Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 13

Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 13

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.

Welcome to Thanksgiving week for college football! While the holiday itself has been ceded to the NFL, there's plenty of action on Friday and Saturday. In fact, Week 13 technically stretches to Tuesday, when Charlotte and Western Kentucky play at 10:30 a.m. ET. It's been a strange season, but I don't need to tell you that. Hey, on the plus side, I can finally include the MAC in this week's Start vs. Sit article. So let's get to it!

AAC

START

Otis Anderson, RB, UCF at South Florida

The Golden Knights have a potent offense, but quarterback Dillon Gabriel is (rightfully) the one who gets the bulk of the attention. Don't completely overlook Central Florida's run game, though. Anderson has rushed for 614 yards and four touchdowns, but this matchup could be really good for him. South Florida has allowed 42.1 points per game to FBS teams, and they have also allowed 208.8 yards per game on the ground. Anderson should be able to gash this defense.

SIT

Jadan Blue, WR, Temple vs. Cincinnati

With the defenses in the AAC, this has really become about recommending benching somebody playing Cincinnati. The Bearcats have allowed 15 points per game, and that's true even though they just played on the road against UCF. This will be an easier matchup for Cincy than that was, especially due to all the health issues Temple is facing. Technically, Blue is part of that. He has 41 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns

Welcome to Thanksgiving week for college football! While the holiday itself has been ceded to the NFL, there's plenty of action on Friday and Saturday. In fact, Week 13 technically stretches to Tuesday, when Charlotte and Western Kentucky play at 10:30 a.m. ET. It's been a strange season, but I don't need to tell you that. Hey, on the plus side, I can finally include the MAC in this week's Start vs. Sit article. So let's get to it!

AAC

START

Otis Anderson, RB, UCF at South Florida

The Golden Knights have a potent offense, but quarterback Dillon Gabriel is (rightfully) the one who gets the bulk of the attention. Don't completely overlook Central Florida's run game, though. Anderson has rushed for 614 yards and four touchdowns, but this matchup could be really good for him. South Florida has allowed 42.1 points per game to FBS teams, and they have also allowed 208.8 yards per game on the ground. Anderson should be able to gash this defense.

SIT

Jadan Blue, WR, Temple vs. Cincinnati

With the defenses in the AAC, this has really become about recommending benching somebody playing Cincinnati. The Bearcats have allowed 15 points per game, and that's true even though they just played on the road against UCF. This will be an easier matchup for Cincy than that was, especially due to all the health issues Temple is facing. Technically, Blue is part of that. He has 41 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns even though he's missed a couple games with injury. Obviously, if Blue can't play you'd be benching him, but even if he returns he should be sitting. There's not really any other team I would think about targeting for sitting this week, though, so Blue it is.

ACC

START

Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia at Florida State

Assuming Florida State can take the field this week – and let's not delve into Dabo's conspiracy theories – this matchup looks good for Armstrong. The Seminoles have allowed 37.9 points and 486.7 yards per game to FBS teams. They've given up 270.8 yards per contest through the air, and 193.5 yards on the ground. Armstrong has shown himself to be a bit of a dual-threat quarterback. While his 15 passing touchdowns against eight interceptions isn't great, Armstrong also leads the Cavaliers with 399 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. One way or another, I expect the Cavs QB to find the end zone a couple of times.

SIT

Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina vs. Notre Dame

The Tar Heels have scored at least 41 points in each of their last four games, but I don't expect that against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have allowed a mere 16.6 points per contest. On top of that, they only give up 85.1 rushing yards per game. Williams is enjoying a breakout season, but he has 15 touchdowns on 120 carries after having only five on 166 all of last season. That scoring rate seems like it might drop, and this matchup is part of the reason I believe that.

Big 12

START

Darwin Barlow, RB, TCU at Kansas

Barlow, a redshirt freshman, has gotten inconsistent carries. One week he's carrying the ball 16 times for 117 yards and a touchdown against Baylor, a couple of weeks later he's carrying the ball all of three times. However, he's still got more touches (53) than any other TCU running back. Barlow has averaged 5.7 yards per carry, and I feel like he might get his opportunity to shine against the Jayhawks. Kansas has what is clearly the worst defense in the Big 12. It's allowed 48.4 points per game and has allowed over 213 yards per game on the ground.

SIT

Marvin Mims, Oklahoma at West Virginia

After the Sooners dropped 41 points on Oklahoma State's defense, you might feel like their offense is matchup proof. I'm not ready to go there. Playing on the road in Morgantown is a bit different. Plus, West Virginia has allowed only 17.8 points and 161.5 passing yards per game. On top of that, while Mims has seven receiving touchdowns, that's on only 28 catches. That's a rate of conversion I don't expect to continue.

Big Ten

SIT

Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers at Purdue

Melton has been the focal point of Rutgers' passing game, as he has 27 catches through five games. Considering he has never had more than 30 catches in a season before, that's kind of a surprise, and perhaps not sustainable. Also, the senior has five touchdowns on those 27 receptions, which is also a surprise. Let's not forget that the Michigan game went into triple overtime, which can pad stats. Purdue's defense has been middling (26.3 points allowed per game), but it is at home and being decent on defense is more than a lot of Big Ten teams can say.

Conference USA

START

Zakhari Franklin, WR, UTSA vs. North Texas

I am going to assume you are familiar with Sincere McCormick, UTSA's stellar running back. If not, just know that he's second in the FBS in rushing yards even though he missed a game. So let's focus on Franklin, the team's top receiver. He has 41 catches for 530 yards and six touchdowns, and he now has his starting quarterback Frank Harris back. The Mean Green has given up 309.7 passing yards per game, so the Roadrunners should be able to throw all over them, even if they could also probably just give the ball to McCormick and let him do his thing.

SIT

Asher O'Hara, QB, MTSU vs. FAU

O'Hara is a one-man offense for the Blue Raiders, but this year that's been harder for him than it was in 2019. While he's rushed 175 times for 601 yards and seven touchdowns through nine games, he's thrown eight interceptions against 12 touchdowns. Florida Atlantic, meanwhile, has been stout in all areas of defense. The Owls have only allowed 11.2 points per game, and they rank sixth in yards allowed per contest as well.

MAC

START

De'Montre Tuggle, RB, Ohio vs. Bowling Green

Finally, I get to delve into the MAC. I also get to tell you that Bowling Green has allowed 333.7 yards per game on the ground. That's not a typo. Tuggle probably can't wait to take the field for this one. He's only played in two games, but he's rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns thus far. Last season, he tallied 11 touchdowns in 12 games, so this isn't altogether unheard of for Tuggle.

SIT

Caleb Huntley, RB, Ball State at Toledo

Huntley is off to an even better start to the season than Tuggle, though he's gotten to play in three games. The Cardinal has rushed 80 times for 437 yards and six touchdowns. However, almost nobody can average two rushing touchdowns per contest. Plus, being on road against Toledo is the toughest matchup for Huntley so far. The Rockets have allowed 24.0 points per game, but only 108.7 yards per game rushing.

Mountain West

START

Emmanuel Logan-Greene, WR, New Mexico at Utah State

Here we have a battle between two winless Mountain West teams. While Utah State has probably played the four toughest teams in the conference, the fact remains its allowed 37.3 points and 525.8 yards per game. The Lobos have struggled offensively as well, but Logan-Greene leads the way with 21 catches. He hasn't found the end zone yet, but I could see it happening in this game.

SIT

Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State vs. San Jose State

There's nothing to knock about Shakir, who has 38 catches for 529 yards and six touchdowns. He showed he was legit when he had 872 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last year. However, Shakir hasn't been dynamite week in and week out. He did have a game with four catches for 47 yards against Colorado State (though even then he rushed for 52 yards). This is mostly skepticism about the matchup. The Spartans have only allowed 15.3 points per game and 349.3 total yards per contest.

Pac-12

START

Demetric Felton, RB, UCLA vs. Arizona

Last year, Felton only carried the ball 86 times for 331 yards, but he had 55 catches for 594 yards and four touchdowns. This season, while Felton has 12 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown through three games, he also has 331 yards and three touchdowns on the ground already. Arizona has only played in two games, but last week it allowed 44 points to Washington, and that was with Washington taking its foot off the gas in the second half.

SIT

Sam Noyer, QB, Colorado at USC

Noyer is off to a surprisingly good start to the season, throwing for 512 yards and rushing for 100 yards over two games. However, Noyer is a senior who had thrown for all of 179 yards in his college career before this year. Maybe this strong start isn't going to continue. The Trojans have gotten some stick for leaving a couple of wins late against Arizona teams, but they've allowed 24.7 yards and 212.0 passing yards per game to start the campaign.

SEC

START

Osirus Mitchell, WR, Mississippi State at Ole Miss

The Egg Bowl might be what Mike Leach's offense needs to get on track in his first season down in Starkville. Ole Miss has given up a whopping 40.9 points per game, and it seems incapable of not playing in a shootout. Mitchell is the lead receiver for the Bulldogs, reeling in 33 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. That's not great through seven games, but I fully expect Mississippi State to remind us of the opener against LSU in this one.

SIT

Kevin Harris, South Carolina vs. Georgia

South Carolina fired its head coach, but Harris hasn't been part of the problem. In fact, he's rushed for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns. That being said, the Georgia defense is going to be the toughest opponent Harris faces, given that Georgia has the toughest defense in the SEC. This is especially true when it comes to stopping the run. The Bulldogs have only given up 74.1 rushing yards per game.

Sun Belt

START

Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama at Arkansas State

Tolbert hasn't caught a touchdown in his last three games, but he still has five receiving scores through nine contests. Plus, it's not like he's completely dropped off a cliff, as the junior has 17 catches for 217 yards over those three games without a trip to the end zone. Arkansas State has given up 39.6 points and 317.1 passing yards per contest, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Tolbert's touchdown drought end.

SIT

Destin Coates, RB, Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern

Coates has racked up 605 yards and five touchdowns for Georgia State, but this matchup may not yield much fruit. Part of that is the fact Georgia Southern tends to use up a lot of time of possession with its run-heavy offense. That means fewer opportunities for its opponents. This may be in part why the Eagles have only allowed 109.3 rushing yards per game. Although, the talent on the Georgia Southern defense surely plays a role as well.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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