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Saturday TV - Rivalry games galore

It's that time of year, rivalry games all day long...on every channel. Great day for football.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Colgate at Wagner - 12 - ESPN3

Georgia Tech at Georgia - 12 - ESPN

Rutgers at Pitt - 12 - ESPN2

Michigan at Ohio State - 12 - ABC

Connecticut at Louisville - 12 - Big East Network

Illinois at Northwestern - 12 - BTN

Virginia at Virginia Tech - 12 - ESPNU

Indiana at Purdue - 12 - Big Ten Network

Tulsa at Southern Methodist - 12 - FX

Kentucky at Tennessee - 12:21 - SEC Network

Miami (FL) at Duke - 12:30 - ACC Network

North Texas at Western Kentucky - 1 - ESPN3

Coastal Carolina at Bethune Cookman - 2 - ESPN3

Grambling vs Southern - 2:30 - NBC

Baylor at Texas Tech - 2:30 - FOX

Oregon at Oregon State - 3 - Pac 12 Network

Boston College at North Carolina -  3 - ESPN3

Maryland at North Carolina - 3 - ESPN3

Idaho at Utah State - 3 - ESPN3

Eastern Illinois at South Dakota State - 3 - ESPN3

Villanova at Stony Brook - 3 - ESPN3

Auburn at Alabama - 3:30 - CBS

Florida at Florida State - 3:30 - ABC

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma - 3:30 - ESPN

Michigan State at Minnesota - 3:30 - BTN

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest - 3:30 - ESPNU

BYU at New Mexico State - 3:30 - ESPN3

Wisconsin at Penn State - 3:30 - ESPN2

Air Force at Fresno State - 3:30 - NBCSN

Troy at Middle Tennessee - 3:30 - ESPN3

South Alabama at Louisiana-Lafayette - 5 - ESPN3

Stanford at UCLA - 6:30 - FOX

Missouri at Texas A&M - 7 - ESPN2

South Carolina at Clemson - 7 - ESPN

Mississippi State at Ole Miss - 7 - ESPNU

Notre Dame at USC - 8 - ABC

Louisiana Tech at San Jose State - 10:30 - ESPN2

High School:

No games

Friday Scoreboard - Week 13

The college football weekend opens with an appetizer offering on Friday before the main course on Saturday. As always, we'll keep you updated with everything you need to know throughout the day.

Washington State 31, Washington 28 (overtime). Mike Leach got his first signature win, and first Pac-12 win of any kind, in snapping Washington State's three-game Apple Cup losing streak in what will surely go down as the game of the day and possibly the weekend. The Huskies built a 28-10 lead through three quarters only to see the Cougars get two short Carl Winston scoring plunges, a two-point conversion and a pair of Andrew Furney field goals to pull off the upset. Washington had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Travis Coons' 35-yard field goal missed as time expired. Huskies quarterback Keith Price was intercepted on the first play of overtime, and the Washington State offense marched 16 yards to set up Furney's 27-yard game-winner. 

West Virginia 31, Iowa State 24. To earn win No. 6, Dana Holgorsen's team had to win in a way unlike the previous five. Playing in similar conditions that plagued the Nebraska-Iowa game, the Mountaineers pounded inside with the combination of Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie running for 153 yards on 23 carries. Tavon Austin continued his box score filling ways, rushing 14 times for 74 yards, catching six passes for a team-leading 99 yards and a score, returning two kickoffs for 46 yards and one punt for 42 yards. In his first career start, Sam Richardson threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns and led the Cyclones with 119 rushing yards, but the Mountaineers defense made a late stop it so often couldn't throughout its five-game losing streak, stripping Jeff Woody at the 7-yard line on first and goal with 3:55 to play in the game, which allowed the WVU offense to run the remaining clock out. 

LSU 20, Arkansas 13. LSU was outgained by more than 150 yards, achieved eight less first downs than Arkansas, and won. Les Miles is as Les Miles does. The Tigers got perhaps the catch of the year when Jarvis Landry snagged a one-handed 22-yard scoring strike from Zach Mettenberger, and Michael Ford returned a kickoff 90 yards to set up another LSU score. Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson threw for 359 yards but couldn't connect from 18 yards out as time expired. The win keeps LSU's BCS and faint SEC championship hopes alive, needing an Alabama loss and Texas A&M win to reach Atlanta for the second year in a row. 

 

Nebraska 13, Iowa 7. With the way the wind was blowing at Kinnick Stadium, it's best to think of this game as if it was played in an invisible snowstorm. Neither team accomplished much of anything through the air as Nebraska's Taylor Martinez went 8-of-14 for 63 yards, slightly outplaying Iowa's James Vandenberg as he connected on just 11-of-24 passes for 92 yards and two interceptions. Vandenberg's second pick came at the Iowa 40-yard line with 2:11 to play, bringing an abrupt end to what would be Iowa's final possession. Senior Rex Burkhead returned to action for the first time in a month, leading the Huskers with 69 yards and the team's only touchdown. The win sends Bo Pelini's team to Indianapolis for a rematch with Wisconsin with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. 

 

Syracuse 38, Temple 20. Syracuse's Big East swan song comes up orange as Doug Marrone's team ran off the game's final 21 points to win its last Big East game ever. The Orange finished the regular season with five wins in their last six outings and, though they'll need help, a share of the Big East championship is not out of the question.

Kent State 28, Ohio 6. Eight sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and two defensive touchdowns means Kent State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock's group is on the fast track to winning the FootballScoop Defensive Staff of the Week. Both of the Golden Flashes' defensive scores came in the midst of a 21-point explosion in the game's first nine minutes. Darrell Hazell's team cruised to victory after that as Ohio netted just two field goals. Kent State now enters next week's MAC Championship at 11-1, and Darrell Hazell has to be the front-runner for MAC Coach of the Year. 

What We're Watching - Rivalry Week

Here's hoping all of our readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday spending time with family and reflecting on everything they are thankful for in their lives. Here's something I am thankful for - a full slate of great college football rivalry games because, holy cow, we've got some good ones tomorrow. Let's get right to it.

Michigan at Ohio State (12 p.m. ET, ABC): Brady Hoke snapped the Maize and Blue's six-game losing streak to Ohio State last season, and now he faces off with Urban Meyer for the first time. Both coaches have brought a renewed intensity to this storied rivalry. Could we be on the cusp on another Ten Year War? That's probably premature, but Chapter 1 starts tomorrow. Michigan has historically struggled with dual-threat quarterbacks and, if that's the case tomorrow, Braxton Miller could put Greg Mattison's defense in for a long day. On the other sideline, Devin Gardner makes his first start against Ohio State, hoping to build off last week's six touchdown performance versus Iowa. 

Georgia Tech at Georgia (12 p.m. ET, ESPN): Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate enters its 107th installment with both teams already claiming their respective division championship. This is a series Georgia has dominated historically, Georgia Tech has just a dozen wins since 1964, and recently, as the Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 11 meetings. Senior quarterback Aaron Murray enters his final home game playing the best football of his career. The Tampa native has connected on 57-of-80 passes (71 percent) for 922 yards (11.5 ypa) for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three outings. Paul Johnson's offense rolls into Athens equally hot, rambling for 1,080 yards and 15 touchdowns on 195 carries (5.54 ypc) through its three-game winning streak.

Oregon at Oregon State (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network): Chip Kelly's needs to win and then root for UCLA to keep its Pac-12 and national championship hopes alive. The Ducks have won in their last two trips to Reser Stadium and look to keep that streak alive after seeing its school-record 13-game winning streak snapped on Saturday. Mike Riley's team can be described as Stanford-lite, even down to its upset loss at Washington. The Beavers trail just Stanford in Pac-12 rushing defense statistics, but Oregon State does not make the same volume of plays behind the line of scrimmage as Stanford. 

Florida at Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): Florida State won last year's meeting at The Swamp 21-7 in a game that set offensive football back 100 years - the teams combined for 279 yards, 18 first downs and 4-of-30 on third down. Again: combined. This year's game won't be quite that sluggish, but neither defense will give its counterpart room to breathe. Each of these units rank in the country's top six in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing efficiency defense. And, if you didn't already now, both defensive coordinators are nominated for the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year award. The biggest gap between the squads comes at quarterback. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel, who ranks seventh nationally with 21 TDs and 6 INTs, squares off against Jeff Driskel, who leads the country's 63rd most efficient passing offense.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): From 2000-02, Oklahoma State lost to Oklahoma 12-7, won 16-13 and won 38-28. Following a 47-41 loss in 2010 and a 44-10 drubbing in 2011, a win Saturday matches that streak for the Cowboys, but Mike Gundy has his program in a much different place than a decade ago, when OSU was a heavy underdog in each game. This time around, the Cowboys are working on a 30-6 record and looking for a share of their third straight conference title. Oklahoma is 30-7 since 2010 and also in the hunt for its second Big 12 title in three years. That's why The Oklahoman writer Berry Tramel says Bedlam is better than it's ever been

Stanford at UCLA (6:30 p.m. ET, FOX): The challenge for David Shaw and Jim L. Mora this week was pulling their respective players heads out of the clouds after their potentially program-changing wins last week. The Bruins have already clinched the Pac-12 South, while Stanford can win the Pac-12 North, and thus a rematch with UCLA, by winning on Saturday. UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, the nation's fifth-leading rusher, enters Saturday on a run of 160-plus yard performances in three of his last four games. He will need to keep that streak alive against a Stanford defense that allows just north of 70 rushing yards and 2.37 yards per carry. Shaw's insertion of Kevin Hogan into the starting quarterback spot has paid dividends, as the freshman has completed nearly 75 percent of his passes and accounted for eight touchdowns against three interceptions. 

South Carolina at Clemson (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Mandrallius Robinson and Willie T. Smith of the Greenville News this week had a worthwhile piece about how Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney have taken the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry to heights previously unseen by de-emphasizing the rivalry within their respective programs. The Gamecocks have owned the last three meetings, winning by a combined score of 97-37. Chad Morris' offense has put together a fantastic season under the radar, ranking in FBS's top 10 of four offensive categories and riding a streak of 10 straight games with at least 37 points, but he has to solve a Gamecocks defense that has stuffed Clemson for three straight years. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has gone just 21-of-47 for 156 yards (3.31 ypa) with one touchdown and one interception in his career against South Carolina, and the Tigers have run for just 179 yards 76 carries (2.36 ypc) during the three-game skid.  

Notre Dame at USC (8 p.m. ET, ABC): He would never admit it, but no team will play with more pressure on its shoulders than Brian Kelly's Notre Dame squad Saturday night in Los Angeles. Kelly's team is 60 minutes away from taking a nation of Fighting Irish fans back to the promised land after wandering in the desert for two solid decades. Notre Dame has by far played its best football away from South Bend, winning its five games by an average of 25 points while owning an 8-3 turnover advantage. Redshirt freshman Max Wittek makes his first career start for the Trojans, and he will no doubt target all-purpose maven Marqise Lee early and often. Notre Dame will play its first game as a BCS No. 1 one week after another program lost its BCS No. 1 debut by committing three turnovers in a road upset. In an unprecedented role reversal, an unranked team that was ranked No. 1 in preseason will host the No. 1-ranked team that was unranked in preseason.

Golden: "I worry about everything"

Last week, the University of Miami announced a self imposed bowl ban that will keep Miami from playing in the post season for the second straight year.

Asked if the bowl ban and ongoing NCAA investigation is something that he is worried about, head coach Al Golden responded by saying "I worry about everything."

Golden notes that sentiment goes beyond just his players...it includes everyone that touches the program, and each individual that has invested their time and energy into accomplishing their team goals.

"I worry about all the kids that sit in a room and the staff, our strength staff, our training staff, everybody. When we go on that field, there are usually 240 people on that field. So there are a lot of people involved, a lot of lives involved. But I can see what we're becoming and what we want to do with the program." Golden explained.

"That vision pulls me a little bit stronger than some of these things that try and tear us apart. I think we're here for the right reasons, which is why you have a tendency to dig in and fight as opposed to flight."

Golden notes in an Associated Press article that how they respond to the ban and investigation this weekend against a much improved Duke squad will likely define this team.

"We can complain all we want but we can't change it. But the challenge for our team is we're going to be defined by how we respond to this. And the first test of that is Saturday against Duke. We can say whatever we want. We can say we have a great attitude, we're working hard, we're focused, but the test is Saturday at 12:30."

If Miami can get to the 30 point mark tomorrow, watch out. In all six of their wins this season, Miami has scored at least 30 points, and are 16-2 when scoring 30 or more in their past 18 games. Also, the Hurricanes have converted their last 18 consecutive red zone trips into points (13 of them being touchdowns).

One thing is for sure, Golden has a young team that has played pretty well. Their starting offense and defense have a combined 11 starters that are either freshman or sophomores (redshirts included). The success of the young players has shown that Golden and his staff have been able to recruit very well regardless of the NCAA cloud that has been hanging over the program.

The U still has a lot to sell. They've got a beautiful campus in a great location, a football program that should return to prominence sooner rather than later, a recruiting pipeline that coaches from every state wish that they had direct access to, and a coaching staff that are committed to the university and care tremendously about the individuals that they bring into the program. With that formula already in place, it's only a matter of time before the program is competing at the level that Golden and his staff expect.

 

Leach to radio host: "If your opinion mattered, you'd be invited to staff meetings"

Mike Leach joined ESPN 710AM in Seattle on Wednesday, and wasn't a fan of the questions that were being lobbed his direction.

The question that set the following events in motion came after the hosts of the Kevin Calabro show asked Leach if he felt that his players were "unified in their effort and support" of him and if they'd be "willing to run through a wall for him" after a disappointing season thus far.

"I don't know if that is really the entire thing," Leach responded. "I think that you continue to teach and improve and stuff like that. From the beginning here I think you've had an agenda, but what I would say is that in this business, that we're not unified just because you've tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill about everything that has gone on over here and just haven't accepted the dynamic of change certainly doesn't mean that we haven't had players that are playing extremely hard and overachieving."

"In that stack of articles that you have sitting there, I'm sure that you can probably find a dozen other teams that are playing with 15 freshman, and then I'd also like to know how those guys are doing. Now those guys are running through the wall, and the fact that you happen to be dissatisfied doesn't mean a great deal to me or this team here."

The host, obviously not happy with the 2-9 record the Cougs had put together, then tried to explain that he didn't have an agenda, and was just trying to state his opinion on the state of the program.

"If your opinion really mattered to me, you'd probably be invited to some of the staff meetings around here, and unless that invitation has been lost in the mail, I don't guess you were." Leach explained.

Then Leach mentions siccing an owl on a the hosts dog. Only Leach can somehow fit that kind of nugget into a (somewhat) heated radio conversation.

Skip to the 9:50 mark of the clip to catch the good stuff.

More audio at MyNorthwest.com

 

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