10 Players Guaranteed to Light Up the Stat Sheet in Week 12
Given several tasty college football matchups on tap this weekend, Week 12 should feature many mind-numbing stat lines.
In some matchups, the nation’s top running backs go up against rush defenses that couldn't stop a tortoise. In others, some of the best passers should pick apart secondaries with more holes than Swiss cheese.
All in all, there are a bunch of lopsided matchups on the schedule this weekend.
Here are 10 players who should take advantage.
QB Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)
Week 12 Matchup: Ball State (9-1) at No. 15 Northern Illinois (9-0), Nov. 13, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Quarterback Jordan Lynch has been phenomenal for the Huskies this season.
Through nine games, the senior has thrown for 1,871 yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions on 63.6 percent passing. He’s also added another 1,150 yards and 12 scores on the ground. Not to mention, Lynch has racked up at least 150 passing yards and 80 rushing yards in seven of nine contests.
Although the Cardinals will be Northern Illinois’ toughest matchup of the season, that doesn’t mean it will be hard to pile the yards on.
Thus far, Ball State ranks No. 85 in total defense (419.9 YPG), No. 46 against the pass (222.4 YPG) and No. 98 against the run (197.5 YPG). While the team’s secondary may be solid, the Cardinals have allowed 17 touchdowns on the ground and concede a generous 4.9 yards per carry.
All in all, it makes for what should be another monster stat line for Lynch.
RB Andre Williams (Boston College)
Week 12 Matchup: North Carolina State (3-6) at Boston College (5-4), Nov. 16, 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
In a season that has had its ups and downs, the Eagles’ biggest sign of optimism has been running back Andre Williams.
Through nine games, the senior has rushed for 1,471 yards and 12 touchdowns on 246 carries. He leads the nation in yards, yards per game and carries.
Not to mention, Williams has also rushed for 140 yards or more in five of Boston College’s last six games.
The Wolfpack run defense doesn’t threaten to slow down that charge.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 56 against the run (155.4 YPG). But while North Carolina State may limit the yardage, the team has still allowed 16 scores on the ground and conceded a rather generous 4.7 yards per carry.
Coming off a 295-yard, two-touchdown performance last weekend, expect Williams to keep it up.
QB Devin Gardner (Michigan)
Week 12 Matchup: Michigan (6-3) at Northwestern (4-5), Nov. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network
Sometimes, the best cure for a slump is to run into an opponent in a bigger slump than you.
In the Wolverines' case, the team has lost two of three games. However, the Wildcats have had it even worse, losing five straight after a 4-0 start.
Michigan will also benefit from Northwestern’s shaky secondary.
Through nine games, Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner has thrown for 2,185 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 60.7 percent passing. The junior has also added another 442 yards and nine scores on the ground.
While his overall numbers may not be that impressive, it’s worth remembering that Gardner torched Indiana for 503 yards through the air just three games ago.
It certainly helps that the Wildcats pass defense has been lackluster thus far. The unit currently ranks No. 97 in the category (249.2 YPG).
Expect Gardner to put up numbers and help put a stop to Michigan’s woes.
RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)
Week 12 Matchup: Indiana (4-5) at No. 22 Wisconsin (7-2), Nov. 16, 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Running back Melvin Gordon is arguably one of the best rushers in the nation.
Through nine games, the sophomore has racked up 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns on 143 carries. More specifically, he’s also rushed for at least 140 yards and a score in all but three contests.
Gordon is a beast, and the Hoosiers run defense is not much of a cage.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 109 against the run (217.4 YPG). Indiana has been picked apart for 24 scores on the ground and has conceded over 4.6 yards per carry to opposing rushers.
Did we mention the game was at home for the Badgers, where Gordon averages 137.8 yards per game?
Yeah, it’s not going to be pretty for the Hoosiers.
QB Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
Week 12 Matchup: Houston (7-2) at No. 20 Louisville (8-1), Nov. 16, 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Although the Cardinals' BCS title hopes are long gone and his Heisman candidacy is all but vanished, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is still one of the top passers in the nation.
Through nine games, the junior has torched opposing secondaries for 2,845 yards, 24 touchdowns and three interceptions on 71.4 percent passing. Furthermore, he has thrown for 300 yards or more in all but three games this season.
While the Cougars offense may pose a threat, the same can’t be said about the team’s secondary.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 117 against the pass (277.6 YPG). Houston has allowed 11 touchdowns through the air while conceding 7.3 yards per attempt.
For a quarterback that has made short work out of more formidable opposition, don’t expect Bridgewater to bust a sweat in this one.
QB Taylor Kelly (Arizona State)
Week 12 Matchup: Oregon State (6-3) at No. 19 Arizona State (7-2), Nov. 16, 9:30 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network
While everyone is focused on Oregon and Stanford, quarterback Taylor Kelly has quietly led the Sun Devils to a 7-2 overall record and a Pac-12 South-best 5-1 conference record.
Through nine games, the junior has thrown for 2,655 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 62.8 percent passing. He’s also added another 306 yards and seven scores on the ground—all the rushing touchdowns have come in the last four games.
More impressively, Kelly has accounted for at least three scores in all but one game this season.
Against the Beavers and their questionable secondary, don’t expect Kelly to have a hiccup.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 90 against the pass (243.3 YPG). Oregon State has given up 15 touchdowns while allowing 7.3 yards per attempt.
Kelly and Arizona State should have no problem tossing aside the Beavers.
RB Storm Johnson (UCF)
Week 12 Matchup: No. 17 UCF (7-1) at Temple (1-8), Nov. 16, 12 p.m. ET on ESPN3
The Knights are finally getting some national recognition, and running back Storm Johnson is a big reason why.
Through eight games, the junior has rushed for 719 yards and nine touchdowns on 142 carries. He’s also caught 20 passes for 204 yards and three scores.
Johnson was especially proficient during UCF’s upset of then-No. 8 Louisville on Oct. 18, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown while bringing in four passes for 79 yards and a score.
Against the Owls, Johnson should continue his strong play.
Entering Week 12, Temple ranks No. 86 against the run (185.7 YPG). The team has given up 13 touchdowns on the ground while allowing a little over 4.7 yards per carry.
You’d have to be extremely optimistic to believe the Owls have any chance of slowing down Johnson and the Knights.
RB Tre Mason (Auburn)
Week 12 Matchup: No. 25 Georgia (6-3) at No. 7 Auburn (9-1), Nov. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
The Tigers wouldn’t be as successful as they are without the strong play of running back Tre Mason.
Through 10 games, the junior has racked up 1,038 yards and 16 touchdowns on 181 carries. Furthermore, he has topped the century mark in four of the last five games while finding the end zone 11 times in that span.
Yards should come just as easy against the Bulldogs' battered and bruised defense.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 20 against the run (126.0 YPG). But although they limit the yardage, Georgia has still conceded 17 touchdowns on the ground while conceding 28.8 points per game.
Mason may not rush for 200 yards. But there’s a good chance he’s celebrating a touchdown on multiple occasions.
QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon)
Week 12 Matchup: Utah (4-5) at No. 6 Oregon (8-1), Nov. 16, 4 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Last weekend’s 26-20 loss to Stanford has had major consequences for the Ducks.
For starters, the team’s BCS title hopes are pretty much all but gone. Not to mention, quarterback Marcus Mariota’s Heisman candidacy also took a pretty serious hit.
Look for the sophomore to get both campaigns back on the right track this weekend.
Through nine games, Mariota has thrown for 2,531 yards, 22 touchdowns and no interceptions on 63.3 percent passing. He’s also rushed for another 495 yards and nine scores.
Against a Utes defense that has been subpar at best, Mariota should dominate.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 84 against the pass (239.9 YPG). Not only has Utah allowed 13 passing touchdowns and conceded 7.1 yards per attempt, but the team has only forced two interceptions all season long.
That’s not a good sign for the Utes, especially going up against a quarterback that makes as few mistakes as Mariota does.
RB Carlos Hyde (Ohio State)
Week 12 Matchup: No. 3 Ohio State (9-0) at Illinois (3-6), Nov. 16, 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
Ever since returning from suspension, running back Carlos Hyde has been a significant asset to the Buckeyes’ success.
In six games since, the senior has racked up 701 yards and seven touchdowns on 96 carries. That includes topping the century mark in four consecutive games.
Things should be just as easy for Hyde against a subpar Illini run defense.
Thus far, the unit ranks No. 117 against the run, allowing 239.6 yards per game on the ground. Illinois has given up 23 rushing touchdowns and conceded 5.5 yards per carry to opposing rushers.
While Ohio State enters Week 12 playing some of its best football, the Illini come in playing some of their worst—the team has lost five straight.
It should be just another day at the office for Hyde.