7 SPORTS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019 | | THE BALTIMORE SUN COLLEGE FOOTBALL By Matt Murschel | Orlando Sentinel GAMES TO WATCH No. 4 Penn State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) at No. 17 Minnesota (8-0, 5-0) No. 12 Baylor (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) at TCU (4-4, 2-3) No. 2 LSU (8-0, 4-0 SEC) at No. 3 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) No. 18 Iowa (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) at No. 13 Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2) Iowa State (5-3, 3-2 Big 12) at No. 9 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) Noon Saturday, FS1 3:30 p.m. Saturday, CBS 8 p.m. Saturday, FOX Noon Saturday, ABC Baylor is off to its best start since 2015, but to extend their streak, the Bears will need to snap a four-game skid against TCU. The Bears feature the stingiest defense in the Big 12, allowing a little more than 18 points per game, while the Horned Frogs are the top overall defense in the league, allowing 324 yards per game. TCU is working to avoid losing at least five games for the second consecutive season. It’s a monumental showdown in Tuscaloosa as LSU looks to snap an eight-game losing streak against Alabama and grab control of the SEC West. The Crimson Tide have won 31 straight at Bryant-Denny Stadium and feature one of the best scoring offenses in the country led by Heisman Trophy candidate Tua Tagovailoa — if he’s healthy. LSU also features a Heisman candidate in QB Joe Burrow. 4 p.m. Saturday, FOX Oklahoma’s pursuit of its fifth consecutive Big 12 title took a slight detour with its loss to Kansas State two weeks ago. Quarterback Jalen Hurts continues his strong play for the Sooners, leading the country in passing efficiency (224.28) and points responsible for (206). Iowa State’s last win in the series was in 2017 in Norman, with the Cyclones snapping an 18-game losing streak against the Sooners. Minnesota has won 10 straight games dating to last season and is off to its best start since 1941. The Golden Gophers are looking to knock off a team ranked in the top five for the first time since 1999. Penn State is 8-0 for the first time since 2008 and the Nittany Lions are looking to make it 13 straight wins against Big Ten West opponents when they travel to the Twin Cities. It’s a Big Ten West showdown with the Heartland Trophy on the line. Wisconsin, which leads the nation in total defense, is looking to avoid three straight losses for the first time since 2008. Iowa features the third-best scoring defense in the country, allowing a little more than 10 points per game. Wisconsin has won three straight games in this rivalry series and six of the last seven. NOTES USC AD: No quick move on Helton News services Southern California hired Mike Bohn as its new athletic director Thursday, and one of his first acts on the job will be to evaluate the struggling Trojans football program and embattled coach Clay Helton. In his introductory news conference, Bohn said he hadn’t yet met Helton, whose team is 5-4 in his fourth full season in charge. Helton has a contract through 2023, but is thought to be on a hot seat after his Trojans finished last season with their first losing record since 2000, followed by their mediocre current campaign. Bohn declined t o say whether a coaching change was part of his mandate in getting the job. Many USC alumni have been clamoring for the school to make a run at three-time national champion coach Urban Meyer, who left Ohio State in January after beginning last season on administrative leave for his handling of spousal abuse allegations against assistant coach Zach Smith. “We all understand the importance of football,” Bohn said. “... It would be premature to be talking about coaches or any situation when I’ve just arrived and in the process of learning.” USC has spent the last decade failing to recapture its 2000s success under AD Mike Garrett and coach Pete Carroll. Former Carroll assistants Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were both fired, while Helton has hung on much longer than almost anyone expected when the career assistant coach was promoted by Pat Haden to replace Sarkisian in 2015. Helton has run a clean program and restored respectability to a school buffeted by NCAA sanctions and misbehavior under its previous coaches. He even won a Rose Bowl and a Pac-12 title during Jets quarterback Sam Darnold’s two seasons as starter, but Helton is 17-17 without Darnold in his lineup. When asked what he expected from the football team’s final three games of the current regular season, Bohn said: “I mentioned Fight On, but it’s also Fight On to Victory. I’m not trying to add any more pressure to (Helton) or our studentathletes, but we always want to finish strong.” “There were a couple things that went into Derrick Henry’s candidacy that year. One was certainly that game and how dominant he was.” Ohio St., Georgia set series: Georgia and Ohio State announced that they scheduled a home-and-home series for 2030 and 2031. The Bulldogs will host the Buckeyes on Sept. 14, 2030, and Georgia will travel to Ohio State for the season opener on Aug. 30, 2031. The two power programs have played only once, with the Bulldogs beating the Buckeyes 21-14 in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 1993. Georgia also has home-andhome series with several Power Five foes, including Oklahoma (2023, ’31), UCLA (2025, ’26), Florida State (2027, ’28), Texas (2028, ’29) and Clemson (2029, ’30, ’32, ’33). The Bulldogs will also play three Power Five opponents in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta: Virginia in 2020, Oregon in 2022 and Clemson in 2024. The Buckeyes will play future home-and-home series against Oregon (2020, ’21), Notre Dame (2022, ’23), Washington (2024, ’25), Texas (2025, ’26) and Boston College (2026, ’27). — ESPN’s Rece Davis on the former Alabama running back, shown above during a 210-yard, three-touchdown performance against LSU on the way to the Heisman Trophy in 2015 2
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