Stanford confident QB won't crack vs. Ducks
By USA Today
Published: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
No. 21 USC at No. 17 UCLA
3 p.m., Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
TV: WPGH-53, WWCP-8
Records: USC 7-3, 5-3 Pac-12; UCLA 8-2, 5-2
Line: USC by 31⁄2
Series: USC leads, 46-28-7
Outlook: Much more than the Victory Bell and L.A. bragging rights are on the line. The winner will represent the Pac-12 South in the league championship game in two weeks. USC can bolster its underwhelming season with a sixth consecutive win over the Bruins, who are hoping to punctuate their strong season under first-year coach Jim Mora with their seniors' first victory over their crosstown rivals. USC beat UCLA, 50-0, last year in the biggest victory in the series since 1930. USC coach Lane Kiffin says his team will wear its home uniforms, resuming the game's cool home-and-home jersey tradition after UCLA inexplicably decided to debut its all-white ensembles at the Coliseum last year. UCLA has a better record and a higher ranking than USC in this game for the first time since 2001.
North Carolina State at No. 11 Clemson
3:30 p.m., Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
TV: WTAE-4, WATM-23 or ESPN2
Records: North Carolina State 6-4, 3-3 ACC; Clemson 9-1, 6-1
Line: Clemson by 17
Series: Clemson leads, 51-28-1
Outlook: Clemson is seeking its first 10-win regular season since 1981 and a share of the ACC Atlantic Division title. The Tigers can win the division if they win and No. 10 Florida State falls at Maryland. N.C. State hopes to improve its bowl prospects. QB Mike Glennon shocked the Tigers a year ago when he passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Wolfpack to a 37-13 victory. Glennon's been strong this season, passing for more than 291 yards a game, second only to Clemson QB Tajh Boyd. Boyd is seeking his 20th win as a starter. Only six other passers in school history have done that. The fullback has never rushed the ball in N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien's 16 years as a head coach.
No. 25 Kent State at Bowling Green
Noon, Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, Ohio
Records: Kent State 9-1, 6-0 Mid-American; Bowling Green 7-3, 5-1
Line: Bowling Green by 21⁄2
Series: Bowling Green leads, 55-18-6
Outlook: Kent State can secure a spot in its first Mid-American Conference title game and set a school record for most wins in a season. A Bowling Green victory would give the Falcons a clear path to the MAC East Division title and the league championship game. The Falcons will look to keep the ball away from Kent State's high-scoring offense by putting the load on RB Anthon Samuel, the conference's freshman of the year. Samuel ran for a career-high 181 yards and two scores against Ohio just over a week ago. Kent State's season has been historic. The eight-game winning streak is the longest in school history, and this is its first winning season since 2001. The Golden Flashes' have won their last 10 conference games, a streak that began last year against Bowling Green.
Utah State at No. 19 Louisiana Tech
4 p.m., Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, La.
Records: Utah State 8-2, 4-0 WAC; Louisiana Tech 9-1, 4-0
Line: Utah State by 3
Series: Louisiana Tech leads, 6-3
Outlook: First place in the Western Athletic Conference and national respect are at stake. Both teams have pushed through WAC play undefeated. Louisiana Tech also has aspirations of being the most recent team to crash the BCS party. Louisiana Tech freshman RB Kenneth Dixon has been sensational this season, leading the nation with 24 rushing TDs and adding 1,052 rushing yards. He scored six TDs against Idaho on Oct. 20. Utah State sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton has completed more than 68 percent of his passes this season for 2,671 yards, 23 TDs and just seven INTs. Louisiana Tech's lone loss this season came in a 59-57 shootout against Texas A&M. The Bulldogs also have road wins over Illinois and Virginia.
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