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The Boston Globe

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Saturday’s Top 25 college football matchups

No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee

The Crimson Tide lead the nation in total defense, scoring defense, run defense, and pass efficiency defense. The Volunteers are 0-13 against Top 25 opponents since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010, and haven’t beaten a top-ranked team since 1985.

No. 3 Florida vs. No. 9 South Carolina

The winner takes command of the SEC’s Eastern Division. The game features two of the conference’s top rushers, the Gators’ Mike Gillislee and Marcus Lattimore of the Gamecocks, but Lattimore missed practice this week with a bruised hip and might not start.

No. 4 Kansas State at No. 17 West Virginia

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Heisman voters should be tuned in for every snap as the top contenders for the trophy square off. Mountaineers QB Geno Smith has thrown for 25 touchdowns and no interceptions, while Wildcats QB Collin Klein has accounted for 17 total TDs.

No. 5 Notre Dame vs. BYU

The Cougars gave up 42 points in a loss last week to Oregon State after going three straight games without allowing an offensive touchdown. The last time the Irish were ranked in the top five and lost to an unranked team was in 2002 against Boston College (14-7).

No. 6 LSU at No. 20 Texas A&M

The Aggies’ prolific offense (freshman QB Johnny Manziel is second in the nation in total offense with more than 392 yards per game) gets tested against one of the nation’s top defenses (the Tigers are allowing only 14 points per game).

No. 7 Ohio State vs. Purdue

Both defenses have something to prove. The Buckeyes have given up 38 and 49 points in consecutive weeks, while the Boilermakers have allowed 82 points in their last two games.

No. 8 Oregon State vs. Utah

The Beavers have their highest ranking since 2000. A win would give the program its first 6-0 start since 1907, when the school was known as Oregon Agricultural College.

No. 10 Oklahoma vs. Kansas

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Under coach Bob Stoops, the Sooners are 13-0 in games immediately following the Red River Rivalry against Texas. That includes five wins against the Jayhawks.

No. 11 Southern Cal vs. Colorado

USC QB Matt Barkley is three touchdown passes away from tying former Trojan Matt Leinart for the school and Pac-12 record (96).

No. 12 Florida State at Miami

It’s not your typical Sunshine State showdown with the Seminoles 20½-point favorites. FSU romped, 45-17, in its last visit to Miami two years ago.

No. 13 Georgia at Kentucky

Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray is coming off an 11-of-31, 109-yard stinker vs. South Carolina. The Wildcats could start three freshmen in an injury-riddled secondary.

No. 14 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

The Tigers picked off Hokies QB Logan Thomas three times in two matchups in 2011. Clemson can tie the school record of 11 straight wins at Memorial Stadium with a victory.

No. 15 Mississippi State vs. Middle Tennessee

The Bulldogs have trailed for just 16 minutes, 11 seconds this season. Only four FBS teams — Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, and Oregon State — have trailed for less time.

No. 16 Louisville vs. South Florida

The Bulls are the only FBS program without a defensive interception this season. The Cardinals’ Teddy Bridgewater has thrown only three INTs this year.

No. 18 Texas Tech at TCU

The Red Raiders lead the nation converting 57 percent of their third downs. The Horned Frogs defense is second nationally allowing only 24 percent conversions on third down.

No. 19 Rutgers at Temple

The Owls rank 10th in the nation recording 3.2 sacks per game. That average will be challenged by a Scarlet Knights offensive line that has allowed just three sacks all season.

No. 21 Cincinnati at Toledo

Somebody’s winning streak is going to end: the Bearcats have triumphed in eight straight games dating to last season, and Toledo has won six in a row.

No. 22 Stanford at California

This is the 115th meeting between the schools and only 52 points separate the teams throughout the years (the Cardinal have outscored the Bears, 1,878-1,826).

No. 23 Michigan vs. Michigan State

The Spartans have won five straight in the series; Michigan is a win away from being the first college program with 900 victories.

No. 24 Boise State vs. UNLV

The Rebels are 0-3 all time in Boise. The Broncos will be wearing all black uniforms for the first time.

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