Predicting Week 13's Biggest Performances in College Football
Ohio State's national title hopes might be completely out of its hands, but that doesn't mean that the Buckeyes won't go on clobbering their opponents.
No. 3 OSU will have another chance this week to post ridiculous numbers against Indiana—the worst defense in the Big Ten. Several other national title contenders will also face weak foes, including No. 1 Alabama against FCS foe Chattanooga.
Meanwhile, as he returns closer to full health, Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Mariota might be in for a massive weekend against Arizona.
As the Ducks' signal-caller looks to dig out of a slight cold streak, a few other players will be looking to continue their hot streaks in Week 13.
QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
Week 13 Matchup: vs. New Mexico (4 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS)
An extra week to prepare for the No. 119 scoring defense in the country is a recipe for an explosion by Fresno State and quarterback Derek Carr.
The senior has had no problem shredding defenses, even on short rest this season. Fully rested, he'll exterminate New Mexico, which has allowed nearly 40 points per game on average.
Carr has broken 400 yards through the air five times and he just might make it six this weekend. If not, he'll at least be close.
Fresno still has some work left to do to fulfill its BCS dreams, but the Lobos aren't going to stand in the way this weekend.
Prediction: 38-of-52, 412 YDS, 4 TD, 0 INT
RB Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
Week 13 Matchup: vs. Indiana (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde has been on an absolute tear of late and is coming off the best game of his career against Illinois.
Last week, the senior decimated the Illini, tallying 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries. He also added a fifth score and 26 yards receiving.
That performance came against an Illinois defense that ranks last in the Big Ten against the run. This week, he'll be taking a slight step up against Indiana, which ranks second-to-last against the rush.
The Hoosiers are allowing more than 250 yards per game on average and, as a team, Ohio State should have no problem hitting that mark. The Buckeyes are No. 4 nationally (and No. 1 in the conference) on the ground, averaging 315 yards per contest.
Expect another big day from Hyde and the OSU rushing attack.
Prediction: 22 CAR, 191 YDS, 2 TD | 2 REC, 21 YDS, 1 TD
LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Week 13 Matchup: vs. Chattanooga (2 p.m. ET on ESPN3)
One of the best linebackers in the country will be playing a FCS opponent this weekend.
Just about every player on the Alabama roster is on big performance alert when the Crimson Tide take on Chattanooga this weekend.
Bednarik Award hopeful C.J. Mosley might have the biggest game of all.
The senior has six or more tackles in nine games this season, including 20 tackles in the last two games. Mosley has also come incredibly close in the last few contests to pulling down his first interception of the season. He'll break that barrier and notch INT No. 1 this week.
While Chattanooga, No. 21 in the FCS, isn't a pushover, it isn't going to present the challenge that Alabama is used to facing in SEC play.
Look for Mosley to fly around the field for two or three quarters, make enough plays to help 'Bama build an enormous lead and watch the reserves close out the victory.
Prediction: 7 TAK, 2 TFL, 1 SACK, 2 QBH, 1 FF, 1 INT
QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Week 13 Matchup: at Arizona (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2)
The Arizona defense has allowed more than 400 total yards in each of its last three games, which isn't a good sign heading into its tilt with Oregon.
Meanwhile, the health of Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota seems to be improving. As reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian, Mariota said this week that his knee is "good," and that he could be shedding the knee brace this weekend.
Additionally, the Ducks should be well motivated, as they are now the leaders in the Pac-12 North Division once again after Stanford's loss to USC.
If Mariota is back near full health, it'll be a perfect storm for a big game for UO. Look for him to explode against the Wildcats, as he'll finally be able to once again use his legs to complement his passing—not to mention open up the opposing defense.
Prediction: 20-of-27, 361 YDS, 4 TD | 8 CAR, 61 YDS, 1 TD
RB Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State
Week 13 Matchup: at Utah State (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network)
There might not be a player in college football hotter than Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs.
The sophomore has reached the end zone three or more times in each of his last five games. That span has included 19 touchdowns, giving him a FBS-leading 25 rushing scores on the year.
In the last two games, Bibbs has better numbers than some running backs tally in an entire season. Against Nevada and New Mexico, he took 68 carries for 603 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He'll be playing a tougher defense this week in Utah State, but it won't matter. Bibbs has changed the CSU offense, and as center Weston Richburg said, he has more enormous performances in his future, per Mike Brohard of the Loveland Reporter-Herald:
As an offensive line, it gives us supreme confidence that whatever look we get, he's going to be able to find a hole and make a big play. I think he's a pretty special player. If we get a hat on a hat - I say it all the time - he's going to make a big play.
Look for Bibbs to cash in on a few of those big plays this weekend.
Prediction: 28 CAR, 197 YDS, 3 TD
DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
Week 13 Matchup: at Northwestern (12 p.m. ET on ESPN)
Northwestern has come close to ending its losing streak several times. In their last four games, the Wildcats—losers of six straight—fell twice in regulation by three points and twice in overtime.
As close as NU has been to winning each of those games, it won't be close this week.
Michigan State is a win away from clinching the Big Ten Legends Division and won't let a team on a six-game losing streak stop its roll. The Spartans are the No. 1 total defense in the country and can pressure an offense and force turnovers as well as any D in the nation.
Shilique Calhoun has been one of several stars on the MSU defense, and the sophomore is poised for a huge game against a Northwestern offense that has eclipsed 20 points just once in the last five games.
Prediction: 4 TAK, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 SACK, 2 QBH, 2 FF