Games For Penn State Fans To Keep An Eye On During The Bye Week

The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for No. 11 Penn State football. James Franklin’s squad will have the week off to rest and refocus heading into the rest of the season following last Saturday’s loss to then-No. 4 Ohio State.

That said, there are a few games this weekend that Nittany Lions fans should keep an eye on while their team is idle.

No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 19 Texas: noon on FOX

The Red River Showdown always makes for great drama, and normally a very entertaining football game. The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl, which should only add to the intrigue.

After a week one loss against Maryland, Texas has rebounded nicely, winning its last four games and earning themselves the No. 19 spot in the AP Top 25 poll. Oklahoma cruised through its first four games before narrowly avoiding an upset at the hands of Army in week 4.

Northwestern at No. 20 Michigan State: noon on FS1

Michigan State has steadied itself in recent weeks. The Spartans looked flat in a 16-13 loss to Arizona State following a week one victory over Utah State. Mark Dantonio’s team has followed up those first two shaky outings with back-to-back wins by double-digit margins.

Meanwhile, Northwestern has had a tough go of it so far this season. the Wildcats have dropped their last three games against Duke, Akron, and Michigan after opening the season with a win over Purdue.

This one should be easy enough for the Spartans, but Northwestern always seems to play tougher than most would expect. The Wildcats only lost to Michigan by a field goal last week.

No. 5 LSU at No. 22 Florida: 3:30 p.m. on CBS

LSU has been on an absolute tear so far this season. The Tigers have already beaten two top 25 teams in Miami and Auburn, and they can add Florida to that list this weekend.

Florida has rebounded nicely following a week one loss to Kentucky, winning its last three games, the last of which came against beloved former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s Mississippi State.

The Tigers are heavy favorites in this one, but they’ll travel to a hostile environment in Gainesville with no guarantee of a victory.

Indiana at No. 3 Ohio State: 4 p.m. on FOX

Nittany Lion fans will be hoping to see the Buckeyes slip up this week against an Indiana team that has performed well so far this season. The Hoosiers come into the contest with a 4-1 record, their only loss coming against No. 20 Michigan State.

Ohio State comes into the match up a perfect 5-0 after its big win over Penn State last week. Ohio State needs to slip up twice in order for the Nittany Lions to have a shot at a Big Ten Championship game appearance, due to the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage the Buckeyes now own.

No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 24 Virginia Tech: 8 p.m. on ABC

Like LSU, Notre Dame has already knocked off two top 25 squads in Michigan and Stanford so far this year. No. 24 Virginia Tech could be the Irish’s next top 25 victim on Saturday.

Virginia Tech started the season well, picking up wins against Florida State and William and Mary. Hurricane Florence then forced an impromptu week two bye for the Hokies, who surprisingly fell to Old Dominion in week four. A win last week against a solid Duke team has Virginia Tech back in the top 25 just in time for its showdown with the Irish this weekend.

Notre Dame is a team that could directly hinder any chance Penn State has at a playoff berth. The Irish (still) compete as an independent, so any inclusion of them in the College Football Playoff probably comes at the expense of a conference champion.

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About the Author

Matthew Fox

Matt is a Senior from Lansdale Pennsylvania majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He loves sports, and is still patiently waiting for the Philadelphia Flyers to win a Stanley Cup. If you would ever like to reach out to Matt you can email him at [email protected].

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