Games to watch: Week 8

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Photo Credit: Lillian Michel | Daily Texan Staff

Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. CT, FOX

When the Big Ten announced they were postponing the 2020 football season in August, Nebraska and No. 5 Ohio State were two of the first to fight for a season. It was initially rumored that Nebraska would look to play football outside of the Big Ten, and Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields started a petition to play the season, which has received over 300,000 signatures. While most of the Power Five conferences have played already, Ohio State has hovered near the top five of the AP Top 25 without playing a down of football. Fields is still in consideration for the Heisman Trophy after a breakout season in 2019. Can Fields and Ohio State capitalize on the extra practice time and make it back to the College Football Playoff? 

No. 9 Cincinnati at No. 16 SMU, Oct. 24, 8 p.m. CT, ESPN2

The No. 9 Cincinnati Bearcats continue their dark horse run into the College Football Playoff with a matchup against former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele and the No. 16 SMU Mustangs. While COVID-19 concerns canceled Cincinnati's last game against Tulsa, the Bearcats are ready for the fast-paced Mustang offense. The Mustangs sit at 5–0, but the Bearcats enter the game with three impressive wins over Austin Peay, Army and South Florida. 

 

No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee, Oct. 24, 2:30 p.m. CT, CBS

After a brief scare with COVID-19, Alabama head coach Nick Saban coached last weekend in a statement win over No. 4 Georgia. Saban improved his record against former assistants to 22–0. Now, the Crimson Tide will head to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers, which means the two schools’ “Third Saturday in October” rivalry will actually be played on the fourth Saturday. Alabama has won the last four games by at least 15 points, but maybe the Volunteers can avenge their loss last weekend against Kentucky.

Kentucky at Missouri, Oct. 24, 3 p.m. CT, SEC Network

The Tigers showed up when Hurricane Delta moved the LSU-Missouri game to Colombia, where Missouri was able to knock off the defending national champions two weeks ago. Missouri was set to face the Vanderbilt Commodores last weekend, but a COVID-19 outbreak in the Florida Gators program forced the SEC to make massive schedule changes. Instead of playing Missouri on Halloween, the Wildcats will make the trip to Columbia on Saturday. Kentucky is coming off a major win over Tennessee which knocked the Volunteers out of the AP Top 25.

Iowa at Purdue, Oct. 24. 2:30 p.m. CT, Big Ten Network

After a wild offseason, the Purdue Boilermakers are finally gearing up for a showdown with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Purdue star sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore opted out of the season to focus on the NFL Draft right before the Big Ten initially canceled the 2020 season. However, with the announcement that the Big Ten would play, the Big Ten’s first true freshman consensus All-American ultimately returned for the 2020 campaign. But the Boilermakers will still have their share of obstacles Saturday. On Sunday, Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm announced that he had contracted COVID-19 and will not be coaching the game. Will the Hawkeyes be able to capitalize on Brohm's absence?