Lamest time window: Early; it’s a relatively weak slate, other than the headliner.
Noon: No. 2 Michigan finally gets its test at No. 9 Penn State (Fox). USF’s continued quest for bowl eligibility against Temple (ESPN+) is worth monitoring.
3:30: Miami’s rivalry with No. 4 Florida State (ABC) rarely disappoints. If it does, however, we’ve got two great options: No. 5 Washington’s high-powered offense against No. 13 Utah’s strong defense (Fox) and a shootout between No. 14 Tennessee and No. 16 Missouri (CBS).
7: No. 10 Mississippi will try to earn its second win in program history against the nation’s No. 1 team by taking down Georgia (ESPN).
7:30: No. 18 LSU hosts the Gators (SEC Network) in one of the weirdest rivalries in the country. Don’t forget about No. 7 Texas at TCU (ABC); the Horned Frogs are 8-3 against the Longhorns since joining the Big 12.
8: Duke at No. 24 North Carolina (ACC Network) isn’t just a basketball game anymore.
10:30: The nation’s top two scoring offenses square off when No. 6 Oregon faces USC (Fox).
Florida’s ugliest stat
After the Gators’ overtime loss to Arkansas, Florida has allowed at least 39 points in three consecutive games. The last time that happened: 1917, when Al Buser ended his first season with a 68-0 loss at Auburn, a 55-7 defeat to Clemson in Jacksonville and a 52-0 shutout at Kentucky. Florida has never surrendered that many points in four straight games, but that’s a realistic possibility against LSU and the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense (45.2 points per game).
Running with the Bulls
One underrated part of USF’s turnaround has been a top-25 rushing attack averaging almost 195 yards per game. Transfer Nay’Quan Wright has almost as many rushing yards this year (621) as he did in 33 games with the Gators (753). He and the Bulls should pad their totals against a Temple defense that has already allowed more than 200 rushing yards five times.
Local of the week
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Michigan State punter Ryan Eckley (Newsome High)
He boomed five punts of 50-plus yards last week against Nebraska to boost his average to 45.39 — second among freshmen nationally. Eckley will probably have plenty of opportunities against Ohio State’s elite defense. Can he flip the field enough to keep the Spartans close?
Michigan gets a test. Finally
After the Wolverines cruised through a schedule ranked as low as No. 111 in the nation, it’s time to start seeing how good Michigan is. The Nittany Lions, like Michigan, have top-10 scoring offenses and scoring defenses. Two questions: How will the Wolverines handle the pressure if they finally play a competitive game? And how has the ongoing sign-sealing investigation and suspension of coach Jim Harbaugh affected the team and game prepration?
Mississippi’s upset hopes hinge on the Georgia game turning into a shootout. The Rebels are the only team with a trio of 600-yard receivers (Tre Harris, Jordan Watkins and Dayton Wade) and trail only LSU and Washington in explosive pass plays. The Bulldogs’ secondary has been vulnerable at times. Can Lane Kiffin exploit it enough to end Georgia’s school-record 26-game winning streak?
Florida State football rooting guide
LSU beats Florida: Perhaps FSU fans can —somehow, someway — muster the ability to cheer against the Gators if it means boosting the resume of the only ranked opponent the ‘Noles have faced.
Duke beats North Carolina: A victory would give the Blue Devils a good shot at finishing 9-3, which will likely put Duke in the top 25 and giving FSU another win over a ranked team.
TCU beats Texas: A Longhorns loss ensures the Big 12′s eventual champion finishes no better than 11-2 and likely ends the league’s playoff hopes.
Another historic Iowa low
The betting point total for Iowa-Rutgers sat at 28½ Wednesday afternoon. If it remains under 30½, according to Yahoo! Sports, it will be the lowest total in the last three decades. The Hawkeyes’ last three games all failed to reach 30 combined points.
Eye on the NFL draft
Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice has drawn buzz as an early-round pick. Utah, as usual, has physical offensive linemen, including NFL prospect Sataoa Laumea. Considering how shaky the Huskies’ defense has been, this is a big chance for Trice and his teammates to star in a big win.
UCF’s huge challenge
The Knights have the nation’s fourth-worst rushing defense, allowing 211.78 yards per game. That’s a problem against the country’s leading rusher, Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon. He’s averaging 186 yards over his last six games and has the No. 15 Cowboys in the Big 12 title hunt.
By the numbers: Week 11
33-33-3 — All-time record between the Gators and LSU
6-0 — UCF’s record in its space game, in which the Knights honor the school’s aerospace roots
306.1 — Passing yards per game by Temple’s E.J. Warner, who ranks sixth nationally. He’s the son of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner
231 — Passing yards needed by Tampa Bay Tech alumnus Michael Penix Jr. to move past Jake Browning (3,430) for the third-highest single-season total by a Washington quarterback. Penix already holds the school record (4,641 set last year)
8 — Catches USF’s Sean Atkins needs to break Rodney Adams’ single-season school record (67)
4 — Coaches with at least 50 wins at Minnesota. Former Bucs assistant P.J. Fleck can become No. 5 by beating Purdue
8 — Consecutive games Penn State has held its opponent to under 100 rushing yards. That’s the nation’s longest active streak
66 — Career tackles for Michigan edge rusher Jaylen Harrell (Berkeley Prep)
1979 — The last time that Missouri’s Faurot Field hosted a top-16 matchup before this game against Tennessee, according to Power Mizzou.
• • •
Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter to get daily updates on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida.