College football Week 12 preview

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Top Five Games to Watch

5 Utah State at No. 19 Louisiana Tech » This game has title implications in the Western Athletic Conference as Utah State (8-2, 4-0) travels to defending champion Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0). Were it not for a 59-57 loss at No. 9 Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech would be undefeated, giving the Bulldogs something in common with Alabama. Louisiana Tech ranks second in the nation with 53.4 points per game. (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

4 No. 6 Ohio State at Wisconsin » It's the last shot at glory for disappointing Wisconsin (7-3), which has abandoned the passing game, throwing seven times in a 62-14 win at Indiana. The Heisman stock of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has dipped as the Buckeyes (10-0), saddled with sanctions and in a terrible conference, have become an undefeated afterthought. (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)

3 No. 21 USC at No. 17 UCLA » While much of the nation is shivering in November, USC-UCLA provides an annual escape to dreamy Southern California with all the iconic imagery. This year finds Matt Barkley and USC (7-3, 5-3) looking up in the rankings and standings to resurgent UCLA (8-2, 5-2), which is led by freshman quarterback Brett Hundley and senior running back Johnathan Franklin. (Saturday, 3:05 p.m., Fox)

2 No. 2 Kansas State at Baylor » Give the BCS credit. It has created drama in recent weeks in games involving the contenders. Some of the games have fallen flat, but others have exceeded expectations high (Alabama-LSU) and low (Notre Dame-Pittsburgh). With Kansas State feeling pressure in an unfamiliar spot, this road test at Baylor (4-5) has potential to be memorable. (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN)

1 No. 14 Stanford at No. 1 Oregon » In his first two appearances, redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan (Gonzaga High) has been a hit for Stanford. Oregon has won a program-best 13 straight games and nine of the last 10 meetings with Stanford. The exception was a 51-42 Cardinal victory in 2009 guided by Andrew Luck, then a redshirt freshman. Is that an omen? (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC)

AREA Games

Virginia Tech at Boston College

When » Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Where » Alumni Stadium,

Chestnut Hill, Mass.

TV/radio » Fox 5, 106.7 the Fan

Six losses in its last eight games have Virginia Tech (4-6, 2-4) in danger of its first losing season since 1992. With wins at lowly Boston College (2-8, 1-5) and next week at home against Virginia (4-6, 2-4), the Hokies will qualify for a bowl game for the 20th straight year under coach Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech threw a scare into No. 10 Florida State last week, but three turnovers, including two interceptions by slumping quarterback Logan Thomas, were costly.

Texas State at Navy

When » Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Where » Navy-Marine Corps

Memorial Stadium, Annapolis

TV » CBSSN

As seniors, including slotbacks Gee Gee Greene (90 carries, 679 yards) and Bo Snelson (37 carries, 238 yards), play for the final time at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, expect a high-scoring game. While Navy (6-4) was a 41-31 loser last week at Troy, Texas State (3-6) fell to Western Athletic Conference leader Louisiana Tech 62-55. The game also marks the return of former Navy slotback Marcus Curry, now at Texas State. He rushed for a career-high 134 yards last week.

Delaware State at Howard

When » Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where » Greene Stadium

In a battle for second place in the MEAC between Howard (6-4, 5-2) and Delaware State (6-4, 5-2), the Bison honor their seniors, including All-American linebacker Keith Pough and running back Terrence Leffall. The Hornets are propelled by quarterback Nick Elko, the runaway leader in the MEAC in completions (229) and passing yards (2,542) who has thrown only four interceptions. Howard has lost five straight times to Delaware State, including the last two in shootouts -- 39-36 (2011) and 53-43 (2010).

Holy Cross at Georgetown

When » Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where » Multi-Sport Field

On senior day, linebacker Robert McCabe wraps up his career, trying to add to his single-season program-record 144 tackles. Last week he had 12, including two sacks, in a 10-3 win over Bucknell, while sophomore quarterback Stephen Skon came off the bench to complete 19 of 29 passes for 231 yards and the game's lone touchdown. Against struggling Holy Cross (1-9, 1-3), Georgetown (5-5, 2-2) will try for its second straight winning season and second since 1999.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner