It's Rivalry Week in college football, and for many in the graduating class of 2012, it marks the final home game—if not the final football game—of their careers.
While most players will do whatever they can to get on to the field, the status of some remains up in the air, with only a few hours to go before kickoff.
Let's take a look at the latest news revolving around a number of players who may—or may not—play major roles in the outcome of Week 13 action.
Jeff Driskel, QB, Florida Gators
Sophomore Jeff Driskel will be under center for the No. 4 Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon when they take on No. 10 Florida State in a pivotal game for both squads, according to ESPN:
CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 21, 2012
While it's healed well enough to start, how much his ankle will limit his mobility is a major concern for the Gators. Aside from the read options and QB runs that Will Muschamp likes to run with Driskel under center, Florida's offensive line has done an awful job of pass protection all year, allowing 32 sacks.
With the Seminoles having one of the better pass rushes in the nation (with 28 sacks on the season), Driskel and the Gators could be in for a long day if he's not able to move around as well as he normally does.
Matt Barkley, QB, USC Trojans
USC's unquestioned leader, senior QB Matt Barkley, will be relegated to cheerleader status in his final home game for the Trojans against No. 1 Notre Dame, per ESPN:
Matt Barkley's streak of 24 straight starts will end this week. It began the game after a USC loss to Notre Dame.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 19, 2012
Barkley has beaten Notre Dame in both of his career starts, completing more than 67 percent of his passes (43-of-64) for 604 yards, five touchdowns and only one interception.
In his place the Trojans will start redshirt freshman Max Wittick, who did his best Joe Namath impression earlier this week (h/t USA Today):
Meet new USC QB Max Wittek, who guarantees victory over Notre Dame: usat.ly/Scvb6N— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) November 20, 2012
Wittek will have his hands full against what is arguably the best defense in the nation.
Cody Vaz, QB, Oregon State
According to Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, junior QB Cody Vaz will dress but not start for the Beavers in the Civil War against No. 5 Oregon on Saturday:
For the record, QB Sean Mannion will start the Civil War for OSU. Cody Vaz is still hurting.— Cliff Kirkpatrick (@CliffGT) November 19, 2012
Mannion played well in last week's 62-14 rout of California, completing nearly 71 percent of his passes (24-of-34) for 325 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He'll need a similar performance if Oregon State is going to hang with Oregon's potent offense.
Orwin Smith, RB, Georgia Tech
According to the Georgia Tech athletic department's official Twitter account, senior RB Orwin Smith's status for Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate against No. 3 Georgia remains up in the air:
If Smith—the Yellow Jackets' leading rusher, with 673 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the season—can't go, we are likely to see QB Tevin Washington run even more than he usually does, which is a lot, as he leads Georgia Tech in carries (142) and rushing touchdowns (18).
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