Baylor, Stanford notch impressive Thursday night victories with LSU-Alabama highlighting Saturday’s slate of games

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No. 10 LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama

This game is arguably one of the biggest and best rivalries in college football. Since 2000, the Tigers have won five of the last six road games against Alabama and hold more wins over the Crimson Tide than any other team in the nation. But Alabama isn’t currently the No. 1 team in the nation for nothing. With quarterback A.J. McCarron leading the Crimson Tide offense they are averaging 41.2 points and 462.8 yards per game with seven turnovers. LSU’s offense, on the other hand, led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger, has had a similar performance, averaging 40.2 points and 480 yards per game; however, they’ve had 14 turnovers. In this game, the Tigers will have to protect the ball. They’re going to need every offensive minute they can get against Alabama’s solid defense. 

 

Arizona vs. No. 16 UCLA

This matchup of 6-2 Pac-12 teams may be a little misleading. Though their records are equal, UCLA has had a much tougher schedule than Arizona with their only losses coming from elite teams, Stanford and Oregon. Despite these though matchups, the Bruins have still averaged 37.2 points and 462 yards per game. UCLA managed to rebound from those losses and get back to their strong season by winning against Colorado last week. The Wildcats may have had it pretty easy thus far, but they have won three in a row and their offense is averaging a respectable 35.9 points and 463.1 yards per game while committing just eight turnovers this year. UCLA is looking for a spot in the Pac-12 title game, but Arizona has a lot they want to prove.

 

No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 10 Oklahoma

This game was anticipated to be an important Big 12 showdown but turned into more of a Oklahoma shutdown. After a slow start by Baylor, who scored only three points in the first quarter, the Bears woke up and got back to their usual high-powered offensive ways. The Bears went on to score 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, making the score 24-5 going into halftime. The Sooners struggled to keep up in the second half. Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell managed to pull himself together to throw for one touchdown reception in the third quarter, but the Sooners couldn’t come back from the momentum Baylor continued to gain until the clock hit zero. Baylor improved their record to 8-0 an possibly at Top 3 ranking with Oregon losing.

 

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 5 Stanford

Oregon looked like it was about to get shut out since 2007. Stanford forced the Ducks to slow down — something they aren’t used to doing — by using their run game to take time off the clock. The Cardinal’s defensive line got pressure on Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota early and kept the pressure on, disrupting his timing. Stanford outrushed Oregon 141-22 en route to a 17-0 halftime lead, winning in the trenches. The Cardinal held the Ducks scoreless until 10 minutes were left in the fourth quarter. But that touchdown put life back into Oregon’s offense. The Ducks rallied to score two more touchdowns, but after Stanford recovered the final onside kick, Oregon’s fate was sealed in a 26-20 loss to the Cardinal.