December 8th, 2019 11:13AM
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The UnTouchable Report (Weeks 11-12)

The UnTouchable Report

A rundown of the week's hottest games.

....................WEEK 11....................

#12 LSU Tigers 4-1 (2-0 SEC) nole4real #5 Alabama Crimson Tide 8-1 (4-1 SEC) BFiVL

The SEC West race is likely the tightest divisional race in the league but is still up for the taking. Both these teams have just one blemish on their record but both have yet to play undefeated Auburn as well. Nole is back coaching in the SEC for the first time since taking the Florida Gators to a national title win in Season 17. The Gators and Biffy's Tide did not play that season but the end of that season may have turned out very differently if they did. The winner of this game will grab sole possession of the #2 spot in the division and will contend with Auburn to get to the conference title game; the loser can pretty much kiss their championship chances goodbye.
I left Alabama RB Trent Richardson off my initial Heisman Watch list but many could argue he should have been on there. Richardson is averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground but is getting some playing time (and scores) taken away by backup RB Eddie Lacy. The Tide rush the ball more than twice as much as they pass it, but with QB Philip Sims averaging more than 17 yards per pass, they gain just as much yardage through the air as they do on the ground. Look for Sims to target WRs Brandon Gibson and Marquis Maze deep in the backfield, especially when he eyes man coverage. The Tigers, on the other hand, will gain very few of their yards on the ground as QB Zach Mettenberger is called on to lead the team through the air. LSU ranks 6th in passing yards and Mettenberger's got a core of receivers to look to each play, although his favorite targets are WR Reuben Randle and TE Deangelo Peterson. Both of those guys have got at least twice as many receptions as any other receiver on the team.
It's the 3rd-ranked offense (LSU) versus the 2nd-ranked defense (Alabama). Games with those stats generally favor the defense and in this case I won't stray from the usual. Tide win, but not by much.

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#7 Texas A&M Aggies 5-0 (2-0 Big 12) plasma1896 #18 Oklahoma Sooners 6-2 (3-2 Big 12) bearass

After winning just one game last season, the Texas A&M Aggies are off to their best start since going 12-2 in Season 20 and winning the Orange Bowl. After winning the national championship two seasons ago with Stanford, Plasma is looking for his third consecutive 10-win season. Bearass returns to Oklahoma this season after being dismissed in Season 22 after a disappointing 7-6 season. The Sooners have already dropped two conference games and will need to win this one and get a lot of help if they want any chance of capturing a Big 12 title.
The Aggies don't have any real standout players but they do a tremendous job of making it a team effort. They lead the Big 12 in points for, points against, total offense, and lead the NDL in time of possession. They move the ball slowly but efficiently behind QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Christine Michael. Texas A&M is playing lights out on defense allowing just 7.8 points per game. They rarely turn the ball over (just 4 times all season) and dominate by controlling the tempo of the game. The Sooners are not producing nearly as much offense, likely due to QB Landry Jones throwing more than twice as many picks as he has touchdowns this season. Their two losses are to the other two teams ahead of them in the Big 12 but their six wins weren't terribly difficult, the exception being a road win at #12 LSU to open the season. Jones will need to be more consistent if he wants any chance to lead his team past a defense that averages 2.2 interceptions per game. Also, keep an eye on backup QB Blake Bell. Bell has 8 rushing touchdowns this season but has yet to complete a pass so he's almost certain to run with the ball if he's inserted into the game, especially down in the red zone.
LSU upset aside, I don't think the Sooners can put up enough offense against the conference's best defense. A&M will cruise by the Sooners in Norman.

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Others to watch for:
#14 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-0 (1-0 B1G) JohnnyP @ #3 Michigan State Spartans 7-1 (3-1 B1G) Weasel
---I alluded to this game in a previous week but the Spartans can all but seal a trip to the B1G Championship with a win here.
Arizona State Sundevils 3-2 (1-1 PAC-12) RB4SC22 @ #16 UCLA Bruins 4-0 (1-0 PAC-12) UclaMac
---The Sundevils have played spoiler in the past but can they upset undefeated UCLA on the road?
Florida Atlantic Owls 0-4 (0-1 Sun Belt) Hoos @ Florida International Golden Panthers 0-5 (0-2 Sun Belt) baker
---Which team will finally get their first win of Season 24?

....................WEEK 12....................

#1 Wisconsin Badgers 8-0 (4-0 B1G) dcane7 #14 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-0 (1-0 B1G) JohnnyP

The Badgers have already played and beaten the former Legends Division first-place team now they will square off against the new first-place team. Johnny dominated last year's version of NCAA, going 36-3 over those 3 seasons with BYU and Miami. This year's version of the game hasn't treated him so well, going 11-14 the previous two seasons. He's off to a hot 4-0 start but his combined opponent record so far is just 6-21. The Gophers will definitely have to step it up if they want to contend with the #1 team in the land.
We've already witnessed how the Badgers are closing out games this season. A stout defense and a top 10 rushing offense are giving them an average margin of victory of nearly two touchdowns. RB James White is a clear candidate for this year's Heisman already rushing for over 1200 yards and 14 touchdowns while not coughing up the ball even once in 216 touches. The Badgers run the ball 2/3 of the time so look for White to dictate the pace of the game. The Gophers are also a run-first team but RB DeLeon Eskridge isn't the biggest threat in that rushing offense. QB Marqueis Gray has run the ball just as many times as Eskridge. Expect a lot of zone read plays out of the spread offense for Minnesota. Gray will only throw the ball if absolutely necessary and has only one passing TD to his record this season. The Gopher defense is giving up a conference-best 9.5 points per game, but that is pretty much attributed to the weak competition they've played so far.
I made a mistake by predicting the Badgers would lose to the Spartans last week. I'm not making that same mistake again. Wisconsin wins this one soundly.

38 21

#4 Auburn Tigers 8-0 (5-0 SEC) bigred #8 Georgia Bulldogs 7-1 (4-1 SEC) TheRealDray

In perhaps this block's biggest matchup, we find one of the many SEC games between high ranked opponents. This game is extremely important to both teams. Undefeated Auburn is still fighting for supremacy in the West with LSU and Alabama while Georgia's only loss game against South Carolina in a blowout game that could pay dividends for the Gamecocks at the end of the season. Dray is off to one of his best starts in his 11 total seasons with Georgia while Bigred has already matched his best win total in his 3 seasons with Auburn. Bigred and the Tigers currently hold a 2-1 advantage on Dray and the Bulldogs over the past 3 seasons.
The Tigers currently boast one of the best turnover margins in the league at +21. They have turned the ball over just twice all season. That can be attributed to the efficiency of QB Barrett Trotter, who is completing 60% of his passes, and the elusiveness of RB Michael Dyer, who has yet to fumble the ball. The Tigers are 5th in the league in scoring (31.5 PPG) and like to do it early and often; they have scored in the 1st quarter in 6 of their 8 games. On the flipside, the Bulldogs rank 8th in points allowed (10.5 PPG) and are 5th in total defense (they're allowing just 130 yards of total offense per game). The Bulldog defense is what leads this team and with 8 defensive scores, they've scored more touchdowns than QB Aaron Murray has thrown on offense. Speaking of Murray, look for him to scramble out of the pocket if no one is open. Murray is accurate when throwing (65%) but 1/4 of his incompletions have been picked off so he'll need to be much more careful against a defense that averages nearly 3 picks a game.
This one is a tough one. I think Georgia puts up a fight but ultimately Murray throws one too many interceptions. The Tigers continue to roll.

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Others to watch for:
Miami Hurricanes 3-5 (2-2 ACC) dealer4014 @ #2 Florida State Seminoles 6-1 (3-1 ACC) JustGiver31
---A trip to Tallahassee will be the Canes' 4th road game against ranked opponents this season (and 5th overall).
#6 Oregon Ducks 4-0 (1-0 PAC-12) 6ftdeep @ #25 Stanford Cardinal 1-0 (0-0 PAC-12) Steamrollr22
---The jury is still out on Stanford but the Ducks are on a roll and LaMichael James has been lighting up the scoreboard in recent weeks.
Texas Longhorns 5-2 (3-1 Big 12) VeniVediV1ci @ #13 Missouri Tigers 4-1 (2-0 Big 12) Black Crowes
---The Tigers were blanked in Austin in their only regular-season loss last season. Can they get revenge with the game in Columbia?

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