By Rory Daniels

Thanksgiving is a feast of football. That’s in the NFL and College Football. One of the upsides of the holiday is that college fans get a tasty double-dose of fixtures. In part 1 of our games to watch, we highlight the best three from Friday.

Early Game - TCU @ Oklahoma

Embed from Getty Images

We kick Friday off with a Big-10 matchup that could have plenty of implications. Oklahoma did the hard part, beating Texas, but slipped up against Kansas. That took control of their destiny out of their hands. They need results to go their way elsewhere and take care of business against TCU to make the Big-12 championship game.

For the Horned Frogs, they need the win to be bowl-eligible. It has been quite the drop-off for TCU, who played in the National Championship game only a season ago. Their performance against Texas showed they still have life, and they will hope to derail the Sooners’ shot at the Big-12 title game.

Oklahoma will be sweating on the fitness of QB Dillon Gabriel and wide receiver Jalil Farooq going into the game. Still, the Sooners have plenty of offensive talent to call on and a 5-star backup at signal caller. Defensively, Danny Stutsman is the tackling machine in the middle of the park, while safety Billy Bowman Jr is a ball hawk with five interceptions so far.

For TCU, they lineup a QB who began the year as the backup. Josh Hoover got his chance initially through injury but looked the part against Baylor last week. Running back Emani Bailey has already surpassed 1,000 rushing yards this year and will be used heavily.

Looking to contain the receivers the Sooners possess will be an experienced secondary. Mark Perry and Josh Newton should have hopes of becoming NFL players. They, in particular, will be hoping to extend their careers with a bowl game.

Prime Time - UTSA @ Tulane

Embed from Getty Images

Next, we move on to the AAC. A win for Tulane or UTSA confirms their place in the AAC championship game. Should UTSA win and Navy take down SMU, this matchup would be replayed for the title decider. For Tulane, two victories would likely confirm a spot in a New Year 6 Bowl.

Both sides are unbeaten in the conference and are enjoying excellent campaigns under two head coaches who have turned the programs around. Concern is already high for the Roadrunners, who know Jeff Traylor has been interviewed for the vacant job at Texas A&M. At 63, Tulane’s Willie Fritz isn’t an up-and-comer but has been linked with plenty of Power 5 positions.

Nearly as old as Fritz is Roadrunners’ quarterback Frank Harris. Jokes aside, Harris is in his seventh year and is enjoying another great campaign. Last week was a highlight, as he had a combined 523 total yards and six touchdowns (3 passing, 3 rushing). On defense, Tulane must find an answer for pass rusher Trey Moore, who has 14 sacks this season.

For Tulane, Michael Pratt has garnered plenty of NFL attention as a dual-threat quarterback and has the playmaking ability to be a late-round pick come draft season. Keep your eyes on redshirt freshman Makhi Hughes at running back. He averages over 5 yards per carry and just under 100 yards per game. 

The Green Wave’s corner pairing of Jarius Monroe and Lance Robinson have combined for six interceptions this year and will make life hard for Harris and co.

Late Night - Oregon State @ Oregon

Embed from Getty Images

Talk about saving the best until last. Late Friday night, it’s worth getting the coffee ready for some late-night Pac-12 action. After attempting to play spoiler to Washington’s national championship hopes and nearly doing so, Oregon State get another shot. This time, it means even more. They could derail in-state rivals Oregon’s hopes.

Ever since a close loss to the Huskies, Oregon has been one of the most consistent and dominating teams in College Football. Bo Nix has been accurate and poised at quarterback, finding elite receiver Troy Franklin again and again. A no-nonsense offensive line has led the way for speedster Bucky Irving to make hay from the running back spot.

Oregon State did well to slow down Michael Penix Jr and co. last week and will need to do the same here to stand a chance. At the start of the year, we had Kitan Oladapo on our all-Pac-12 team, and he has lived up to the billing. According to PFF he has 20 defensive stops, two sacks, two interceptions and five pass breakups. A versatile safety, to say the least.

We highlighted Taliese Fuaga and DJ Uiagalelei last week in our preview. The pair will need to be at their best to cause the upset. In addition, I was impressed with the physicality of Damien Martinez at running back vs Washington. He has now gone three games in a row surpassing 100 yards rushing, can the Ducks slow him down?

Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at