College football Week 12 preview: Michael Penix Jr., Washington travels to Oregon State in Pac-12 showdown

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With just two weeks left in the 2023 college football season, there is still the potential for total chaos in the College football game (CFP).

With one team in each of the Power Five conferences – and some two – that could make a case for the CFP at the end of the year, there is the potential for hard feelings.

Bo Nix celebrates against USC

Bo Nix, #10 of the Oregon Ducks, celebrates a touchdown pass in the first half during a game against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Brandon Sloter/Image of Sports/Getty Images)

In the Pac-12, Oregon and Washington both have paths to the CFP, while the SEC has still lost Georgia and one-loss Alabama looks better with each week. The Big 12 has one-loss Texas, which has the advantage of beating the Crimson Tide in Week 2, and State of Florida He remains the ACC’s only hope for a playoff team as they look to end the year without success.

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The Big Ten has Michigan no win and Ohio State, which ends in Week 13 with the Big Ten East title on the line.

Chaos could be coming college footballbut the Week 12 slate may not be the one to create.

Let’s take a look at a few games to watch out for on Saturday. CFP ratings are shown below.

No. 17 Arizona vs. No. 22 Utah – 2:30 p.m. ET

While the game in Tucson, Arizona will have no impact on the CFP, it is still a game worth watching.

The Wildcats have won four games in a row – including three straight wins over top 25 teams – after defeating Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes in Week 11.

Head coach Jedd Fisch has quickly turned around a program that won just one game in his first season and now has the Wildcats ranked for the first time since 2017.

Arizona is doing it with quarterback Noah Fifita, who has now thrown for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year.

Noah Fifita is playing against Colorado

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Noah Fifita, #1, goes back in the pocket against the Colorado Buffaloes in the fourth quarter at Folsom Field on November 11, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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Utah enters Saturday’s contest underdogs in two of its last three games after battling Washington down to the wire in Week 11.

Despite allowing 457 total yards to the Huskies, the Defense utes still ranks second in the Pac-12 in yards allowed (299.8) and third in points allowed per game (17.8).

No. 18 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Georgia – 3:30 p.m. ET

Last season, the matchup between Georgia and Tennessee was for all marbles as both teams entered the game undefeated.

The 2023 matchup doesn’t carry the same weight, but Tennessee has a chance to play spoiler.

The Vols have a bad loss to Missouri, losing 36-7, as the Vols turned the ball over three times. Josh Heupel’s teamone of the best rushing attacks in the country, rushing for just 83 yards against Missouri.

Josh Heupel before he played Missouri

Tennessee Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel before the SEC football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Missouri Tigers on November 11, 2023 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

They now welcome the second best defense in the SEC to Neyland Stadium.

The Bulldogs are once again atop the CFP rankings after back-to-back wins over top 15 opponents.


Against No. 9 Ole Miss on Saturday, Georgia racked up 611 yards — 300 on the ground and 311 through the air. The win moved them over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff rankings and is the 27th straight victory for Kirby Smart’s team.

Kirby Smart looks ahead before playing Ole Miss

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart looks on before the college football game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Georgia Bulldogs on November 11, 2023, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. (Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Bulldogs have won six straight games against Tennessee and the last three at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

“The position of the stadium is unique. It’s very straight,” Smart said Wednesday at the SEC coaches conference, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It feels like they’re right on your head. It’s right there on you. A lot of fans, very passionate fans. And that makes it difficult.”

No. 11 Oregon State vs. No. 5 Washington – 7:30 p.m. ET

The marquee game of the weekend takes place in Corvallis, Oregon.

Washington can clinch a spot in the Pac-12 title game with a win, as long as it lasts State of Oregon Arizona must win out and Arizona must lose one of its last two games to play in Las Vegas.

It’s a matchup between two very good quarterbacks in Michael Penix Jr. and DJ Uiagalelei.

Michael Penix Jr. will play against Utah

Michael Penix Jr., #9 of the Washington Huskies, in action during the fourth quarter against the Utah Utes at Husky Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Seattle. The Washington Huskies won 35-28. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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Penix has the second best chance to win the Heisman, while Uiagalelei has thrown for 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions in his first season with Oregon State.

Washington’s explosive offense will be on display against an Oregon State defense that allowed 40 points to Cal and 38 points to Washington State earlier in the year. The Huskies are averaging 503.9 yards and 378 yards per game through the air, the best in the nation. The Beavers’ defense is allowing 331.1 yards per game, fourth best in the Pac-12.

For the Beavers, Damien Martinez ran for 1,024 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, and scored a school-record four touchdowns against Stanford in Week 11.

View of Reser Stadium

An interior view above Reser Stadium during the first half of the game between the Oregon State Beavers and the San Diego State Aztecs at Reser Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Corvallis, Oregon. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

“Oregon State, if they win out, still has a chance to get in the way I see it, knowing they’re going to give everything they’ve got,” the Washington head coach said. , Kalen DeBoer, according to CBS Sports. “They’re playing at home and they’re playing well and they’ve got good momentum and we understand that we’re going to get the best shot. “

Saturday is the 107th meeting between the two schools.

Iowa State vs. No. 7 Texas – 8pm ET

Texas is expected to leave the Big 12 after the season as they bring their athletic programs to the SEC.

The move has obviously caused the remaining Big 12 teams to rotate their calendars when they play the Longhorns, and the 6-4 Cyclones are no different.

Tuesday, State of Iowa Offensive lineman Jarrod Hufford started the Texas week by pouring gas on the fire.

“It’s going to be one of a parting gift,” Hofford said, according to Outkick. “They’re going to come in here on the darkest night. I don’t think they know what’s going on for them. We have beaten them four out of the last five times at home. We have a good taste in their mouths, we definitely want to send them to the SEC with a loss on our end.

Jarrod Hufford will play against Cincinnati

Iowa State OL Jarrod Hufford, #54, during a college football game between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Cincinnati Bearcats on October 14, 2023 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. (James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


“Since I got here, it’s been Iowa and Texas. That program, like Oklahoma, has every 5-star recruit and has the best stuff. their world and they just think they’re not stealing. Just people and that’s how I see them. They’re just people with egos as high as must be investigated.”

Hofford was almost right in his assessment. Iowa State has beat Texas three of the last four times they played at Jack Trice Stadium.

However, this is the best Texas team under head coach Steve Sarkisian, who has his Longhorns in the CFP mix.

Quinn Ewers passes against TCU

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers looks to pass during the Texas Longhorns vs. TCU Horned Frogs college football game on November 11, 2023 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Texas is second in the Big 12 in yards allowed per game (337.1) behind only Iowa State, which will look to slow down Quinn Ewers and the Texas offense. Ewers returned last week from a shoulder injury when Texas held off TCU on the road.

“He’s getting better every day,” Ewers said. “I’m just going to keep getting treatment and keep going.”

While Texas got out of Fort Worth with a win, it didn’t get the win without taking a big hit.

Star running back Jonathon Brooks tore his ACL and is out for the season. Brooks led Texas with 1,139 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and was seventh in the nation in yards per game (113.9).

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