FOX Sports activities Faculty Soccer Analyst
Faculty Soccer and Faculty Basketball Author
The knock on No. 2 Ohio State is that the Buckeyes have had a gentle schedule thus far this season. That modifications this weekend.
James Franklin’s No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions will welcome Ryan Day’s Buckeyes to Completely happy Valley in a key Large Ten matchup on Saturday. The sport kicks off Week 9 of the faculty soccer weekend because the featured sport on “Large Midday Kickoff” on FOX.
Among the many different key video games on the Saturday slate is a Large 12 showdown between No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Kansas State.
Here is what we’re trying ahead to watching in among the greatest matchups this weekend.
What are you watching in No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State (Midday ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities app)?
Younger: This is a chance for the Buckeyes to place away the rising narrative that they haven’t performed anyone all season, with their first top-25 matchup and on the street in opposition to the Nittany Lions.
Since 2012, Penn State has crushed Ohio State as many occasions as Michigan has — as soon as — and by no means within the Ryan Day period.
If the Buckeyes keep their present kind, there’s no cause to imagine they will’t win the Large Ten crown and even — gasp — their first nationwide title since 2014. Apparently, this 2022 Ohio State staff appears to be like rather a lot like 2018 Clemson.
- Scored 44.3 factors per sport,
- Allowed 13.1 factors per sport
- 15-0, nationwide champs
2022 Ohio State:
- Scores 49.6 factors per sport
- Permits 14.9 factors per sport
Clemson performed two ranked opponents within the common season en path to the 2018 nationwide title: NC State and Boston Faculty.
If the rankings maintain, Ohio State will play two ranked opponents within the common season: Penn State and Michigan. Clemson has proven all OSU has to do is win.
Cohen: Given the unbelievable depth in Ohio State’s receiving corps, a pure subject of dialog every week is how the opponent’s cornerbacks will defend the likes of Emeka Egbuka (41 catches, 735 yards, 7 TDs), Marvin Harrison Jr. (38 catches, 598 yards, 10 TD) and Julian Fleming (17 catches, 327 yards, 6 TDs). Any extra manufacturing they get from No. 1 wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who continues to be recovering from a hamstring harm, seems like a bonus given the cornucopia of expertise round him.
This week’s matchup is intriguing due to the standout performers at Penn State in cornerbacks Kalen King and Joey Porter Jr. — two gamers but to permit a receiving landing this season, in accordance with Professional Soccer Focus. King has the nation’s third-highest protection grade at 88.9 and limits opposing quarterbacks to an NFL passer score of 62.3. Porter ranks twentieth in protection grade at 79.8 and limits opposing quarterbacks to an NFL passer score of 53.4. The one faculty within the nation with two cornerbacks graded greater than Penn State’s duo is Virginia, whose tandem of Anthony Johnson and Fentrell Cypress II rank tenth and eleventh, respectively.
Can Penn State upset Ohio State?
RJ Younger is joined by Geoff Schwartz to preview the most important matchups in Week 9, together with the “Large Midday” matchup between Penn State and Ohio State.
What are you trying ahead to seeing in No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State (3:30 p.m. ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities app)?
Cohen: This sport is all in regards to the massive image. Two weeks in the past, Oklahoma State fell brief in opposition to TCU in a battle of undefeated Large 12 groups. Then the Cowboys responded with a come-from-behind win over Texas to maintain their slender hopes of a Faculty Soccer Playoff berth afloat. Based mostly on the present rankings, this week’s date with Kansas State represents the final probability for head coach Mike Gundy’s staff to impress the committee by knocking off a ranked opponent. Oklahoma State will need assistance to succeed in the playoff, however the Cowboys aren’t lifeless simply but.
The identical 30,000-foot view is instructive when forecasting Kansas State’s future, albeit for a really completely different cause. The Wildcats misplaced their high two quarterbacks to harm in a 10-point loss to TCU final weekend, which thrust freshman Jake Rubley into motion. The dearth of readability surrounding who begins in opposition to Oklahoma State is one factor, however the long-term well being of starter Adrian Martinez and backup Will Howard carry important implications for the trajectory of Kansas State’s season as an entire.
Younger: With Texas Christian left because the final undefeated staff within the Large 12, this is a chance for Oklahoma State to firmly place itself into the second spot for the Large 12 title sport.
Ok-State hasn’t revealed who will begin at quarterback on Saturday after each Martinez and Howard left the sport in opposition to TCU with accidents.
That leaves the door open for the OSU protection to star on this sport and put collectively a dominating efficiency simply days earlier than the CFP choice committee reveals its preliminary rankings on Tuesday.
Oklahoma State is on the rise
RJ Younger shares his Week 9 Prime 25, together with ideas on Oklahoma State after a win over Texas.
What pursuits you most in No. 8 Oregon at Cal (3:30 p.m. ET; FS1 and the FOX Sports activities app)?
Younger: No one wants model factors in the event that they’re gonna make the CFP greater than the Geese do. After dropping their season-opener to Georgia by 46 factors — or 4 greater than the Geese have averaged in Pac-12 play — it behooves UO to decisively put away Justin Wilcox’s Golden Bears by three TDs as they proceed their march towards a potential place within the Pac-12 title sport.
Cohen: The theme of successful with model is unquestionably crucial for Oregon as head coach Dan Lanning’s staff tries to distance itself from the 49-3 pummeling it suffered by the hands of Georgia to start the season. Can they win that manner in opposition to Cal? The numbers counsel it’s potential. Cal ranks 83rd in whole protection at 392.1 yards per sport and gave up 476 yards in a loss to Washington’s high-powered offense final week. Huskies’ quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for 376 yards and two scores, and 7 of his receiving targets caught a move of 15 yards or extra. The Bears are tied for 84th in sacks with 13, solely 4 of which have come within the final three video games. Which means Oregon QB Bo Nix ought to have loads of time to sling it.
How about No. 19 Kentucky at No. 3 Tennessee (7 p.m. ET)?
Cohen: That is one other intriguing offense-versus-defense matchup. There’s no doubting Tennessee’s firepower this season with the very best scoring offense within the nation and extra beneficial properties of 40-plus yards than anybody in FBS, with 21. The subsequent-closest Energy 5 staff is Ohio State with 14 beneficial properties of 40-plus yards. Quarterback Hendon Hooker (137-of-194 for two,093 yards, 18 TDs and one INT) is within the thick of the Heisman Trophy race alongside Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.
However there’s loads to be stated for Kentucky’s protection beneath head coach Mark Stoops, whose final two stops earlier than arriving in Lexington have been stints because the defensive coordinator at Arizona (2004-09) and Florida State (2010-12). The Wildcats are tenth in whole protection amongst Energy 5 faculties and have restricted a number of explosive offenses properly under their averages. This consists of holding Ole Miss (490.3 yards per sport) to 399 yards in a three-point loss, permitting simply 279 yards to Florida (430.1 yards per sport) and retaining Mississippi State in verify with 225 yards final week (410.8 yards per sport).
Younger: The Vols are the one staff averaging extra factors per sport (50.1) and yardage per sport (571) than the Buckeyes. What’s extra? UT would not want the ball for lengthy to get to 40 or 50 factors — irrespective of who it performs.
Final season, they wanted simply 14 minutes of possession to place up 45 on Kentucky in Lexington. However this season the Vols are enjoying with an expectation to make the SEC title sport for the primary time since 2007.
Let’s see if Smokey and the Vols can go hunt.
Previewing Kentucky vs. Tennessee
RJ Younger and Geoff Schwartz share their ideas in regards to the upcoming sport between Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers.
What’s value watching in No. 10 USC at Arizona (7 p.m. ET)
Younger: USC walks into a possible lure sport in opposition to Arizona with star linebackers Eric Gentry and Shane Lee, and extensive receiver Jordan Addison thought of “day-to-day” with accidents.
Alex Grinch’s protection will even should deal with probably the most gifted pass-catchers within the sport for a consecutive week. Of their loss to Utah, tight finish Dalton Kincaid racked up 16 catches for 234 yards — whereas permitting greater than 500 yards of offense.
Arizona wideout Jacob Cowing is a bona fide Biletnikoff Award candidate with 53 catches for 737 yards. He is caught no less than six passes in each sport the Wildcats have performed, and can seemingly play a giant position if the Wildcats are to drag off their first top-10 upset since defeating No. 10 USC in 2012.
Cohen: The expertise discrepancy between these two applications is extensive. At Southern California, head coach Lincoln Riley’s roster has three former five-star prospects and 35 former four-star prospects to rank eleventh within the 247Sports Staff Expertise Composite. At Arizona, the place head coach Jedd Fisch is in search of the varsity’s first successful season since 2016, the Wildcats have zero former five-star prospects and 11 former four-star prospects to rank forty ninth nationally.
However whereas the probabilities of an upset are slim — as of Wednesday morning the Trojans have been favored by 15.5 factors — Fisch has the form of wide-ranging expertise to design an offensive sport plan that may hassle a USC group exterior the highest 70 in whole protection. Fisch’s resume consists of stops with the Houston Texans (2002-03), Baltimore Ravens (2004-07), Denver Broncos (2008), Seattle Seahawks (2010), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-14), the Los Angeles Rams (2018-19) and the New England Patriots (2020). He sprinkled faculty jobs in between and has Minnesota, Miami, Michigan and UCLA on his CV. The soccer information is there for Fisch to compete with the Trojans even when the roster falls brief.
Why the Wolverines are for actual
Joel Klatt reacts to Michigan’s dominant 41-17 win over Penn State.
And at last, what catches your eye in Michigan State at No. 4 Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET)?
Younger: Will the streak maintain?
Michigan State is a 22.5-point underdog to the Wolverines. Since 2008, nevertheless, Michigan State is 10-4 in opposition to Michigan, together with 5-2 in Ann Arbor.
Is that this a get-right sport for 3-4 MSU? Whether it is, Spartan quarterback Payton Thorne and extensive receiver Keon Coleman should kind a duo extra dynamic than peanut butter and jelly as a result of the Michigan agency of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards has vengeance on its thoughts.
Cohen: At first of final season, the Michigan soccer to-do record included beating Ohio State for the primary time since 2011, successful the Large Ten title for the primary time since 2004 and reaching the Faculty Soccer Playoff for the primary time interval. Outdoors of Schembechler Corridor, reporters puzzled simply how shut head coach Jim Harbaugh had come to being fired after an 11-8 report the 2 earlier seasons and 4 consecutive bowl losses. Such lofty objectives appeared like wishful considering for a staff that wasn’t even a part of preseason top-25 polls.
But Harbaugh’s staff defied the percentages and bewildered the plenty by surging towards the highest of faculty soccer whereas reaching all three objectives. The one factor the Wolverines didn’t do final season — other than successful the nationwide title — was beat their in-state rivals Michigan State. Final October’s 37-33 loss in East Lansing, at which level each groups have been undefeated, left an open wound that also hasn’t healed. It is a revenge sport for Michigan, and the Wolverines have the firepower to win massive.
Michael Cohen covers faculty soccer and basketball for FOX Sports activities with an emphasis on the Large Ten. Comply with him on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13.
RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The Quantity One Faculty Soccer Present.” Comply with him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube.
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Publish date: 2022-10-28 12:00:24
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