Pre­views, pro­jected scores for key col­lege games,

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NEWS - Pa­trick Stevens

A look at this week’s top games: No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 6 Mi­ami

Nov. 11, 8 p.m., ABC

Line: Notre Dame by 3 Nearly three decades have passed since Mi­ami and Notre Dame met as top-10 op­po­nents. This en­counter won’t have the same an­i­mos­ity as the famed ri­valry of the late 1980s, but it does carry sim­i­lar weight na­tion­ally.

The Fight­ing Ir­ish (8-1) have won seven in a row to vault into se­ri­ous na­tional ti­tle con­tention a year after they went 4-8. Notre Dame has been served well by the emer­gence of QB Bran­don Wim­bush, the ef­fec­tive­ness of RB Josh Adams (1,191 rush­ing yards) and its rein­ven­tion as a power rush­ing team.

Mi­ami (8-0) has won 13 in a row since leav­ing South Bend with a 30-27 loss last sea­son. The Hur­ri­canes val­i­dated their strong start with a 28-10 de­feat of Vir­ginia Tech last week in which it forced four turnovers.

The last game in the se­ries fea­tur­ing a pair of top-10 teams was in 1989, when Mi­ami won 29-20 en route to a na­tional ti­tle. That’s also the Hur­ri­canes’ last vic­tory in the se­ries; Notre Dame has won four in a row, in­clud­ing last sea­son’s matchup, when nei­ther team was ranked.

Who wins? Notre Dame, 2624 No. 8 Wash­ing­ton at Stan­ford

Nov. 10, 10:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Line: Wash­ing­ton by 61⁄ 2 After smash­ing Ore­gon 38-3, Wash­ing­ton (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) begins a tough push to re­main in the play­off pic­ture that in­cludes meet­ings with Utah and Wash­ing­ton State (and pos­si­bly the

Pac-12 ti­tle game). RB Bryce Love and Stan­ford (6-3, 5-2) can still win the Pac-12 North with vic­to­ries against Wash­ing­ton and Cal­i­for­nia, cou­pled with a Wash­ing­ton State loss.

Who wins? Wash­ing­ton, 2420

No. 16 Michi­gan State at No. 11 Ohio State

Nov. 11, noon, Fox

Line: Ohio State by 15 The fate of the Big Ten East hangs in the bal­ance as the Spar­tans (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) look to build off their up­set of Penn State with a vic­tory in Colum­bus. The Buck­eyes (7-2, 5-1) likely saw their play­off hopes end with a shock­ing 55-24 loss at Iowa. QB J.T. Bar­rett will try to bounce back from a four-in­ter­cep­tion out­ing and give Ohio State the out­right di­vi­sion lead.

Who wins? Ohio State, 20-16

No. 24 North Carolina State at Bos­ton Col­lege

Nov. 11, noon, ABC/ESPN2

Line: N.C. State by 3 After back-to-back losses, the Wolf­pack (6-3, 4-1 At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence) still har­bor slim con­fer­ence ti­tle hopes that could be dashed by the rested Ea­gles (5-4, 3-3). Bos­ton Col­lege won three in a row head­ing into its open date, and the emer­gence of fresh­man RB A.J. Dil­lon has helped re­in­still the pro­gram’s rugged iden­tity. Look for N.C. State to test Bos­ton Col­lege with WRs Kelvin Har­mon and Jakobi Mey­ers, who are com­ing off 100-yard days in a loss to Clem­son. Who wins? Bos­ton Col­lege, 24-21

No. 15 Ok­la­homa State at No. 23 Iowa State

Nov. 11, noon, ABC/ESPN2

Line: Ok­la­homa State by 61⁄ 2 The loser of this game will ef­fec­tively be elim­i­nated from Big 12 ti­tle game con­tention. Ok­la­homa State (7-2, 4-2) was on the wrong end of a wild Bed­lam game against Ok­la­homa, fall­ing 62-52 de­spite 228 yards and two TDs from RB Jus­tice Hill. Cow­boys WR James Wash­ing­ton (an­kle) left that game, and his ab­sence would be costly against Iowa State (6-3, 4-2), which held West Vir­ginia to 20 points in a loss last week.

Who wins? Ok­la­homa State, 28-24

No. 17 Vir­ginia Tech at Ge­or­gia Tech

Nov. 11, 12:20 p.m., ACC Net­work

Line: Vir­ginia Tech by 3 A week after a 28-10 loss to Mi­ami elim­i­nated them from the ACC’s Coastal Di­vi­sion race, the Hok­ies (7-2, 3-2 ACC) must visit At­lanta for a tricky game against the Yel­low Jack­ets (4-4, 3-3). QB TaQuon Mar­shall has han­dled the triple op­tion in im­pres­sive fash­ion as a first-year starter, and he has helped Ge­or­gia Tech go 4-0 at home this sea­son. Who wins? Vir­ginia Tech, 31-28

No. 2 Ge­or­gia at No. 10 Auburn

Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., CBS Line: Ge­or­gia by 3 It’s the 121st edi­tion of the Deep South’s old­est ri­valry, and Auburn (7-2, 5-1 SEC) might need to end a three-game los­ing streak against the Bull­dogs (9-0, 6-0) to re­main in con­tention for a con­fer­ence ti­tle. The Tigers are com­ing off a com­fort­able vic­tory at Texas A&M, while Ge­or­gia has clinched the SEC East and would put it­self in ex­cel­lent po­si­tion if it en­tered the league ti­tle game un­beaten.

Who wins? Ge­or­gia, 17-13

Florida State at No. 4 Clem­son

Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Line: Clem­son by 16 The win­ner of this game ul­ti­mately claimed the ACC At­lantic Di­vi­sion ti­tle each of the last eight years, and of­ten it is the league’s most con­se­quen­tial game. The lat­ter will still be true if the host Tigers (8-1, 6-1 ACC) win, but a sea­son of strug­gles for the Semi­noles (3-5, 3-4) has taken some of the shine off this game. Florida State RB Cam Akers is com­ing off a 199-yard out­ing against Syra­cuse.

Who wins? Clem­son, 34-13

Iowa at No. 3 Wis­con­sin

Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Line: Wis­con­sin by 121⁄ 2 Though it’s felt like a for­mal­ity for al­most a month, the host Bad­gers (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) still have to clinch the Big Ten West. That would hap­pen this week with a vic­tory against the Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3), who crushed Ohio State 55-24. Nate Stan­ley threw five TD passes in that game as Iowa scored 50 points against a Big Ten op­po­nent for the first time since 2008. Who wins? Wis­con­sin, 2014

SMU at Navy

Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports Net­work

Line: Navy by 41⁄ 2 Both teams are in the midst of dif­fi­cult stretches. The vis­it­ing Mus­tangs (6-3, 3-2 Amer­i­can), who re­main in West Di­vi­sion con­tention, are com­ing off a loss to Cen­tral Florida and must visit Mem­phis next week. Navy (5-3, 3-3) has dropped three in a row en­ter­ing its home fi­nale and still has meet­ings with Notre Dame, Hous­ton and Army. Who wins? Navy, 35-31

No. 14 South­ern Cal­i­for­nia at Colorado

Nov. 11, 4 p.m., Fox Line: South­ern Cal­i­for­nia by 131⁄ 2

The Trojans (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) are 11-0 all-time against Colorado (5-5, 2-5) and have won the last six games by an av­er­age of 20.3 points. With another vic­tory this week­end, South­ern Cal­i­for­nia would clinch its sec­ond Pac-12 South ti­tle in three years. Who wins? South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, 45-20

No. 20 Wash­ing­ton State at Utah

Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Net­work

Line: Wash­ing­ton State by 1 QB Luke Falk and the vis­it­ing Cougars (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) are 1-2 away from Pull­man this sea­son. To stay in the hunt for the North Di­vi­sion crown, they’ll need to win on the road against the Utes (5-4, 2-4), who ended a fourgame skid Fri­day with a rout of UCLA. Who wins? Wash­ing­ton State, 31-17

No. 1 Alabama at No. 18 Mis­sis­sippi State

Nov. 11, 7 p.m., ESPN

Line: Alabama by 141⁄ 2 The Crim­son Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) swept aside Louisiana State 24-10, but likely lost LBs Shaun Dion Hamil­ton and Mack Wil­son for the rest of the sea­son. De­spite the depth is­sues, Alabama is still in good shape in the SEC West and can clinch the di­vi­sion with a vic­tory and an Auburn loss to Ge­or­gia. Mis­sis­sippi State (7-2, 3-2) has a fourgame win­ning streak but has lost its last nine meet­ings with Alabama. Who wins? Alabama, 34-10

No. 9 TCU at No. 7 Ok­la­homa

Nov. 11, 8 p.m., Fox

Line: Ok­la­homa by 7 The win­ner of this game will take sole pos­ses­sion of first place in the Big 12 and also en­ter the sec­ond half of Novem­ber as the con­fer­ence’s best play­off hope. The Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) have al­ready beaten Ok­la­homa State on the road, and they re­bounded from their loss to Iowa State with a 24-7 tri­umph against Texas. Ok­la­homa (8-1, 5-1), which got 598 yards and five TDs from QB Baker May­field last week against Ok­la­homa State, must pre­pare for TCU’s ex­cep­tional de­fense.

Who wins? TCU, 27-24

Boise State at Colorado State

Nov. 11, 10:30 p.m., CBS Sports Net­work

Line: Boise State by 51⁄ 2 While the vis­it­ing Bron­cos (7-2, 5-0 Moun­tain West) can’t clinch a di­vi­sion ti­tle this week, they can take a big step to­ward se­cur­ing a spot in the league ti­tle game when they visit Colorado State (6-4, 4-2). QB Brett Ryp­ien threw for 258 yards and two TDs in last week’s rout of Ne­vada. Who wins? Boise State, 31-21


Run­ning back Josh Adams (33) has 1,191 rush­ing yards this sea­son and will lead Notre Dame against Mi­ami this week­end.


Ok­la­homa quar­ter­back Baker May­field threw five touch­down passes in his last game against Ok­la­homa State to give him 28 this sea­son.

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