Been a tough swing these past two weeks. Motivational factors have begun to completely take over games, which is typically a strong suit of mine. Week 11 I wasn’t as happy with some of my plays, but last week I felt pretty good about them and hope to continue the right side with my Week 13 College Football Picks.
It is impossible to predict that WVU will use Austin as KR, WR, RB, QB, OL, DL, CB, Safety, etc. and he would engulf 573 total yards. Marshall was the right side, as they were up 21 at one point. Tough to see that one slip away, but we’ve had a good run this season and you are bound to have a few tough ones.
I will attempt to get my plays up earlier this week so that everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with their family, and hopefully cover their friendly spreads and wagers in the backyard family football games.
1.5* Units, Duke +6.5 vs Miami
The Hurricanes announced this week that they will not be accepting bowl bids. Probably the right decision, but it completely blind-sided the players and some of the coaching staff. When things like this happen, it can have two effects: 1. It can make a team treat the last game of the season as their bowl game 2. It can make the team give up as they had been looking forward to the bowl game the entire season.
I think number 2 is the situation we see here. You will hear me discuss situation 1 in a different play this week. Miami is super young. The players wanted to go to a bowl game. Now instead of having that to look forward too, their last game of the season is against Duke, gross. If they cared before at all, now they probably don’t.
Without the motivation factors being considered, I still have this one as a close game. Miami has a terrible, terrible defense, ranking 106th. They have pretty much allowed 30 points to anyone that can breathe. On the contrary Duke’s offense plays a posession game and they are efficient in the Red Zone. Duke averaged 30 points per game, and I see that being the case here as well.
Miami’s offense is pretty good; young and talented. They are more of a passing team, but Duke Johnson can get yards on the ground if need be. Duke also doesn’t have the best defense but they are great in the red zone, ranking 15th total in RZ D and 21st in RZ TD%. I think this will help them save some points.
Finally, this is the last home game for Duke, and they want this one. It will send them to 7-5, and the players are playing for Cutcliffe. I don’t see Miami caring here. Should be a close, high scoring game, but Duke pulls this one out.
Duke 34, Miami 33
2* Units, Stanford -1.5 vs UCLA
You can absolutely bet that UCLA wants to play Stanford in the PAC 12 Championship game to get to the Rose Bowl instead of Oregon. I’m not saying that the UCLA coaches don’t want to win, and the players don’t want to win, but this thought is in the back of their head.
On the other hand, Stanford has 1 game here to get on to the next round. It is do or die for them. They are going to open up their playbooks to win this game. I don’t see UCLA doing that. I don’t see UCLA totally opening up their hand in attempt to beat Stanford, and ultimately face Oregon. They don’t have the motivation, where Stanford has it all.
Now, even if UCLA did bring the house on Stanford, I still don’t think they have the best chances. Stanford has one of the best defenses in the country (I have it ranked 5), which we saw last week. UCLAs offense is pretty balanced, and also very good. They aren’t the “best” at anything, but they pretty much do everything well.
Stanford’s offense is nothing special, but they are finally starting to figure things out with Hogan at QB and the run game. This won’t be a pretty game, but under a FG I like. Stanford is good in the RZ.
Finally, Stanford is a more disciplined team and better coached. UCLA gets the most penalties in the NCAA, and turn the ball over a lot. I see that being a difference maker here. That and the fact that they should be perfectly content playing Stanford again, instead of allowing Oregon to get to the Pac12 Championship game.
Stanford 24, UCLA 17
3* units, Georgia – 13 vs Georgia Tech
Too much on the line for the Dawgs to lay an egg here. They have many they need to impress, including the computers. Georgia is better in all facets of the game.
Georgia’s defense has honestly been a bit disappointing this year for me. They returned 9 starters and should be one of the best defenses in the nation. Don’t get me wrong though, they are still very good. They have tons and tons of talent, and I think that is what they are going to need against the non-traditional GT offense. The good news is that Georgia also faced a similar offense last week in Georgia Southern. Georgia Tech will get a little bit going, but it will take more than running the option to beat a Top 5 SEC defense.
Georgia on offense has been sporadic at times, but I think they are the most balanced offense in the SEC. Coming into the season, I thought this would be the question mark, not their defense. Aaron Murray can throw the ball, and this Georgia team ranks 2nd in Yards per Pass Attempt. They can really kill a team with big plays, and this GT team gives them up. This GT defense will not be able to stop Georgia, and once they get out of range, they are going to have to go to what they are not comfortable, nor good at, and thats passing.
I expect a lot of 3 and outs for GT from a UGA team at home knowing they have two playoff games getting them to their ultimate goal. Dawgs roll.
UGA 38 GT 17