The Heisman party got shaken up two weeks ago by Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, who now has 13.5 sacks and two forced fumbles after an epic performance against Wisconsin. He’s still got some work to do to leapfrog Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrows, but he’s definitely in the conversation. Meanwhile, in the national title hunt, there are five undefeated teams atop the college football rankings, followed by four teams with just one loss — this race is still wide open.
Maryland Terrapins (3-6) vs #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0)
Noon ET on FOX
The Terps found themselves down by six points just 11 seconds into their game last week against Michigan, as the Wolverines’ Giles Jackson returned to opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, en route to a 38-7 Michigan victory. The Terps couldn’t get anything going that day, as QB Josh Jackson completed 9 of 20 for 97 yards and an interception. The undefeated Buckeyes are two weeks removed from their 38-7 trouncing of Wisconsin in which JK Dobbins’ 221 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns were more than the entire student body of Wisconsin, but it was DE Chase Young who muscled his way into the Heisman conversation with four sacks and two forced fumbles. The Buckeyes at home? C’mon–you have to ask?
#5 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-0) vs #13 Minnesota Gophers (8-0)
Noon ET on ESPN3
Penn State jumped out to a 28-0 lead and then coasted the rest of the way home to a 28-7 win over Michigan State two weeks ago, on a day when Sean Clifford threw four touchdowns, three of them to Pat Freiermuth, and the defense forced four turnovers. The Gophers last played two weeks ago, when they stole Maryland’s lunch money and stuffed them in a locker, 52-10. The Gopher defense held three Maryland QBs to 10-of-23 passing for 131 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while their ground game rolled up 321 yards and four TDs on 54 carries. The Penn State defense should carry the day for a huge conference road win.
#18 Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) vs #16 Wisconsin Badgers (6-2)
4pm ET on FOX
The Hawkeyes had a nice relaxing day against Northwestern two weeks ago, winning 20-0 on a day when Northwestern only once made it past the Iowa 40. The Badgers have had two weeks to recover from the 38-7 beating they took at the hands of Ohio State, on a day when their offense managed just 191 yards and their defense gave up a season-high 431 yards — how they climbed two spots in the polls is anyone’s guess. Badgers at home and with that offense should get it done.
#4 Clemson Tigers (9–0) vs NC State Wolfpack (4-4)
7:30pm ET on ESPN3
While most of the nation’s top teams were taking the weekend off, the Tigers were knocking the snot out Wofford, 59-14. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a model of efficiency, completing 12 of 16 for 218 yards and four TDs before riding the pine for the last quarter and a half. Travis Etienne went 212 yards, twice finding the end zone, on just nine carries for 23.6 yards per cary. NC State had the misfortune last week of being on hand for the return of Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman, who lit them up for 287 yards and three TDs on 25-of-38 passing, while their own Devin Leary was 17 for 45 for 149 yards, a TD, and two picks in a 44-10 loss for NC State. Another gimme for the Tigers.
#15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2) vs Duke Blue Devils (4-4)
7:30pm ET on ACC Network
The Irish barely survived a visit from Virginia Tech, winning 21-20 on a last-minute seven-yard touchdown run by QB Ian Brooks, who atoned for the two interceptions he threw earlier in the day. The Blue Devils are two weeks removed from a 20-17 loss to North Carolina in which they committed three turnovers and managed just 329 yards on 80 plays. If this were a basketball game, you’d take Duke, but it ain’t, so don’t.
Stats courtesy SRCFB