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College Football Players on the Hot Seat in Week 11

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIINovember 8, 2013

College Football Players on the Hot Seat in Week 11

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    Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    With the 2013 college football season already down to Week 11, every snap becomes more vital with bowl bids and conference titles on the line.

    Several teams are fighting for their postseason lives but aren't quite seeing enough production from some of their leading cast members.

    Additionally, as injuries pile up, several players who starred early in the year could see their roles diminish as they aren't 100 percent.

    Meanwhile, a number of players are also stuck in midseason ruts, desperate for a turnaround.

    Many factors can land a player on the hot seat, but only on-field production can cool their seats down.

    Here is a list of players who must deliver this week.

RB Mark Weisman, Iowa

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    Matthew Holst/Getty Images

    Week 11 Matchup: Iowa at Purdue, 12 p.m. ET Saturday, Big Ten Network

    Iowa running back Mark Weisman runs as if there is a brick wall at the line of scrimmage, and the only way to gain positive yardage is to bust right on through.

    This bruising, fearless running style has taken its toll on the 6'1", 236-pound junior.

    As Andrew Logue of the Des Moines Register reported this week, Weisman has been banged up for much of the year, but he will keep on trucking, including this weekend against Purdue.

    While it is decided that Weisman will suit up against the Boilermakers, it isn't certain just how many carries he'll take. He was largely ineffective last week against Wisconsin, running nine times for just 15 yards.

    Against the Badgers, the Hawkeyes received a big spark on the ground from sophomore Jordan Canzeri, who went 58 yards on just five carries.

    If Weisman isn't himself once again, don't be surprised if the Hawks give the ball to Canzeri or another back.

QB C.J. Brown, Maryland

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Week 11 Matchup: Maryland vs. Syracuse, 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday 

    Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown is expected to make a full return to action this week when the Terrapins host Syracuse, as Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post reported.

    Brown brings a dynamic running presence to the quarterback position that backup Caleb Rowe doesn't. 

    However, as Brown has been banged up throughout the season, Rowe has been solid in his stead. The sophomore eclipsed 200 passing yards in each of the last three games.

    If Brown is less than 100 percent once the clock starts against the Orange, he could be pulled in favor of Rowe.

    Maryland is in the midst of an ugly skid. The Terps have been outscored 163-64 in their last four games, losing three of those tilts.

    At 5-3 with four conference foes remaining on the schedule, UMD needs to make a turnaround to become bowl eligible, leaving little room for error for Brown.

RB Rajion Neal, Tennessee

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Week 11 Matchup: Tennessee vs. Auburn, 12 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN

    At times, Tennessee running back Rajion Neal has looked like one of the best running backs in the crowded SEC.

    However, he didn't look anything like that last week against Missouri. The senior garnered an atrocious eight yards on eight carries. For those who struggle with math, that's exactly one yard per carry.

    Meanwhile, backup Marlin Lane was more effective, tallying 37 yards on six carries.

    Ideally, UT wants Neal to have 20-plus carries and 150-plus yards. However, if he is on a downswing again this weekend against Auburn, that won't happen.

    At 4-5, the Volunteers must finish strong to attain bowl eligibility. With that hanging over their heads, they might have no choice but to go with the hot hand in the backfield.

QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Week 11 Matchup: Virginia Tech at Miami (Fla.), 7 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN

    Virginia Tech hasn't really even considered replacing Logan Thomas at quarterback this season, despite the senior struggling with an 11-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

    Head coach Frank Beamer backed Thomas this week, insisting that he is still the starting quarterback, as reported by Mark Giannotto of The Washington Post

    However, the question floating around is: Why has no one else even received a look under center in Blacksburg?

    Thomas has notched eight turnovers in the last two games, both losses to Duke and Boston College. Those eight turnovers (six interceptions and two fumbles) took Virginia Tech from a ranked ACC Coastal Division favorite to 6-3 team fighting to stay afloat in the division.

    Even though Beamer claims Thomas isn't in danger of losing his starting job, there are plenty of outside sources with a lit match trying to heat that seat up.

RB Paul Perkins, UCLA

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 11 Matchup: UCLA at Arizona, 10 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN

    The UCLA running game has been in shambles ever since starter Jordon James went down with an ankle injury more than a month ago.

    As reported by Chris Foster of the Los Angeles TimesJames won't play this week at Arizona. But even though he isn't returning, his replacement, Paul Perkins, might still see his role diminished.

    The freshman had just four carries for three yards last week against Colorado, while senior Damien Thigpen posted his best game of the season with four carries for 38 yards and a touchdown.

    Ryan Kartje of the Orange County Register quoted offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone saying that Thigpen could step in and become the "entree" instead of being the "side dish."

    Unless UCLA is going to devour two steaks in Tuscon, that would likely relegate Perkins to being the baked potato on the side.

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