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Homencaa fbWeek 8 college football preview: Top-10 matchup in Columbus; Alabama-Tennessee square off

Week 8 college football preview: Top-10 matchup in Columbus; Alabama-Tennessee square off

Week 7 of the 2023 college football season took a trip out West as the Pac-12 took center stage.

Washington and Oregon put on an absolute classic in Seattle as the Huskies put themselves in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 conference. All eyes were also on reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams as the USC Trojans got blasted by Notre Dame in South Bend.

Fans hold signs for Michael Penix Jr.

Fans hold signs for Michael Penix Jr. of the Washington Huskies during the game against the Oregon Ducks at Husky Stadium on October 14, 2023, in Seattle. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Week 8 of the season brings with it a trip back to the East Coast, at least for the majority of the day.

The Duke defense, 16th in the country in yards allowed per game (298.5), will face Heisman-hopeful quarterback Jordan Travis.

Quarterback Jordan Travis celebrates a touchdown

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Syracuse at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field, October 14, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida. (Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

“You look at the standard of good defenses. This is one that you would point to,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said, according to ESPN. “All 11 guys on their defense tackle, they can run, cover. They’re disruptive in the schemes that they present – got really good pressure packages that challenge offenses. You can see the confidence in how they play. These are the games you love being a part of. It’s going to be some fun X’s and O’s to see who can try to create any type of advantage.”

Travis is tied for the fourth-best Heisman odds after seven weeks, according to Caesars Sportsbook. 

“And then you have Jordan Travis,” Caesars Sportsbook college football lead Joey Feazel told Fox News Digital. “Florida State is slowly just grinding toward that College Football Playoff, kind of being the dominant force in the ACC. So, he’s going to be in the mix as well.”

Florida State’s offense is seventh in the country, scoring 42.2 points per game.

No. 18 USC vs. No. 14 Utah – 8 p.m. ET

It’s do-or-die time for the USC Trojans who have no margin for error after getting smoked by Notre Dame in Week 7.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams had his worst game of the season in primetime, throwing three interceptions as USC lost by 28 points.

Despite the loss, USC has a ton to play for as they are still undefeated in conference play with a gauntlet of a schedule ahead of them.

The remaining schedule won’t mean much as far as the College Football Playoff if the Trojans are unable to get by the top defense in the Pac-12.


A fan rushes Caleb Williams after the game

A fan takes a selfie with USC star Caleb Williams after the loss to Notre Dame on October 14, 2023, in South Bend, Indiana. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Utes defeated USC twice last season, including in the Pac-12 Championship Game where Utah ended the Trojans’ CFP hopes.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham’s team is playing stellar defense – allowing just 277.8 yards per game, best in the Pac-12 – but it also has a struggling offense without quarterback Cam Rising.

The Utes are dead last in the conference in total yards (322.2) and passing yards (149.5) per game. The defense will need to significantly slow down an explosive USC offense to keep things close.

USC is second in the country in points (47.3) and averaging 491.7 yards per game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.


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