No. 2 Ge­or­gia in fea­tured SEC game at 13th-ranked LSU

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - JOUR­NAL STAFF AND WIRES

The Bull­dogs are ranked sec­ond, the Tigers are No. 13, and the out­come of to­day’s game could im­pact both di­vi­sions in the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence.

Now that the col­lege foot­ball sea­son has reached its mid­way point, the ti­tle chases in each of the con­fer­ences are start­ing to come into fo­cus.

This week should clear things up even more.

No. 2 Ge­or­gia vis­its No. 13 LSU in a South­east­ern Con­fer­ence in­ter­di­vi­sional matchup that could im­pact each di­vi­sion race. No. 15 Wis­con­sin trav­els to No. 12 Michi­gan in a po­ten­tial pre­view of the Big Ten cham­pi­onship game. No. 19 Colorado puts its per­fect record on the line at South­ern Cal­i­for­nia in a game that could help de­ter­mine the Pac-12 South cham­pion, while No. 17 Ore­gon hosts No. 7 Wash­ing­ton in a game pit­ting two of the Pac-12 North’s top teams.

Here’s a run­down of some things to know head­ing into to­day: BEST GAME: No. 2 Ge­or­gia at No. 13 LSU

LSU’s loss at Flor­ida last week pre­vented this from be­ing a matchup of un­beat­ens, but Ge­or­gia still is putting its per­fect record on the line in one of the na­tion’s most hos­tile road en­vi­ron­ments.

This is the first of four straight games Ge­or­gia will play against teams cur­rently ranked in the Top 25. This marks the first time these two SEC ri­vals have faced off since 2013. They haven’t met in Tiger Sta­dium since 2008.

HEIS­MAN WATCH: Colorado WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

Shenault is the na­tion’s lead­ing re­ceiver, scored four touch­downs (two rush­ing, two re­ceiv­ing in a 28-21 win over Ari­zona State last week) and plays for an un­de­feated Power Five team. Yet he re­mains some­thing of an af­ter­thought in a Heis­man con­ver­sa­tion that has been dom­i­nated by quar­ter­backs such as Alabama’s Tua Tago­v­ailoa and Ohio State’s Dwayne Hask­ins. Part of the prob­lem is that Colorado has played a rel­a­tively soft sched­ule, due to Ne­braska and UCLA hav­ing down sea­sons.

The Buf­faloes should get more at­ten­tion the next cou­ple of weeks as they visit South­ern Cal­i­for­nia to­day and No. 7 Wash­ing­ton on Oct. 20.


8: The num­ber of SEC teams in the Top 25 (No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ge­or­gia, No. 13 LSU, No. 14 Flor­ida, No. 18 Ken­tucky, No. 21 Auburn, No. 22 Texas A&M and No. 24 Mis­sis­sippi State). That’s the high­est to­tal for any con­fer­ence since the SEC also had eight ranked teams on Oct. 16, 2016.

15: Ten­nessee has lost its last 15 games against the SEC West and hasn’t beaten a West Di­vi­sion team since knock­ing off Mis­sis­sippi in 2010. The Vols also have lost 11 straight SEC games over­all. They try to end that skid when they visit Auburn.

15-1: Wis­con­sin’s record in true road games dur­ing Paul Chryst’s coach­ing ten­ure. The Bad­gers carry a 10-game road win­ning streak into to­day’s game at Michi­gan. Wis­con­sin’s only road loss un­der Chryst was a 14-7 set­back at Michi­gan in 2016.

40: Alabama’s av­er­age mar­gin of vic­tory this sea­son. Alabama is scor­ing 56 points per game to lead all Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion teams and is al­low­ing 16 points per game.

163: Texas quar­ter­back Sam Eh­linger has thrown 163 straight passes with­out an in­ter­cep­tion to break the school record held by cur­rent Hous­ton coach Ma­jor

Ap­ple­white (156 in 1999).

322: The num­ber of ca­reer points for Notre Dame kicker Justin Yoon, mak­ing him the Fight­ing Ir­ish’s all-time lead­ing scorer. Yoon set the record last week by pass­ing run­ning back Allen Pinkett, who scored 320 points (not in­clud­ing bowl games) from 1982-85.

UN­DER THE RADAR: No. 10 Cen­tral Flor­ida at Mem­phis

These two teams played a clas­sic shootout last year, with UCF edg­ing Mem­phis 62-55 in dou­ble over­time to win the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game dur­ing its un­beaten sea­son.

They will meet again to­day as the 10th-ranked Knights (5-0, 2-0 Amer­i­can) put their FBSlead­ing 18-game win­ning streak on the line at Mem­phis (4-2, 1-2). Although Mem­phis’ of­fense isn’t quite as ex­plo­sive as it was last sea­son, the home-field ad­van­tage could give the Tigers a rea­son­able shot at pulling the up­set.

STATE GAMES: East­ern New Mex­ico’s long­stand­ing foot­ball ri­valry with Western New Mex­ico has a new name: The two teams bat­tle tonight at 7 in the in­au­gu­ral Chile Bowl in Por­tales. The host Hounds are 1-5 with four losses to na­tion­ally ranked Di­vi­sion II op­po­nents. WNMU is 0-5, has lost its last 13 games to ENMU and trails in the all-time se­ries 40-15-2. … New Mex­ico High­lands (2-4, 2-3 RMAC) is in Spearfish, S.D., to­day for a 1 p.m. kick­off vs. Black Hills State (0-6, 0-6).

Fri­day night


24: In Tulsa, Okla., Coby Weiss made a 22-yard field goal with 2 sec­onds left as South Flor­ida scored 17 points in the fi­nal 7:10 to beat Tulsa.

Blake Bar­nett set up the win­ning field goal with a 32-yard strike to Tyre McCants to the 5.

Bar­nett scored on 1- and 12-yard runs to pull the Bulls (6-0, 2-0 Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence) within two with 2:10 to go, but was stopped on a 2-point con­ver­sion run.

USF forced Tulsa (1-5, 0-3) into a three-and-out, giv­ing the Bulls the ball back with 1:03 re­main­ing on their 43 with no time­outs left.

Jor­dan Cronkrite, who set a USF and AAC record with 302 yards last week at UMass, rushed for 151 yards on 25 car­ries.

UTAH 42, ARI­ZONA 10: In Salt Lake City, the Utes (4-2, 2-2 Pac12) jumped out to a 28-0 half­time lead en route to beat Ari­zona (3-4, 2-2).


Ge­or­gia’s Eli­jah Holy­field (13), shown mov­ing through the Mid­dle Ten­nessee de­fense in mid-Septem­ber, is a key rea­son the Bull­dogs are ranked No. 2 in the na­tion.

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