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National Games to Watch

NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of barely missing the top 25, the Utes are finally a nationally ranked team, and with their win against UCLA Friday night, Utah fans can sit back and enjoy a Saturday full of college football. Feeling overwhelmed with 45 games on the docket and don’t know which ones to watch? We’ve got you covered.

#20 Wisconsin vs Northwestern Saturday 10:00 AM - Fox

​Wisconsin is being put on upset alert this weekend. Despite a 4-3 record and questionable losses to Duke and Akron, the Wildcats are a dangerous team. They easily handled Michigan State in week six and led for over three quarters against a Michigan team with CFP aspiration the week before. Wisconsin on the other hand, may be without start quarterback Alex Hornibook who is under concussion protocol. With a new face possibly controlling the Wisconsin offense and a Northwestern team looking to gain control over a wide-open Big 10 West, this is an intriguing match-up with a potential for an upset that would help the Utes climb even higher in the national rankings.

#18 Iowa vs #17 Penn State Saturday 1:30 PM - ESPN

​Staying in the Big 10, Iowa and Penn State face-off in one of the most anticipated games of the week. Aside from a hard loss to Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes have dominated most of their opponents this season, winning by an average of 18.16 points including a 23-0 shutout against Maryland last week. Penn State, however has hit a mid-season with back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Michigan State, followed by a narrow 33-28 win over lowly Indiana. ESPN’s Matchup Predictor heavy favors the Nittany Lions, giving them a 73% chance of winning, and Vegas tends to agree with the line favoring PSU by -6. Smart money is on Iowa (who are 6-1 against the spread this season) to pull off the upset on the road. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a 5-3 Penn State squad stays ranked ahead of a surging Utah team.

Northern Illinois vs BYU Saturday 1:30 PM – ESPNU

​Have your remote close by Saturday afternoon, because there’s a lot to watch after the morning games wrap up. Between Florida vs Georgia, South Florida vs Houston and an important PAC-12 South battle between Arizona State and USC, there’s a lot to keep up with, but Utah fans in particular shouldbe interested in seeing how the Huskies of Northern Illinois fare against BYU. Sutton Smith was dominant in Utah’s nerve wracking win over NIU in week two, making for an interesting match-up with Zach Wilson starting just his second game for the Cougars. BYU has had an up and down season, but a win here would put the Cougars in prime position to head back to a bowl game in 2018.