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College Football 2013: Week 11 Preview
Thursday, 2013 November 7 - 7:29 pm
Michigan plays Nebraska; N.C. State plays Duke.

Michigan vs. Nebraska
Despite Michigan's horrific and embarrassing performance against MSU last week, there's reason to be hopeful for a win against Nebraska. It's a home game, and Nebraska's defense isn't nearly the caliber of MSU's. I expect we'll still face and endless stream of blitzes as Nebraska will try to force Michigan to make big plays to win; but this time, I think Gardner will have enough time to get the ball to Gallon and Funchess downfield.

On defense, Nebraska is dealing with a variety of injuries, and will probably still be without one-time starting quarterback Taylor Martinez. Michigan's defense isn't great, but it's improving, and the bend-don't-break philosophy might be just the thing in a game where one mistake might make the difference in the game.

Prediction: Michigan 34, Nebraska 24.

N.C. State at Duke
Hoo boy. I never would have predicted 3-5 State would be playing 6-2 Duke, and that Duke would be coming off a win against Virginia Tech. Granted, the VT win was pretty flukey, but still... it's hard to make the case that State's a better team right now.

Being on the road at Duke is no big deal, because Duke is by no means an intimidating football atmosphere, and plenty of State fans will make the drive to Durham to watch the game. And matchup-wise, this game presents pretty well for State. Duke's defense is mediocre and State should be able to run the ball. State just needs to get some defensive stops against Duke quarterback Anthony Boone, who's been pretty proficient managing the passing game.

If State can get rid of the turnover issues and not shoot themselves in the foot with dumb decisions like fake punts from your own 30 yard line, then they should have enough talent to pull this out.

Prediction: N.C. State 33, Duke 20.

Games to Watch on TV
I'm rushing to get this blog post out tonight because there are two monster Thursday games: #10 Oklahoma vs. #6 Baylor at 7:30 on Fox Sports 1, and the Game of the Week, #3 Oregon vs. #5 Stanford at 9:00 on ESPN.

The noon slate on Saturday is pretty bleh; maybe watch Penn State play Minnesota on ESPN2. At 3:30, the Michigan-Nebraska game is on ABC; at 4:00 the N.C. State-Duke game is on ESPNU. At 7:00 Virginia Tech plays #11 Miami, and I think VT has a good chance there despite their mediocre season.

At 8:00 there's an excellent prime-time game as #13 LSU plays #1 Alabama on CBS. #23 Notre Dame plays Pitt, and that's the featured ABC prime-time game for some reason. Yawn. At 10:00 #19 UCLA plays Arizona.
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