Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 12

Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 12

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

It's the last college football weekend before Thanksgiving. That Thanksgiving weekend is filled with rivalry games, and the week after that we have conference championships. It's all exciting, but of course, you know what that means: It's Cupcake City for the SEC! All that and more as I go through players to target, and to avoid, for Week 12.

AAC

START

Shamari Brooks, RB, Tulsa vs. Temple

Brooks has had a few clunkers, but he also has four games with over 100 yards and six touchdowns over his last nine games. I don't expect an off day against the Owls. Temple has allowed 40.1 points and 232.8 rushing yards per contest.

SIT

Brandon Thomas, RB, Memphis at Houston

Thomas started the season off great, but then he got banged up against UCF. He missed the SMU game, and while he returned against East Carolina he only got four carries. Thomas may be ready to ramp it up, but even if he gets more touches it might not matter against Houston. The Cougars rank 11th in rushing yards allowed per game.

ACC

START

Jared Wayne, WR, Pitt vs. Virginia

Jordan Addison is the big name in the Pitt receiving corps, but with Taysir Mack out, Wayne has stepped up as the number-two man. This includes him having four touchdowns in his last five contests. The Cavaliers have given up 33.9 points and 256.6 passing yards per game, and this could be another high-scoring, high-flying game for the Panthers.

It's the last college football weekend before Thanksgiving. That Thanksgiving weekend is filled with rivalry games, and the week after that we have conference championships. It's all exciting, but of course, you know what that means: It's Cupcake City for the SEC! All that and more as I go through players to target, and to avoid, for Week 12.

AAC

START

Shamari Brooks, RB, Tulsa vs. Temple

Brooks has had a few clunkers, but he also has four games with over 100 yards and six touchdowns over his last nine games. I don't expect an off day against the Owls. Temple has allowed 40.1 points and 232.8 rushing yards per contest.

SIT

Brandon Thomas, RB, Memphis at Houston

Thomas started the season off great, but then he got banged up against UCF. He missed the SMU game, and while he returned against East Carolina he only got four carries. Thomas may be ready to ramp it up, but even if he gets more touches it might not matter against Houston. The Cougars rank 11th in rushing yards allowed per game.

ACC

START

Jared Wayne, WR, Pitt vs. Virginia

Jordan Addison is the big name in the Pitt receiving corps, but with Taysir Mack out, Wayne has stepped up as the number-two man. This includes him having four touchdowns in his last five contests. The Cavaliers have given up 33.9 points and 256.6 passing yards per game, and this could be another high-scoring, high-flying game for the Panthers.

SIT

Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest at Clemson

Hartman has put up gaudy numbers all season, but he's gotten a little loose with the ball recently. Over his last two games, he's thrown five interceptions. Now he's traveling down to Death Valley, which is still the toughest place for an offense to play in the ACC. Clemson has allowed a mere 16.7 points per game, and they rank 18th and 32nd in rushing and passing yards allowed per contest respectively as well.

Big 12

START

Chandler Morris, QB, TCU vs. Kansas

Morris was the talk of the town after TCU upset Baylor and then he got a harsh dose of reality on the road against Oklahoma State. This elevator is likely to go back to the penthouse against Kansas. Yes, the Jayhawks just upset Texas and scored 57 points. They also allowed 56 points. In fact, Kansas ranks last in points allowed per game, so expect Morris to look more like the Baylor version this week.

SIT

SaRodorick Thompson, RB, Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

I just mentioned the Cowboys, and their defense has been shutting down teams all season long. They rank in the top 11 in points, rushing yards, and passing yards allowed. Thompson has impressively scored nine touchdowns in only eight games. However, he's done that on only 88 carries. You aren't likely to score against Oklahoma State, especially if you are only touching the ball 11 times per game.

Big Ten

START

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State vs. Michigan State

The Buckeyes' passing game seems capable of sustaining not one, not two, but three legitimate receivers. Olave may only have 51 catches in 10 games because he has to share the wealth, but he's still reeled in 11 touchdowns to go with 708 yards. Michigan State has an impressive record and a lot of positives, but it also ranks last in passing yards allowed per contest. Teams pass all over Sparty.

SIT

Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska at Wisconsin

Martinez is carrying the Nebraska offense. He's thrown for 2,512 yards and 13 touchdowns (though with eight interceptions) while also rushing for 502 yards and 12 scores as well. Unfortunately, facing the Badgers defense is a brutal way to spend a day. This is a team that ranks in the top two in points, rushing yards, and passing yards per contest. It may very well be the best defense in college football.

Conference USA

START

DeAndre Torrey, RB, North Texas at Florida International

Torrey has rushed for 997 yards and eight touchdowns, even though he's been slowed by injury the last couple weeks. He seems healthy now, and he's heading into a great matchup. Florida International's only win this year came against Long Island University and head coach Butch Davis has trashed the program as he heads out the door. Things seem bad and getting worse, and this is from a team that has allowed 218.0 rushing yards per game.

SIT

Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA vs. UAB

This is a big game in Conference USA, which is not something that happens all that often. The Roadrunners are trying to stay undefeated against perhaps the best defense in the conference. UAB has only allowed 115.8 rushing yards per game, and we should remember they played Georgia this year. McCormick is having another excellent season, but this matchup makes me hesitate.

MAC

START

Marquez Cooper, RB, Kent State at Akron

MACtion means three MAC games happened Tuesday, but there is actually a MAC game on Saturday this week! Even better, it features an Akron team that has allowed 41.4 points and 251.9 rushing yards per game. That bodes well for Cooper, who has 814 yards and nine touchdowns. Plus, he's only been held without a touchdown in one game not against a Power Five conference team.

SIT

Carson Steele, RB, Ball State vs. Central Michigan

The MAC is not known for its good defenses, at least this year. It's a vast array of mediocrity. Central Michigan ranks 54th in rushing yards allowed per game, and honestly among these teams that counts as formidable. Steele has had some off games as well, and he doesn't have a single multi-touchdown game, for what it's worth.

Mountain West

START

George Holani, RB, Boise State vs. New Mexico

Holani is finally healthy. You may have forgotten about him because of all the time he missed and all the games where he was in and out of action, but over the last two games, he has 219 rushing yards and 76 receiving yards. The Lobos are actually middling against the run and in terms of points allowed, but that's not too intimidating, and they will be on the road as well.

SIT

Logan Bonner, QB, Utah State vs. Wyoming

Deven Thompkins leads the FBS in receiving yards, so it's hard to recommend sitting him. However, I feel more comfortable benching Bonner for a week. Wyoming has allowed a mere 158.4 passing yards per game, which is third in the nation. Plus, while Bonner has 25 passing touchdowns, he has had some issues with turnovers. He's thrown 10 interceptions this season.

Pac-12

START

Cameron Davis, RB, Washington at Colorado

Davis got the start last week with Sean McGrew out with an ankle injury. He rushed 18 times for 67 yards and a touchdown and have two catches for 14 yards against Arizona State. Assuming McGrew is out again, Davis has a better matchup this week. The Buffaloes have allowed 202.2 rushing yards per contest.

SIT

Trevon Bradford, WR, Oregon State vs. Arizona State

Bradford was dealing with a neck injury last week, but he ended up with three catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against Stanford. That was Stanford, though. Arizona State has only allowed 22.0 points and 201.6 passing yards per contest. Bradford may have five touchdowns over his last four games, but there was a stretch earlier this season when he had four catches for 50 yards over four games as well. It's been feast or famine for him.

SEC

START

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M vs. Prairie View A&M

This will be a nice way for Texas A&M to let off some steam after losing to Ole Miss. Spiller has been stellar since he was a freshman in 2019, and this year he has 914 yards and six touchdowns through 10 games. It's actually a bit of a surprise he only has six touchdowns, given that he had nine in 10 games last year and 10 the season prior. I could see Spiller padded that total a bit against an FCS team.

SIT

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas at Alabama

All these SEC teams are facing easy competition, and then the poor Razorbacks are stuck visiting the Crimson Tide. It makes it pretty easy to suggest eschewing Arkansas players this week. I also have an easier time suggesting you bench Burks given that he only had 16 receiving yards against LSU last week.

Sun Belt

START

Tucker Gregg, RB, Georgia State vs. Arkansas State

It's easy to just target the top running back on the team facing Arkansas State every week. On the other hand, the Red Wolves have allowed a staggering 289.7 rushing yards per contest. For context, Northwestern ranks 129th and has allowed 252.6 rushing yards per game. That's incredible. Gregg has been running quite well recently anyway, as he's averaged 90.2 rushing yards over his last five contests and has seven touchdowns in that time.

SIT

Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama at Tennessee

This isn't necessarily about Tennessee's defensive numbers, which are admittedly not great. That being said, Tolbert is on a Sun Belt team facing an SEC team on the road. This matchup is different. Plus, Tolbert will almost definitely be without starting quarterback Jake Bentley. Being in the chaos of the Volunteers' stadium with a backup quarterback under center? It makes me skeptical.

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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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