NCAAF Week 12 upset watch: Liberty will stay perfect against NC State
We enter Week 12 of the college football season with multiple teams still vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff, while others will try to stay relevant in their conference title races.
Let’s take a look at which games can provide a solid return on investment in Week 12!
Georgia Southern vs. Army
Sat, November 21 2020, 5:00 PM
Army Black Knights
Georgia Southern Eagles
This game kicks off at noon on Saturday, and could be the first to reach the final whistle in that time slot. Both Georgia Southern and Army are run-first, clock-eating offensive units that rank in the top five nationally in rushing yards per game.
They both feature solid run defenses as well. The Eagles allow just 92.6 rushing yards per game, and the Black Knights give up only 112.
In a game where fewer possessions mean maximizing our opportunities, Georgia Southern’s passing game gives it an edge. Army’s quarterbacks have combined to complete just 26 passes, and starter Christian Anderson has completed just 15 of his 40 passes for 158 yards.
Last week, Tulane held him to a 4-of-12 performance for 36 yards, as Army converted just six of its 17 third-down opportunities.
The Eagles will do just enough to pull out the win.
Cal vs. Oregon State
Sat, November 21 2020, 8:30 PM
Oregon State Beavers
California Golden Bears
Cal lost its season opener last week, a 34-10 defeat to UCLA in a rare Sunday college football game.
Oregon State has lost both of its games to the teams from Washington, including a six-point defeat to the Huskies last weekend, where two turnovers doomed the Beavers' hopes for a victory.
The fact that Cal is a road favorite, a week after it scored just 10 points, is a head-scratcher, especially because the Bears were unable to gain 200 yards against a UCLA team that allowed more than 500 to Colorado the week before.
Cal’s offense showed nothing last weekend to make me believe it will be able to take advantage of the Beavers’ defensive shortcomings.
Oregon State will hope to pound the ball against a Bruins defense that allowed 244 yards on the ground last weekend.
The Beavers will take care of business at home and put a tally in the win column.
#21 Liberty vs. NC State
Sun, November 22 2020, 12:30 AM
North Carolina St Wolfpack
This one screams “trap,” but I feel like Liberty should be the favorite in this matchup.
The Flames are 8-0 and ranked, and they notched a road win two weeks ago over Virginia Tech. They totaled more than 450 yards of offense, including 249 on the ground, and held the ball for 15 minutes more than the Hokies.
Liberty has averaged more than 250 yards per game rushing and has scored at least 38 points in each of its last five games.
The Wolfpack is 5-3, but two of those losses came in consecutive weekends, to ranked teams North Carolina and Miami.
NC State rebounded last weekend, with an impressive, 38-22 win over Florida State, a game it led, 35-9, after three quarters. However, the Seminoles rushed for 147 yards on 34 carries. NC State has allowed nearly 180 yards per game on the ground, and it will need to find a way to slow down Liberty’s rushing attack, or the Flames will remain unbeaten.
Arizona vs. Washington
Sun, November 22 2020, 1:00 AM
The Huskies defeated Oregon State last weekend, but they were favored by two touchdowns and just got away with a six-point victory. Washington led by just three points at halftime, and neither team scored again until the Huskies put a field goal on the board with less than two minutes remaining.
Freshman quarterback Dylan Morris completed 14 of his 24 passes for just 141 yards, but rushed for a touchdown, and the Huskies gaining 267 yards on the ground.
Arizona faced ranked USC last weekend, and the Wildcats were in the game from start to finish.
They led, 17-13, at halftime, and scored a touchdown with 1:35 left to take a 30-27 lead. However, their defense surrendered a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive and Arizona fell, 34-30.
Quarterback Grant Gunnell played well against the Trojans. He threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 40 yards on the ground.
If the Arizona defense can improve upon the 173 yards rushing it allowed to a talented USC backfield, the Wildcats can come away with their first victory in almost 13 months.