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Posted: Feb. 18 2019,03:30

Each week, TSN.ca takes a look at the top storylines in NCAA football and gives you all you need to know heading into Saturdays action to Win The Day. Clemson hopes Watson can end South Carolina’s recent dominance on TSN3 Both in-state rivals have been ruled out of championship games and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said his team would treat this game as their state championship. If Watson (questionable) cant play, Cole Stoudt will start for Clemson. And why not? The Gamecocks have won five straight games over the Tigers. This year - in what the two schools have named the ‘Palmetto Bowl’ - Clemson hopes to have freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson in the lineup to change their fate. Watson missed three straight games with a knee injury before returning two weeks ago, only to sprain his knee in the second quarter of Clemson’s loss to Georgia State. Watson is considered a phenom, but has only played three full games this season. Though only playing for bowl position and pride, experience for Watson in big games as a freshman could help the 19-year-old down the stretch. No. 18 Georgia Tech aims to take down in-state rival No. 10 Georgia on TSN4 Georgia Tech has already secured their spot in the ACC Championship against top-ranked Florida State, but now have an opportunity to ride into that game with momentum with a win. Standing in their way is the rival Georgia Bulldogs, who are undefeated at home this season and enter as 13-point favourites. The Bulldogs will continue to lean on freshman running back Nick Chubb to carry their 13th-ranked rushing attack (with star Todd Gurley lost for the season) and improve their top-10 ranking. Like their neighbours, Georgia Tech also relies on their ground game to defeat opponents, ranking fourth overall in the FBS. Yet unlike Georgia, the Yellow Jackets use dual-threat quarterback Justin Thomas to fuel their ground assault. Thomas has 1,396 passing yards this season and a team-best 827 yards on the ground. Georgia will miss out on a chance to represent the East in the SEC Championship after the Tigers defeated Arkansas on Friday. Michigan makes final attempt to become Bowl Eligible against No. 6 Ohio State on TSN5 If Michigan falls short of an upset win against the rival Buckeyes, they will miss out on bowl season for the first time since 2009. Saving themselves from that feat will not be easy however, as Ohio State has reeled off nine straight wins and are 21-point favourites on Saturday. Ohio State will be looking to run up the score on Michigan and prove themselves worthy of a College Football Playoff spot. Ohio State has already booked their ticket to the Big Ten Championship game, where they will meet the winner of Minnesota and Wisconsin. For Michigan, a loss is expected to seal the fate of head coach Brady Hoke and open an offseason coaching search. A win may only delay that fate until after a Bowl game. Florida out to stun questionable No. 1 Florida State in Muschamp’s final game on TSN3 Flordia State quarterback Jameis Winston Florida State is undefeated, yet the manner in which they’ve won games has many questioning how good this team really is. The Seminoles having been playing with fire; falling behind early or failing to put away teams with significantly less talent en route to wins. Again last week, Florida State narrowly edged unranked Boston College with a last-minute field goal. College Football has taken note - Though the Seminoles are ranked first in the AP Top 25, they’re ranked third in the playoff rankings behind one-loss Alabama and Oregon. A loss Saturday or in the ACC Championship would almost certainly drop them out of the playoff picture. Expect the Gators to be playing with emotion in Will Muschamp’s final game as head coach. Florida State has won 26 straight games. Their last loss came two years ago this weekend - against these Gators. No. 10 Michigan State out to improve ranking against struggling Penn State on TSN5 Senior Jeremy Langford has 17 rushing touchdowns this season. Michigan State has been eliminated from the Big 10 title contention by Ohio State, but the 10th ranked Spartans are rolling with two straight blowout wins over B1G newcomers Maryland and Rutgers. Now the Spartans look to close their season with a win over a conference staple in Penn State. Despite heading for Bowl season in their first eligible campaign since the NCAA levied sanctions on the program, the Nittany Lions have had a disappointing campaign behind sophomore Christian Hackenberg (eight touchdowns, 14 interceptions). Their once promising start of four straight wins was derailed by four straight losses. However, Michigan State could face trouble in Happy Valley. The Spartans rank sixth in college football with 43.9 points per game but will line up against a Penn State defence that allows a fourth-best 16.2 points. Auburn hopes to retain Iron Bowl, derail No. 2 Alabama’s title hopes on TSN4 Alabamas Amari Cooper is widely projected to be to the first WR selected in 2014 NFL Draft. In the upcoming chapter college football’s greatest rivalry, Alabama will try to get revenge for Auburn’s stunning victory last year. 12 months ago, Chris Davis returned a missed field goal 109-yards for a touchdown to send the Tigers to the SEC Championship - and then the national championship - ending Alabama’s title hopes. This year, Auburn sits 15th and too far back to reach the college football playoff, while Alabama sits at the top once again (ranked first in the college football playoff rankings, third in AP Top 25). With three loses - all in the SEC - Auburn has been eliminated from SEC Championship contention, but a win Saturday would also likely eliminate Alabama. For the Tigers, that might be enough of a prize. Mariota out to clinch Heisman against Oregon State’s leaky defence on TSN1 What Cant He Do? Mariota has thrown for 32 TDs, run for nine TDs and caught a touchdown pass this season. Oregon State upset sixth-ranked Arizona State just two weeks ago and will try to do the same against No. 2 Oregon this week. The problem? They’ll have to outscore the Ducks and Heisman favourite Marcus Mariota. The Beavers have allowed 27 or more points in eight straight games and Mariota is looking to improve his Pac-12 record for total touchdowns in a season - currently at 42, one better than Matt Barkley’s previous mark - and boost his Heisman resume. Mariota and the Ducks enter Saturday night as 19.5-point favourites with a massive over/under of 67. Oregon State can score points - they average 26.3 per game - but can they stop Oregon from scoring against them? The Ducks’ run of six games with 42 points or more says it’s unlikely. New Balance Scarpe Offerta . - Novak Djokovic beat John Isner 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-1 on Saturday to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open, where hell resume his longtime rivalry with Roger Federer. New Balance Outlet Scontate . Ricciardos exclusion from the results tarnished what had been a day of celebration for local fans, who were jubilant that the Red Bull driver had apparently become the first Australian to finish on the podium at his home race. However just before midnight, stewards ruled that Ricciardos car had "exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow" and that the team refused an instruction from the races technical delegate Charlie Whiting to change the fuel-flow sensor before the race and a further request during the race to reduce the fuel flow. http://www.newbalanceoutlet.it/ . Spezza scored a power-play goal with 5 minutes left and Stephane Da Costa had the other two goals to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. New Balance Saldi Online . Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. New Balance In Offerta . Team officials travelled to Los Angeles on Thursday night to meet with the free agent, a person with knowledge of the plans said.We are told the table never lies. It is a cliché dragged out by fans and pundits regularly when discussions take place around which teams are better than others. However, the only lies being told are coming from the ones who deliver the cliché. We have have been told Manchester City are a poor away side. A quick glance of their record heading into Wednesdays match at West Brom (1 win, 1 draw and 4 losses) would suggest this but once again the league table was lying. To judge teams, at this stage of the season, solely on their results misses so many factors that go into ensuring teams sustain success in the long-term. During 90 minutes of football things happen that can have a direct effect on the result at the end of the game. It is too simplistic to say the team that won played well and the team that lost didnt and there is no better example of that this season than with Manchester City away from home. Before Wednesday at West Brom headlines, splashed across England previewing the match, called City away from home everything from rubbish to poor. It is, of course, not ideal to lose four games this season early in the season. In fact, the last team to lose four of their first eleven games (which City did) and win the title in the top flight of England was City themselves back in 1968. However, for the majority of their away matches this season City have been far from poor. On the contrary, City, in large parts of away matches, have looked like the attacking, entertaining team many dreamed they could sustain under Roberto Mancini. Two years ago under the Italian, City sprinted out of the blocks, scoring an incredible 23 goals in their first six away matches in the Premier League. Six goals at Manchester United and five at Tottenham sent messages that this team was the clear favourite to win the Premier League. Then the league started to work them out. Teams sat deeper and City couldnt adjust. They went on to win the league title, in the most dramatic ways through a late Sergio Aguero goal on the final day, but it was their atrocious away form that almost cost them. A look at their championship winning final league table shows City scored 38 goals and won 10 games away from home that season. What it fails to tell you is that half of their wins, and 23 of their 38 goals, came in those first six away matches. Ten goals, including 8 against Norwich and Wolves, and three wins also came in their last three matches, in late April and May. In the 10 away games in between, from the end of November to the middle of April, City scored just five goals (2 from open play), won 2, drew 3 and lost 5. It was a run that was far worse than the way they started this season but it didnt get the attention it deserved because the league table told a story that included Citys breathtaking start. When rivals United collapsed and handed City the title, Mancinis constant tactical changes, and failures to get his team to create as a unit away from home, was forgotten. It would play a massive part in their failure the following season, however. When City failed to win for the 7th time in their first 10 away games last season last year, on Boxing Day at Sunderland, their attempts at regaining the championship were already over. Wins later in 2013, at Arsenal and Manchester United, teams who didnt sit deep and took the game to City, werent surprising, but neither were there abysmal performances in losses at Southampton and Everton. When Mancini was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini many felt the Chilean had been hired to help turn around Citys woeful Champions League efforts under Mancini. That is certainly true, but also Pellegrini is expected to get more out of his team as an attacking unit, particularly away from home. There is no denying Citys brilliance at home and many teams will be on the wrong end of some serious hammerings this season, just as Norwich and Tottenham already have encountered. In those victories, City have shown they can score goals from quick transitions and counter-attacks, something that is sure to translate to successful away performances also. In fact, for large parts of their four away losses, City have been very impressive in attack, getting their full-backs forward and showing some useful combination play between their forwards. Their loss at Cardiff came from poor defending and goalkeeping on two corners. City were not at their best that day but did enough to win the match. Their loss at Aston Villa came from a fantastic individual free kick by Leandro Bacuna and some terrible defending and goalkeeping on a long clearance by Brad Guzan. City were absolutely magnificent that day and played far better than their past two visits to Villa Park, under Mancini, when they won 1-0 each time thanks to a goal from a set-piece (header by Joleon Lescott) and a mistimed poor back pass by Ciaran Clark (finished off by Carlos Tevez).dddddddddddd Their loss at Chelsea came from poor defending, and, in particular, goalkeeping (there is a theme here) when Joe Hart rushed out and allowed Fernando Torres to put the ball in the back of the net in the final minute. Having gone a goal down, City were the best side in the second half, after Sergio Agueros equalizer, showing they can be equally dangerous when the Argentine plays as a lone striker with a strong midfield 3 behind him. City caused Chelsea much more of a threat than they did in their past two visits to Stamford Bridge when they were lifeless in each of those second halves. Like at Villa, it was yet more evidence, that City had improved away from home, blinded by the games result. Their loss at Sunderland was their worst of the season, highlighting the key area Pellegrini has to get right. Once again they were a real threat going forward but a second-string back four featuring Micah Richards, Martin Demichilis, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov let themselves down on the Phil Bardsley goal and this time their attackers could not bail them out. Citys defending, at times, away from home has clearly not been good enough but Pellegrini will know this is much less of a concern than if his attacking unit was not playing well. Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in the game and if that is not working (as we saw under Mancini) it can lead to much bigger problems. Making a team organized and better defensively, particularly with the players at his disposal (this is no Newcastle of the mid 90s), is a much less difficult job for the Chilean. "I worry about the away form," Pellegrini conceded after the Sunderland loss, but he knew the way the team is playing in an open 4-4-2 style has to stay despite the results, saying: "Weve had a lot of chances and played really well in (away) matches, I am absolutely sure we are playing the right way and know the wins will come." That attitude took the manager and his City side to the Hawthorns for a date with West Brom on Wednesday evening. City welcomed back captain Vincent Kompany at the heart of their defence and kept their 4-4-2 shape with Edin Dzeko replacing Alvaro Negredo alongside Aguero.  Pellegrini had predicted the wins and performance would come and his players didnt let him down, Citys first half display will rank as one of the finest halves a team will play all season. After 24 minutes, they led 2-0 and were so dominant it should have been up by more. The first involved 14 passes, over 46 seconds, that saw the ball move to the right and to the overlapping right back Pablo Zabaleta whose cross was smashed home by Aguero. It was a sensational team goal but fifteen minutes their second one was even better, coming from 15 passes, in which the home side didnt touch the ball for 53 seconds, finishing with the left back, Kolarov, this time getting forward to cross for Yaya Toure to power home. It was a dream half of football for Pellegrini. Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri were outstanding in their movement and combination play while Aguero was just as lethal with Dzeko as it has been with Negredo this season. At the back, Kompany was a rock with key blocks denying West Brom of any real scoring threats. City were that dominant they made more successful passes in the first half than they attempted in the recent win over Swansea at home. This, as regular viewers to their away games would attest to, this was not a team who have played poorly away from home. In the second half City stepped down a few gears but still sent West Brom fans home early when they converted a third, from the spot, again created by a run by full back Kolarov down the left. "You should have gone Christmas shopping," chanted City fans to the home supporters as they dragged themselves out of their seats. Not only had they watched a superb away performance, they had also failed to see their team put a shot on goal or attempt a shot inside the penalty box for the first 81 mins. It was the perfect all-around performance for City until West Brom scored two late goals with Toure, Nasri and Aguero all resting on the bench. In many ways it was fitting that those who will judge the game solely on the scoreline will once again miss the point. City look very much like the formidable away team they need to be to contend for the title. 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