Week Nine Features The Most Anticipated Big Ten Game Of The Season.
Last week there were two teams that came away with dominate wins in games where both teams were ranked. Those teams were Penn State, who beat Michigan 42-13, and Notre Dame, who crushed USC 49-14. These teams established themselves as a couple of the best teams in college football.
Things don’t get easier for either of those teams however. Both have tough opponents this week.
Here are three games that should be fun to watch:
#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia, 12 pm on ABC
If you like offense then this is the game for you. These have been two of the top five passing attacks in college football so far this season. Both are led by talented quaterbacks and a couple of the best wide receivers in the country.
Oklahoma State is led by senior quarterback Mason Rudolph (pictured above). Rudolph was incredibly productive the last two seasons and leads college football in passing yards so far this season. There are mixed opinions on Rudolph as an NFL prospect. Some love his size and pocket presence while others think he is more of a system quarterback and question his arm strength.
Rudolph’s favorite target is senior wide receiver James Washington. Washington leads college football in receiving yards per game and averages a little over 24 yards per reception. Obviously he has a knack for making big plays.
While Oklahoma State has the nation’s leader in passing yards, West Virginia features the leader in passing touchdowns in junior quarterback Will Grier. This is Grier’s first full season as a starter and he is turning heads with his production. He’s been climbing up draft rankings as the season has progressed.
Wesr Virginia’s best wide receiver has been junior David Sills. The 6’4” wide receiver has been a monster in the red zone. He leads college football with 15 touchdown receptions this season and has scored multiple times in all but one of West Virginia’s games.
#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame, 3:30 pm on NBC
NC State has one of the country’s best defensive ends in senior Bradley Chubb (pictured above). Through seven games this season Chubb has recorded six and a half sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
Notre Dame has two of the best offensive lineman in the country in tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson. They will look to help stop Chubb from doing too much damage. It will be an interesting to see who wins this battle.
Another player to watch for in this game is Notre Dame running back Josh Adams. The junior has been a beast this season and has started to rise draft rankings. Last week against USC he carried the ball 19 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State, 3:30 pm on Fox
On paper this is the best game of the weekend. Penn State upset Ohio State a year ago so Ohio State will be looking for revenge.
Penn State has arguably the best player in college football, running back Saquon Barkley. He is the focal point of Penn State’s offense, leading them in rushing and in receptions. Last week he took on Michigan, who has one of the top rushing defenses in the country and performed well, taking 15 carries for 108 yards and two scores and also caught three passes for 53 yards and another touchdown.
Ohio State has one of the most talented defensive lines in the country so Barkley will have to bring his A-game again.
A few of the Buckeyes top run defenders are defensive end Sam Hubbard (pictured above) and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. Hubbard and Jones are two of the best prospects at their positions and could rise even higher if they are able to slow down Barkley.
This could also be a big game for linebacker Jerome Baker. Baker is an athletic linebacker who could make an impact as a cover guy in the NFL. His draft stock has been falling this season however. This is because he hasn’t shown that he’s willing to fight through traffic and make plays against the run on a consistent basis. He will have plenty of chance to show he can do it in this game.