Feed aggregator

After Wild Weekend, Can 2 SEC Teams Make the College Football Playoff?

The SEC is loaded with possible College Football Playoff candidates. This past weekend just made the playoff picture extremely more ambiguous with top teams seemingly dropping like flies.

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate whether this power conference can get two teams into the College Football Playoff.

How many teams from the SEC will be in the Playoff?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Which Undefeated Team Will Lose Next?

There are few unbeaten teams left in college football after last week ravaged much of the top competition. The question now becomes which of the remaining undefeated teams will not make it through Week 7 without a loss.

Bleacher Report college football analysts Adam Kramer, Barrett Sallee and Michael Felder give their picks for the next undefeated team to lose.

Which undefeated team will go down in Week 7?

Watch the video, and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football: How Will Kenyan Drake's Injury Impact Lane Kiffin's Offense?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama will be without a key component of its offense for the rest of the season.

Running back Kenyan Drake, who broke his leg in the second quarter of the Crimson Tide’s game against Ole Miss, will miss the rest of the season with the injury, Alabama coach Nick Saban said on Monday.

“I think probably eight to 10 weeks before he really can start doing things that would allow him to be able to even think about being able to play football again,” Saban said.

It was a gruesome injury, one that won’t escape the minds of many who saw it live or on replay. The nature of the injury and recovery time aren’t much of a surprise.

But now Alabama will have to finish the season without one of its most explosive weapons—one who had been used all over the place so far this season—and suddenly finds itself with limited running back depth.

“Kenyan’s got a lot of production for us and he’s done a really good job all year long,” Saban said. “I don’t think there’s any question about the fact that when you lose a player like that, it does have some impact. But I do think we have other players that can do those things. Now they’re going to get the opportunity to do it and we’re going to have to have some other people to step up.”

Drake was the Crimson Tide’s most versatile player and one of new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s favorite toys through four games.

In Alabama’s three-back backfield, he was the home run hitter of the group. He has an argument for fastest player on the team and was used a lot on off-tackle runs. He also led the team in touchdowns with four.

Kiffin was using Drake more in the passing game, and he was thriving.

Drake’s speed and 6’1”, 202-pound frame allowed him to be used as a receiver at times. He was split out wide against Florida Atlantic and took a screen pass 39 yards to the house. His most impressive play as a wide receiver came against Florida.

The Gators matched up Drake with a linebacker who had no chance against his speed in the open field. The safety couldn’t get over in time, and Drake was off to the races.

Alabama has plenty of talented offensive weapons on its roster but can’t just replace him straight up.

T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry are two talented running backs in their own rights, but neither has the skill set to replace Drake. Henry is very much a physical, between-the-tackles runner. Yeldon uses his vision and quickness to hit holes hard and fast. He has speed in the open field but can’t hit the accelerator like Drake.

The trio made for an effective combination, with each bringing a different set of talents to the table. Now that Drake’s out, it limits more of what Alabama can do in the run game.

It also gives the team's running back depth another hit.

Tyren Jones is already out “several weeks” with a torn tendon in his finger. Drake’s injury leaves Altee Tenpenny as the only other true running back on the roster.

Tenpenny was a 4-star prospect out of high school and has looked fine in mop-up duty. He is more in the mold of a downhill runner, too. It’s unclear if Tenpenny will get in the rotation, but if he does, he won’t be able to bring what Drake does.

As Alabama tries to make the climb back to the top of college football, it will have to do so without one of its best and most versatile offensive weapons.

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats come from cfbstats. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

UCLA vs. Oregon Complete Game Preview

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11; 3:30 p.m. ET 

WHERE: Rose Bowl Stadium; Pasadena, California

TV: Fox

One of the most highly anticipated Pac-12 Conference tilts before the season has taken on a decidedly different look after a wild Week 6. 

Oregon and UCLA were the media's preseason picks to win the North and South divisions—still an attainable goal for both. 

However, the Ducks and Bruins face more of a must-win scenario coming into Saturday's affair after both suffered losses at home. 

UCLA only lead in a 30-28 defeat against Utah came on quarterback Brett Hundley's touchdown pass to wide receiver Eldridge Massington late in the fourth quarter.

Otherwise, UCLA followed the script of Week 6 upheaval to the letter. The Bruins' loss capped a weekend filled with chaos around college football, which fittingly started with UCLA's Week 7 opponent. 

The Ducks are trying to rebound from a 31-24 loss at home to Arizona last Thursday, the first of the week's many upsets. 

Another conference loss for either makes reaching December's Pac-12 Championship Game considerably more difficult. Expect both preseason favorites to come out with renewed urgency in the Rose Bowl on Saturday. 

Begin Slideshow

UCLA vs. Oregon Complete Game Preview

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11; 3:30 p.m. ET WHERE: Rose Bowl Stadium; Pasadena, California TV: Fox One of the most highly anticipated Pac-12 Conference tilts before the season has taken on a decidedly different look after a wild Week 6...

Begin Slideshow

Could Trae Elston's Suspension Cost Ole Miss Game, Perfect Season vs. Texas A&M?

Ole Miss topped Alabama 23-17 on Saturday to vault into the No. 3 spot in the latest AP poll and announce itself as not only a contender for the SEC West title, but also the national title.

For the Rebels to keep the national title train going in the right direction, they're going to have to get a big performance this weekend from their stout pass defense, which leads the SEC, giving up just 152.4 yards per game through the air.

They're going to be doing it without starting safety Trae Elston for the first 30 minutes of the game after Elston attempted to stomp on Alabama running back Kenyan Drake during Saturday afternoon's win over Alabama (Warning: the incident occurred on the same play in which Drake suffered a gruesome ankle injury, so watch at your own risk).

Will Elston's absence be a big loss for the Rebels? Absolutely.

He is fifth on the team with 24 tackles, has one pick and one forced fumble on the season and has started at the "Rover" position this year. Ole Miss is equipped to replace him with either backup "Rover" David Kamara or by moving a reserve—like freshman C.J. Hampton—into a more prominent role.

That's not good news considering Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill is completing 66.9 percent of his first-half passes (97-of-145) and tossed 12 of his 21 touchdown passes during the first 30 minutes of games.

As NFL.com's Chase Goodbread notes, Aggies offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will pay special attention to Elston's absence.

Elston's suspension will not, however, cost Ole Miss the game and its perfect season.

That would've happened regardless.

Ole Miss simply doesn't match up well with Texas A&M.

The Aggies' biggest hole on defense is their inability to stop the run up the middle, which is where Arkansas and Mississippi State both found success over the last two games. The Aggies rank next to last in the SEC in rush defense (178.83 YPG) and are giving up 5.34 yards per rushing attempt against conference foes. 

The Rebels don't run between the tackles, though. 

Jaylen Walton (238 yards) and I'Tavius Mathers (152 yards) are their top two rushers, and both are more dangerous off the edge than they are between the tackles. As was the case the previous two seasons, quarterback Bo Wallace shouldered some of the load on the ground, notching 11 carries—tied for the team lead on Saturday with Walton.

He's not the type of running threat who can expose the Aggies like Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams, Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson have over the last two games.

If Ole Miss is going to spring the upset—the Rebels are three-point road underdogs according to Odds Shark—it's going to have to pass. That means Wallace—who's tied with South Carolina's Dylan Thompson and Florida's Jeff Driskel with an SEC-worst six interceptions—will have freshman phenom Myles Garrett and his 6.5 sacks coming at him.

Different than Alabama, though, Texas A&M will almost certainly force Ole Miss into more of a shootout than the Crimson Tide did. A shootout means more passing situations, which means more opportunities for Garrett to pin his ears back and for "Bad Bo" to make an appearance on the road in a hostile, late-night environment.

Elston's half-game suspension doesn't help. In fact, it makes a shootout more likely. 

That was going to happen anyway, though. The matchups in this game were going to cause Ole Miss' perfect season to come to an end on Saturday night in College Station whether Elston was there or not.

 

Barrett Sallee is the Lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati vs. Miami: Complete Game Preview

The Cincinnati Bearcats and Miami Hurricanes both attempt to rebound from embarrassing losses in a nonconference matchup on Saturday, Oct. 11.

A rib injury forced Gunner Kiel out of the 27-point blowout against Memphis, which racked up 610 offensive yards on the Bearcats.

One week after earning an important win over Coastal Division foe Duke, Miami collapsed during the second half of a 27-17 loss to Georgia Tech.

This is the 12th meeting between the two programs and first since 1998. The Hurricanes hold a 10-1 series advantage over Cincinnati, including a 5-0 mark at home. Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET and can be seen on ESPN3.

Begin Slideshow

LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators Complete Game Preview

LSU and Florida have average football teams in 2014. For the first time in the Les Miles era, the two traditional powerhouses will meet with both teams unranked.   

LSU is 4-2 and winless in conference play. The Tigers have been dominated on both sides of the ball by Auburn and Mississippi State. Miles will look to avoid his first 0-3 start in SEC play in his illustrious career. 

Florida is 3-1 on the season, with a 2-1 conference mark. The Gators were fortunate to defeat Kentucky in triple overtime in mid-September. Last week, true freshman quarterback Treon Harris led a late charge to beat Tennessee 10-9.

Florida will be without Harris on Saturday though, as he has been suspended indefinitely by the program, per The Orlando Sentinel. The true freshman is being investigated by the University of Florida Police Department for sexual assault.  

Nevertheless, Gators head coach Will Muschamp will take comfort in being in "The Swamp" on Saturday. The home team has won this annual cross-divisional rivalry the past three seasons. 

Here is a preview of this week's matchup.

 

What You Need to Know

Time: 6:30 p.m. CT 

Place: Ben-Hill Griffin Stadium; Gainesville, Florida

TV: SEC Network

Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network, Gators IMG Sports Network

Spread: LSU by 1, via Oddsshark.com

Begin Slideshow

Creating the Ultimate 2015 Wide Receiver Recruit

There are a lot of top recruits who offer many things at the wide receiver position for the Class of 2015. Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder tells you which attributes he would take from which receiver to make the ultimate 2015 wide receiver.

What wide receiver do you want on your team?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Bowl Projections 2014-15: Week 7 Playoff Predictions

The college football madness isn't going to stop. Following a week of chaos that set dynamite to the College Football Playoff projections, another sizzling slate of games will reconfigure the standings once again.

Half of the nation's top 10 squads went down last week. ESPN Stats & Info delivered some historical perspective on the carnage before No. 8 UCLA also suffered an upset late Saturday night.

Now is a good time to take a breather and access the damage, but another earthquake is set for Week 7. Four matchups pit ranked opponents against one another, including two bouts between top-10 squads.

Somebody is going down again, but who will take the plunge this time? Here's a look at what lies ahead for the current top-four schools, along with the predicted playoff picture after Week 7.

 

Game of the Week: No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 3 Mississippi State

It's safe to say the loser falls from the playoff snapshot and the victor at least sits at No. 2 while making a case for the top spot. 

They're not No. 1 in the polls, but the Auburn Tigers hold the top slot in ESPN's Power Index.

It's easy to see how the model gives them the edge over Florida State. Through five games, they're undefeated with a 27.6-point average margin of victory. Against an LSU squad brandishing title aspirations, they gained 566 total yards to their SEC rival's 280 in a one-sided contest.

While Nick Marshall has completed just 57.9 percent of his passes, the number has risen in each of his last three games. He's also amended those accuracy issues with 12 total touchdowns to just one interception. He noted the strides he's taken this season to ESPN.com's Greg Ostendorf.

I’m a way better [passer] than I was last year. Coach [Rhett] Lashlee and Coach Malzahn, they took time out with me in the offseason and focused on my footwork, my eyes on the target and then just stepping through the throws. I’m satisfied [with this game], but there’s always room for improvement.

Actually, he's only shown significant improvement in the turnover department while slightly regressing in other key indicators. 

Meanwhile, Dak Prescott is producing a strong Heisman campaign for Mississippi State, who have pulled off two consecutive upsets over LSU and Texas A&M. ESPN The Magazine's Twitter page compared his hot start to past Heisman winners.

Even when this wasn't a groundbreaking matchup in 2013, the two delivered a great game, which Auburn won, 24-20, by scoring with 10 seconds left. Now Mississippi State knocking Auburn down a peg would hardly be considered a stunner.

According to Odds Shark, the Bulldogs are underdogs for the third straight time, but only by a small amount in a coin-flip game. They're now firmly on Auburn's level, a reality offensive lineman Ben Beckwith hopes onlookers are late to realize.

“Recognition is awesome, but you kind of like being under the radar, honestly,” Beckwith told ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff. “I like going [into games] thinking the other teams are looking over us. You would think they wouldn’t be.” 

If Florida State had to deal with an SEC schedule, these two opponents could easily justify finishing the season ranked No. 1 and 2. Given the new playoff system, a loss shouldn't doom the team that draws the short end of the stick, although it'll take a perfect finish afterwards.

A shootout plays in the Bulldogs' favor. Prescott still has a firm upper hand over the rising Marshall, and Auburn gained just 78 rushing yards in last year's head-to-head showdown. 

The Bulldogs have proved they're for real over the past two weeks, and they'll do some again at home by scoring a monumental victory over the Tigers.

Predictions: Mississippi State 38, Auburn 35

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Will the Egg Bowl Mean More Than the Iron Bowl in 2014?

All eyes have been on the 2014 Iron Bowl ever since Auburn cornerback and kick returner Chris Davis took an Alabama field-goal attempt back 109 yards the other way as time expired to give the Tigers a 34-28 win over the Crimson Tide and a berth in the SEC Championship Game.

Were we focused on the wrong intrastate rivalry game with a clever nickname?

Halfway through the season, it looks like the Egg Bowl between co-No. 3 Mississippi State and co-No. 3 Ole Miss in Oxford has more of the makings to serve as the de facto SEC West title game.

The folks in Mississippi are pumped, as Courtney Cronin of the Clarion-Ledger points out.

Is that a realistic possibility or an overreaction based on the Bulldogs' big win over Texas A&M and the Rebels' nail-biter over Alabama?

Realistic, sure.

After all, both programs currently share the No. 3 spot in the AP Top 25 Poll and Ole Miss will certainly be out for revenge after quarterback Bo Wallace fumbled in overtime to lose last year's edition.

Don't count out the Iron Bowl from getting back in the mix to become the most important game not just of the SEC's season, but the most important game played this year in all of college football.

Ole Miss still has major flaws, like its inability to run between the tackles, Wallace shouldering too much of the load in the running game after two years of shoulder issues and an offensive line that's shaky at best and mediocre at worst.

As mentioned in the bold predictions article from earlier this week, Texas A&M this weekend in College Station is setting up to be a heartbreaker for the Rebs, and there are still plenty of spots where they can trip up between then and the end of the regular season.

With a stifling front seven, a wildly efficient quarterback in Dak Prescott (180.69 passer rating) and an offense that poses a threat to stretch the field and run between the tackles, Mississippi State has much more staying power than—as head coach Dan Mullen refers to it—"the school up north."

The Bulldogs have to get by Auburn first, and that matchup with the No. 2 Tigers is no easy task.

If that happens—they're a 2.5-point underdog as of Monday afternoon, according to Odds Shark—the Bulldogs could certainly do their part to make it a must-win game to play for Atlanta and, thus, bigger than this year's Iron Bowl.

Mullen's crew would still have to spring the upset and then handle life as "the hunted" for the remainder of the season, which isn't the easiest thing to do—even for teams who are accustomed to it.

A far likelier scenario would be for Auburn to beat Mississippi State, enter the Iron Bowl undefeated or with one loss, and square off against a one-loss Crimson Tide team in Tuscaloosa.

Would that make it bigger than last year's Iron Bowl? Based on record, of course not. But the ramifications in this day and age of the College Football Playoff could be very similar.

Either way, it'd likely be bigger than the Egg Bowl.

Despite Alabama's loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, the SEC West still goes through the Iron Bowl until further notice.

 

Barrett Sallee is the Lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Karlos Williams Injury: Updates on FSU Star's Ankle and Return

When No. 1 Florida State travels to New York Saturday for an ACC clash with the Syracuse Orange, the Seminoles will likely be without top running back Karlos Williams.    

Coach Jimbo Fisher broke the news Monday, as captured by Corey Clark of NoleSports.com:

The senior tailback rushed 11 times for 50 yards last week in a 43-3 win over Wake Forest. So far this year, Williams has 353 yards and five touchdowns on a 4.8 yards-per-carry average.

With Williams potentially out of a conference showdown against an Orange defense that ranks No. 63 overall with an average of 24.4 points per game allowed, the Seminoles will turn to sophomore Mario Pender and freshman Dalvin Cook for production.

Bender has 154 yards and three scores on just 23 attempts this year, while Cook has tallied 128 and two on 24 totes.

Depending on the severity of Williams' injury, the Seminoles may be without their lead back when No. 6 Notre Dame comes to visit on Oct. 18 in a matchup with wide-ranging College Football Playoff implications.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Football: How Buckeyes Can Maintain Momentum

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After bouncing back from its Sept. 6 loss to Virginia Tech with three consecutive wins, the Ohio State football team now finds itself enjoying its second bye in the past four weeks.

Only for Urban Meyer, the enjoyment of the Buckeyes' week off will be kept to a minimum.

Because truth be told, a bye week is the last ingredient that Ohio State needs to add to what's been a winning recipe for the better part of the past month. Especially after one of the craziest weekends in college football history, the Buckeyes suddenly find themselves back in the thick of a hunt for a playoff spot, but that's predicated on Ohio State maintaining its newfound momentum.

"I wish we were playing another one next week," Meyer said following the Buckeyes' 52-24 win over Maryland on Saturday. "Our whole team wishes we were playing."

What's led Ohio State from its defeat at the hands of the Hokies to being a team that can't get back on the field soon enough?

It starts on the offensive side of the ball, where the Buckeyes have found their footing behind the play of redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett. An emerging star in college football, Barrett has combined for 909 passing yards, 156 rushing yards, 15 total touchdowns (14 passing, one rushing) and just one interception in Ohio State's past three games.

Those numbers stand in stark contrast from what they were during the Buckeyes' 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech, where Barrett completed just nine of his 29 pass attempts for 219 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. In the mere matter of weeks, the reigning Athlon Freshman of the Week has gone from a liability to the focal point of an OSU offense that ranks seventh nationally with an average of 44.6 points per game.

"I'm just trying to get better during the week and not wait until game day to react to everything," Barrett said of his recent improvement. "I'm just trying to get better at learning the defense that we're going to play on Tuesday and Wednesday, so when it comes to Saturday, I can have that confidence and go out there and play."

It also helps that what seemed like a blueprint for beating the Buckeyes a month ago is suddenly something that Ohio State now looks forward to facing.

While the Hokies hammered the Buckeyes with a 46 Bear defensive front and cover zero scheme, other opponents haven't been as fortunate with copycat approaches. Barrett's improvement, Ezekiel Elliott's emergence and a growing offensive line have all played roles in the midseason adjustments that have led to Ohio State's recent string of success.

"Ever since the Virginia Tech game, we've been getting that Bear, zero coverage," Meyer noted. "And now you're starting to see receivers and quarterbacks get kind of excited when they see that. The same with the coaching staff. You're like, 'Great, do it.'"

Opponents have, and as of late, they've paid, with wide receivers Michael Thomas, Dontre Wilson and Devin Smith all making their presences felt in different ways in the Buckeyes passing game. In its current state, it'd be hard to describe Ohio State's offense as anything but in-sync, something that it will have to sustain through its week off.

 

And as for the Buckeyes defense?

It's still not performing at a "championship level," according to Meyer. But that doesn't mean that it's not improving.

During Ohio State's Sept. 27 contest with Cincinnati—a 50-28 Buckeyes win—familiar frustrations reared their heads for the OSU pass defense, which surrendered 352 yards and four touchdowns to Bearcats quarterback Gunner Kiel. That total included touchdown throws of 83, 78 and 60 yards, leading Meyer to state that the Buckeyes were going "back to the drawing board" when it came to their pass defense.

A week later, Ohio State didn't give up quite as many big plays but did still allow at least one, as a 60-yard pass from Terrapins quarterback Caleb Rowe to Jacquille Veii set up a four-yard score for Stefon Diggs at the start of the fourth quarter. That sequence, in particular, stuck with Meyer, who vowed that such plays will at one point cease to be a weekly occurrence for the Buckeyes.

"Once again, you just take away—someday, we will take away the big hits," Meyer said, cutting himself off. "We're going to be more aggressive on defense."

With plenty left to work on in that facet, there's at least one Ohio State unit that could potentially benefit from the Buckeyes' second bye in the past month. Perhaps that's why Meyer, once again, won't treat it like a normal week off, in an attempt to improve an Ohio State team that's as hot as any heading into the heart of the 2014 season.

"The road's getting tougher and tougher," said Meyer. "I'm going to give us as many game reps as I can just to continue to get that maturity."

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Ohio State Lead Writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes obtained firsthand. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Re-Ranking the College Football Top 5 After Upset Saturday

Teams were tested this past Saturday, some of them passed, some of them failed; the only certain thing was that it was a lot of fun to watch. College Football Analyst Michael Felder re-ranks the Top 5 after a crazy weekend.

Who is your No. 1 team?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Complete Game Preview

After a thoroughly incomplete performance at Ryan Field against Northwestern, the Wisconsin Badgers (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-3, 0-2 Big Ten) in the friendly confines of Camp Randall Stadium, where the Badgers are 3-0.

Last week, the Badgers' two quarterbacks went a combined 12-of-29 for 138 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions.  After an ineffective first half by Tanner McEvoy, who went 4-of-10 for 24 yards and an interception, he was replaced by Joel Stave just before halftime.

Stave, who had not played this season due to a case of the yips after starting 19 games in his first two seasons of eligibility, did a couple good things, but the final stat line was ugly: 8-of-19 for 114 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, including a backbreaker in a goal-to-go situation.

All of the quarterback problems undermined a phenomenal career day by Heisman Trophy candidate Melvin Gordon, who carried the ball 27 times for a career-high 259 yards and a touchdown.

But the Badgers' four turnovers, drive-killing and extending penalties amounted to an embarrassing road loss to an upstart Northwestern team, which finds itself in the driver's seat of the Big Ten West with a 2-0 record.

As for Illinois, its bad season got a little bit worse last week as it handed Purdue its first Big Ten win under Darrell Hazell, who lost his first nine Big Ten contests as head coach, in a 38-27 defeat in Champaign at Memorial Stadium.

Making matters worse, the lone bright spot on the team, quarterback Wes Lunt, went down with a broken leg, per ESPN.com, which should sideline him for four-to-six weeks.  Lunt is completing 66.5 percent of his passes with 1,569 yards, 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

To replace him is Reilly O'Toole, who has seen nowhere near the success Lunt has.  O'Toole is completing 52.6 percent of his passes for 428 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions while seeing parts of two games plus a start against Nebraska.

Let's take a look at both teams' keys to victory, the players to watch and more as each squad looks to get off the schneid in Big Ten play.

Begin Slideshow

USC vs. Arizona Complete Game Preview

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11; 10:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: Arizona Stadium; Tucson, Arizona

TV: ESPN2

Out of the polls for the first time this season, USC visits No. 10-ranked Arizona with what head coach Steve Sarkisian described as "sick feeling in [its] gut."

The Trojans lost to Arizona State in Week 6 on Sun Devils quarterback Mike Bercovici's Hail Mary touchdown to Jaelen Strong.

What a game! Check out the unbelievable highlights from #ASUvsUSC! @drpepper#oneofakindplayshttps://t.co/TLyqmw6XTN

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 5, 2014

Conversely, one of Arizona's five wins came on a Hail Mary when quarterback Anu Solomon completed one to Austin Hill to beat Cal in Week 4.

#HillMaryhttp://t.co/iSOdUAY2gy#BearDown RT @ESPN_Pac12blog: Poll: Pac-12 play of the week http://t.co/6mrv3ZP03p

— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) September 21, 2014

For one team to win in dramatic fashion, another has to suffer heartbreak. It's the yin and yang of football that has the Trojans and Wildcats on opposite ends of the spectrum coming into this Saturday's nighttime showdown in the desert. 

If Arizona can keep its good fortune rolling, it will have the inside track on the South's berth into the Pac-12 Championship Game. A USC win, however, puts the Trojans right back in the forefront of the race.

Begin Slideshow

USC vs. Arizona Complete Game Preview

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11; 10:30 p.m. ET WHERE: Arizona Stadium; Tucson, Arizona TV: ESPN2 Out of the polls for the first time this season, USC visits No...

Begin Slideshow

Northwestern Unveils New 'Gothic' Uniforms for Game Against Nebraska

The Northwestern Wildcats' latest uniforms are certainly different.

Northwestern put out a teaser Monday morning to announce that it would be unveiling a new look for its game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Oct. 18.

Then, the Wildcats' new "gothic" uniforms were unveiled.

The new uniforms were inspired by Northwestern's campus.

[Twitter]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Treon Harris Suspended by Florida: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

The Florida Gators suspended freshman quarterback Treon Harris on Monday. 

Florida released a statement announcing Harris' suspension:

University of Florida student athlete Treon Harris is accused of sexually assaulting a female student early Sunday morning in a residence hall on the UF campus.

The University of Florida Police Department is investigating the incident, and UFPD has brought in the Gainesville Police Department to assist with collection and analysis of forensic evidence.

The investigation is ongoing and we do not have an update regarding any charges at this time.

The University of Florida and the University Athletic Association are cooperating fully.

Due to legal and privacy requirements, there are limitations as to what the university can say publicly about a pending matter such as this. In these types of serious situations, Student Affairs initiates the Student Conduct Code process. Often, a student may be suspended on an interim basis, which means he or she is banned from campus and all campus activities, pending the outcome of the conduct process.

UAA has suspended Treon Harris from all team activities.

'We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus,' UF President Bernie Machen said. 'The university is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the UF community. We must strive to protect all of our students from sexual harassment and assault, and do everything in our power to promote a safe learning environment.'

UF continues to provide a wide variety of support services and resources. The university continually enhance its campus efforts to address issues of sexual assault and harassment.

As this process unfolds and is resolved, UF is committed to addressing this serious matter with integrity, fairness and compassion.

Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel followed with additional details surrounding the incident:

The UF campus police crime log shows authorities were called at 12:49 a.m. Sunday to Springs Residential Complex, on-campus apartments, to investigate a sexual battery allegation. 

Richard Johnson of Jacksonville.com shared a statement from Ben Tobias of Gainesville Police Department discussing the case:

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel continued with a statement from Harris' attorney, Huntley Johnson:

Harris, who is listed at 5'11" and 190 pounds, replaced quarterback Jeff Driskel on Saturday and led the team to a crucial comeback win over Tennessee. The freshman passed for just 17 yards and had 24 yards rushing, but he looked good in taking over for Driskel.

Head coach Will Muschamp spoke about Harris following the game, per Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel.

"He's one of those guys who have that 'it' factor," Muschamp said. "He's a winner. ... He's got an aura and calmness about him."

Now, his future under center is unclear. While he's suspended from the team, Driskel will once again take over as the starting quarterback.

Meanwhile, Florida is currently 3-1 with a tough test ahead against LSU on Saturday. Regardless of who is under center, the team will need a complete effort to take down a still potent Tigers offense.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Watch RB Clayton Kiefer Break National Record with 11-Touchdown Performance

Clayton Kiefer was a one-man wrecking crew in Iowa. The Wayne High School senior scored 11 touchdowns, giving him an 8-Man national record. The Falcons won the game 86-60. 

Was this the best performance by a high school running back this year?

Watch the video and let us know.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages