As we get deeper into the college football season, Week 8 brings some interesting games. Here are 10 to watch.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Penn State (7) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (3)
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
This game has huge repercussions for either teams playoff hopes. Both teams are unbeaten, and both teams will face Michigan later this season. Leading the way for Ohio State is Marvin Harrison Jr. He has registered 100 receiving yards in all but one game this season. In the past two weeks he has 14 catches for 268 yards and two touchdowns. But he’s facing Penn State’s passing defense that is best in the nation, allowing only 137 passing yards per game.
It’s an East meets West clash as both SEC one-loss teams look to stay on track to get to the SEC Championship game. For Tennessee, the path to the championship is more difficult as they sit behind Georgia who’s at the top of the SEC East. A loss for Alabama though puts LSU snapping at their heels to take the top of the West. Alabama’s quarterback, Jalen Milroe, will be a huge factor here with his deep ball accuracy. His downfield passes have been a sight to see this season and his style of play could be the key factor to breaking the Volunteers defense. Tennessee has an elite rushing attack that leads the SEC and rank sixth nationally averaging 231 rush yards per game.
Utah Utes (14) vs. USC Trojans (18)
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
QB Caleb Williams
USC are hoping to get revenge for last year’s Pac-12 Championship game where they lost by 25 points to Utah. Caleb Williams had a bad week against Notre Dame and looks to shake off the narrative after losing in bad fashion. Trying to also bounce back is USC’s offensive line that really put Williams in a bad spot last week. They are facing Utah’s leading pass rusher, Jonah Ellis. He leads the Pac-12 and the FBS in sacks with nine.
Florida State remains unbeaten and is looking to keep it that way. But Duke is making a push to stay in the race for the ACC Championship game. This week Duke has a tough road ahead as it faces the Seminoles who are now on a 12-game winning streak, third-longest in the nation. Florida State’s quarterback, Jordan Travis, has been the key reason for Florida State’s rise to power and has the offense on fire right now. Travis has 13 touchdown passes and only one interception this season, while also adding four rushing scores.
This is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. To say these two teams hate each other is an understatement. Last year a number of players got suspended after an all out brawl commenced in the tunnel; this year it will be just as scrappy. Usually these two teams are closer in terms of team talent, but Michigan is far ahead of Michigan State right now. Michigan running back Blake Corum is leading the way for the Wolverine’s offense. He leads the Big-10 and the FBS in rushing touchdowns with 12. Last week against Indiana, he rushed for 52 yards and scored two touchdowns off 13 attempts. To add more fuel to the fire, Michigan made headlines again this week after complaints were made due to staff members attending opposing team’s games and making notes on their hand signals and call signs.
Clemson are looking to have their first three-game winning streak this season; Miami are hoping to not go into a three-game losing streak. Clemson has looked pretty good on defense allowing only 299 yards per game, that’s 14-best in the nation. But Miami has the star defender on their side. Miami’s defensive tackle Leonard Taylor may not have the flashy stats or numbers, but what he does on the inside to disrupt games is fantastic. His lower body power and elite instincts are great to watch when holding up at the point of attack. He will look to disrupt Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik and get him to make mistakes. But Klubnik, for all his warts, has now thrown 151 consecutive passes without an interception.
Air Force Falcons (22) vs. Navy Midshipmen
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
S Trey Taylor
Yes you read right, Air Force is a ranked team. They are currently unbeaten and are the leading team among the service academy. They now begin the trail of defending their crown for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. Navy has three losses currently, but both teams are without their starting quarterbacks after being injured last week. For Air Force, the change shouldn’t be to much of a struggle since they rotate all three quarterbacks during the game. But they will now look to start senior quarterback Jensen Jones this week. As for Navy, they will be starting Braxton Woodson over injured Tai Lavatai. Last week, the Falcons were rewarded with the Mountain West Player of the Week in Trey Taylor. He blocked one field goal and made ten tackles. Air Force currently leads the nation in rush yards, averaging 326 yards per game.
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Missouri Tigers (20)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
WR Luther Burden III
Missouri are doing their best to stay in the SEC East race, they rank second currently. Missouri beat Kentucky last week in impressive fashion, winning 38-21. As for the Gamecocks, they are now on a two-game losing streak and continue to struggle on both sides of the ball. The Gamecocks are dead last when defending the pass in the SEC, allowing 321 passing yards per game. Where the Tigers quarterback, Brady Cook, is averaging 306 yards per game through the air. Helping Cook is an impressive duo of receivers, but Luther Burden III now ranks third nationally in receiving yards, with 808 yards. Any loss at this stage of the season for Missouri would mark the end of any hope it has of getting past Georgia in the standings.
The Hawkeyes are looking to break away in the Big-10 West with a win this week. Going in their favor is the fact they have won the last eight matchups against Minnesota. But the Golden Gophers will be looking at the struggles Iowa has on defense and hoping to break the streak. Iowa isn’t doing a bad job on defense, but it is finding a tough time stopping the run. To no surprise, it’s tight end that is key for Iowa’s success, but they are now missing starting tight end Erick All. If their replacement, Steven Stilianos, can continue carrying the flame, then Iowa should keep their head above water in their quest to win the West.
Ole Miss Rebels (13) vs. Auburn Tigers
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
RB Quinshon Judkins
Auburn leads the series against Ole Miss with 35 wins to 11 losses. But this season Auburn has yet to register a single win against an SEC opponent. The Rebels are on the opposite side of the spectrum. They are trying to stay in SEC West race and looking to get their third straight division win against Auburn. Leading the charge for Ole Miss is their leading running back, Quinshon Judkins. The Rebels are third in the SEC in rush yards, and Judkins ranks ninth in the SEC with 443 rush yards. This is significant when facing Aubrun, who are allowing 161 rush yards per game which ranks 85th in the FBS.