Penn State Football: 3 Games for Fans to Watch on Bye Week


The Penn State Nittany Lions find themselves on a bye week yet again, their second in three weeks. That means that once again fans of the Nittany Lions who still want to sit in front of the television on Saturday will need to find some games to watch. Luckily, there are some great matchups going on this week.

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The best thing about these games is the fact that with Penn State off, fans can sit and watch without really caring about the outcome. With that said, take a look at a few of the games on Saturday’s slate that will be fun to watch.

No. 14 Kansas State at No. 11 Oklahoma 12:00 p.m. ESPN

This Big 12 matchup is a great way for fans of college football to get the day started. Both teams have one loss, although Oklahoma’s loss came in-conference to TCU. Kansas State really came out of nowhere this year and is in the middle of a fantastic season, with a home loss to Auburn being the only blemish on the schedule. Penn State fans may want to tune into this one to check out Kansas State dual-threat quarterback Jake Waters, who chose the Wildcats over the Nittany Lions when he was recruited out of junior college.

Kansas State has one of the best scoring offenses in the nation and is very balanced on offense. Waters leads the team in both passing and rushing, but also gets help from running back Charles Jones and top receiver Tyler Lockett. The Wildcats also boast a tough defense that’s ranked No. 33, allowing just 21 points a game.

For Oklahoma, this is a must win if the Sooners want to stay in the postseason hunt. Once in contention for the four-team playoff at the end of the year, the Sooners have struggled lately, even in the victory over rival Texas last week. Oklahoma is averaging over 40 points a game and like Kansas State, has a could balance of passing and rushing. Quarterback Trevor Knight has been the offensive leader this season.

Look for a high-scoring shootout in this great early matchup.

No. 19 Nebraska at Northwestern 7:30 p.m. Big Ten Network

Though this isn’t a game featuring two ranked teams, this one has the makings to be a very interesting one. The outcome of this Big Ten game doesn’t directly affect Penn State as both teams are in the Big Ten West, but the fact that Northwestern handed the Nittany Lions their first loss could make some fans want to tune in.

Nebraska is the ranked team, and obviously favored in this one, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Northwestern had won three-straight games, including wins against Penn  State and then No. 17 Wisconsin, before losing last week at Minnesota. Ryan Field will be a tough place to play, especially at night. The Cornhuskers will try to control the game with Ameer Abdullah, one of the top running backs in the nation.

Statistically, nothing stands out on offense for Northwestern. The Wildcats rank near the bottom of the nation in rushing offense and are in the middle of the pack when it comes to passing offense. Northwestern’s strength this season is its defense, ranking No. 11, allowing just 17.5 points a game.

This should be a great Big Ten matchup in primetime.

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State 8:00 p.m. ABC

Of course, the game of the day figures to be the clash of top-five teams under the bright lights in Tallahassee. The winner of this game will have a clear path to a shot at a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame is undefeated, but did not look good last week at home against North Carolina. The Fighting Irish had to pull out a close victory at the end. For the season though, Notre Dame has been very solid. Quarterback Everett Golson, who returned this year after being away from the program last year, looked great to start the year. However, he’s been plagued by turnovers in recent weeks. The key for Notre Dame in 2014 has been its stifling defense. The Fighting Irish are holding opponents to 17.2 points a game.

The Florida State offense will present a major problem for the Notre Dame defense. Led by Jameis Winston and top receiver Rashad Greene, the Seminoles boast one of the top passing offenses in the nation. However, Greene is banged up and if he plays, may not be as effective. Tight end Nick O’Leary is also a dangerous weapon in the passing attack. Florida State has struggled to run the ball at times this season, and will be without the services of Karlos Williams.

Throw in all of the drama that’s been swirling around Florida State this week, and this one smells like an upset.