4 Down Territory: All The Big Games--(At Least Those Still Playing After Covid)
First Down: Covid-19 Takes Down Top 25: No less than 6 Top 25 teams had their games called off this weekend because of Covid-19 issues. #1 Alabama at LSU: Because the LSU-Florida game was moved to December 12th, there does not appear to be any place to reschedule this one……#3 Ohio State at Maryland: After a big road win at Penn State, Maryland’s case numbers increased and they have stopped football activities. A real momentum killer for the Terps' season, but playing Ohio State may have killed that momentum any way.....#5 Texas A&M at Tennessee: The Aggies’ momentum also gets derailed. Some think the Aggies have a shot at a 2nd College Football Playoff spot. How they respond will be critical……#12 Georgia at Missouri and #24 Auburn at Mississippi State: The SEC’s very bad week continues with 8 of 14 teams having games called.....#15 Coastal Carolina at Troy: Covid's march through Southern college football is not just limited to the SEC as this game joins the Pitt at Georgia Tech and Memphis at Navy games also get nixed for this weekend.
Second Down: Big Ten Highlights: By comparison the Big Ten has a full schedule with 6 of 7 games still being played...#10 Indiana at Michigan State: The Hoosiers look like they are for real, while Michigan State looks like your crazy friend. They're sky high good one week (a win over Michigan) and completely unhinged the next week (losses to Rutgers and blown out by Iowa). With Ohio State having their game cancelled, it is vital for the Hoosiers to keep winning and keep the pressure on OSU in the Big Ten East…..#13 Wisconsin at Michigan: This is absolutely a must-win for Michigan. How good is Wisconsin? It's hard to know as they've only played one game. Michigan needs to get more production from their skill players on offense to win this one…..#23 Northwestern at Purdue: If the Wildcats are the surprise of the Big Ten west so far, Purdue is right behind them at 2-0. Northwestern’s defense has been stellar so far holding off a late charge by Nebraska last week, but Purdue will be a much bigger test.
Third Down: Potential Top Ten Hangovers: #2 Notre Dame at Boston College: The week before Notre Dame defeated Clemson, Boston College came within a few minutes of doing the same. That should give BC plenty of confidence.The BC defense is good enough to create problems for Notre Dame. Because it can be difficult for teams to perform at a peak level every week, this a dangerous spot for the Irish. Do not expect this one to be a cakewalk for Notre Dame (see also: 1993 BC upsets #1 Notre Dame)……Arkansas at #6 Florida: The Gators big win over Georgia was an offensive showcase and a win keeps them on a collision course with Alabama. But now that everyone in Gainesville is feeling euphoric, along comes an Arkansas team that could be a problem. If the Hogs’ defense can grab turnovers like they did against a prolific Ole Miss offense, they’ll have a chance. Other story lines abound. Former Florida QB Feleipe Franks faces his old team and Arkansas Head Coach Sam Pittman is out after a positive Covid test.
Fourth Down: Must Wins: Penn State at Nebraska: Penn State is 0-3 and Nebraska is 0-2 but there is more football to be played. More troubling are the trends as these two teams are a combined 4-12 over their last 16 games. For Nebraska settling on a QB will help, but that alone will not account for the need for more explosive players at WR and a need to generate a tailback running game. For Penn State improvement is particularly needed in the trenches on both the offensive and defensive lines. Penn State's turnovers have been killers as well, with a -5 turnover margin....#20 USC at Arizona: Speaking of turnovers, USC had four last week before pulling out a late rally to beat Arizona State. The expectations at USC are always sky high, and a stumble here would portend big problems for the rest of the season. With the Pac-12 South looking like it is a bit down, this is the time for USC to make a run and reassert themselves.
The Ultimate Penn State Season Continues: And we may need it now more than ever with the best week 10 game from 1966-2019.....
November 17, 1990: (18) Penn State 24 at (1) Notre Dame 21: The 1990 Penn State season was a difficult slate of marquis opponents. The Nittany Lions' schedule featured a season opener against Texas as well as road games at USC, at Alabama (win) and at Notre Dame (win). In South Bend Penn State fell behind 21-7 at halftime before a big rally in the second half. Touchdown passes from Tony Sacca to tight ends Ricky Sales and Al Golden tied the game. Late in the game with the score tied at 21, rather than go for a 4th down near midfield, Joe Paterno punted Notre Dame into their own end. In the days before overtime, he knew that Notre Dame had to win to stay in the National Title race and would have to take some chances to win. Sure enough a few plays later Penn State picked off a Rick Mirer pass. Penn State moved into field goal position where freshman kicker Craig Fayak kicked the game winner to seal a 24-21 win with just four seconds left.
The Ultimate Penn State Season So Far:
Pre-season 1996 (11) Penn State 24 (7) USC 7 Watch Week 1 1999 (4) Penn State 41 (3) Arizona 7 Watch Week 2 1977 (10) Penn State 31 (9) Houston 14 Watch Week 3 1978 (5) Penn State 19 at (6) Ohio State 0 Watch Week 4 1982 (8) Penn State 27 (2) Nebraska 24 Watch Week 5 2002 (21) Penn State 34 at (15) Wisconsin 31 Watch Week 6 1994 (3) Penn State 31 at (5) Michigan 24 Watch Week 7 1986 (6) Penn