It is officially Week 12 of the 2021 college football season, which means we only have two full slates of college football left.
But before we get to Thanksgiving weekend and the conference championships, Week 12 offers several matchups with College Football Playoff implications, including No. 2 Alabama (-20.5) vs. No. 21 Arkansas and No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 23 Utah (-3).
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Tale of the Tape
Steve Sarkisian’s first year as Longhorns head coach has been an unmitigated disaster. There’s a slim chance for bowl eligibility, but star running back Bijan Robinson (86.7 PFF grade) is out for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury, and Sarkisian continues to play quarterback roulette between Casey Thompson and Hudson Card. With West Virginia next up, freshman receiver Xavier Worthy is the only notable name left on the offense.
Fans of competent offensive play might be best advised to steer clear of this one. Since Week 6, West Virginia ranks eighth in the Big 12 in expected points added (EPA) per play at -0.053. Over that same time, Texas is last in the conference at -0.130 EPA per play.
Matchup to Watch: Texas QB CASEY THOMPSON vs. West Virginia QB JARRET DOEGE
Thompson's 76.9 PFF passing grade ranks 10th among the 16 Big 12 quarterbacks who have dropped back to pass at least 60 times this season, while Doege's mark of 68.4 ranks 14th.
Simply put, the quarterback play has been inconsistent for both programs this season. Although Thompson leads all Big 12 passers in passing touchdowns with 23, his 3.6% turnover-worthy play is tied for ninth in the conference. Meanwhile, Doege ranks fourth among Big 12 passers in turnover-worthy play rate (2.3%) but has averaged only 7.5 yards per pass attempt and has taken a sack on 23.1% of his pressured dropbacks, both of which rank 12th.
X-Factor: Texas RB ROSCHON JOHNSON
The Longhorns’ three highest-graded players on offense happen to be running backs in Bijan Robinson, Jonathon Brooks and Johnson. But Robinson is out for the year, and Brooks’ status is still up in the air.