Here are three teams on upset alert in week 15 of the 2020 college football season.
*Spreads are according to TeamRankings as of Tuesday afternoon.*
Houston Cougars (-4)
Memphis Tigers (6-3) vs. Houston Cougars (3-3)
When: Saturday, December 12 | 12:00 PM EST
Memphis is coming off of a 35-21 loss to Tulane. The Tigers won three games in-a-row prior to that, and they held their opponent to 14 points or less in two of those three victories. They beat Navy 10-7, which is unusual from Memphis, as they have been known to be led by their offense in recent years. If this defense can continue to play at a high level, and the offense can get back on track, they could end the regular season at 7-3 and set themselves up for some nice bowl opportunities.
After playing six games without a BYE week, Houston is set to play for the first time since November 14. They are currently 3-3, so getting a win will put them over .500. A win should also improve Houston’s chances at a Postseason game, as a six-win season is not required this year to make a bowl game. Out of Houston’s three losses, two of them came against ranked teams with the other being against UCF. In Houston’s three wins, they scored at least 37 in each of them, including 56 points in their most recent game against South Florida.
Penn State Nittany Lions (-14.5)
Penn State Nittany Lions (2-5) vs. Michigan State Spartans (2-4)
When: Saturday, December 12 | 3:30 PM EST
Although Michigan State lost to Ohio State last week 52-12, they beat an undefeated Northwestern 29-20 the week before. Their only other win came back on October 31 when they beat Michigan 27-24. Michigan State has only allowed 24 points or less three times this season, and they are 2-1 in those games. They also only scored 27 or more points three times this year, and they are 2-1 in those games as well. The Spartans four losses are all by double-digits, so they will want to avoid allowing a big first quarter against the Nittany Lions.
After starting 0-5 for the first time in program history, Penn State has won two games in-a-row and are currently 2-5. Their wins came against Michigan and Rutgers, who were both under .500 when they played. Penn State held their opponents to 24 total points in those two victories, outscoring them 50-24. Runningback Keyvonne Lee led the team in rushing in both of their wins, having 229 yards and a touchdown in 39 attempts in those games. Penn State will look to end the regular season 3-0 and get the program back on track.
Oregon Ducks (-6)
Oregon Ducks (3-2) vs. Washington Huskies (3-1)
When: Saturday, December 12 | 4:00 PM EST
The Washington Huskies started the season 3-0, and even got into the college football playoff top 25. Then they lost to Stanford, which leaves USC as the only remaining undefeated Pac-12 team. Out of the four games Washington has played, three of them had a margin of six points or less, with the points of both teams ranging from a slim margin of 21-31 in each of those games. Their other game was a 44-27 win against Arizona. If the Huskies can pull off a win in this game, they will win the Pac-12 North and clinch a spot in the conference championship.
Oregon started 3-0, and reached 15 in the first college football playoff rankings of 2020. They have since lost two games to teams who were under .500 at the time of their match-up. This includes a 21-17 loss to the California Golden Bears, who got their first win of the season against the Ducks. That game was also the first time this season where Oregon scored under 35 points, and they didn’t even reach half of that against Cal. The Ducks, like Washington, will clinch a spot in the conference championship game with a victory Saturday afternoon. Oregon can still get into a decent bowl game with a win and potentially a Pac-12 championship appearance.
Featured Image Courtesy of NBC Sports.