Here are three teams on upset alert in week 9 of the 2020 college football season.
*Spreads are according to TeamRankings as of Tuesday night.*
Purdue Boilermakers (-6.5)
Illinois Fighting Illini (0-1) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (1-0)
When: Saturday, October 31 | Noon EST
Illinois got off to a rough start, losing the first Big 10 game of the year 45-7 against Wisconsin, who moved into the top 10 of the AP Poll this week. The Fighting Illini struggled on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Brandon Peters went 8-for-19 with 87 passing yards. He did have 71 rushing yards, which is something that Illinois could use moving forward. On the defensive end, Illinois allowed five passing touchdowns and 248 yards through the air. Illinois will want to turn things around, and an upset win against Purdue can help them do that.
Purdue started their season with a Big 10 style win over Iowa by a score of 24-20. The Boilermakers were trailing 20-14 in the fourth quarter when they tacked on a field goal. Then they scored the game winning touchdown with 2:19 left in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw 50 passes, completing 31 of them for 282 yards. He also threw three touchdowns and two picks in the contest.
3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-12.5)
18 Penn State Nittany Lions (0-1) vs. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)
When: Saturday, October 31 | 7:30 PM EST
Penn State is coming off of a crazy 36-35 loss to Indiana in overtime. It came down to Indiana’s two-point conversion that was insanely close. The Nittany Lions were trailing 17-7 at halftime. They came back and led 28-20 late in regulation. The Hoosiers scored a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining, and got the two point conversion to send it to overtime. This could be a good time for Penn State to play one of the most talented teams in the country, as a win will get them right back in the mix.
Although Ohio State won against Nebraska 52-17, the game was close for a while. It was tied at 14 about mid-way through the second quarter, which is when Ohio State started to pull away. Justin Fields threw just one incompletion in 21 attempts. The Heisman candidate also had 54 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. The Buckeyes’ defense found their stride in the second half, allowing just a field goal from the Cornhuskers in the final two quarters.
San Diego State Aztecs (-7.5)
Utah State Aggies (0-1) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (1-0)
When: Saturday, October 31 | 9:30 PM EST
Watch: CBS Sports Network
Utah State lost their opening game to Boise State 42-13. The Aggies lost quarterback Jordan Love to the NFL, and they started Jason Shelley under center in this one. He went 14-for-27 passing with an interception and 92 yards. Running back Jaylen Warren had 89 yards on the ground, and scored both of the teams’ touchdowns. They have another talented defense in San Diego State in their second game of the year as they look to get in the win column.
San Diego State was also in a blowout for their first game, but they were on the winning end, beating UNLV 34-6. Their defense seems to be picking up where it left off last season, as the Aztecs held eight of their 13 opponents to 14 points or less in 2019. SDSU had four rushers with at least 40 rushing yards in their win over UNLV, including Greg Bell, who had 111 yards and a touchdown on the ground in 19 attempts. A 2-0 start will put the Aztecs at 12-3 in their last 15 games.
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