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Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee vs. Texas
Fresno State QB Tom
Brandstater vs. the Big 12
McGee could go on to be President of the United States, win the Nobel
Prize and be People's Sexiest Man Alive, but around College
Station he'll be known for beating Texas twice and almost pulling off
the upset of upsets against the Vince Young national title squad of
2005. Off the bench three years ago, he optioned his way to 108 yards
and two touchdowns in the closer-than-the-score 40-29 loss. Last year,
he only completed seven of 13 passes for 58 yards, but he ran for 95
yards and a touchdown in a 12-7 win that ruined UT's Big 12 title dream.
This season, with Texas pushing towards a possible at-large BCS game, he
ran for 30 yards and a score and threw for 362 yards and three
touchdowns in the 38-30 Aggie win.
Oklahoma RB Allen
Patrick vs. Oklahoma State
unsung Sooner running back over the past two years, Patrick has done a
nice job of filling in when needed. He got in a little bit of mop-up
work against Oklahoma State in 2005 and ran three times for 31 yards and
a touchdown. Last year, in place of Adrian Peterson, he tore off 163
yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in the 27-21 win over the Cowboys.
Last week, with DeMarco Murray out with an injured knee, Patrick ran for
202 yards and two touchdowns, and caught an 11-yard scoring pass, in the
49-17 win. Next up is Missouri in the Big 12 championship.
Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk
Mauk has been overshadowed in a conference with Pat White and Brian
Brohm, but he leads the Big East in passing efficiency and has turned
out to be a superstar after transferring from Wake Forest and overcoming
an arm injury. After throwing for 431 yards and four touchdowns, with a
rushing score, against Syracuse, the senior has completed 61% of his
throws for 2,787 yards and 27 touchdowns with just six interceptions on
the year (to go along with 335 rushing yards and three scores). He
hasn't thrown a pick in has last three games, and he hasn't thrown more
than one interception in a game this year.
Brandstater might not be David Carr or Trent Dilfer quite yet, but
he has certainly looked like the next great Fresno State quarterback
against the Big 12 teams. He completed 21 of 31 passes for 260 yards and
three touchdowns in the 47-45 loss to Texas A&M in early September, and
he lit up Kansas State last week completing 23 of 29 passes for 313
yards and two scores with a rushing touchdown. Brandstater, a junior,
gets to face the Wildcats again next year and faces New Mexico State
UCF RB Kevin Smith
2,164 yards and 25 touchdowns. Again, 2,164 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Again, two-thousand, one-hundred and sixty-four yards and twenty-five
touchdowns. Oh yeah, and 21 catches for 230 yards and a score. Smith has
come up with one of the greatest seasons in college football history
that went completely and totally unnoticed. With the Conference USA
title game coming up against the porous Tulsa defense, and the bowl
game, Smith has a chance to finish with a 2,500-yard season.
In UCLA's 16-0 win over Oregon, Brady Leaf, Justin Roper and Cody
Kempt combined to complete 11 of 39 passes for 105 yards and three
interceptions. UCLA's Ben Olson and Osaar Rasshan combined to complete
four of 17 passes for 64 yards and two picks, with Rasshan going a
Blutosky-like 0-for-7 with a pick. That means between five quarterbacks,
the two teams combined to completed 15 of 56 passes (28%) for 169 yards
and five interceptions.
Alabama in November
On October 20, things appeared to be coming together for Alabama under
Nick Saban with a 41-17 trashing of eventual East champion Tennessee to
get to 6-2. After two weeks off, there was an acceptable tough loss to
LSU, an offensive meltdown in the loss to Mississippi State, an
all-timer of a clunker against UL Monroe, and now, worst of all, a sixth
straight loss to Auburn. After going 0-for-4 in November, that means
that over the last five years, Alabama has gone 3-13 in November with
all three wins coming against Mississippi State.
San Diego State run defense
The Aztec defense has gone from bad to awful, especially against the
run, allowing 275 yards to UNLV three weeks ago, then 569 yards and
eight scores to Air Force, and then last week, 376 yards and six
touchdowns to TCU. That's 945 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in the
last two games alone. Up next is BYU to close out the year.
The nation's No. 1 team has one major flaw: punting. Adam Crossett
really isn't that bad, he averaged 39 yards per kick last year, but the
Tigers are dead-last in America in net punting averaging a mere 30 yards
per kick. Fortunately for the Tigers, Oklahoma, who has the nation's No.
1 kickoff return unit, only averaged 7.79 yards per punt return.
If you want to see a fun and exciting shootout, check out UCF vs.
Tulsa in the Conference USA title game. Tulsa's offense leads the nation
with 548 yards per game, but the defense has been abysmal over the last
two games against Army and Rice, allowing 328 passing yards and three
touchdowns, and 491 yards of total offense, to a bad Black Knight
offense two weeks ago, and last week allowed 700 yards of total offense,
including 541 passing yards, to Chase Clement and Rice. The Golden
Hurricane has allowed 400 yards of total offense ore more in nine games
with two 500 yarders, a 600 yarder, and no a 700-yard day. UCF cranked
out 453 yards in its 44-23 win over Tulsa in October.