Alabama-LSU, Saivion Smith, upset watches and more national college football nuggets

Boca Ciega product Saivion Smith is a player to watch when LSU hosts 'Bama in a top-four showdown
Big surprise: LSU-Alabama is the game of the year. [ AP FILE PHOTO ]
Big surprise: LSU-Alabama is the game of the year. [ AP FILE PHOTO ]
Published November 2 2018

GameDay breakdown

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is having one of the best seasons in the history of the sport, but he (like every other quarterback) isn't as good under pressure. As good as LSU's defense is, the Tigers don't have freakish linemen like Glenn Dorsey or Barkevious Mingo. That means defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will have to find creative ways to get to Tagovailoa, especially with star LB Devin White missing the first half because of a targeting penalty.

Local of the week

Alabama CB Saivion Smith (Boca Ciega/IMG Academy)

Smith is worth watching for two reasons. First, he's good: He leads the Tide with three interceptions. Second, he signed with LSU before transferring to a juco and ending up in Tuscaloosa. Now he faces his former Tigers teammates in the biggest game of the year.

Local of the week II

Florida A&M RB DeShawn Smith (Nature Coast Tech)

The former Parade All-American is starting to hit his stride for the Rattlers with two 100-yard games over his last four contests. If he and FAMU can knock off Howard, the 6-2 Rattlers will be Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions for the first time since 2001.

Chip Kelly back

UCLA coach Chip Kelly returns to Autzen Stadium for the first time since leaving for the NFL after the 2012 season. His Bruins (2-6) are struggling, but the Ducks have lost back-to-back games. Kelly was 24-2 at home as Oregon's coach.

Upset watch

Ranking the non-SEC games most likely to dash a team's playoff chances:

1.       Penn State has the talent to knock off No. 5 Michigan (assuming QB Trace McSorley is healthy)

2.       It would be very Washington State for the Cougars to climb into the top 10 and lose a weird game to Cal

3.       Will Grier's Mountaineers had extra time to prepare for the not-yet-back Longhorns and their mediocre pass defense

4.       Northwestern beat Michigan State and Wisconsin by double digits and hung with Michigan. Maybe the Wildcats can challenge the Irish

5.       Texas Tech's defense is better but still probably not enough to slow down the No. 7 Sooners

By the numbers

24 – Career starts for Texas TE Andrew Beck (Plant High)

935 – Yards of offense in the last two games for Western Carolina QB Tyrie Adams (Dixie Hollins High), who earned Southern Conference player of the week honors both times

5 – Consecutive non-losing seasons for former USF coach Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech (now 6-2). It's the first time the Bulldogs have ever accomplished that feat

3 – Double-digit deficits overcome by FSU and USF. That's tied with Ohio for most nationally

30 – Career passes defended by Kentucky DB Derrick Baity (Plant High), most among active SEC players