College Football Games To Watch During Penn State’s Second Bye Week

After defeating Michigan State in East Lansing last Saturday, Penn State Football is slated for its second bye week of the season this Saturday before it takes on Minnesota on November 9. While James Franklin’s program gets some much-needed rest ahead of its matchup against the No. 13 Golden Gophers, other college teams will be in action this Saturday.

With the first College Football Playoff rankings to be announced next week, here are a few games you’ll want to catch while Penn State is off the field this weekend.

No. 14 Michigan at Maryland

Kickoff: 12 p.m.

While Michigan’s Playoff hopes are all but dead and Maryland is among the bottom feeders of the Big Ten, this conference match-up could be worth watching. After a statement win over Notre Dame in Ann Arbor last Saturday, the Wolverines probably still feel like they have a lot to prove as they hope to patch up a season that has been nothing short of a disappointment by their standards.

Both of Michigan’s losses this season were in conference games, so a shot at a Big Ten victory against a more-than-beatable opponent could be just the confidence boost Jim Harbaugh’s program needs before it begins a tough three-game stretch to conclude its season.

No. 8 Georgia at No. 6 Florida

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.

One of just two games between two ranked opponents this Saturday, this matchup in Gainesville is sure to be a good one. Florida has bounced around in the AP Top 25 all season, while Georgia finds itself down five spots from the No. 3 ranking it held for six weeks at the beginning of the season. Still, these squads are neck-and-neck and fighting for their playoff lives as the season’s end is fast approaching. This game will showcase two of the most impressive offenses in the country, which both average over 400 total yards this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Wofford at No. 4 Clemson

Kickoff: 4:00 p.m.

While an upset is unlikely, it certainly isn’t impossible. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence leads all top-25 quarterbacks in interceptions this season, and his team already had a scare against unranked North Carolina before eventually winning 21-20. Despite its undefeated record, Clemson has faced just one ranked opponent all season. So while Wofford is far from a powerhouse, it will face a team that has a lot of work to do to prove itself playoff-worthy as teams sitting close in the poll hope to leap-frog the Tigers in the closing weeks.

No. 15 SMU at No 24 Memphis

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

This game really doesn’t have any implications for how the Nittany Lions will fare this season, but it’s a matchup between ranked teams nonetheless, and is sure to be a hard-fought affair. SMU has come out of nowhere this season, climbing all the way to No. 15 after starting the season unranked. Memphis also began the season unranked and has crossed the threshold into the poll. This is a matchup of two gritty teams that have a lot to prove and have clearly come a long way in just eight weeks.

No. 7 Oregon at USC

Kickoff: 8:00 p.m.

The Ducks are on upset watch as they prepare to take on the unranked Trojans. USC, currently 5-3, is given a 36.3% chance at victory by ESPN’s Football Power Index. This projection is far from promising for the Trojans, but it’s impressive for an unranked squad preparing to take on one of the best teams in the country. Offensively, these teams are closely matched, but Oregon has a clear advantage on defense, as USC is averaging almost 430 yards allowed per game.

Far from each other as they may be in terms of rankings, these teams’ are close in record. An upset isn’t that far-fetched, folks. Of course, Oregon ending the season with two losses would certainly bode well for the Big Ten’s chances of sending two teams to the Playoff.

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About the Author

Andy Mollenauer

Andy is a writer for Onward State, a senior majoring in journalism, and a die-hard Wisconsin pro sports fan despite being from our nation's capital. His taste in music is absolute garbage, ranging from Bon Jovi to Slipknot to Avril Lavigne. If you want to talk sports or share memes and cute photos of French bulldogs, email him at [email protected].

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