Oct 12, 2017

ACC & Big 12 Week 7 Preview: Red River Showdown Tops Exciting Slate of Games

In the seventh 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 are a few of the games our representatives will be taking in this week:

No. 12 Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) at Texas (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN

The Red River Showdown will return to the Cotton Bowl for the 89th consecutive year this weekend, as Oklahoma battles Texas in a matchup of two of the Big 12’s most storied programs.

Oklahoma will be looking to right the Sooner Schooner this weekend after a 38-31 home loss to Iowa State snapping their FBS-leading 14 game win streak in Week 6. Quarterback Baker Mayfield still played well in defeat, however, and set a Big 12 record by throwing for at least two touchdowns in his 18th straight game. Thanks in large part to Mayfield, Oklahoma remains first in the nation for total offense and team passing efficiency, fifth in passing offense and sixth in scoring offense heading into Dallas.

Texas, on the other hand, is riding a wave of momentum after back-to-back wins over Iowa State and Kansas State. Last week against the Wildcats, the Longhorns totaled 546 yards of total offense and limited the Wildcats’ rushing attack to just 140 yards. Safety DeShon Elliott also had an interception for the third straight game — he’s the first UT player since Earl Thomas (2009) to accomplish the feat — and is tied for first in the nation with five interceptions this season. Overall, UT ranks 17th nationally in rushing defense and 42nd in total defense, and is tied for the FBS lead with four defensive touchdowns.

Oklahoma and Texas will meet for the 112th time on Saturday, with every game since 1929 being played at the Texas State Fair. The series, which began in 1900, is led by the Longhorns, who boast a 61-45-5 record. Texas remains the only Big 12 team to hold an all-time series lead against the Sooners and this season marks the first since 1947 that both Oklahoma and Texas have first-year head coaches of their respective programs.

In the Big 12 era, Oklahoma is 12-9 against the Longhorns, and each of the past three OU-Texas games has been decided by seven points or less. The designated home team — Texas gets the honors this season — has won each of the past five matchups and seven of the past eight.

Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-0 ACC) at No. 11 Miami (4-0, 2-0 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ABC

First place in the ACC Coastal Division will be on the line when Georgia Tech visits Miami on Saturday in a game that was originally scheduled for Oct. 12 before being pushed back to comply with ACC rules, which require teams playing on Thursdays to have “equal or full rest.”

Led by head coach Mark Richt (pictured), Miami looks to move to 5-0 on the season this Saturday against Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a bye following their 33-7 win over North Carolina in Week 5. TaQuon Marshall completed 5 of 10 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown and led the team in rushing yards with 137. Both Marshall and KirVonte Benson (130) rushed for at least 100 yards against the Tar Heels, marking the fourth time in the last eight games Tech had multiple 100-yard.

Georgia Tech is the only team in the ACC and one of only four teams overall that rank among the nation’s top 20 in both total defense (6th) and total offense (20th). The Jackets also rank in the FBS top 10 in eight different offensive statistical categories, including rushing (2nd) and passing (5th). This will be the Yellow Jackets first true road game of the season after opening with a neutral-site contest.

Miami was also scheduled to have a Week 6 bye before Hurricane Irma forced the Hurricanes’ game with Florida State to be moved to Oct. 7. When the rivals finally met, the ‘Canes topped the Seminoles for the first time since 2009, extending their overall winning streak to nine games, the third-longest at the FBS level nationwide trailing only Clemson (11) and South Florida (10). Heading into Saturday, Miami ranks second in the ACC in scoring offense, fourth in rushing offense and fifth in total offense. Nationally, the ‘Canes are No. 12 in red zone offense and No. 17 scoring defense.

The Yellow Jackets and the Hurricanes both enter Saturday’s game with perfect 2-0 records in ACC play. The overall series is tied at 11-11, with Miami winning the last two contests. The programs have met 21 times in regular season and once in the 2000 Gator Bowl, which Miami won 28-13. At last season’s matchup in Atlanta, Miami returned two of Georgia Tech’s fumbles for touchdowns, sealing a 35-21 victory. Miami looks to extend its recent run of dominance against the Yellow Jackets, as they have won seven of the last eight matchups dating back to 2009.

No. 24 Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) at West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 12:00 p.m. on ESPNU

The Red Raiders will visit the Mountaineers this weekend at Milan Puskar Stadium in a matchup of high-powered Big 12 teams heading in opposite directions.

After a rout of Kansas in Week 6, Texas Tech is back in the Top 25 for the first time since 2013, while West Virginia fell out of the AP poll following a close road loss to TCU. This season also marks the Red Raiders’ first 4-1 start since that 2013 campaign, but while Texas Tech was — and still is — renowned for its air attack, it was the rushing game that shouldered the load last week against the Jayhawks.

Desmond Nisby ran for 94 yards and four touchdowns in the 65-19 win in Lawrence, while Justin Stockton added a career-best 161 yards and another score. The Red Raider defense also generated four Jayhawk turnovers and enters Week 7 ranked fourth nationally and first in the Big 12 in turnover margin at plus-9 on the season. In five games, Texas Tech already has 14 takeaways (seven interceptions and seven fumbles), one more than their total from the entire 2016 season.

The Mountaineers, meanwhile, are coming off a 31-24 loss to No. 8 TCU and are led by former Florida quarterback Will Grier, who is ranked in the top five nationally in passing touchdowns (3rd) and total offense (4th). West Virginia has also relied heavily on Justin Crawford, who logged the 10th 100-yard rushing performance of his career against TCU leads the Big 12 in rushing yards. Overall, West Virginia is ranked third in the nation in total offense and sixth in passing offense.

Texas Tech and West Virginia will be meeting for the seventh time this Saturday as the Mountaineers lead the overall series with a 4-2 advantage. The Mountaineers’ home record against the Red Raiders is 1-1, as Texas Tech topped West Virginia 32-27 in its first ever trip to Morgantown in 2013 before falling 31-26 in 2015. The only other meeting between the two schools before West Virginia joined the Big 12 was in the 1938 Sun Bowl, where West Virginia edged the Red Raiders 7-6 in Texas Tech’s first bowl appearance in program history.

Here are the rest of the ACC and Big 12 games our selection committee members will attend:

Boston College (2-4, 0-3 ACC) at Louisville (4-2, 1-2 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
No. 6 TCU (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) at Kansas State (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 12:00 p.m. on FS1
Florida State (1-3, 1-2 ACC) at Duke (4-2, 1-2 ACC) – 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2
Baylor (0-5, 0-2 Big 12) at No. 14 Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on FS1

Other ACC and Big 12 games being played this week:

No. 2 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) at Syracuse (3-3, 1-1 ACC) – 7:00 p.m. (Friday) on ESPN
No. 20 NC State (5-1, 3-0 ACC) at Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-2 ACC) – 12:00 p.m. on ACC Network
Kansas (1-4, 0-2 Big 12) at Iowa State (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 12:00 p.m. on FSN
Virginia (4-1, 1-0 ACC) at North Carolina (1-2, 0-3 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ACC Network

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