Research reps: Can Nutt crack LSU again?

November, 19, 2010
11/19/10
4:39
PM ET
A preview of the top things to know from this weekend's top 25 and notable games. All rankings reflect BCS standings.

Fresno State (6-3, 4-2) at 4 Boise State (9-0, 5-0) -- Friday, 9:30 ET on ESPN2, ESPN3.com
Boise State has won 23 straight games, the longest active FBS streak, and hasn’t trailed in a game since taking the lead from Virginia Tech with just over a minute left in the season opener. Boise State is also the only FBS team ranked in the top five in total offense (fourth) and total defense (third).

Ole Miss (4-6, 1-5) at 5 LSU (9-1, 5-1) -- 3:30 ET
The Tigers have won 10 straight home games and are trying to finish undefeated at home for the first time since 2006 (8-0). Houston Nutt has won three straight against LSU. He’s won the last two at Ole Miss and in 2007, he beat the Tigers when he was the head coach at Arkansas.

6 Stanford (9-1, 6-1) at California (5-5, 3-4) -- 3:30 ET
Stanford has played five road games this season. At Oregon, the Cardinal allowed 52 points and seven touchdowns. In the four other road games combined, they've allowed a total of 27 points and three touchdowns. Last week was the first game this season that Stanford QB Andrew Luck didn't throw a touchdown. It will be interesting to see how much pressure Luck gets in the pocket in this game; Stanford is tied for first in FBS in sacks allowed (0.4 per game), but Cal is tied for sixth in FBS in sacks (3.0 per game). Stanford has not won on the road in the "Big Game" since 2000.

7 Wisconsin (9-1, 5-1) at Michigan (7-3, 3-3) -- Noon ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com
With 1,417 rush yards this season, Michigan QB Denard Robinson already has the Big Ten single-season record for most yards rushing by a quarterback. Robinson is 78 yards shy of setting the NCAA single-season record by a quarterback, held by Air Force's Beau Morgan, who ran for 1,494 yards in 1996.

8 Nebraska (9-1, 5-1) at 19 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2) -- 8 ET on ABC, ESPN3.com
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez is 43 rushing yards shy of becoming just the third QB in NCAA history to record 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards passing in his freshman season, joining Missouri’s Brad Smith and Kent State’s Josh Cribbs. Texas A&M has won four straight Big 12 games, its longest single-season streak since 2006, when the Aggies also won four in a row. With a win, A&M will have its first five-game win streak since 2004.

9 Ohio State (9-1, 5-1) at 20 Iowa (7-3, 4-2) - 3:30 ET on ABC
Don’t expect many, if any, turnovers in this game. These are two of the top-five teams in the country in turnover margin. Ohio State is tied for first at +1.4 per game, +14 for the season. Iowa is fifth at +1.2 per game, +12 for the season. The Buckeyes have made a habit of not losing in the final month of the season. Since 2005, they're 14-1 in November.

10 Oklahoma State (9-1, 5-1) at Kansas (3-7, 1-5) - Noon ET
The Cowboys have won four straight road games in a season for the first time since 1985. If they beat the Wildcats, then the Cowboys will have their first undefeated road season since 1945. Everywhere you look on offense, Oklahoma State has a player that ranks at or near the top in the country. QB Brandon Weeden is first in pass yards per game (339.1), WR Justin Blackmon is first in receiving yards per game (158.9) and RB Kendall Hunter is fourth in rush yards per game (135.6). As a result, Oklahoma State is 1st in FBS in total offense (547.5).

Purdue (4-6, 2-4) at 12 Michigan State (9-1, 5-1) -- Noon ET
It's senior day for 17 Spartans. The Michigan State senior class has 31 wins, which ties the 1990 class for the most in school history. The Spartans are one win shy of the third 10-win season in school history (1965, 1999). Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan has 23½ tackles for loss this season, which leads the nation, and 11½ sacks, the second-most in the FBS. He’s 3½ sacks and 4½ tackles for loss shy of tying the single-season school record. Kerrigan has 32½ sacks in his career, and needs 2½ more to tie Roosevelt Colvin for the most career sacks in school history.

13 Arkansas (8-2, 4-2) at 21 Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) - 7 ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com
The Bulldogs are trying to win eight regular-season games for the first time since 1999, when they went 9-2 before winning the Peach Bowl. Mississippi State had its six-game winning streak snapped last week at Alabama. The Bulldogs are 0-3 against teams that currently are ranked, and 7-0 against current unranked opponents. Arkansas has been very efficient in the red zone this season, having scored on 37 of 40 possessions. That leads the SEC and is tied for fourth in the nation.

14 Oklahoma (8-2, 4-2) at Baylor (7-4, 4-3) -- 8 ET on ESPN2, ESPN3.com
Baylor has never defeated Oklahoma, going 0-19 in a series that held its first meeting in 1901. Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team that hasn't been beaten by Baylor. Of all the teams Baylor has played at least five times, in conference or out of conference, Oklahoma is the only one the Bears have never beaten.

15 Missouri (8-2, 4-2) at Iowa State (5-6, 3-4) -- 7 ET
A win will give Missouri just its sixth nine-win season in school history, and head coach Gary Pinkel would have accounted for three of those seasons (2007, 2008). He's already the only coach to lead the Tigers to multiple 10-win seasons. Since 2009, Iowa State is 11-0 under Paul Rhoads when holding opponents under 24 points, 1-12 when allowing at least 24 points.

16 Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) at 24 Miami (FL) (7-3, 5-2) -- 3:30 ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com
If the Hokies can beat the Hurricanes, then knock off Virginia next week, they'll be the first team to go undefeated through ACC play since Florida State in 2000. That's by far the longest drought for any FBS conference. The second-longest belongs to Conference USA, which hasn't had a team go unbeaten through league play since former member Louisville did it in 2004. Part of the reason Virginia Tech is a perfect 6-0 in conference is its fourth-quarter defense. The Hokies have allowed only 10 points in the fourth quarter in six conference games.

Troy (5-4) at 17 South Carolina (7-3) -- 12:21 ET on ESPN3.com
If South Carolina freshman RB Marcus Lattimore rushes for 36 yards, it'll be the first time in school the Gamecocks will have a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season. Alshon Jeffery enters the game with 1,087 receiving yards. Steve Spurrier is 40-0 all-time against BCS non-AQ schools, including 14-0 at South Carolina.

New Mexico State (2-8, 1-5) at 18 Nevada (9-1, 4-1) - 4 ET
A win would be Nevada's 500th in school history and give the Wolf Pack their first 10-win season since beginning FBS play in 1992. Colin Kaepernick needs 51 rushing yards to become the only player in FBS history with three seasons of 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. He also shares the school record for career TD passes with Eric Beavers (78).

23 Utah (8-2, 5-1) at San Diego State (7-3, 4-2) -- 10 ET
After Utah scored at least 27 points in each of its first eight games, the Utes have scored just 10 points in the last two weeks (TCU, Notre Dame). In the last two BCS standings, Utah has dropped from fifth to 14th, and 14th to 23rd. With another loss, Utah’s streak of 21 straight weeks ranked in the BCS standings could come to an end. That’s tied for the third-longest active streak.

25 Florida State (7-3, 5-2) at Maryland (7-3, 4-2) -- 8 ET on ABC, ESPN3.com
The ACC Atlantic Division comes down to this. If either Maryland or NC State wins out, they clinch the division; however, Maryland and NC State play next Saturday. Florida State needs to win out and have NC State lose to either North Carolina this week or at Maryland next week. The Seminoles have won 11 straight games, including bowl games, in which they have rushed for more than 200 yards.

Illinois (5-5, 3-4) vs Northwestern (7-3, 3-3) -- 3:30 ET on ESPNU
Wrigley Field is hosting a college football game for the first time since 1938. It’s also the first football game of any kind to be played there since 1970 when the Bears called it their home. However, the game hasn’t been without controversy, as both teams will play offense towards one end zone. The Bears played 332 games at Wrigley Field from 1921-70 and never experienced these field-spacing problems, because they played in a north-south configuration from left field to home plate, and not east-west, like on Saturday.

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