Fans across the country don’t yet know much about new Alabama starting quarterback Mac Jones, but fans locally should. His Jacksonville Bolles team throttled Lakewood 54-12 during Jones’ senior year (2016). The three-star recruit singlehandedly outrushed the Spartans (196-119) and outpassed them, too (125-102).
Eye on the NFL draft
How much better does Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make his star-studded receiving corps? We’re about to find out as Tagovailoa recovers from ankle surgery. His absence against Arkansas will give potential first-round picks like Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs the chance to show what they can do with a lesser passer (albeit against a Razorbacks defense).
Local of the week
Ohio State offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere (Berkeley Prep)
The former five-star recruit made his first career start last week at Northwestern, filling in for the injured Thayer Munford at left tackle. Even if he doesn’t start against Wisconsin, he’ll see likely see plenty of snaps against a ferocious Badgers defense that’s seventh nationally with 3.9 sacks per game.
Dobbins vs. Taylor
The Ohio State-Wisconsin matchup features two of the most talented running backs in the country:
Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins
Rushing yards: 947 (fourth nationally)
Rushing touchdowns: 7 (tied for 20th)
Total touchdowns: 9 (tied for 17th)
Rushes of at least 10 yards: 23 (ninth)
Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor
Rushing yards: 957 (third nationally)
Rushing touchdowns: 15 (tied for first)
Total touchdowns: 19 (first)
Rushes of at least 10 yards: 29 (tied for second)
If you need a reason to care about the top-three Division I-AA matchup between North Dakota State and South Dakota State, keep an eye on Bison receiver Christian Watson. The sophomore from Plant High has caught a pass in every game this season and has two touchdowns this month. Can he and his teammates crack a top-25 Jackrabbits pass defense?
Joe Burrow’s big numbers
No. 2 LSU’s season is only halfway over, and quarterback Joe Burrow is already making program history. His 29 touchdown passes are the most ever by a Tigers quarterback in one season … and he still has at least five more games (plus a bowl). Dating back to last year, his 10 consecutive games with at least 20 completions are also an LSU record. He should add to both against an Auburn defense that’s strong up front but weaker in the secondary.
By the numbers: Week 9
5 Tackles for a loss by Pitt freshman defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado (Clearwater Academy)
0 Touchdown passes last week by FSU. That hadn’t happened since November 2017
3-6 Auburn’s record against top-two teams under coach Gus Malzahn
207 Points Rutgers has allowed in five conference games
14 Points Rutgers has scored in those conference games
2007 The last time Indiana started 5-2 before this season. The Hoosiers can add to that (and clinch bowl eligibility) with a win at Nebraska
6-2 Notre Dame’s record in night games against Michigan. The Irish have won all six in South Bend and lost both in Ann Arbor
88 Combined points per game allowed by UMass and UConn, who both rank in the bottom six nationally heading into this ghastly meeting in Amherst