John Roberts College Football

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Week Thirteen: Thursday

Viewer's Guide

Which games should you watch this weekend? What games should you be keeping your eyes on during each time period? We've got it all worked out for you.The day is divided into five parts. Some are more unequal than others due to the start time of the games. All times are Eastern.

The time periods are Friday games, early games (start time before 2:00), afternoon (start time from 2:15-5:00), late afternoon (start time from 5:15-7:15), evening (start time from 7:30-9:45), and late night (start time after 10:00).

The games are ranked by time period and give you a couple of reasons to watch each game, whether it is questions that need to be answered or something else altogether. The games are the games listed on as the television games for this weekend. Only Friday and Saturday games are included.

Let's get it started!

Friday Games

1. Texas at Texas A&M (12:00 ABC)- 1) This is one of the most intense rivalries in all of college football. With the game being in College Station, the crowd is bound to be boisterous and noisy. 2) Vince Young and Reggie McNeal are two of the more exciting players to watch in the country. Young has outplayed McNeal by a wide margin this year. McNeal has to play huge to keep the Aggies in the game. 3) The Longhorns are two wins away from playing for the national title. The Aggies need another win to become bowl eligible.

2. Arkansas at LSU (2:30 CBS)- 1) The Tigers have to win this game to get into the SEC Championship Game. If they lose, Auburn goes to the SEC Championship Game. 2) JaMarcus Russell has been playing very well. The Tigers are now hoping to somehow make an impression and be able to earn a Rose Bowl spot if Texas or USC slip up. 3) Darren McFadden is one of the top freshman running backs in the country. He will need to have a huge game for the Razorbacks to stick around in this one.

3. Nebraska at Colorado (3:30 ABC)- 1) A Colorado win clinches the Big Twelve North. A Colorado loss and an Iowa State win on Saturday means the Cyclones win the division. 2) Bill Callahan is in desperate need of a quality win to get some of his critics off his back. This would qualify. 3) Joel Klatt has done an outstanding job at quarterback for the Buffaloes.

4. Arizona at Arizona State (3:00 FSN)- 1) Arizona State has to win to get to a bowl game. After the start to their season, that is wildly disappointing. 2) The Wildcats upset the Sun Devils a year ago. A second straight season with an upset would make Mike Stoops even more popular. 3) Willie Tuitama has been a solid starter at quarterback for the Wildcats and has proven that he is the quarterback of the future.

5. Wisconsin at Hawaii (9:00 ESPN2)- 1) The Badgers are looking to win Barry Alvarez' final regular season game. 2) The Warriors typically play very well at home. See Michigan State and Northwestern last year. Can the Badgers avoid the trap? 3) Colt Brennan has been one very hot quarterback for the Warriors lately. The Badgers pass defense hasn't exactly been lighting it up.

Early Games

1. Iowa State at Kansas (12:30 FSN)- 1) A Cyclones win would give them the division title if Colorado is upset by Nebraska on Friday. A Kansas win would get them to a bowl game. 2) Stevie Hicks is one stud of a running back. However, that Kansas run defense is tough. 3) The Kansas Jayhawks are 5-0 at home this year. Can they keep their perfect home record alive?

2. Maryland at North Carolina State (12:00 ESPN)- 1) The winner gets a winning season while the loser does not. Hard to get much more at stake than that. 2) Sam Hollenbach has been an OK quarterback this year. He has played slightly better than his counterpart, Marcus Stone. 3) Both defenses are pretty good. The team that forces more turnovers will have the best chance of winning.

3. Marshall at Memphis (2:00 CSTV)- 1) Memphis needs a win to get to a bowl game, while Marshall's bowl hopes went out the window in the loss last week to East Carolina. 2) DeAngelo Williams should be playing for the Tigers and he is one of the best running backs in the country, potentially playing in his final collegiate game. 3) Ahmad Bradshaw is a very underrated running back for the Thundering Herd and should put up nice numbers against the Memphis defense.

4. Boise State at Louisiana Tech (2:00 Gameplan)- 1) These two teams both are holding onto hopes of winning the WAC title. If Louisiana Tech wins each of the next two weeks, they would win the conference. 2) Jared Zabransky has not been perfect this year, but he's been pretty solid and can still light up most defenses, especially one as weak in the secondary as Louisiana Tech is. 3) Matt Kubik is a good quarterback for the Bulldogs and could put up nice numbers against the Boise State defense.

5. Tennessee at Kentucky (12:30 JP/Gameplan)- 1) The Vols and 'Cats battle with the loser destined to finish last in the SEC East. 2) Erik Ainge will be back at starting quarterback for the Vols while Arian Foster will be the running back. Welcome to the starting backfield of next year for the Vols. 3) The 'Cats are lead by Rafael Little at running back. He is one of the most underrated players in the whole country.


1. South Florida at Connecticut (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) USF needs to win both of their next two games to win the Big East and get a BCS bowl bid. UConn needs to win their last two games to get to a bowl game. 2) Cornell Brockington is a very good running back. He could have a nice day against the Bulls. 3) Andre Hall is a solid running back and Pat Julmiste is efficient at quarterback. Those offensive parts need to play well for the Bulls in this key road game.

2. Florida State at Florida (3:30 CBS)- 1) This game doesn't have as much meaning as usual with both teams already having three losses. Still, the loser may be unranked next week, which is not the way that Urban Meyer wants to start his career at Florida, while Bobby Bowden is feeling more and more pressure to win. 2) Chris Leak doesn't seem to be fitting into the Urban Meyer system. Leak and Meyer could both use an offensive explosion to please some of the fans. 3) Drew Weatherford has taken a step back the last two weeks. Will Xavier Lee see some playing time for the Seminoles?

3. Virginia at Miami, FL (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Miami needs a win and a Virginia Tech loss to North Carolina to earn a trip to the ACC Championship Game. 2) Marques Hagans can have a huge game at quarterback from time to time. If this is one of those games, Miami could have some trouble. 3) Kyle Wright is desperate to show that last week was not a drop back, but rather a step back. He needs to have a huge game this week.

4. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) It's BEDLAM!!!! This rivalry is intense and has meant a lot in the Big Twelve South in recent years. This year, not so much, as Oklahoma has already clinched a bowl game and Oklahoma State will not be going to a bowl game. 2) Adrian Peterson is still one of the top running backs in the country when he is healthy. 3) Al Pena has been a decent quarterback for the Cowboys.

5. Syracuse at Louisville (3:30 ESPNU)- 1) The Cardinals have been rolling up huge points at home. The Orange are 1-9 without a great defense. Louisville could put up absolutely gigantic points at home. 2) Brian Brohm is a very good quarterback and should have a great game with Michael Bush banged up. 3) The Cardinals defense has been good at home as well, and should be able to slow down the Orange offense that has been very inconsistent.

6. Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe (3:30 Gameplan)- 1) The winner of this game at least splits the Sun Belt. While that may not sound like much, it means a bowl bid likely goes to the winner. A Monroe win and they win the conference outright, while a Lafayette win and Arkansas State will tie with both of these teams for the title. 2) Steven Jyles is a fun quarterback to watch perform. He plays an exciting brand of football. 3) Tyrell Fenroy is one of the top running backs in the conference and will lead the ULL running game against the soft ULM run defense.

Late Afternoon

1. Fresno State at Nevada (7:00 ESPN2)- 1) Fresno State still needs to win their final two games to win the WAC, with both Nevada and Louisiana Tech having just one conference loss. 2) Paul Pinegar is an excellent quarterback. Can he have an explosive game against Nevada? 3) Coming off the close loss to USC and the huge win over Boise State, how focused will Fresno State be? If they are unfocused, they could struggle.

2. Middle Tennessee at Troy (7:00 ESPNU)- 1) This was expected to be a battle with Sun Belt title implications at the beginning of the season. Instead, both have six losses and cannot win the conference title. A very disappointing season for both teams. 2) Clint Marks is a pretty good quarterback for the Blue Raiders. 3) These are two of the top defenses in the Sun Belt. They should put on a decent show.


1. North Carolina at Virginia Tech (7:45 ESPN)- 1) A Virginia Tech win clinches the Coastal Division of the ACC and keeps the Hokies hopes of a Rose Bowl trip alive. The Tar Heels need a win to become bowl eligible. 2) Marcus Vick played nicely last week against Virginia after his poor performance against Miami. If the same Vick shows up that showed up last week, the Hokies will be in business. 3) Matt Baker is a pretty good quarterback. He needs to have a huge game for the Heels to have a shot.

2. Notre Dame at Stanford (8:00 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) The Irish need a win to punch their ticket to the BCS, likely the Fiesta Bowl. Stanford needs a win to become bowl eligible. 2) Brady Quinn gets one last chance to make a Heisman Trophy statement. 3) The Stanford offense needs to find some consistency against the Irish average defense. Last week, the Cardinal did virtually nothing against Cal. They have to play better this week.

3. Georgia at Georgia Tech (8:00 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) This is a nice little rivalry game, but both teams are ranked and both have had good seasons. A win in this one would put an exclamation point on the season. 2) Can D.J. Shockley carry the Dawgs to the win over the Yellow Jackets? 3) Reggie Ball is wildly inconsistent but played well in their upset of Miami last week. Calvin Johnson is one of the top receivers in the country. If he can have a huge game, the Yellow Jackets have a shot.

Late Night

There are no late night games this week. So so sad.


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