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PREVIEW: CFB WEEK NINE

Penn State, Ohio State highlight week nine

Sat, Oct 28, 2017

all times EST

Early games

#11 Oklahoma State (6-1) at #22 West Virginia (5-2), Noon
It’s a Big 12 elimination game in Morgantown where it went to overtime the last time the Pokes visited. Expected to be a shootout with both of these quarterbacks but I think one of the defenses will step up. Also keep an eye on both running games with Justice Hill and Justin Crawford.
Top Matchup: Oklahoma State WR James Washington vs. West Virginia S Kyzir White

Texas (3-4) at Baylor (0-7), Noon
Sam Ehlinger is out with a concussion so Shane Buechele regains his starting job this week while Matt Rhule hinted that Zach Smith would keep the QB job at Baylor over freshman Charlie Brewer. Otherwise, this would be an exciting matchup of two athletic freshman quarterbacks. Baylor has to get Rhule its first win at some point, right? The last two games against TExas have been decided by six points or less.
Top Matchup: Texas WR Collin Johnson vs. Baylor CB Harrison Hand

Afternoon Kicks

#2 Penn State (7-0) at #6 Ohio State (6-1), 3:30pm
This is the biggest game in the nation before the first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Halloween night. Expect the winner of this game to be in the Top Four. Ohio State is coming off the bye weekwhile James Franklin looks to add his name to the short list of coaches to beat Urban Meyer in consecutive years. There’s going to be speed and big plays involved in this one with the key matchup once again being Penn State’s improved offensive line against Ohio State’s defensive line.
Top Matchup: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley vs. Ohio State LB Chris Worley

#3 Georgia (7-0) at Florida (3-3), 3:30pm
The Florida seniors have not lost to Georgia while the Dawgs are the biggest favorite (14.5 points) in this series since being double digit favorites in 1985. It’s been a stressful bye week for the Gators through the media and distractions but let’s not forget that Florida’s defense is still strong and could give Jake Fromm some issues after forcing passing situations.
Top Matchup: Florida OT Martez Ivey vs. Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter

#4 TCU (7-0) at #25 Iowa State (5-2), 3:30pm
Iowa State enters the rankings for the first time in 12 years while TCU set the record books last week holding Kansas to 21 total yards in the 43-0 win. This is the first of three huge Big 12 games for the Cyclones (West Virginia, Oklahoma State coming up). It’s going to be decided by defense with both teams leading the Big 12 with 15.2 points per game allowed.
Top Matchup: Iowa State WR Allen Lazard vs. TCU CB Ranthony Texada

#14 NC State (6-1) at #9 Notre Dame (6-1), 3:30pm
The Wolfpack never lost to the Irish, even though the series is just two games old. The must-see matchup is Notre Dame’s offensive line against NC State’s defensive line but the deciding matchup will be NC State’s offensive line against Notre Dame’s defensive line. The Wolfpack have to protect Ryan Finley.
Top Matchup: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey vs. NC State DE Bradley Chubb

Michigan State (6-1) at Northwestern (4-2), 3:30pm
To set up a showdown with Penn State next week, the Spartans have to win in Evanston. Don’t sleep on this game as the Wildcats have held Iowa and Maryland’s running games both to under 100 yards.
Top Matchup: Northwestern RB Justin Jackson vs. MIchigan State LB Joe Bachie

Primetime Games

Mississippi State (5-2) at Texas A&M (5-2), 7:15pm
Texas A&M comes off the bye week with positioning in the SEC West on the line. The Aggies have been strong against the run this year and on third downs so keeping NIck Fitzgerald in honest third down situations will be key and getting Kellen Mond free with his legs.
Top Matchup: Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald vs. Texas A&M S Armani Watts

#15 Washington State (7-1) at Arizona (5-2), 9:30pm
Arizona lost 69-7 last season in Pullman and you can know the surging Wildcats remember that one. Kahlil Tate taking over at quarterback has been the Wildcats at the top of the Pac-12 in offensive production as Tate gains almost 14 yards per carry. Can Marcel Yates’ defense force the turnovers it needs to keep the ball in the hands of Tate?
Top Matchup: Washington OT Cole Madison vs. Arizona LB Klan Wilborn

#21 USC (6-2) at Arizona State (4-3), 10:45pm
USC’s College Football Playoff hopes were erased last week but now they have to rebound just to maintain first place of the Pac-12 South. The winner of this one will hold the top spot. USC has had issues turning the ball over while Arizona State has forced six turnovers in the last two games, with four last week against a usually disciplined Utah team. USC has to be able to get the run game going again with Ronald Jones to open up some big plays to Deontay Burnett and company. Arizona State has done a better job of clamping down on the big plays.
Top Matchup: Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage vs. USC LB Cameron Smith