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ACC & Big 12 Week 6 Preview: Red River Showdown, FSU-Miami highlight slate

In the sixth week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.

Here are a few of the games our representatives will be taking in this week:

No. 19 Texas (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) at No. 7 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) – 12 p.m. on FOX

Two of the Big 12’s most successful programs are meeting this weekend in the Red River Showdown, which will be played in Dallas for the 90th straight year. This will mark the first season since 2012 that both Oklahoma and Texas enter the Red River Showdown ranked in the AP Top 25. Saturday’s game will pit the Big 12’s top scoring offense in Oklahoma (48.6 points per game) against the league’s second-best scoring defense in Texas (19.8 points per game).

Texas is coming off its fourth win in a row after defeating Kansas State 19-14 in Manhattan last weekend. Quarterback Sam Ehilnger threw for 207 yards and a touchdown, and now has 3,100 career passing yards, which puts him at 14th all-time in Texas history.

The Sooners have outscored their first five opponents of the season 243-116, including an overall first half margin of 146-40. The offense is led by quarterback Kyler Murray, who has 1,469 total passing yards on the season, good for eighth among FBS signal-callers. Murray also leads the nation in passing yards per completion (19.08) and ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (231.6) and third in passing touchdowns (17).

Boston College (4-1, 1-0 ACC) at No. 23 NC State (4-0, 1-0 ACC) – 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network

Boston College and North Carolina State will meet for the 16th time in series history this weekend, with Boston College leading the all-time series 9-6. The two programs met for the first time in 1936 at Fenway Park, a 7-3 Boston College win. 

A victory for Boston College this weekend would mean a 5-1 start for the Eagles for the first time since 2008, and a 2-0 ACC start for the first time since 2007. The Boston College offense features running back AJ Dillon, who ranks third in the nation in total rushing yards (652) and fifth in rushing yards per game (130.4).

NC State is entering the contest as one of 14 unbeaten FBS teams. NC State has the No. 9 passing offense in the nation with 342.3 yards per game, and is led by quarterback Ryan Finley, who ranks sixth in passing yards per game (328.3).

Florida State (3-2, 1-2 ACC) at No. 17 Miami (4-1, 1-0 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ABC

Both the Seminoles and the Hurricanes are coming off their first conference wins of the season as they enter the 63rd installment of this annual rivalry. Although Miami leads the all-time series 32-30, FSU carries a 20-16 lead in games played in Miami; the Hurricanes have not defeated Florida State at home since 2004.

The Florida State offense is led by wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (25 catches, 345 yards), quarterback Deondre Francois (1,377 passing yards, nine touchdowns) and running back Cam Akers (316 yards, 1 touchdown). On defense, the Seminoles are ranked 13th in the nation in rushing, allowing an average of only 101 yards per game this season.

Miami is riding a 12-game win streak at home, dating back to the middle of the 2016 season. Last week, the Hurricanes tied a school record with six forced turnovers, three of which were returned for touchdowns, in their 47-10 win against North Carolina. Miami’s defense has been holding opponents to 138.8 passing yards per game (No. 1 in the FBS) and 244.8 total yards per game (No. 2 in the FBS).

Iowa State (1-3, 0-2 Big 12) at No. 25 Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2 

The Cyclones are looking to break a six-game losing streak against Oklahoma State as they head to Stillwater this weekend. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 31-18-3, but the last three contests have each been decided by a one-possession score (35-31 in 2015; 38-31 in 2016; 49-42 in 2017).

Iowa State will be looking to rebound after falling 17-14 to TCU on a field goal in the final minute last week. Each of the Cyclones’ eight losses in their last two seasons have been by 10 points or less, and by an average margin of six points. Wide receiver Hakeem Butler leads the offense with 16 receptions for 311 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

Oklahoma State knocked off Kansas 48-28 last week in its first road game of the season. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius, a former walk-on who backed up Mason Rudolph the three last seasons, threw for 728 yards over the first two games this season, setting the Oklahoma State record for most combined passing yards in a quarterback’s first two career starts.

No. 6 Notre Dame (5-0) at No. 24 Virginia Tech (3-1, 2-0 ACC) – 8 p.m. on ABC 

Saturday’s game will mark the second-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. The Hokies defeated the Irish 34-31 in the only previous meeting, in 2016 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame is coming off a 38-17 win over No. 7 Stanford in South Bend last weekend. The Irish now hold all five of the competitive trophies on their schedule (Frank Leahy Bowl – Boston College; Megaphone Trophy – Michigan State; Shillelagh Trophy – Purdue; Legends Trophy – Stanford; Jeweled Shillelagh – USC) for the first time since 2012. Defensive lineman Jerry Tillery set a school record with 4.0 solo sacks last weekend against the Cardinals. Tillery now leads the nation in solo sacks (5.0) and is tied for first in total sacks (7.0).

Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis made his debut last weekend in the Hokies’ 31-14 defeat of Duke. Playing in place of injured starter Josh Jackson, Willis threw for 332 yards on 17 of 27 passing, with a career-high three touchdown passes. Defensively, the Hokies are tied for fourth in the nation in rushing defense, holding opponents to just 84 yards on the ground per game.

Other ACC and Big 12 games being played this week:

Georgia Tech (2-3, 0-2 ACC) at Louisville (2-3, 0-2 ACC) – 7 p.m. (Friday) on ESPN
Kansas (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) at No. 9 West Virginia (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) – 12 p.m. on ESPN2
Syracuse (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at Pittsburgh (2-3, 1-1 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
No. 4 Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) at Wake Forest (3-2, 0-1 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Kansas State (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) at Baylor (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on FS1


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