That Penn State-Ohio State game honestly went about as I expected in terms of final outcome but the way we got there was a bit weirder than I predicted. Ohio State controlled the game, but Penn State put up a decent fight and showed some flashes. I know a growing number of Penn State fans are growing restless with simply showing flashes, but the disparity in talent on the field is still very wide, and not shrinking. Until Penn State can find that lightning in a bottle team again, this is what we are going to get.
Moving on to Week Ten, there are some really fun games on the schedule and the hope is that Penn State's game is as boring as we can possibly ask for.
- #11 Miami @ NC State 7:30 ESPN - Both of these teams return from off weeks to kick off a fun weekend on a Friday night. I put NC State in my pretenders list but they are still a bowl team that can put up some points. I expect Miami to win by two scores, but this could prove to be entertaining for a while.
- #9 BYU @ #21 Boise State 9:45 FS1 - The first of four ranked contests this weekend. As noted, this guide stans Zach Wilson. It's not BYU's fault they have had a soft schedule to date, but I am excited to see them play a team with a pulse. A storyline to watch is who lines up under center for Boise State. Hank Bachmeier did not travel with the team last week and no reason was given for his absence. Backup Jack Sears didn't miss a beat, and if Bachmeier is out again, he will step in and take the snaps.
- #23 Michigan @ #13 Indiana 12:00 FS1 - In what will be a theme this week, imagine a normal year where a ranked Indiana team welcomes a ranked Michigan. That would be near the top of my list of non-Penn State games to attend. Michigan has to view the game as a must-win, especially considering Wisconsin, should they be cleared to play, will be rolling into town the following week. If Indiana is going to continue to win, they likely need to find some success in the run game. Through two games, they only average 75 yards per game on the ground.
- Arizona State @ #20 USC 12:00 FOX - Arizona State has snuck up on some people the past couple of years, and with Jayden Daniels coming back, this is a game to keep an eye on. Penn State fans will be watching USC with a close eye, considering their interest in James Franklin. If they start off slow, Clay Helton could be out quickly.
- #25 Liberty @ Virginia Tech 12:00 ACCN - Just wanted to note that Liberty is ranked and Virginia Tech is not and that is hilarious to me. Virginia Tech is still favored by 14.5.
- Nebraska @ Northwestern 12:00 BTN - Another key early-season Big Ten West matchup. Northwestern can essentially eliminate Nebraska with a win while building a lead on idle Wisconsin. If they jump out to 3-0 they will likely enter the top-25 next week. As fun as it is to dunk on arrogant Nebraska fans, they did play well in the first half against Ohio State. This won't be a cakewalk for Northwestern.
- Michigan State @ Iowa 12:00 ESPN - Michigan State went out and made a statement last week against big brother after losing in embarrassing fashion to Rutgers Week One. Iowa will continue to be Iowa until the end of time. The key to this game will be Head of Slytherin House Rocky Lombardi, who has turned in big numbers through two weeks but has had some accuracy issues at times. Iowa always has an opportunistic defense, so he will need to be better for the Spartans to come out with a win.
- #8 Florida vs. #5 Georgia 3:30 CBS - Again, in a normal year, the cocktail party would have an insane amount of buzz surrounding it. For the first time in a while, Florida has to feel fairly confident heading into it, with an offense that is averaging 42 points a game. Outside of the Alabama game, Georgia has stifled every offense they have faced. That will be a fun matchup to watch in a pivotal game that will likely decide the East.
- #14 Oklahoma State @ Kansas State 4:00 FOX - Kansas State finally fell back to earth last week losing to West Virginia, but this still will be a fun game to watch. I feel like Oklahoma State's defense will get the Pokes back on track after a disappointing loss to Texas last week.
- #1 Clemson @ #4 Notre Dame 7:30 NBC - One final time, with feeling. In a normal year, this environment would absolutely rule. Clemson absolutely needs a fast start in this game. They can't afford to fall behind a Notre Dame defense that is legit. True freshman DJ Uigalelei started off slow but pulled it together enough to pull out a win against a solid BC team last week. Will he be ready for the spotlight against Notre Dame? Can Notre Dame get over the hump and vault themselves into serious national title contention? Saturday night should be fun.
- Stanford @ #12 Oregon 7:30 ABC - Oregon fans get their first look at life after Justin Herbert, and they do so under Joe Moorhead as their offensive coordinator. Tyler Shough has been rumored to be the starter, but we will know for sure on Saturday. Stanford has fallen back to mediocrity in recent years, and if they want to return to relevance, they will need former five-star quarterback Davis Mills to live up to his pedigree.
- Washington State @ Oregon State 10:30 FS1 - It's PAC 12 After Dark season baby.
Penn State vs Maryland
If you follow me on Twitter, you know my big takeaways from Saturday included a comment on the great to elite category, which I despise. If Penn State wants to continue that discussion they need to go 6-0 to close out the year and do so in a convincing fashion. Yes, they are missing three of their best players, but this was supposed to be a team that was talented and deep across the board. Time to show it against a Maryland team that isn't very good. Here are some keys to the game.
- Continue to control the game on defense. Taulia isn't his brother, but he is no slouch either. They showed last week that they can score points, and Penn State needs to keep them down early to erase the confidence they built last week.
- Trust the passing game. Last week they inexplicably threw seven passes in a first half they trailed by two scores for the majority of. They seem hell-bent on trying to prove they can run while ignoring the talent they have at the skill positions. It's pretty clear they yes, even while young this wide receiver unit is very talented. It's time to cut them loose and have some fun on offense.
If they do those two things, they will be fine, and we will be celebrating a big first win of the year with a gin and tonic.
|timeslot||primary tv||secondary tv||mobile device|
|nooner? I hardly know 'er!||#23 Michigan @ #13 Indiana FS1||Arizona State @ #20 USC FOX||Nebraska @ Northwestern BTN|
|i need about 3:30||Maryland @ Penn State BTN||#8 Florida vs #8 Georgia CBS||#14 Oklahoma State @ Kansas State FOX|
|prime time||#1 Clemson @ #4 Notre Dame NBC||Stanford @ #12 Oregon ABC||talk to your kids about #PAC12AfterDark|
|#pac12afterdark||Washington State @ Oregon State FS1||heat up some beers||enjoy the glory of #PAC12AfterDark|