syracuse on neutral ground in Yankee Stadium as a part of its Shamrock Series. This will be the fourth game of the series between the Orange and the Irish to be held at a neutral site. The Irish are 2-1 in the three previous neutral site contests.

Syracuse enters the game riding four straight wins and sits at 8-2. The Orange are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 are currently the No. 12 ranked team in the AP poll, its highest ranking since being ranked No. 11 on Sept. 28, 1998.

Notre Dame is one of four FBS football teams that has posted an undefeated record so far this year (Alabama, Clemson and UCF). Of the four remaining undefeated teams from college football’s top division, only two have achieved that mark playing exclusively FBS competition (No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 1 Alabama).

This top-25 matchup will feature two of the nation’s most impressive quarterbacks. Orange quarterback Eric Dungey’s career yards of total offense per game (294.3) ranks fourth among active FBS players who have appeared in at least 15 games. On the other side, Irish quarterback Ian Book leads the nation with a 74.5 completion percentage in seven total games played this season, ranks fourth in passing efficiency with a 170.0 rating and was recently named a semifinalist for both the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award.

Here are a few additional games our representatives will be taking in this week:

Pittsburgh (6-4, 5-1 ACC) at Wake Forest (5-5, 2-4 ACC) – 12 p.m. on ACC Network
TCU (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) at Baylor (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) – 12 p.m. on FS1
NC State (6-3, 3-3 ACC) at Louisville (2-8, 0-7 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
Western Carolina (3-7, 1-7 Southern) at North Carolina (1-8, 1-6 ACC) – 3 p.m. on ACC Network
Virginia (7-3, 4-2 ACC) at Georgia Tech (6-4, 4-3 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ACC Network
Texas Tech (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) at Kansas State (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
Miami (FL) (5-5, 2-4 ACC) at Virginia Tech (4-5, 3-3 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
No. 20 Boston College (7-3, 4-2 ACC) at Florida State (4-6, 2-5 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2
Duke (7-3, 3-3 ACC) at No. 2 Clemson (10-0, 7-0 ACC) – 7 p.m. on ESPN
Kansas (3-7, 1-6 Big 12) at No. 6 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) – 7:30 p.m. on FOX

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