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ACC & Big 12 Week 7 Preview: Saddle Trophy back on the line as TCU meets Texas Tech

In the seventh 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’s a quick look at some of the top games on the schedule this weekend:

Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) at TCU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 7:30 p.m. (Thursday) on ESPN 

Texas Tech enters Thursday night’s matchup with TCU holding a 31-26-3 edge over the Horned Frogs in a series that began with a 28-16 TCU win in Fort Worth in 1926.

Last year, the teams renewed a longtime tradition when they put the Saddle Trophy back at stake in what was once known as the West Texas Championship. The Horned Frogs and Red Raiders used to compete annually for the trophy before it went away in the early 1970s.

Texas Tech enters Thursday night’s showdown in Cowtown as the FBS leader in total offense after averaging 591.4 yards through the first five games of the season. The Red Raiders also rank second nationally in passing yards (407.6 yards per game).

TCU, meanwhile, brings an eight-game home winning streak into the contest — the team’s sixth consecutive game in Texas to open the season. TCU’s three games away from Amon G. Carter Stadium this season have been played in Dallas, Arlington and Austin, and the Horned Frogs don’t leave the Lone Star State for a game until their Oct. 27 trip to Kansas.

Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC) at Georgia Tech (3-3, 1-2 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network 

The Blue Devils will take on Georgia Tech this weekend in a pivotal ACC Coastal Division showdown. The programs first met on the gridiron in 1933 and have played every year since, making this weekend their 86th overall meeting. Georgia Tech holds the all-time advantage 51-31-1.

Duke is entering the contest after having its seven-game win streak snapped by Virginia Tech (31-14) in its most recent game. The defeat also marked the first time since Sept. 29 of last year that the Blue Devils allowed 30 or more points in a game. Despite the loss, the Blue Devils lead the ACC and are tied for third nationally in fewest turnovers lost with just three. They also have the third-fewest penalties (19) and penalty yards (162) in the nation.

Quarterback Daniel Jones leads the Duke offense with 615 total yards on 52-of-74 passing and five touchdowns despite missing two games due to a broken clavicle. The defense is paced by safety Dylan Singleton, who has 41 tackles on the season and two forced fumbles.

After Georgia Tech put up 542 rushing yards in its 66-31 defeat of Louisville last week, the Yellow Jackets now rank No. 1 nationally in rushing offense at 373 yards per game, which is 62.6 yards per game more than the nation’s No.2-ranked rushing offense (Navy – 310.4 yards per game). Quarterback Taquon Marshall led the way against the Cardinals with 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

No. 16 Miami (5-1, 2-0 ACC) at Virginia (3-2, 1-1 ACC) – 7 p.m. on ESPN2 

The Hurricanes are on the road this weekend as they travel to Charlottesville for their 16th all-time meeting with their Coastal Division rival. Miami have won three straight against the Cavaliers and lead the series 9-6 overall.

Miami is riding the momentum of its 28-27 win over Florida State that saw the ‘Canes come back from a 20-point deficit in the second half. The Hurricanes are now riding a five-game win and are ranked No. 2 nationally in total defense at 237.3 yards per game. Miami’s top defensive performers against the Seminoles were defensive lineman Joe Jackson (two sacks), defensive back Sheldrick Redwine (one forced fumble) and linebacker Michael Pinckney (five tackles, one interception).

Virginia is celebrating homecoming this weekend as it hosts Miami for the eighth time in series history. The Cavaliers are 46-45-2 in Homecoming games, and their last win came in 2015, when Virginia defeated Syracuse 44-38 in triple-overtime.

Quarterback Bryce Perkins is one of only 10 FBS quarterbacks since 2000 to record more than 1,100 passing yards, 340 rushing yards, 11 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns through the first five games of a season. The Virginia offense also features wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, who is the only player in the nation with at least 2,000 career receiving yards (2,196) and 450 career rushing yards (490).

No. 6 West Virginia (5-0, 3-0 Big 12) at Iowa State (2-3, 1-2 Big 12) – 7 p.m. on TBD 

This Saturday, Iowa State and West Virginia will meet for the seventh time, as the Cyclones look for their second win in series history.

WVU has won all three games played in Ames, while ISU’s lone victory against the Mountaineers came in a 52-44 triple overtime shootout in Morgantown in 2013. ISU battled back from a 31-7 deficit in that game to record the largest comeback victory (24 points) in school history.

Last week, the Iowa State offense got the spark it needed in true freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. His performance (318 passing yards, 84 rushing yards, four passing TDs) helped the Cyclones to a 48-42 victory over No. 25 Oklahoma State.

Overall, Iowa State’s defense has allowed only three of their past 13 opponents to score more than 20 points, but the Cyclones defense may have their hands full with Mountaineers quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful Will Grier.

Coming into the game, Grier ranks seventh in the nation in passing yards (1,819 yards) and is tied for third with Kyler Murray in passing touchdowns (21).

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

Oklahoma State (4-2, 1-2 Big 12) at Kansas State (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) – 12 p.m. on ESPNU
Louisville (2-4, 0-3 ACC) at Boston College (4-2, 1-1 ACC) – 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network
Pittsburgh (3-3, 2-1 ACC) at No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0) – 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Baylor (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) at No. 9 Texas (5-1, 3-0 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Virginia Tech (3-2, 2-0 ACC) at North Carolina (1-3, 1-1 ACC) – 7 p.m. on ESPNU


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