Potential Trap Games: Week 12
The college football season is entering its final weeks and it is still anyone’s guess on who will make the college football playoff. Last weekend there were three matchups between teams ranked in the top 10 and it completely changed the college football playoff landscape.
Last week, Notre Dame, TCU and Georgia all picked up losses to top 10 opponents and Washington got upset by Stanford to eliminate the Pac-12 from College Football Playoff contention.
This week there is only one matchup between ranked teams and since it is the penultimate week in the regular season, a lot of contenders are playing easier opponents before heading into the final week of the regular season.
This leads to the possibility of upsets that destroy everything we think we know about the college football playoff.
Virginia (6-4) at 3 Miami (9-0) – 12:00 on ABC
The “U” is back. No. 3 Miami dismantled Notre Dame last week. This dominant effort coming off of a decisive victory of Virginia Tech the week before.
A big part of Miami’s success in these games is the infamous turnover chain. Miami forced eight turnovers in its last two games.
Miami has also been feeding of off the crowd the past few weeks in big primetime games.
This week it will be different for the Hurricanes. Miami will remain at home, but it will be a noon kickoff when the Hurricanes face off against Virginia.
In the four games Miami played before Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, three were 3:30 kickoffs and one was a noon kickoff. In these games, Miami won by only an average of 4.5 points.
Virginia is a dangerous team for Miami. The Cavaliers are the opposite of Miami. Virginia is not flashy and is not known for its speed or big plays.
Virginia will play its brand of football and try to make this game an ugly, slow affair.
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert takes care of the ball as the senior having only thrown seven interceptions this season, so the turnover chain might be a rare occurrence in this matchup.
Virginia will make this game ugly and Miami coming off of two straight emotional primetime wins is set for a letdown performance against the Cavaliers.
15 UCF (9-0) at Temple (5-5) – 12:00 on ESPNU
No. 15 Central Florida is one of only four teams that remains unbeaten in the FBS. The Knights have cruised through AAC play, but are faced with a trip to the city of brotherly love this weekend.
Temple is riding a two-game win streak coming into this game with wins over Cincinnati and Navy. The Owls are one win away from going to a bowl game for their third season in a row and with a road trip to Tulsa next week, Temple will be desperate to reach bowl eligibility at home.
It will be a tough task for the Owls though.
UCF is averaging 48.6 points per game and 538 yards every time the Knights take the field. McKenzie Milton has thrown for 2,720 yards this season. Adrian Killins Jr. has been unstoppable in the backfield for the Knights averaging 8.1 yards per carry.
Temple on the other hand does not put up the impressive numbers that UCF has this season, but the Owls are playing desperate.
It will be a tough atmosphere for UCF as this contest will take place in Lincoln Financial Field, which will not be filled to capacity and the game is an early noon kickoff.
This game has the makings of a November football game that derails a storybook season for UCF.
Navy (6-3) at 8 Notre Dame (8-2) – 3:30 on NBC
When Notre Dame left South Bend to travel to Miami, everything was in favor of the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame held the number three ranking and controlled its own destiny in order to reach the college football playoff.
Now the Irish return to South Bend after getting dominated 41-8 by Miami.
No. 8 Notre Dame now is eliminated from contention in the college football playoff and this week’s rival Navy is in South Bend.
This rivalry has been played annually since 1927 and historically the Fighting Irish have dominated. Last season though Navy won the matchup 28-27.
Navy’s triple option attack could pose problems for Notre Dame’s defense. The Fighting Irish give up and average of 141 yards per game on the ground and last week Miami ran for 237 yards on the Notre Dame defense.
Also last week Brandon Wimbush was benched by Notre Dame for his performance against Miami, which will hurt his confidence coming into this showdown against Navy.
Navy is a very disciplined team that will not make mistakes and run the triple option to perfection. Notre Dame will be looking to rebound from the beat down Miami bestowed upon them, but rival Navy will stand in the way of the Irish to further derail their season.
19 NC State (7-3) at Wake Forest (6-4) – 7:30 on ESPNU
In the middle of this season, NC State was a team on the rise after winning six games in a row following a disappointing loss to South Carolina in the first week of the season.
NC State’s college football playoff chances were ruined following back to back losses at the hands of Notre Dame and Clemson.
The Wolfpack struggled last week against Boston College, only winning by three points.
This week NC State has a cross state showdown with Wake Forest.
Wake Forest’s offense is explosive scoring an average of 35 points per game.
The Wolfpack are 2-8 in their last 10 roads game against Wake Forest and with the Wolfpack struggling, Wake Forest could pounce and gain a quality upset win at home over the Wolfpack.
Ben Ferree is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.