Games We're Watching – Week 12
TCU @ Kansas State – 2:30 PM (FSN)
The Matchup: Kansas State has been on a roll as of late, winning three in a row after getting off to a somewhat slow start in Big 12 play. Duel threat QB Daniel Sams and RB John Hubert have paced the Wildcats’ rushing attack on offense, while the defense has stepped up and held down a few of the Big 12’s powerful offenses over the last few weeks. They’ll face a TCU team that has endured an injury plagued year but still has room to salvage this season and head to a bowl for the 9th consecutive year.
Fun with Numbers: KState is the only team in the country this year to hold Baylor to under 40 points, limiting the Bears to (only) 35 points their 35-25 loss on October 12th, quite a feat when you consider that Baylor is averaging a ridiculous 61 points per game and has four games of over 70 points.(!)
Player to Watch: Trevone Boykin, TCU: The sophomore QB/RB/WR/Swiss Army Knife has done just about everything for the Horned Frogs this year, filling at QB while also serving as a WR when needed. He’s the Horned Frogs leading passer, second leading rusher and led the team in receiving yards in TCU’s win over West Virginia last week, becoming only the second player in the last decade to amass 1,000 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same season. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Boykin is apparently also a decent punter, adding that he once kicked a 60 yarder in high school. The Horned Frogs will need him to continue to do just about everything this weekend if they plan on taking down the streaking Wildcats.
Michigan @ Northwestern – 2:30 PM (Big Ten Network)
The Matchup: Both teams had loftier goals this season than where they currently stand in the Big Ten pecking order. Northwestern was sitting pretty with an undefeated record and College Gameday on campus for a showdown between then 16th ranked Northwestern and 4th ranked Ohio State. The Wildcats had the Buckeyes on the mat but couldn’t keep them them there, holding a 10 point lead in the 3rd quarter before eventually falling 40-30. Since then Northwestern has been snakebit, losing four games in a row, including their last three by a combined 13 points. The Wolverines have already clinched bowl eligibility, but are looking to right the ship after losing three of four following a 5-0 start.
Player to Watch: Devin Gardner, Michigan: Gardner has continued to lead a banged up Wolverines offense, currently sitting atop the Big Ten in total offense while averaging almost 300 yards a game. Michigan has struggled to find running room on the ground, finishing with minus-48 yards on the ground against Michigan State and minus-21 against Nebraska, but they have a lot of options with Gardner and could look to get creative and find ways to get the versatile QB into space. The Wildcats should be used to facing dual threat quarterbacks after squaring off against all-purpose QB/RB Kain Colter in practice over the last couple of years, and will likely need to slow down Gardner in order to keep their bowl hopes alive.