clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What To Watch: Week 9

The Illini are off to the nation’s capital. Here’s what else we’ll be watching this Week 9 weekend.

Florida v Georgia Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Clemson Tigers @ Florida State Seminoles, 11:00, ABC

Florida State v Clemson
Clemson RB Travis Etienne had two rushing touchdowns against Florida State in 2017
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Led by true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Clemson Tigers head to Tallahassee for what is Clemson’s toughest remaining road game. Florida State isn’t what it was, but Doak Campbell Stadium is still a fortress and unchartered territory for the extremely talented and inexperienced Lawrence.

The Tigers are winners of the last three against Florida State as Dabo Swinney’s squad looks to extend their ACC Atlantic Division lead. Clemson running back Travis Etienne is one of the best in the country. He leads the nation in rushing touchdowns with 14 and leads the ACC in total rushing yards — 801 yards through seven games.

Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs, 2:30, CBS

Florida v Georgia
Georgia RB Elijah Holyfield had a 39-yard touchdown run against Florida last season.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Georgia and Florida are both ranked in the top-10 and are coming off of bye weeks heading into this neutral-site clash in Jacksonville, Florida. Although no longer used as the official nickname of the rivalry between these two schools, ‘The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’ still holds a ton of prestige when it comes to SEC rivalry games and ultimately deciding the winner of the SEC East.

Georgia steamrolled most of its opponents in 2017, including the game against Florida by a score of 42-7. Georgia has the better team, but Florida is much improved under new head coach Dan Mullen. As offensive coordinator and QB coach of the Gators under Urban Meyer from 2005-2008, Mullen won three of four against the Bulldogs in the mid-2000s.

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Penn State Nittany Lions, 2:30, ESPN

Penn State v Iowa
Penn State QB Trace McSorley had 345 yards of total offense last season against Iowa.
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

The Penn State/Iowa game in 2017 was easily one of the best games of the entire season. The Nittany Lions escaped with a 21-19 road victory at night in Iowa City, a terribly difficult setting to notch a conference win.

Penn State are winners of the last four against Iowa. This 2018 version could not be more critical to James Franklin’s team. His Nittany Lions have lost two home games in a row — to Ohio State and Michigan State — and they can ill-afford a third loss, especially considering Penn State were one of the favorites to reach the College Football Playoff. Those CFP dreams are over, but three home losses in one season in Happy Valley would be unfathomable to Penn State supporters.

Washington State Cougars @ Stanford, 6:00, Pac 12 Network

Utah v Stanford
Stanford QB K.J. Costello has improved his game from a season ago. He leads the Pac-12 in passing touchdowns.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Head coaches Mike Leach and David Shaw have been going at it in the Pac-12 North since 2012. In those six contests, David Shaw has a 4-2 record over Leach, though Leach’s Wazzu Cougars are winners of the last two in a row against Stanford.

Washington State’s lone loss came to USC on the road earlier in the season, while Stanford stands at 5-2 overall with blowout losses to Utah and Notre Dame. Wazzu has the conference’s top passing offense and third best total offense only behind Arizona and Washington.

Unfortunately for the Cardinal, star running back and Heisman Trophy hopeful Bryce Love has been banged up most of the season and his status is up in the air for the game on Saturday.

For vintage inspired, high quality, and well-designed University of Illinois apparel, check out Fourth and Kirby, and look for the TCR Collection while you’re at it!