At the conclusion of the Orange Bowl press conference, Jimbo Fisher (who has obviously brought his team to Miami before) offered some advice to Northern Illinois' Rod Carey, who is coaching in his first bowl game as a head coach.
Keeping a bunch of college kids focused while in Miami is a handful by itself, so on the topic of curfews, Jimbo's advice to Carey was "Just know where they're at."
Carey laughed and thanked him for the advice before Fisher added, "Hey, I'm going to have the same problem. My problem is they know where to go."
It was Championship Week in college football, so which coaches delivered championship efforts on Saturday? Find out here in our FootballScoop Coaches of the Week.
Head Coach of the Week - Nick Saban, Alabama: Saban's team survived a rip roaring, record-breaking SEC Championship with a 32-28 win over Georgia and now sits on the precipice of history. The Crimson Tide were far from perfect on Saturday (see: special teams) but in the end they were five yards better than Georgia. Alabama came out on top of a game that set an SEC Championship record with six lead changes but after falling behind 21-10 in the third quarter, it was Alabama that scored 22 of the game's final 29 points. Saban's decision to go for two after T.J. Yeldon's 10-yard touchdown run loomed extremely large as it forced Georgia to need a touchdown on the game's final drive rather than a field goal. That one extra point is what caused the Bulldogs to run out of time at the doorstep of the goal line.
Offensive Staff of the Week - Wisconsin: Doug Nussmeier called a great game for Alabama, but Wisconsin's night in the Big Ten Championship can not be ignored. Matt Canada's offense compiled 63 points and 640 yards in a 70-31 thrashing of Nebraska. The Badgers ran 50 times for a mind-boggling 539 yards and eight touchdowns. Melvin Gordon ran nine times for 216 yards (24 yards per carry!) and a touchdown, Montee Ball pounded out 21 rushes for 202 yards and two scores, and James White rushed 15 times for 109 yards and four touchdowns. When they needed to throw, three Wisconsin passers combined to complete 8-of-10 attempts for 101 yards and a touchdown. In all, Wisconsin snapped the ball 60 times and averaged 10.7 yards per play and scored a touchdown on nearly 15 percent of their plays.
Defensive Staff of the Week - Florida State: In his final outing as Florida State's defensive coordinator, Mark Stoops orchestrated a masterpiece. The Seminoles held Georgia Tech to 183 yards on 52 carries (3.52 yards per carry), their second-worst output of the season, and 5-of-16 passing for 118 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Karlos Williams' interception with with one minute to go ended Georgia Tech's last gasp drive and sealed the ACC championship for Florida State. Stoops' unit also played solid red zone defense, holding the Yellow Jackets to two field goals and one touchdown in three trips. Stoops will now move on to assume the head coaching position at Kentucky, but his closing act sent Florida State to its first Orange Bowl since the 2005 season.
Special Teams Unit of the Week - Georgia: A hat tip must be given to Tulsa for returning a punt for a touchdown and blocking a field goal and extra point in their 33-27 overtime win over Central Florida, but Georgia was clearly the best special teams unit of the week. Georgia opened the second quarter with a fake punt pass from punter Arthur Lynch to cornerback Sanders Commings for 16 yards on 4th and 10. The play got Georgia inside the Alabama red zone, and two snaps later the Bulldogs had a 7-0 lead. Then, with Georgia leading 14-10 with just over 6:30 to go in the third quarter, Alec Ogletree returned a blocked field goal 55 yards for a touchdown to put Mark Richt's team up by 11 points.
Call of the Week - Nick Saban, Alabama: It was mentioned above, but deserves further explanation here. After T.J. Yeldon rumbled in from 10 yards out at the 4:19 mark of the third quarter, Saban chose to go for two trailing 21-16. The Crimson Tide was in the midst of a second half feeding frenzy after Yeldon had rushed four times for 47 yards on the drive. Saban gambled that his offensive line could get him two-and-a-half more yards, and he was correct. That extra point was crucial after Georgia drove all the way to the Alabama eight-yard line with 15 seconds left. With no timeouts, the Bulldogs couldn't just spike the ball, send in their field goal unit and play for overtime. Aaron Murray had to throw, and linebacker C.J. Moseley's tipped pass landed in the arms of Georgia receiver Chris Conley in bounds at the five-yard line, essentially ending the game and sending the Tide to Miami.
Kentucky officially announced Mark Stoops, presently the defensive coordinator at Florida State, as its head coach on Tuesday afternoon. Stoops, in his third season at Florida State, took over a unit that ranked 108th nationally in total defense the year before his arrival.
Stoops instantly upgraded the Seminoles' defense, quickly transforming Florida State into one of the elite defenses in the nation, boosting their total defense ranking to 42nd in 2010, fourth in 2011 and second in 2012. Stoops is a nominee for this year's FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year award.
Stoops oversaw dramatic defensive improvements at both FSU and Arizona and is a finalist for national Defensive Coordinator of the Year.
Since word broke, we have reached out to a number of coaches and every one of them thinks this is a tremendous hire. Stoops is regarded not only as a great defensive mind, but as a successful, energetic recruiter.
A Big 12 head coach just called me & said, "Kentucky can't imagine how much energy and enthusiasm Mark Stoops will bring up there!"
Like his older brothers Bob and Mike, Mark Stoops' career began as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1990-91. Stoops worked on Jim Leavitt's staff in South Florida's inaugural football season before moving to coach defensive backs under Dana Dimel at Wyoming. After a one-year stay as the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Houston, Stoops helped Miami to a 35-3 overall record and a national championship as the defensive backs coach from 2001-03.
Stoops then worked as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for his brother Mike at Arizona, helping the Wildcats improve from consecutive three-win seasons to consecutive eight-win seasons while boosting Arizona's defensive ranking by more than 80 spots. Stoops assumed the defensive coordinator role under head coach Jimbo Fisher at Florida State in 2010.
"Mark's passion has been evident in the way he coaches and in his love for the game of football," said Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart in the school's official statement. "That passion carried over into our process and his desire to wear the Blue and White. Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark. He comes from a coaching family and has been in big games and big atmospheres throughout his career. That has prepared him for this opportunity to become head coach at Kentucky. We welcome Mark, Chantel, Will and Zack to the Big Blue Nation."
"I am thrilled to be named the head football coach at the University of Kentucky," Stoops said. "My family and I are excited and looking forward to becoming a part of the Big Blue Nation."
Jimbo Fisher joined Mike Bianchi on 740AM "The Game" this morning and wanted to set the record straight on his interest in other jobs and rumors that have been circulating that he may be interested in the Auburn job.
"Rumors are a funny thing. The guys who get rumored, if you go back and think about it, are the guys who never get the job. Those are the guys that have to start something on a blog to get some hits."
"I'm very happy at Florida State." Fisher added. "I'm content to be here. If they continue to have me, I'm very happy to be here."
Fisher's got a very good situation with the Seminoles. The fan base loves him, he's in the hottest recruiting area in the nation, he will consistently be able to put together one of the top recruiting classes in the country, and it will only be a matter of time before Florida State is competing for national titles again. They've made big strides each year with him at the helm, and show no signs of slowing down with the talent pool that the coaching staff has been able to add to the roster.
Anything can happen at this time of year, but we don't see Fisher jumping ship for another gig. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to The Scoop for all of the latest coaching news and information.
Here's The Scoop on everything you need to know about tonight's tripleheader.
Florida State at Virginia Tech (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
On paper this should be a certain win for Florida State. Jimbo Fisher's team is the clear statistical leader in the ACC, ranking first or second within the league in 11 of the 17 official categories tracked by the NCAA. The Seminoles pace the ACC in total offense and total defense, scoring offense and scoring defense as well as passing efficiency and passing efficiency defense.
The problem, however, is that certain wins have so often turned out not to be the case over the past decade for Florida State. According to Matt Hinton at SundayMorningQB.com, Florida State is 0-8 in ACC play while playing on the road as a ranked team against an unranked underdog since 2005. That number includes the Seminoles' only setback in 2012, a 17-16 setback at N.C. State on Oct. 6. (FSU is a two touchdown favorite tonight.) Since that loss, Fisher's squad has rebounded to win three straight; at 8-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play the Seminoles stand in first place of the ACC's Atlantic Division.
That brings us to tonight as Florida State travels to Blacksburg to face a Virginia Tech team in the midst of a very un-Frank Beamer-like season. At 4-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, the five-time ACC Coastal champions are one game above the basement in the division. They come into tonight off a 30-12 loss to Miami last Thursday night, a game in which the Hokies were the team that endured a blocked punt, an 81-yard kickoff return, a missed field goal and a missed extra point.
Tonight marks Florida State's first visit to Lane Stadium since 2007, a place where Virginia Tech has won its last seven games. Frank Beamer's team is 19-6 on Thursday nights and 25-3 in November since joining the ACC. Those sterling marks will be put to test against Florida State, the only squad that ranks among FBS's top eight in total offense and total defense.
Louisiana - Monroe at Arkansas State (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
The Sun Belt title could be decided tonight when two of the league's top offenses square off in Jonesboro, Ark. ULM leads the league at nearly 38 points per game, while Arkansas State checks in at No. 3 with 34 points per game. Gus Malzahn's team enters tonight with a four-game winning streak in which they've posted nearly 40 points per game.
Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin has heated up over the last month, connecting on 78-of-108 (72.2 percent) of passes for 1,023 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Arkansas State's stretch of good football hasn't just been limited to Aplin; the Red Wolves have rushed 157 times for 714 yards (4.5 ypc) for 13 touchdowns over their past four games while limiting opponents to 580 yards on 151 attempts (3.8 ypc) and three scores. Arkansas State has also secured a 10-to-3 turnover margin over that span.
Todd Berry's team had its five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, but still claims the Sun Belt's top scoring offense and turnover margin. Offensive coordinator Steve Farmer calls a balanced offense as ULM averages 40 passes per game to go with 36 rushes per game. That balance was thrown off in the 40-24 loss to Louisiana - Lafayette as the Warhawks only managed 74 rushing yards on 20 attempts. The Warhawks will need to run the ball better tonight without starting quarterback Kolton Browning, who suffered an injury early against ULL, in the lineup. Browning was working on a Sun Belt Player of the Year campaign, leading the league in total offense and accounting for 27 touchdowns. Senior Cody Wells steps in for Browning, bringing in a resume that includes 226 attempts for 1,499 yards and an 11-to-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his career.
Both teams share a 4-1 conference record coming into tonight, sitting atop the league along with Middle Tennessee (also 4-1 in Sun Belt play). ULM already owns a victory over the Blue Raiders, while Arkansas State hosts MTSU in the season finale on Dec. 1. A win tonight will go a long way toward a first conference championship for Berry's program, while Malzahn's squad hopes to defend its 2011 league title.
Noth Alabama at West Alabama (7:30 p.m. ET, GSC-TV)
Bobby Wallace returns to Livingston, Ala., to face his old team and former offensive coordinator Will Hall, who is now at the helm of West Alabama. North Alabama (5-4) enters tonight ranked tenth in D2Football.com's Super Region 2 rankings, while West Alabama (7-3) checks in at No. 7. Hall's offense puts opposing defenses under a tremendous amount of pressure when things are clicking. The Tigers score nearly 44 points per game in their seven wins but just 16 points per game in their losses.
Tonight marks Wallace's first trip back to West Alabama, where he led the program for five years. He is in his second stint at North Alabama, returning to the school where he coached from 1988-97 and won three NCAA Division II national titles. After winning four straight games in which they allowed a total of 28 points, the Lions have dropped three straight games and surrendered 100 points in the process.
Jimbo Fisher knows there will be many head-coaching jobs will come open this off-season, and potential employers could target members of his staff to fill vacancies.
In fact, Fisher hopes it happens.
"I hope [ defensive coordinator Mark Stoops gets an offer.] When I was that guy, that's what I wanted to do," Fisher told ESPN.com on Monday. "Change is inevitable. You've got to have a plan for it and where you want to go and what you want to do. I hope he stays here forever. As long as I'm here, I want him as defensive coordinator. But I also want him to reach his dreams and goals to become a head football coach."
Stoops, who is in his third season as the Seminoles' defensive coordinator, may not be the only target on Fisher's staff this off-season. Florida State is 8-1 this season, leads the ACC Atlantic Division and statistically dominates the ACC on both sides of the ball. The Seminoles lead the ACC in nine statistical categories including total offense, total defense, scoring offense and scoring defense.
It's great to see Fisher encourage his assistants to find bigger and better jobs for a few reasons. First, he wants to reward his assistants' hard work. Like every other head coach, Fisher rose through the ranks as an assistant and wants to pay the help he got along the way forward to his assistant coaches.
Next, Fisher's philosophy benefits his program because it will only make working on his staff more attractive to any future assistant coaches. Any potential hire that wants to one day become a head coach will be eager to work for someone that wants him to realize his goals. Finally, Fisher's philosophy demonstrates a great level of confidence in himself and his system to win no matter what assistants he may lose.
If change does indeed come to Fisher's staff, he'll be prepared.
"You hope your system helps develop head coaches. I love that," Fisher said. "I want to be known as that. It makes the other top assistants want to come and makes other people want to be here. You have good players, you have a good system, you're organized well, you understand the big picture and what you want. I think that's another thing -- just like players want to come somewhere to get developed, hopefully coaches can do the same thing."
Fisher is far from the only head coach across the country that thinks this way, credit him for putting his thoughts out there.
Another full slate of college football action is now just a mere hours away. What matchups stand out to us on the final college football Saturday of October? Here's nine games that we'll be keeping our eyes on throughout the day.
Florida vs. Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Florida has won 18 of the last 22 in this series, and win No. 19 will lock in a trip to Atlanta in December for Will Muschamp's team. Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease will test Georgia's 72nd-ranked run defense early and often; the Gators have run the ball 319 teams this season and thrown it just 134 times. Georgia will look to turn around an unimpressive three-game stretch that includes a 35-7 loss to South Carolina and two wins by a total of 12 points over Tennessee and Kentucky (combined SEC record: 0-9).
Texas Tech at Kansas State (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX): It's pretty safe to say not many people saw this as a battle for Big 12 supremacy this preseason. The teams that combined to knock West Virginia out of any title conversations square off with first place on the line. Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville's reputation as a giant killer preceeds him, according to blogger Matt Hinton, Tubberville is 7-4 versus top 5 opponents since 2000. Texas Tech, which boasts the Big 12's top defense statistically, meets the conference's most diverse attack: quarterback Collin Klein is the second-most efficient passer in the nation while also rushing for 14 scores, and tailback John Hubert has four 100-yard games on the year. Meanwhile, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege meets the Big 12's leading pass efficiency defense fresh off a whitewashing of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (season-low 143 passing yards, two interceptions).
Duke at Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Saturday's Duke-Florida State game featues a team in control of its own destiny to win the ACC championship, and Florida State. Yes, it is Duke that is alone in first place of the ACC's Coastal Divison, while Florida State needs to win out and a Clemson loss to win the ACC's Atlantic Division. The Blue Devils clinched their first bowl appearance since 1994 with last week's 33-30 win over North Carolina, but to achieve more than that David Cutcliffe's team will need to find a way to slow down the ACC's most statistically-sound team. Jimbo Fisher's squad leads the ACC in nine categories including total offense, scoring offense, total defense and scoring defense.
USC at Arizona (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): Pac-12 South leading USC travels to Tucson to face 4-3 (1-3 Pac-12) Arizona in what figures to be an easy Trojans win, right? Not exactly. Behind Rich Rodriguez's fifth-ranked total offense, Arizona is the 13th best team in college football according to Football Outsiders' F/+ rankings, six spots ahead of USC. The Wildcats have played better than their record indicates, after close losses to Stanford and Oregon State, Arizona is fresh off a 52-17 pounding of Washington. After losing its conference opener at Stanford, Lane Kiffin's team has feasted on the lower rungs of the Pac-12 standings with wins over California, Utah, Washington and Colorado (combined Pac-12 record: 4-13).
TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m. ET, FSN): Perhaps Mike Gundy and Gary Patterson can console each other on the hard luck each staff has been dealt at the quarterback position. After redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh ably stepped in for opening-day starter Wes Lunt, accounting for 461 yards of total offense in a win over Iowa State last week, before he was lost for the season with a knee injury. Oklahoma State will either turn back to Lunt, a true freshman, or to third-string quarterback Clint Chelf. On the opposite sideline, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin continues to improve as TCU's newly-minted starting quarterback. Boykin threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns in his third start on Saturday versus Texas Tech. Like the majority of games pitting the Big 12's middle class, expect a down-to-the-wire outcome with both teams reaching the mid-30's.
Ohio State at Penn State (5:30 p.m., ESPN): Technically, this is the most meaningless game on the Big Ten schedule in 2012. Or, depending on what you read, it could be the most meaningful college football game played this year. This game could wind up deciding the Big Ten Coach of the Year, as both first year coaches' fingerprints are evident through the improvements each quarterback has shown from 2011. Bill O'Brien's has completely transformed Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin, improving the senior's 2011 totals (1,571 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions) through just seven games. McGloin leads the Big Ten with 1,788 passing yards while tossing 14 scores against just two picks. His counterpart, Ohio State sophomore Braxton Miller, places second in the conference with 2,349 yards of total offense and ranks second among all FBS quarterbacks with 959 rushing yards.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly stated earlier this week he wants his program to emulate the success that Oklahoma has enjoyed under Bob Stoops. His team can start with a win in Norman on Saturday night. The closer and more low-scoring this game plays the more it will benefit Notre Dame. Oklahoma teams tend to pounce early on any displays of weakness but can fold in a 60 minute boxing match. After going a solid half-decade without losing in Norman, Oklahoma has lost two of its last six home games. Both losses contained a minus-2 turnover margin for the Sooners, good news for Notre Dame and it's plus-9 turnover balance. Notre Dame needs to improve on its 43 percent third-down conversion rate to keep Oklahoma's explosive offense on the sideline.
Michigan at Nebraska (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2): The Big Ten's most-explosive offense hosts the league's most sneaky-good defense in a game that could ultimately decide the Big Ten's Legends Division title. Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks among college football's top dozen offenses in yards gained (512.4 per game, 6.9 per play) and scoring (41.6 points per game) faces a Michigan team that arrives in Lincoln quiety riding a three-game winning streak. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's unit has held its last five opponents to 13 points or less and checks in at No. 10 nationally in total defense (277.1 yards per game, 4.4 yards per play).
Mississippi State at Alabama (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Both of these teams have benefitted from back-loaded schedules to arrive at this game with a 7-0 record. Only one of these teams has something to prove, however, and it's not the Crimson Tide. Mississippi State hasn't beaten Alabama since Nick Saban's first season and has scored 10 combined points through the first three quarters of the past four meetings. Fortunately for Dan Mullen, his team excells at the best ingredient to creating an upset - Mississippi State leads the nation in turnover margin. But unforunately for Mullen, Alabama checks in just two spots behind Mississippi State in the national rankings.
With another full slate of games ahead of us tomorrow, here's what we'll be keeping an extra close eye on throughout the day.
LSU at Texas A&M (12 p.m. ET, ESPN): This is an opportunity for a statement game for Texas A&M. Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury's explosive offense (tied for sixth nationally in total offense, 7.09 yards per play) faces John Chavis' second-ranked LSU defense. If Texas A&M pulls out the win, it will be because quarterback Johnny Manziel (24 touchdowns through six games) found a way to solve an LSU defense that has surrendered just 13 scores this season. These programs have met 50 times previously, although Saturday will be the first meeting in College Station since 1995. Texas A&M wants to re-kindle this rivalry, but the only way to to do that is with a win.
Rutgers at Temple (12 p.m. ET, Big East Network): Raise your hand if you knew this was a battle for the top spot in the Big East standings. Steve Addazio has led Temple to a 2-0 start in the Owls' return to the Big East despite ranking last in the league in total offense and total defense. Addazio's team relies heavily on the run (2.1:1 rush-pass ratio), while Rutgers ranks second nationally in rush defense at 60.8 yards per game and 2.25 yards per carry allowed. Both of these teams' success lies in forcing turnovers (Rutgers leads in the nation in turnover margin, Temple is No. 12), so whoever can carve out an advantage in that area will likely win the game.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State (12 p.m. ET, FX): A year removed from winning the Big 12 championship, Mike Gundy's team is still trying to sort out exactly what it is. The Cowboys lead the country in total offense by a wide margin, nearly 34 yards per game over No. 2 Baylor. But their most impressive win to date is over Louisiana - Lafayette, and they come into Saturday off a 20-14 win over 1-5 Kansas in which the Jayhawks outgained OSU 398-371. Paul Rhoads' team will try to make this game close and low-scoring. Iowa State is 19-1 in Rhoads' tenure when holding teams under 24 points, and 3-21 when giving up 24 points or more. Iowa State is also 10-6 under Rhoads in games decided by a touchdown or less.
South Carolina at Florida (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Mark Richt and co. will be rooting hard for the Gators, as a Florida win essentially sets up a winner-take-all matchup for the control of the SEC East at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next week. Meanwhile, a South Carolina win means Steve Spurrier's team will just have to get by Tennessee and Arkansas to clinch a trip to Atlanta for the second time in three years. The Gamecocks have won two straight in this series while limiting the Gators to just 26 combined points.
BYU at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC): This game will likely play out like seemingly every Notre Dame game this season - gritty, close and low scoring. Both of these squads rank among the nation's top seven nationally in scoring defense, allowing just over 22 points per game combined. Bronco Mendenhall has an opportunity to put a peacock-sized feather in his team's cap as a win would put the Cougars in a great position to finish 2012 at 9-3 and a top 25 ranking. On the other sideline, all that's on the line for Notre Dame is keeping intact its first 7-0 start since 2002 with a primetime showdown at Oklahoma on the immediate horizon.
Nebraska at Northwestern (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): Bo Pelini's struggling defense faces perhaps the most diverse attack in the Big Ten. Any hopes either team has of playing for the Big Ten title likely dies with a loss on Saturday. Expect Nebraska and its Big Ten-leading scoring offense to try to outscore Northwestern, while the Wildcats will attempt to exploit the Cornhuskers' penchant for turning over the football (No. 104 nationally in turnover margin. Oh, and there's this:
The last time Nebraska played Northwestern in Evanston, Al Capone was there for the game ... bit.ly/VjnCjI
Kansas State at West Virginia (7 p.m. ET, FOX): Bill Snyder's tough-as-nails bunch travels to face West Virginia in the friendly confines of Milan Puskar Stadium. The last time Dana Holgorsen's team played at home it lit up Baylor for 10 touchdowns. A Kansas State victory puts the Wildcats firmly ahead of the pack in the Big 12, while a loss for West Virginia ends the conference and national title aspirations that seemed so promising just one week ago. West Virginia's highly publicized offense is more productive of the two but Kansas State's is actually more efficienct, churning out 0.65 points per play to WVU's 0.58 points per play.
Florida State at Miami (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Consider this a referendum for two young coaching tenures. Both teams need wins to stay in the hunt for the ACC Championship but, most importantly, both teams need a win over each other. Al Golden is looking for his first victory over FSU, while a loss by the Seminoles means nothing short toppling Florida can make this season a success. Jimbo Fisher's team dominates the ACC statistically, leading the conference in total offense, total defense, scoring offense, scoring defense, pass efficiency, pass efficiency defense and rushing defense. They also place second in the ACC in rushing offense behind Georgia Tech, but possess the conference's best yards per carry average (6.28).
Baylor at Texas (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Texas returns home reeling after consecutive losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma. Mack Brown's teams traditionally play their best football following Oklahoma, going 13-1 immediately after the Red River Rivalry. Baylor carries in a two-game losing streak of its own, surrendering a total of 17 touchdowns in losses to West Virginia and TCU. Baylor leads the nation in passing offense with nearly 400 yards per game faces a Texas defense that has allowed Big 12 quarterbacks to go 65-of-101 for 903 yards with eight touchdowns against two interceptions. The numbers aren't much better for Texas' rush defense as opposing Big 12 offenses have carried 133 times for 810 yards (6.1 ypc) for 10 scores. Solace for Texas comes in the fact that Baylor brings in a defense ranked among the bottom four nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Expect an old-fashion Big 12 shootout that lasts deep into the night.
Washington at Arizona (10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks): After a 3-0 start Rich Rodriguez is still searching for his first Pac-12 win. Washington is also looking for its first victory since the upset of Stanford on Sept. 27. Scott from our staff will be on hand in Tucson. Follow him on Twitter @FootballScoop for his observations of the game.