The football gods have looked down on us and blessed us with a great night of college football. Two match-ups between Top-10 teams on a Thursday? Mercy.
Since this is such a fantastic occasion, we wanted to open a thread for folks to discuss the games as they watch them. Hell, if you want to discuss the Redskins game, by all means. That's more Tech-related than the college games after all.
(games presented by start time)
No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 6 Baylor, 7:30 p.m. FOX SPORTS 1
In the early game you have the Sooners traveling to Floyd Casey Stadium to try and tame Baylor's high-powered offense. Oklahoma has a pretty decent defense and on average holds opponents to under 20 points a game. However, Baylor's defense is stout as well, holding the opposition to a shade under 16 points a game while their offense puts up an FBS-best (probably DI, DII, DIII-best) 63.9 points a game.
Lache Seastrunk has averaged over 9 yards a carry for the Bears, while Bryce Petty is averaging over 20 yards per pass. The Baylor air attack tops the NCAA ranks at 417 yards a game, with the rushing game averaging 300+ a game for 7th in NCAA.
All of that offensive fire-power is well and good, but it's yet to be really tested against a team like Oklahoma. Baylor comes into this game 7-0, but has yet to face a ranked opponent. Their next three games are against (currently) ranked opponents and there's a chance they'll close out the regular season against one.
On the Oklahoma side of things, they're not really an offensive team that will "wow" you, but their defense keeps them competitive. The Sooners have knocked off a pair of top-25 teams this year (Notre Dame and Texas Tech) and look to add to that number tonight.
Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU
I won't go into detail on this one, but if you don't get Fox Sports 1 you can watch this I guess? UL-L is fun to watch though. RIGHT TY?
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings, 8:25 p.m., NFL Network
Washington heads to Minnesota after knocking off the Chargers in overtime last week. The Redskins will be facing one of the worst teams in the NFL as all sorts of issues have left the Vikings at 1-7 and on a four-game skid.
Minnesota will likely go with Christian Ponder at quarterback, but it may not matter. The job of the quarterback in Minnesota at this point should basically just be: Turn around, hand ball to Adrian Peterson. Peterson carried the ball for 140 yards and literally dragged three Cowboys defenders to the end zone while putting the Vikings up 23-20. The lead wasn't enough though as they gave up a touchdown with 35 seconds to play to fall to the Cowboys.
Washington has the tools to make the Vikings pay on both sides of the ball, but the fatigue factor of a short week might be something interesting to watch. I'd look for a lot of passing from Washington since the Vikings are near the bottom of the barrel in passing defense.
No. 3 Oregon at No. 5 Stanford, 9 p.m., ESPN
Ah, yes. The good ol' fashioned Thursday night battle between two top-5 teams.
Normally, I'd be bestowing all the offensive praise and rankings that Baylor has on Oregon, but this year the Ducks are second fiddle when it comes to scoring offense. Oregon still ranks near the top in points per game with 55.6, 2nd in FBS. The Ducks also boast the second-best rushing attack with 330+ yards per game on the ground and they also throw for over 300 each game. Marcus Mariota is the key to this offense, but there are plenty of skill guys that can step up if Stanford shuts him down.
Oregon has a very good defense, holding teams to just 16.9 points per game and a bunch of that average per game was inflated late in a blow-out win over Washington State. The Ducks are capable of beating good opponents, not just Virginia, as they knocked off No. 16 Washington and No. 12 UCLA this season.
Stanford has quietly been one of the better teams in college football this year, dropping only one game to Utah by six points. The Cardinal has (have?) defeated four top-25 teams this year: No. 23 Arizona State, No. 15 Washington, No. 9 UCLA and No. 25 Oregon State. Can they sweep the state of Oregon with a win over the Ducks tonight? It depends on their defense really. They were able to hold Oregon to 405 total yards of offense and 14 points last year, disrupting the Ducks' BCS title plans.
Those are the games, who ya got?