Redshirt freshman Jameis Winston will look to further his case for the Heisman Trophy, not to mention boost his team's case in the BCS standings, when No. 3 Florida State hosts No. 7 Miami on Saturday in the marquee game in Week 10 of college football. The game will be the last in the regular season between unbeaten teams.
Winston is seen by many, including NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, as the favorite to win the Heisman, but the Hurricanes also have a highly touted quarterback in senior Stephen Morris. Morris is coming off two less-than-stellar performances, and the Hurricanes' offense has been turning more to its running game, led by Duke Johnson, who carried the ball 30 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns in a narrow win over Wake Forest last week.
Also on the Week 10 slate, top offensive tackle prospect Taylor Lewan and Michigan will visit archrival Michigan State, which has one of the nation's best cornerback prospects in Darqueze Dennard.
Here are our top 10 games in Week 10:
10. Northwestern at Nebraska, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
The skinny: Northwestern was seen as a potential Legends Division contender; the question now is whether the Wildcats can even become bowl-eligible. Northwestern's offense has zero playmakers, which should help Nebraska's beleaguered defense. But that puts more pressure on Northwestern defenders, such as senior DE Tyler Scott (6-foot-4, 265 pounds), who is second in the Big Ten with five sacks, and hard-hitting junior SS Ibraheim Campbell (5-10, 210). Campbell's job will be to limit big plays from talented Nebraska WRs Kenny Bell (6-1, 185) and Quincy Enunwa (6-2, 225). But he also will have to worry about underrated junior TB Ameer Abdullah (5-9, 190), who has gained just 31 fewer yards than Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon. Abdullah is both fast and quick, and he has shown that unlike a lot of college tailbacks, he can handle a heavy workload.
9. Ohio State at Purdue, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
The skinny: Ohio State should roll. Purdue's offense is atrocious (13.1 points per game, 121st in nation). Look for big games from Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller (6-2, 215) and TB Carlos Hyde (6-0, 235), who have combined to rush for 702 yards and nine TDs in the past three games. Buckeyes junior LB Ryan Shazier (6-2, 230) is one of the best linebackers in the nation and should roam free all day against what will be an overmatched Boilermakers offensive line. The Purdue guy to watch is senior DL Bruce Gaston (6-2, 310), who will see most of his time at end after playing most of his career at tackle. His one-on-one battles with Buckeyes senior OT Jack Mewhort (6-6, 308) should be entertaining.
8. Mississippi State at South Carolina, Saturday, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC TV
The skinny: South Carolina star sophomore running back Mike Davis tangles with one of the SEC's better linebacker tandems in Mississippi State's Deontay Skinner and Benardrick McKinney. MSU offensive guard Gabe Jackson, the No. 24-ranked senior draft prospect in the nation by NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, should tangle some with standout Gamecocks, including defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles. South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney seeks his (gulp) third sack of the season in early November.
7. Wisconsin at Iowa, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC regional/ESPN2
The skinny: This one is all about Iowa's senior trio of starting linebackers and how it holds up against Wisconsin's big offensive line. Middle man James Morris (6-2, 240) and outside linebackers Anthony Hitchens (6-1, 233) and Christian Kirksey (6-2, 235) will have to fend off the likes of Badgers G Ryan Groy (6-5, 320) and T Rob Havenstein (6-8, 327) to get to TBs Melvin Gordon (6-1, 207) and James White (5-10, 195). Those linebackers need help from junior DT Carl Davis (6-5, 315), who has been solid against the run this season. Gordon, a third-year sophomore, has shot up draft boards this season and is both explosive and tough. Wisconsin senior WR Jared Abbrederis (6-2, 190) will hurt Iowa's secondary. Iowa's offense isn't fancy, which means Badgers senior LB Chris Borland (5-11, 246) should make a ton of tackles. While undersized, Borland is physical, runs well and has some coverage skills.
6. Tennessee at Missouri, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
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The skinny: The best pass rush in the SEC faces perhaps the league's best group of pass protectors, and plenty of future NFL players will be involved in the battle. Four Tennessee starters project as draft picks, led by left tackle Antonio Richardson. Missouri defensive ends Kony Ealy and, to a lesser extent, Michael Sam, are considered NFL prospects as well. Sam leads the SEC in sacks with 10. Don't look for a big game from Volunteers nose man Daniel McCullers, a 358-pounder rated by Brandt as the college game's No. 8 senior prospect. Missouri's offense, with its hurry-up style that attacks the perimeter and exploits poor open-field tackling, isn't the sort of approach McCullers will be able to thrive against.
5. USC at Oregon State, Friday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The skinny: Corvallis has been a house of horrors for the Trojans, who haven't won there since the 2004 Fog Bowl that featured a memorable punt return touchdown from Reggie Bush. With questions at cornerback, USC will need strong games from talented freshmen safeties Su'a Cravens and Leon McQuay to provide support and limit Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks' big plays. As Stanford showed last week, a strong pass-rush can also limit the effectiveness of Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion, so defensive lineman Leonard Williams (11 tackles for loss with 5 sacks this season) will need to deliver another big game. (UPDATE: Marqise Lee played a large role in USC's 31-14 win over Oregon State.)
4. Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville, Fla.), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
The skinny: OK, so this annual rivalry has lost some of its shine this season because the SEC East won't be on the line. But the loser of this game should be out of the hunt entirely, so it's not as if there are no stakes. The matchup to watch: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray against Florida's trio of standout cornerbacks, Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and Vernon Hargreaves. Running back Todd Gurley returns to the lineup after missing all of October with an ankle injury. Florida linebackers Dante Fowler and Antonio Morrison will need to be on top of their games for Gurley. And for some added flare, the son of former Florida and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor will make his first career start in the Gators' backfield.
3. Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Fox
The skinny:Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert is likely to cover Red Raiders wide receiver Eric Ward all evening, but it wouldn't be a shock if he also spent some time defending tight end Jace Amaro. Texas Tech has to shore up its run defense after allowing 277 rushing yards at Oklahoma to end its undefeated season. Oklahoma State junior Desmond Roland is coming off a breakout performance where he had 219 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder didn't have a tackle for loss against the Sooners and will have to be disruptive for Texas Tech to get back on track.
2. Michigan at Michigan State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The skinny: The winner becomes the team to beat in the Big Ten Legends Division. Michigan State has the best defense in the league, and the Spartans expect big games from their key seniors: CB Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 197), who has been the best corner in the league this fall, SS Isaiah Lewis (5-10, 208) and LBs Denicos Allen (5-11, 218) and Max Bullough (6-3, 245). Rising-star sophomore DE Shilique Calhoun (6-4, 250) has been a big-play guy, but will he be able to do anything against Michigan senior OT Taylor Lewan (6-8, 315)? Michigan State has forced 15 turnovers. Michigan junior QB Devin Gardner (6-4, 210) is a good athlete with a nice arm, but his ball security and decision-making (10 picks) are giant red flags. Michigan senior WR Jeremy Gallon (5-8, 184) has had a good season, but will he be able to get open consistently against Dennard and the rest of the Spartans' top-notch secondary? Michigan State is a physical team, and Michigan must prove it can play that way, too.
1. Miami at Florida State, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The skinny: The game is loaded with national title implications and has some high-level NFL prospects. Florida State redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston (6-4, 228) has been a revelation. Not so for Miami senior Stephen Morris (6-2, 218), whose performance has caused him to slide down draft boards. He has a strong arm, but his mechanics are out of whack, perhaps because of a lingering ankle injury, and he has struggled for much of the season. Miami has the better running back in sophomore Duke Johnson (5-9, 196), and he is the key to any Miami upset hopes. But FSU has the better receivers, the better offensive line and the better defense, especially in the secondary. Can Miami get pressure on Winston? FSU junior LT Cameron Erving (6-6, 320) is a big-timer who shut down Clemson DE Vic Beasley in their one-on-one matchup recently. Miami needs junior LB Denzel Perryman (6-0, 240) to be extremely productive. FSU senior CB Lamarcus Joyner (5-8, 190) probably will spend a lot of time shadowing Miami senior WR Allen Hurns (6-3, 195). Keep an eye on the tight ends. Miami junior Clive Walford (6-4, 259) and FSU junior Nick O'Leary (6-3, 248) can be big-time weapons; both can get deep, and both are physical in the red zone.