Preview Thursday: Week 10 

Lincoln Riley USC Head Coach

There are four ranked matchups this week, and Preview Thursday will take a look at three of them. 

The top-ranked Buckeyes will hit the road for a second-consecutive week when they travel to face Rutgers, which boasts a 6-2 record on an upward trajectory. The Scarlet Knights have won each of their past two games. 

PODCAST: Lance Leipold is the Exact Opposite of Deion Sanders 

Sticking in the Big Ten Conference, No. 3 Michigan will play host to Purdue as the Boilermakers look to play spoiler to the Wolverines’ undefeated season. 

Here are several games to watch this week. 

No. 23 Kansas State at No. 7 Texas 

There are plenty of Big 12 Conference title implications in this one. 

No. 7 Texas will play host to a hot No. 23 Kansas State team entering Austin, Texas, on a three-game winning streak. 

Quinn Ewers continues to deal with a shoulder injury. The Longhorns will have a question mark at quarterback. 

Maalik Murphy quarterbacked the Longhorns for the entirety of the game against BYU. Murphy completed 64% of his passes for 170 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while the Texas defense terrorized Cougars quarterback Kedon Slovis for two interceptions. 

The Wildcats have outscored their past three opponents 120-24, and they’ve done so with a rolling offense. Kansas State has posted three-consecutive games of at least 394 total yards of offense, peaking at 587 yards recorded against TCU. 

“This is a really hot team right now. They’ve been playing as good as anybody in the country in all three phases for the last two to three weeks,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I think it’s really important that we focus on us and what we need to do, that the details and the level of physicality in which we play the game are at the forefront of what we do. I do believe our best football is still ahead of us, and that part is exciting to me, and we’re going to need to play complimentary football Saturday against a very good, well-coached football team in Kansas State.” 

No. 12 Missouri at No. 2 Georgia 

The No. 2 Bulldogs will face their second ranked opponent of the season on Saturday when No. 12 Missouri comes to town. 

These two teams faced off a season ago in Columbia, Missouri. The Tigers had Georgia’s number for most of the game, getting out to a 13-0 lead that turned into a 16-6 halftime advantage. 

Georgia scored two rushing touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game to complete its comeback and win 26-22. 

This season, Missouri’s Brady Cook will get another chance to upend the Bulldogs against first-year starting quarterback Carson Beck, who is second in the Southeastern Conference with 2,462 passing yards. Cook is third with 2,259 passing yards. 

READ: Big Board: Week 10 

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said “it helped” trailing last season against Missouri and having to come back from a double-digit deficit. 

“Being down in a game or not playing well maybe because of them playing well and you not playing well, it makes you question yourself,” Smart said. “There was a lot of things they did to help us and a lot of things that we did to help them but at the end of the day, we didn’t play very well until the fourth quarter and a lot of that had to do with them, and give them credit for the way they played. But, yeah, last year’s team, retrospect, it helped build the resiliency of that team.” 

No. 5 Washington at No. 20 USC 

A matchup between last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and this season’s frontrunner is on tap in Southern California on Saturday. 

Caleb Williams and No. 20 USC will host Michael Penix Jr. and the No. 5 Huskies. Washington came out on top 28-14 in their last meeting during the 2019 season — before either head coach Lincoln Riley or Kalen DeBoer took their posts at their respective programs. 

Both USC and Washington are atop the Pac-12 Conference standings at 5-1 and 5-0 in conference play this year, respectively. The Trojans are reeling from having lost two of their past three games but bounced back in a close win against Cal 50-49. 

READ: Ohio State, Georgia lead first CFP rankings 

The Huskies are second in the Pac-12 in total offense behind an average of 501.3 yards per game. They’ve had a couple of relatively close calls the past two weeks against Arizona State and Stanford, winning 15-7 and 42-33 in those games, and is seeking to make another statement win. 

Riley said Washington is “a good football team” that has “done a great job this year.” 

“Their quarterback has obviously played at a high level and does a great job distributing to their playmakers which they’ve got a really good group of playmakers,” Riley said. “Runs the offense really, really well. You can tell obviously he’s got a lot of experience with Kalen and his system, and you can tell, right, that it shows up and he’s played at a high level. They’ve got some really good players defensively as well. It’s a very, very talented roster. You got a number of guys that are projected pretty high NFL draft picks, a couple on both sides of the ball so a good group. A good group, a good challenge, I mean, like it should be here at the end to have two good football teams going at it so it’s going to be great.”