Games to Watch: Week 10

Steve Helwick

No. 7 Penn State at No. 24 Michigan State

Saturday, 11 a.m., FOX

It will be redemption week for the Land Grant Trophy rivals, which both suffered their first loss on Saturday afternoon. Penn State fell from the No. 2 spot after Ohio State surmounted the Nittany Lions’ 15-point fourth quarter lead in Columbus, Ohio. Despite sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke throwing for a career-high 445 yards and four touchdowns, Michigan State dropped a triple-overtime thriller to Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois to shatter its four-game win streak. This will be Heisman candidate running back Saquon Barkley and the Nittany Lions’ third-straight battle against a ranked opponent, and Penn State must bounce back to save its playoff hopes. Meanwhile, the upset-hungry Spartans still control their own destiny in the Big Ten East by winning out and will have the home crowd on their side come Saturday morning.

No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State

Saturday, 3 p.m., FS1

Due to the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game, this rivalry week game was moved up to early November. But even at an earlier date, Bedlam remains one of the greatest battles in college football each season — often a de facto Big 12 title game. And 2017 is no exception with both of these teams sporting top-15 rankings and just one loss apiece. All eyes will be on the quarterback matchup of the Sooners’ Baker Mayfield versus the Cowboys’ Mason Rudolph, arguably the top two passers in college football this season. The Cowboys, fresh off a 50-point offensive clinic at West Virginia, have their eyes fixed on their first Big 12 title since 2011, but the Sooners under first-year head coach Lincoln Riley hope to shatter their archrival’s dreams by claiming victory in the Bedlam Series for the fifth time in six seasons.

No. 13 Virginia Tech at No. 9 Miami (FL)

Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC

The ACC Coastal Division is on the line at Hard Rock Stadium near the southern tip of Florida. The Hurricanes are one of just five undefeated programs remaining in the nation, but Miami just won its fourth-straight game by one possession. Quarterback Malik Rosier has stepped up in crunch time the past few weeks and delivered several victories over ACC opponents. But Virginia Tech will be Miami’s first ranked opponent of the season. The 7–1 Hokies have looked convincing in their victories except for their lone loss to Clemson at the end of September. Given the quality of the rest of the division, the winner of this one has all but locked up a trip to Orlando on Dec. 2 for the ACC Championship Game.

No. 23 Arizona at No. 17 USC

Saturday, 9:45, ESPN

Stakes will be high during “Pac-12 After Dark” on Saturday night in Los Angeles as the Pac-12 South should be on the line. The Wildcats have been one of the surprise teams of 2017, checking in the AP Poll for the first time since Week 4 of 2015. Their sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate might be the best runner from the quarterback position in the country. Tate has accumulated 840 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the past four games, setting an NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game with 327. USC rebounded from a disastrous performance at Notre Dame with a convincing 48-17 victory at Arizona State last week. The 7–2 Trojans received a gigantic boost from running back Ronald Jones II last week with a 216-yard, two touchdown performance in Tempe, Arizona.