Prove It - Week 13 Football; Tests for Stanford and Georgia

Georgia College Football

Prove It - Week 13 Football


Stanford at UCLA, Saturday, 6:30pm

PROVE IT PAC-12 NORTH:  Stanford

After an incredible upset win last weekend against juggernaut Oregon, Stanford has its eyes set on the Pac-12 championship game.   They face the South champion, upstart UCLA, in Pasadena on Saturday.

Stanford easily put forth their best defensive effort of the season.  They held Oregon to their lowest point total all year.  When the number one scoring team in the country has trouble scoring against your defense, then something is going very right.  The Cardinal is the only team that plays any semblance of real defense in the Pac-12.  They held Heisman candidate Kenjon Barner to only 66 yards on the ground.  The entire Duck team only churned out 198 yards.  Oregon is used to running for over 300 yards per game.  Stanford out Oregon-ed Oregon on Saturday.  Newly appointed quarterback Kevin Hogan was not spectacular, but he did enough to win the game.  He outshined Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.  The player of the game was Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor.  He had 161 yards on 33 carries.  The Cardinal wore down the Oregon defense to a point where they could take advantage of long drives.

UCLA finally came into their own last week against crosstown rival USC.  The Bruins started out strong and never looked back, earning themselves a bid into the Pac-12 championship game.  UCLA is a strong contender this year, and this weekend should be a good matchup against Stanford.  UCLA’s running back, Johnathan Franklin, is a beast who has 1,441 yards this season.  He went against a more porous defense in USC last week, but he has punished defenses all year. 

Stanford leads the Pac-12 by a mile in rush defense (they are second in the nation at halting runners).  It will be interesting to see if Franklin can find any sort of seam against the Cardinal front.  The Bruin defense has been playing well of late themselves.  They will try and rattle Kevin Hogan as best they can.  Matt Barkley and the USC offense generated over 500 yards of offense last weekend.  The difference in the game was the amount of turnovers that UCLA created.  They won the battle 3-1.   They will have to go after the ball the same way this weekend in order to build a solid lead.  David Shaw’s group will have to rely on Taylor again.   He will need another strong performance.  This game is in L.A., but Stanford should not be so concerned with location.  They just beat the conference favorite on their home turf a few days ago.  A bid in the championship game is ripe for the taking.  The Cardinal cannot let this one slip away after what they accomplished last weekend.


Georgia at Auburn, Saturday, 7pm

PROVE IT SEC EAST CONTENDER:  Can Georgia keep it going?

On paper this game looks like no contest.  What happened to the Auburn team from two years ago that went undefeated and won the national championship?  Coach Gene Chizik is starting to feel a little heat just a couple years removed from a historic season at Auburn.  They are now having a historically bad season.  They are at the bottom of the conference in total offense and sacks allowed.  In fact, they have the worst offensive output of any team in the entire country.  They are allowing defenders to reach their quarterback over 3.5 times per game.  Quarterback Kiehl Frazier can only do as much as his line and his receivers will allow him to.  Emory Blake, his leading wideout, is tied for 72nd in the country in terms of receiving yardage.  They cannot get anything going.

Meanwhile, Georgia is looking really solid these last few weeks and ready to make a run at the SEC East again.  They took it to Ole Miss last weekend after falling behind 10-0 early.  They rattled off 37 unanswered points and never looked back.  Aaron Murray has started playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.  He threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday without turning the ball over.  Their freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall look like they are going to create problems for defenses for years to come.  Collectively, they already have over 1,300 yards rushing. 

This game means a lot to Georgia.  Their last three games do not appear to be any sort of real test for the Bulldogs.  They do have the added pressure of having to win when there is something on the line.  Since they beat Florida two weeks ago, Georgia is in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East if they simply win out.  Everyone certainly expects that.  The Bulldogs have been known to keep it interesting though.  Kentucky kept it tight and only lost by five.  In order to beat a poor Tennessee team, Georgia had to win a shootout.  If Murray is off of his game, the Bulldogs suffer a great deal.  It does not help their cause that wide receiver Marlon Brown is finished for the year after a knee injury last week.  They were already without Michael Bennett, who was lost in week six due to injury.  That leaves Murray’s offensive weapons depleted.  If ever there were an opportunity for Auburn to churn out a victory, it would be now while the injury bug tries to derail Georgia’s season.  Ultimately, it looks like the Bulldogs have too much talent to let Auburn nip them.  But the mental aspect of having all of the pressure on you adds an element of uncertainty.  Mark Richt will try and keep his players’ heads clear.  It is all on the table for the Bulldogs, and it starts against the Tigers on Saturday.


Week 13 Football – What to Watch For