What an absolutely uninspiring performance. It's been a really long time since I have wanted to just shut off a game, but last weekend was one of those times. The program has undoubtedly lost momentum, and the holes in all three phases of the game are glaring. Let's hope they can get the ship righted and get in the win column this week.
As far as the guide is concerned, um, to be completely frank with you, this week might be the worst week I can remember. Even without the five ranked games canceled due to COVID, there was not a single ranked vs. ranked matchup on the weekend. Maybe that means a chaos week?
- Iowa @ Minnesota (7:00 FS1) - Both teams got back on track in big ways last week, and will look to continue to jostle for position in what will likely shape up to be a crowded Big Ten West. Minnesota will be looking for revenge after getting upset last year in Iowa City. In order to do so, their defense will need to play much better than they have been.
- #9 Miami @ Virginia Tech (12:00 ESPN) - Virginia Tech really can't decide if they want to be good or not. There isn't much shame to losing to this year's version of Liberty, but good programs don't lose those types of games. Don't let their recent struggles fool you though, they can absolutely hang with Miami. Expect a lot of points and hope for similar excitement to Miami's game against NC State last week.
- #10 Indiana @ Michigan State (12:00 ABC) - Michigan State hasn't really made much sense the first few weeks. They looked like an absolute mess against Rutgers and Iowa, but were able to upset Michigan somehow. Indiana looks like they are on pace to finish second in the Big Ten east with relative ease. I'm sure that means this game will be completely normal with nothing out of the ordinary to be expected.
- #15 Coastal Carolina @ Troy (12:00 ESPN2) - Coastal Carolina keeps climbing the rankings. That is all.
- #2 Notre Dame @ Boston College (3:30 ABC) - When they don't turn the ball over, Boston College has shown they can be solid to good. Phil Jurkovec has shown why he was as highly rated as he was out of high school. Will Notre Dame suffer from a letdown or show that last Saturday was no fluke? People will question their legitimacy because Trevor Lawrence wasn't playing, but the win was impressive regardless.
- #11 Oregon @ Washington State (7:00 FOX) - Honestly, I am only including this game because I want to root for Joe Moorhead. Go Ducks.
- #13 Wisconsin @ Michigan (7:30 ABC) - If Penn State didn't exist, Michigan would be holding the "most disappointing team" mantle by a wide margin. Unfortunately, Penn State exists. Wisconsin finally gets a chance to get back on the field and try to duplicate their Week One performance. The quarterback battle is the matchup to keep an eye on, with both signal-callers looking to prove they belong.
- #23 Northwestern @ Purdue (7:30 BTN) - The winner of this game takes sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West. Northwestern has turned some heads early, but Purdue is quietly 2-0 with some of their best playmakers out. Northwestern's defense against David Bell will be really fun to watch.
- #PAC12AfterDark - There are three games of your choosing for #PAC12AfterDark this week, all of which, as is written in the scripture, have a chance to lead to chaos. Cal @ Arizona State (10:30 ESPN2), Utah @ UCLA (10:30 FOX), Oregon State @ Washington (11:00 FS1). Just enjoy them, and try to forget the chaos that exists outside our homes on a daily basis.
Penn State @ Nebraska
I wish I had much positive to say heading into this week. The offense lacks an identity. The defense, after holding Indiana down for 3.9/4 quarters, has been absolutely shredded in back to back weeks. Special teams have been awful in nearly every phase. If Penn State is going to come out of Lincoln victorious, here is what I see that likely needs to happen.
- Offense: The run game has been awful. Sean Clifford should not be the focal point of the run game. Also, they need to tailor the run game to Devyn Ford's strengths if he is indeed the guy. Get him on the edge and in space where he can succeed. Let those pitches open up your pass game naturally with the fake pitch seam routes. There are ways to make this offense work even with your top two guys out. It's time for Kirk to earn his money.
- Defense: I don't care that Maryland didn't score in the second half. They didn't need to. Brent Pry's defense over the past two years has been getting gashed in a big way. They need to keep Nebraska behind the sticks and force negative plays which seem to be a real struggle this year. If they can't get back on track against a Nebraska team that averages 15 points per game, all hope might be lost for this year.
|timeslot||primary tv||secondary tv||mobile device|
|nooner? I hardly know 'er!||Penn State @ Nebraska (FS1)||#10 Indiana @ Michigan State (ABC)||#9 Miami @ VT (ESPN)|
|i need about 3:30||#2 Notre Dame @ Boston College (ABC)||#20 USC @ Arizona (FOX)||The Masters?|
|primetime||#13 Wisconsin @ Michigan (ABC)||#11 Oregon @ Washington State (FOX)||Pizza|
|#pac12afterdark||Cal @ Arizona State (ESPN2)||Utah @ UCLA (FOX)||Oregon State @ Washington (FS1)|