We are down to the final week. The conference championships are almost all decided at this point. A few teams will play their last games next week sprinkled between the conference championships but I’ll just be focusing on the big games. So for the purposes of this blog, this is the final week. Both of the games I was looking forward to most were cancelled this week due to COVID. West Virginia was looking to finally beat Oklahoma for the first time since joining the Big 12 and Oregon had its chance to avenge its two losses and take back the lead in the PAC 12 North from Washington. As we have all season long, we will move on and focus on the games actually being played.
The game I’ll be glued to will be in the ACC. #17 North Carolina takes on #10 Miami. There is still a chance for UNC to make it to the Orange Bowl with a win here and a Miami loss to Georgia Tech next week. That means both teams have a lot to play for. Miami will be tested in ways that they have not seen this season. The Canes have been susceptible to giving up yards and that spells trouble against this Tar Heel team. The Miami defense gave up 550 yards in a loss to Clemson, 500 to a bad Louisville team, and over 400 to NC State. None of those teams have the balanced attack like UNC. Sam Howell threw for 550 yards and 6 touchdowns against Wake Forest and has totaled over 3,100 yards this season. The running game is also averaging over 218 yards per game. What will Miami do to shut this offense down? I think they just might have to depend on their offense outscoring them.
On the other side, it all comes down to D’Eriq King. He has led this Canes team to a 8-1 record with 20 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. This UNC defense has given up 31 or more points in 5 games this season. The one way to beat Miami is to get after the quarterback but they only have one guy who gets in the backfield. Chazz Surratt has posted six sacks this year. The Miami offensive line has to shut him down to be effective.
Spread: Miami -3.5
Total: O/U 67.5
Prediction: UNC 37 Miami 41
Georgia could find it’s way into third place in the SEC East with a loss this weekend against Missouri. That would be the first time since 2016 that they finished that low. Georgia had high hopes for this season but with quarterback issues, its hard to get anything going. On the other side, Missouri comes in on a three game win streak. They’ve played three of the lower end teams in the SEC so we’ll see if they can improve from their 41-10 loss to Florida. Missouri’s defense has looked good against the Vanderbilts and the South Carolinas but last week in the win against Arkansas, they gave up 566 yards. I think they get back on track and give Georgia a good fight. It just won’t be enough to win the game.
Spread: Georgia -13.5
Total: O/U 52.5
Prediction: Georgia 24 Missouri 13
There are only two teams left undefeated in the PAC 12 and they are both in the South. USC sits at #15 in the rankings after a 4-0 start but the Victory Bell is on the line this week against UCLA. Chip Kelly is very close to turning things around at UCLA. They lost to currently undefeated Colorado and lost a three point game to a good Oregon team. Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the way for the Bruins at quarterback. He combined for 242 all purpose yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to victory last week against Arizona State. He’ll have to continue that into this week to keep up with Kedon Slovis and the top offense out west. USC has to win this game to put them in the PAC 12 championship game. A loss will give the South title to Colorado. This game feels like it will be a tight one but I think the upset happens in Los Angeles.
Spread: USC -3
Total: O/U 55.5
Prediction: USC 20 UCLA 23