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College Football Late Saturday: Ohio St. Visits Happy Valley and Penn St.

While the early slate of games were weak, the afternoon games are full of quality match-ups.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

October 30th, we’re almost a exactly a month away from the first time the College Football Playoff Selection Committee meets to produce interim rankings before that important Selection Day on Sunday, December 2nd. Teams are looking to hit their stride, boost their résumés, and there are some games on tap this afternoon and evening that will definitely be a part of the Selection Committee's conversation on October 30th.

One of those games that will impact the rankings on October 30th happens today in Happy Valley, and it matches the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes against the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions.

In recent years, when these teams get together, they like to play close football games. The past four seasons, three of the meetings between these rivals has been decided by one, three and seven points. Who can forget last year’s game where Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett led an incredible Ohio State comeback in one of the greatest games that I have ever seen a college quarterback play? Barrett was 33 for 39 for 328 yards and four touchdown passes, three or them in the fourth quarter after the Buckeyes were down 35-20. Barrett also ran for 95 yards in that Ohio State 39-38 victory over the then No. 2 ranked Nittany Lions.

This year, both teams are lighting things up on the offensive side of the ball as they enter this game. The Buckeyes are averaging 54.5 points per game after four games, while the Nittany Lions enter averaging 55.5 points per game. So, do you take the over?

This game is Big Ten football at it’s finest and it seems to be set up to display some offensive fireworks. Not to mention that A LOT of guys playing in this game will be playing on Sundays very soon. They will also be playing in what might be the largest crowd ever. This game could be played in front of the first 111,000-person crowd at Beaver Stadium.

The game will be televised on ABC at 4:30 pm PT with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit calling this huge match-up.

Another game that also could have some playoff implications is the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal traveling to play the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Stanford definitely has not had the luck of the Irish in regards to their schedule, as they are having to face back-to-back road games against ranked teams.

However, that luck did shine on Stanford last weekend as they did not play well in Eugene, Oregon and needed some help and questionable coaching from Mario Cristobal to come away with the 38-31 OT victory over the Oregon Ducks.

Stanford will continue to look to get their rushing offense and Bryce Love on track. Hold on to your favorite tree, everybody. Stanford is currently ranked 119th in college football in rushing offense. So, instead of pounding the ball, Stanford has relied on QB K.J. Costello, who threw for 327 yards and three scores against the Ducks last week. With his main targets last week being his two tall receivers, 6’3” WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside and 6’7” TE Colby Parkinson.

Notre Dame has made a change at quarterback to Ian Book. Book passed for 325 yards, ran for 43 yards and accounted for five TDs against Wake Forest last week. It is hard to see him relinquishing the starting position back to Brandon Wimbush at this point.

This should also be a great match-up and will be the 4:30 pm PT game on NBC with Mike Tirico and Doug Flutie on hand for the call.

Then, there’s the no. 20 BYU Cougars at the No. 11 Washington Huskies. Doesn’t it seem like the Cougars are good in football every single year? Well, I know they’re not because they were 4-9 last year, but that’s beside the point. They are pretty good every single year and this year is another one of those years. The Cougars already have one upset this year, a 24-21 win at Wisconsin. Can they go into Washington and get another one? If they do, the Cougars will definitely move up the rankings.

We know Washington’s calling card this year is their defense. Washington and their 17th-ranked defense has held opponents to 12.8 points per game in their four games against Auburn, North Dakota, Utah and Arizona State. Their strength is their senior-laden defensive line of Shane Bowman, Greg Gaines and Jaylen Johnson.

This game will be Fox’s game starting at 5:30 pm PT and Aaron Goldsmith and Brady Quinn will call the game.

All of today’s late games are listed below:

College Football Late Saturday, September 29, 2018

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Florida at #23 Mississippi State 3:00 PM ESPN
Utah at Washington State 3:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Arkansas State at Georgia Southern 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Virginia Tech at #22 Duke 4:00 PM ESPN2
Houston Baptist at SMU 4:00 PM None
Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennessee 4:00 PM None Facebook
Boise State at Wyoming 4:00 PM CBSSN
Hawai'i at San Jose State 4:00 PM Spectrum Sports PPV
Charlotte at UAB 4:00 PM None
Iowa State at TCU 4:00 PM ESPNU
#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State 4:30 PM ABC
#7 Stanford at #8 Notre Dame 4:30 PM NBC
South Carolina at #17 Kentucky 4:30 PM SEC Network
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Florida Intl 4:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Louisiana Tech at North Texas 4:30 PM beIN Sports
Marshall at Western Kentucky 4:30 PM Stadium
#20 BYU at #11 Washington 5:30 PM FOX
Ole Miss at #5 LSU 6:00 PM ESPN
Oregon State at Arizona State 7:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
#19 Oregon at #24 California 7:30 PM FS1
USC at Arizona 7:30 PM ESPN2
Toledo at Fresno State 7:30 PM ESPNU