Team unit breakdown for Week 13
Which team unit is going to be the one to put you over the top? Chris Bennett breaks it all down for you in his Week 13 analysis.
Stanford (vs. Cal): On paper, this match up represents the nation's 90th-ranked rush defense trying to stop the nation's 29th-ranked rush offense. That alone represents a mismatch worth exploiting. Then consider the Cardinal have to be livid over letting a likely Pac-12 Championship game and BCS berth slip through their hands last weekend against USC, and it's a bad weekend to be a Golden Bear. Stanford's season low in rushing yards is 143, and it has topped 210 yards four times. The Cardinal keep rolling in Week 13.
Florida (vs. Georgia Southern): The Gators played their trump card last Saturday at South Carolina, rushing 41 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Down to its third quarterback, Florida looked for a ground-and-pound attack and nearly sprung an upset. In Week 13, however, the Gators face a get-right opponent in FCS Georgia Southern. Nothing has come easy this year for Florida, but for a team that featured a 41-14 run-pass distribution in Week 12, there's every reason to expect the same ratio against the Eagles, only with more success.
Clemson (vs. Citadel): This selection is par for the course in Week 13, as the slate of games features countless mismatches. Why again are we adding a 12th week to every team's schedule? Digression aside, Clemson's running backs figure to be in for a nice workload against the Citadel for several reasons. The talent gap is the main reason, which should lead to an early blow out. But quarterback Tajh Boyd's injured collarbone is another. There's little reason for Clemson to put its star into harms way with South Carolina looming the following week. Look for Roderick McDowell, Zac Brooks and D.J. Howard to gash the Bulldogs defense.
Georgia Tech (vs. Alabama A&M): The Yellow Jackets ran for 248 yards and four touchdowns a week ago in a blowout loss to Clemson. That in it of itself is impressive, even for an option attack. Then consider that Georgia Tech quarterbacks Justin Thomas and Vad Lee combined for 45 rushing yards, and it's clear where the strength of this rushing attack lies. Robert Godhigh is on a tear, rushing for 326 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 150 yards receiving. Mix in David Sims' 11 touchdowns on the year, and Alabama A&M figures to pose little resistance in Week 13.
Colorado State (at Utah State): 1,010 yards, 19 touchdowns. No, that's not a season's total, that's Rams running back Kapri Bibbs' totals the last five weeks. Yes, five weeks. Utah State actually ranks 20th nationally against the run, but it's fair to wonder if that even matters when facing the Techo Bowl production that is Bibbs.
USC (at Colorado): Ignore the Trojans dismal 23-yard outing last week against Stanford, they rushed for more than 200 yards five times this season, and twice in the two weeks prior to facing the Cardinal. They'll travel to Boulder to face a defense that ranks 105th in stopping the run, giving up 210.4 yards per game. Javorious Allen and the other slew of Trojans running backs get back on track in Week 13.
Wyoming (vs. Hawaii): The Cowboys receiving corps has found itself featured in this column quite a few times this season, and with good reason. Five receivers have at least 21 receptions, and Robert Herron and Dominic Rufran both have surpassed 745 yards with five and seven touchdowns, respectively. Quarterback Brett Smith should have a field day against a Warriors defense that ranks 113th nationally against the pass, even while allowing just 59 yards at triple-option Navy. The Cowboys should role to an easy 300 yards in Week 13.
Virginia (at Miami): The Hurricanes defense has been streamed through like a sieve the last five weeks. Duke's two-headed quarterback monster skewed the stats a bit, but prior to Week 12, Miami had allowed at least 302 yards in four consecutive games. And while that could be predicted against Florida State, it was far from a gimme from passing units like Wake Forest, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. While Cavaliers running back Kevin Parks is the safest bet amongst this offense, look for the Cavaliers to find success through the air as they keep it close in South Florida.
Florida State (vs. Idaho): The Vandals travel across the country to fac Idaho with the 123rd-ranked pass defense, which allows 329.1 yards per game and 33 touchdowns through 10 games. Noles coach Jimbo Fisher hasn't been bashful when it comes to padding quarterback Jameis Winston's stats, so Winston looks like a safe bet for at least three scores before resting. With wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw more than capable, this feels like a pitch-and-catch kind of Saturday for FSU ... assuming Winston isn't facing any legal issues.
Alabama (vs. Chattanooga): The mismatch is obvious, and the Crimson Tide could score on defense a few times, further limiting quarterback A.J. McCarron, but this simply looks like a tilt where Bama imposes its will very, very early before coasting in the second half. Expect McCarron to find Kevin Norwood and Amari Cooper deep in the first quarter, put up a handful of touchdowns before watching from the sideline. Alabama averages just 238.2 yards per game in the air, but in its one contest against a reasonably similar opponent (Georgia State,) the Tide threw for 296 yards and five scores.
Georgia (vs. Kentucky): Injuries be darned, Georgia has thrown for at least 415 yards the last two weeks against Appalachian State and Auburn. The only reason to pause with this matchup against the Wildcats is the presence of running back Todd Gurley in the passing game, as he caught 10 passes last weekend. Rantavious Wooten, Michael Bennett and company will continue to help quarterback Aaron Murray rewrite SEC passing records. Another 400 yards might be a stretch, but Murray can flirt with 300 yards and three scores against a defense that allowed 275 yards to South Carolina and 369 yards to Alabama.
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