The Campus Read-Option: A Championship Weekend Quick Study Guide

When Auburn and Georgia met earlier this year, the Tigers stomped a mud-hole in the hind parts of the then-No. 1 ranked Bulldogs, winning 40-17. Saturday’s rematch in the SEC Championship Game should be much more competitive, especially if Auburn’s best player, running back Kerryon Johnson, is forced to miss the game with a shoulder injury.

Kerryon Johnson 2017 Auburn highlights Pt1

Kerryon Johnson is arguably the most underrated Running back of all time with more than 1000 this year so here is just a few of his highlights

The electrifying junior has been drawing comparisons to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ exceptional Le’Veon Bell this year in rushing for 1,276 yards and accumulating 19 total touchdowns. In the first meeting, Auburn’s ferocious defense held Georgia’s star runner Nick Chubb to a mere 27 yards. If the Bulldogs can’t get that corrected and find a way to unleash Chubb, it’s going to be a long day for them in Atlanta’s sparkling new Mercedes Benz Dome.

Gus Malzahn has gone from the coaching hot seat at the beginning of the season to now being talked about as the National Coach of the Year. His innovative offense has been making a mockery of some pretty good defenses as of late. They’ve looked unstoppable in beating two No.1 teams in a three-week stretch, but with Johnson’s health in question and their other top two running backs nursing injuries, Georgia is fortunate to be facing a team with major questions in the backfield.

Whoever loses this game is officially eliminated from playoff contention.

In the Big Ten Championship, the big question that needs to be answered by Wisconsin is if they’re for real. Ohio State might be forced to start redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins at quarterback due to J.T. Barrett suffering an injury against Michigan last week that required minor surgery.

Jonathan Taylor || Best Freshman in the Nation || Wisconsin Highlights

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Haskins looked great at The Big House on the road in Ann Arbor last week, leading the charge in their fourth quarter comeback and eventual 30-21 win. The Badgers are 12-0, but still has its share of detractors. Despite their unblemished record, there are plenty of doubters who believe they aren’t worthy of a playoff berth because the Big Ten West Division was supposedly weaker than a Ricky Smiley monologue.

When Wisconsin has the ball, keep your eyes on their fantastic freshman running back Jonathan Taylor, who leads the Big Ten in rushing with 1,806 yards. Its defense is as stingy as its offensive line is mammoth. They lead the Big Ten in fewest rushing yards (80.5), total yards (236.9) and points (12.0) allowed per game.

With their quarterback situation uncertain, the Buckeyes will rely heavily on their own freshman sensation at running back, J.K. Dobbins, who is second in the Big Ten behind Taylor in rushing with 1,190 yards. The one-two punch of Dobbins and sophomore Mike Weber will carry a heavy load with Barrett, who leads the Big Ten with 33 touchdown, on the mend.

Oklahoma and TCU will square off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the Big 12 crown, which should be the final stamp that Baker Mayfield will put on his remarkable, Heisman-worthy season. 

Heisman Front Runner || Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield 2017 Midseason Highlights

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When they played a few weeks back, the Sooners smacked the Horned Frogs around like Jake did Ms. Mulwray in Chinatown during their 38-20 win. 

Mayfield passed for 333 yards and three touchdowns while the Sooners also rushed for 200 yards, the most that TCU had surrendered on the ground all year. The Horned Frogs don’t have a shot at a playoff berth if they win, but they could capture the program’s first Big 12 championship with a win. Mayfield gets all the headlines, but TCU’s Kenny Hill, who threw for 270 yards and ran for another 40 against the Sooners in their first game this year, can ball out too. 

The Miami Hurricanes are back, making their first ACC title-game appearance since joining the league in 2003. But they’ll have their hands full against Dabo Swinney’s defending national champion Clemson Tigers. They’re gunning for their third consecutive ACC title and third straight berth in the College Football Playoff.

Miami crapped the bed in their last game, ruining a perfect season with a 24-14 loss to Pitt. But head coach Mark Richt has done an exceptional job in resurrecting the Hurricanes aura over the last two years, going 19-4. The Canes success has been the byproduct of an opportunistic defense which leads the nation with a plus-17 turnover margin, leads the country in sacks with an average of 3.55 per game, and has the coolest sideline accessory in the game with its ubiquitous “Turnover Chain.”

Clemson QB Kelly Bryant Top 5 Plays

Clemson QB Kelly Bryant has been a major reason why the Tigers are playing for an ACC Championship against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday. Bryant has been the catalyst of the offense, leading Clemson to an 11-1 record and ACC Atlantic Division championship. Check out Bryant’s top 5 plays this season.

On offense, junior quarterback Malik Rosier doesn’t wow you, but he gets the job done. And Clemson’s signal caller Kelly Bryant has filled the formidable shoes of departed legend Deshaun Watson better than anyone could have imagined. The Tigers’ defensive front gives opposing offensive coordinators nightmares. If Miami has any hopes of getting back into the playoff mix, they’ll have to look like an entirely different team that surprisingly got snuffed by Pitt.

This weekend is the last chance for the big boys to show and prove that they’re worthy of one of those coveted postseason invites. For all intents and purposes, the playoffs have already begun. 

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