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Archive: 2008 Week 15 NCAA Football Game Previews
Friday, December 5, 2008
# 12 Ball State Cardinals (12-0) @ Buffalo Bulls (7-5)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Spread: Ball State – 14.5
Preview: In the Marathon MAC Championship the underdog 7-5 Buffalo Bulls will take on the 12-0 Ball State Cardinals. At Ford Field in Detroit Michigan, the Cardinals will take their undefeated mark and put it on the line. Both teams will be playing in a bowl game, with the Cardinals on the outside looking in at a BCS bowl game. On the year, the Cardinals have scored 452 points and allowed 200, while the Bulls have scored 362 and allowed 333. Ball State’s quarterback Nate Davis has completed 218 of 324 passes on the year for 3095 yards and 25 touchdown passes. In the last four games, the Cardinals are scoring 38 points per game; wins over Northern Illinois, Miami OH, Central Michigan and Western Michigan. For Buffalo, after taking the MAC Eastern Division, one full game ahead of Bowling Green and Temple; the Bulls come in 7-5. Non-conference losses at Pittsburgh and Missouri were mixed with conference losses to Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Kent State. The latest loss on Friday was a 24-21 defeat at the hands of Kent State. The Bulls are scoring 30.2 points per game and allowing 27.8. The Bulls quarterback Drew Willy has completed 256 of 397 passes for 2885 yards and 22 touchdowns, with just 5 interceptions. James Starks leads the rushing core with 1226 yards and 14 touchdowns, while wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt has caught 86 passes for 1196 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
# 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) @ # 4 Florida Gators (10-1)
Time: 4:00pm ET
Spread: Florida -9.5
Preview: In the SEC title game, two of the top teams in the nation will square off, with a shot at a national champion game on the line. The undefeated 11-0 Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the red hot 10-1 Florida Gators. This game will be played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia. The Crimson Tide have done a lot of their damage on the defensive side, allowing just 138 points, while scoring 385. For the Gators, the offense has been the story, scoring 556 points, and allowing 147. Alabama started the season at the bottom of the Top 25, but coach Nick Saban has turned his team into a power at the top. Alabama is one of just four unbeaten teams in Division One College Football (Ball State, Boise State and Utah). Alabama has played in just two games where the margin of victory was less than a touchdown. On October 18th Alabama beat Mississippi 24-20, and then on November 8th the Crimson Tide needed overtime to beat the LSU Tigers 27-21. John Parker Wilson, Alabama’s quarterback has thrown for 1909 yards and 9 touchdowns. Mark Ingram leads the Crimson Tide rushing attack with 681 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the Associated Press poll, these two teams are ranked # 1 and # 2. For Florida, the Gators have been the hottest team in college football for weeks. Outside of the September 27th 31-30 loss to Mississippi, the Gators have not played in a tight game all season. Outscoring opponents 556-147 on the year, the Gators have won three games in a row by 30 points or more; 50,51, 30. Tim Tebow, the Gators quarterback has thrown for 2299 yards and 25 touchdowns, while running for 12 more.
# 2 Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) @ # 20 Missouri Tigers (9-3)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Spread: Oklahoma -17
Preview: The Oklahoma Sooners edged ahead of the Texas Longhorns in the BCS standings, despite the Texas win over Oklahoma earlier in the year. The Big 12 South title for Oklahoma allows them to play in the Big 12 title game, against the Missouri Tigers. The Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship will take place at 8:00pm ET at Aarowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Sooners come in with 11-1 record, and have scored 640 points on the year, most of any BCS football team. Missouri is coming in with a 9-3 mark, scoring 540 points. Oklahoma has won six straight games since the 45-35 defeat in Dallas; to Texas. In those six wins, the Sooners have scored 45,58,62,66,65, and 61 points. The Sooners defense has also shown signs of great play, allowing just 21 points to a high-powered Texas Tech team two weeks ago. Sam Bradford, the Sooners quarterback has thrown for 4080 yards and 46 touchdowns on the year. Bradford is one of atleast three Big 12 quarterbacks that will be highly regarded as a Heisman Candidate. Running back DeMarco Murray leads the team in rushing yards with 1002, while his running back Chris Brown leads the team in rushing touchdowns with 17. For Missouri, after two straight losses Missouri won four straight games before Saturday’s 40-37 defeat to Big 12 North rival Kansas. Missouri tied atop the Big 12 North with Nebraska, but took the tiebreaker due to the 52-17 thrashing back in early October. Quarterback Chase Daniel has completed 34 touchdown passes, with 11 of them going to top receiver Jeremy Maclin. The Tigers reached as high as # 3 in the Top 25 this season, before back to back losses to Oklahoma State and Texas.
# 5 USC Trojans (10-1) @ UCLA Bruins (4-7)
Time: 4:30pm ET
Spread: USC – 30.5
Preview: The battle of Los Angeles will take place Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena between the University of Southern California Trojans and the University of California Los Angeles Bruins. USC comes in with a 10-1 record, and a chance to win the Pac Ten, while the Bruins are 4-7 with this being their final game of the season. The Trojans are not only playing for the Pac Ten title, but also an outside shot at the national championship game. With a win, the Trojans are guaranteed atleast the Rose Bowl against Penn State, but if the cards fall right (ie: Florida and Missouri win) the Trojans maybe playing in the title game. The Trojans lone loss was on September 25th at Oregon State 27-21. The Trojans on the year have allowed just 86 points, while scoring 422. The Trojans have held three teams scoreless this season, and six teams without a touchdown. Wide Receiver Patrick Turner leads the team in touchdown with nine catches. For UCLA, behind head coach Rick Neuheisel the season has been a bit of a struggle. Winning just four of eleven overall, and three of eight inside the Pac Ten the Bruins have also lost three out of their last four. After starting the season 1-0 with a win over Tennessee, the Bruins lost three straight – Brigham Young, Arizona and Fresno State. UCLA’s three other wins came over Washington State, Stanford and Washington, all teams that are not bowl eligible. Quarterback Kevin Craft has completed 221 of 389 passes for 2252 yards and seven touchdowns, with 19 interceptions.
# 13 Cincinnati Bearcats (10-2) @ Hawaii Warriors (7-5)
Time: 11:30pm ET
Spread: Cincinnati – 7.5
Preview: The Cincinnati Bearcats will play a final regular season game on Saturday before playing in a BCS bowl game for the first time in school history. Finishing the regular season 10-2, and 6-1 in the Big East; the Bearcats clinched the Big East title with a 30-10 win over Syracuse. On the year the Bearcats have outscored opponents 326 – 238 on the year. Quarterback Tony Pike led the Bearcats charge with 272 yards and two touchdowns, and on the year Pike has thrown for 2060 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Hawaii Warriors will once again be bowl eligible at the end of the season. Winning seven of twelve games on the year, the Warriors will look to pick up their eighth win of the season on Saturday night. After starting the season 1-3, with losses to Florida, Oregon State and San Jose State, the Warriors have won six of their last eight, with wins over Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, Idaho and Washington State. Hawaii finished second behind Boise State in the WAC. Quarterback Greg Alexander has thrown for 10 touchdowns, and just thrown 3 interceptions in just seven games played.
# 17 Boston College Eagles (9-3) @ # 25 Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4)
Time: 1:00pm ET
Spread: Boston College – 1
Preview: The Dr. Pepper ACC Title game will feature two teams that have definitely been up and down. Considering they play in the Atlantic Coast Conference that has been no surprise. The conference definitely had parody, as each conference division winner had three conference losses, and both ended in a tie. The ACC has ten teams that are bowl eligible. In the Atlantic Division The Boston College Eagles tied with the Florida State Seminoles, but Boston College won the tiebreaker with their 27-17 win over the Seminoles. Boston College’s three losses this season came to Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Clemson. On the year the Eagles have scored 320 points and allowed just 211. The Eagles quarterback Chris Crane has completed 169 of 307 passes for 1721 yards and 10 touchdowns, but 13 interceptions. Boston College will play in the ACC title game for the second straight season. For Virginia Tech, after losing much of their talented 2007-2008 team, the Hokies were able to win yet another division title, and play in the ACC title game for the third time in the last four years. In the Hokies win on Saturday over state rival Virginia, quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 137 yards and also ran for 137. The Hokies needed ten unanswered second half points to knock off the Cavaliers.
# 23 Pittsburgh Panthers (8-3) @ Connecticut Huskies (7-4)
Time: 12:00pm ET
Spread: Connecticut – 3
Preview: With both teams heading to a bowl game, the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Connecticut Huskies will play one final regular season game. On the year, the Panthers have scored 318 points and allowed 266 while Connecticut has scored 276 and allowed 203. Pittsburgh is coming off a hard fought 19-15 win over West Virginia. In the win, running back LaSean McCoy ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns, including a game winning run with 52 seconds to go. On the year, McCoy ran for 20 rushing touchdowns, and 1308 yards. The win for Pittsburgh was the first time the Panthers won in back to back seasons against West Virginia. Pittsburgh tied West Virginia and Rutgers for second place in the Big East. For Connecticut after spending portions of the season in the Top 25, the Huskies look to finish the regular season on the right track. The Huskies have lost four of six games, to North Carolina, Rutgers, West Virginia and South Florida, with the two wins over Cincinnati and Syracuse. The Huskies are 3-3 and in fifth place in the Big East. The Huskies have been led in scoring by running back Donald Brown, who has ran for 1,633 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.