It’s Week 13 on the college football slate. Let’s go through some of the matchups that caught my eye.
Colorado State (4-6) at Wyoming (6-4) on Friday night
Remember Patrick O’Brien? He’s the four-star quarterback from the 2016 class that chose Nebraska, but then transferred in April of 2018. He’s starting for Colorado State now after the original starter, Collin Hill, tore the ACL in his left knee for the third time in his career.
O’Brien, who by the way is listed at 6-foot-5, 244 pounds (he’s gotten bigger since his time in Lincoln), has been the starter since Week 3 and has operated the Rams’ offense well. So far this season, O’Brien is completing 61 percent of his passes (166 of 269) for 2,297 yards and 10 touchdowns with four picks. Colorado State’s offense ranks second in the Mountain West (and 21st nationally) with 460.5 total yards per game and sixth in scoring at 30.6.
It’d help if the Rams could score at a better rate than 73.81 percent once they get in the red zone, but from a fan’s eye, watching O’Brien run Mike Bobo’s offense has been fun. Check him out if you’ve got nothing going on Friday night. He’ll be going against a really tough Wyoming defense, which is tied for 15th in the country in points allowed at 18.7.
No. 8 Penn State (9-1) at No. 2 Ohio State (10-0) on Saturday morning
This one should be fun. I’ve wanted to see Ohio State’s offense against a legitimate defense for a while now, because we haven’t gotten that pleasure yet this season outside of the Wisconsin game.
Penn State’s defense is holding opponents to just 13.5 points a contest, which is seventh-best in the country. Micah Parsons (remember him Husker fans?) is the real deal as a true sophomore linebacker. He’s 6-3, 245 pounds, fast and physical. Parsons is leading the Nittany Lions in tackles with 75.
I can’t wait to watch him knock into Ohio State running back JK Dobbins and quarterback Justin Fields for 3 ½ hours. This is going to be fun.
Illinois (6-4) at No. 17 Iowa (7-3) on Saturday morning
Lovie Smith is doing the dang thing.
The Fighting Illini is riding a four-game winning streak and has got to be feeling good about itself heading into Iowa City. But the Hawkeyes are not Michigan State, Rutgers and Purdue, which make up three of Illinois’ last four wins.
I’ll be really interested to see how Illinois does against a top-half Big Ten team (remember when it knocked off Wisconsin?). The Illini will need to run the ball better than it did last week against Michigan State, when it only gained 36 yards on the ground. I’ll pick Iowa in this one.
Nebraska (4-6) at Maryland (3-7) on Saturday afternoon
The last two games Nebraska’s had on the road haven’t been pretty. Until the Huskers show at least a little consistency, how can one pick them with any confidence?
Maryland seems to always have a big game running the ball here and there, but in their last three games the Terps have gone over 100 yards on the ground just once.
I have no idea what to do with this Nebraska team. I guess I’ll be surprised if they get out of College Park with a win.
San Diego State (8-2) at Hawaii (7-4) on Saturday night
The winner of this game goes to the Mountain West championship. How exciting is that for all the Hawaii football fans in the state of Nebraska (I’m joking. I’m probably the only one, right?).