Games to watch: vs. UTEP

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Pittsburgh running back James Conner (24) makes a cut in front of Villanova linebacker Jeff Streib (58) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar

Penn State vs. Pittsburgh

  • Saturday – 11 a.m. – ESPN

Two of college football’s most bitter rivals of yesteryear finally reunite at Heinz Field Saturday morning. The two storied Keystone State programs last met in 2000 and will meet for the 97th time this week. Pittsburgh is led by junior running back James Conner,who recently triumphed in his six-month battle with cancer and scored two touchdowns in the Panthers’ week one victory. Penn State counters with a powerful defense that finished third in the nation in sacks in 2015.The Nittany Lions, seeking to crash the rankings for the first time since 2011, look to maintain the upper-hand in the renewed rivalry after a week one victory over Kent State.

 

  • Arkansas vs. No. 15 TCU
  • Saturday – 6 p.m. – ESPN

Both teams in this non-conference matchup look to improve upon bland week one victories. TCU traded scores with South Dakota State, an FCS program, for three quarters. The Horned Frogs won 59-41 but the defense is an early concern for Gary Patterson’s squad. Arkansas pulled out a 21-20 fourth quarter victory over Louisiana Tech. A risky fourth-down conversion sealed the opener for the Razorbacks, who enter Fort Worth as touchdown underdogs. TCU is led by junior Texas A&M-transfer Kenny Hill at quarterback, who is gifted with an array of talented receivers. Arkansas’ offense was lackluster in week one, but if TCU’s defensive lapses prolong, the Razorbacks can deliver a statement win for a struggling Southeastern Conference.

 

  • Brigham Young vs. Utah
  • Saturday – 6:30 p.m. – FOX

A sea of red and a sea of blue divide the stadium. The Holy War has been one of the sport’s greatest non-conference rivalries since beginning in 1896. The 2016 edition of the game features fifth-year senior Taysom Hill backing the Cougars’ offense. Hill has battled injuries throughout his career but remains one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks. BYU, a program renowned for last-minute victories, toppled Arizona on the road week one and now will enter a hostile environment in Salt Lake City. Utah, led by junior defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei, yielded zero points in their first victory and looks to smother Hill’s offense. With a victory, the Utes could win the Beehive Boot for the sixth consecutive time.

 

  • Virginia Tech vs. No. 17 Tennessee
  • Saturday – 7 p.m. – ABC

College football’s record attendance number is 115,109. This number is expected to be shattered Saturday night when the Hokies challenge the 17th ranked Volunteers at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The NASCAR track, holding 153,000 spectators, will host its inaugural college football game after a visit from the GameDay crew. Tennessee seeks rejuvenation from the offense after an overtime scare from Appalachian State last Thursday. Virginia Tech, 1-0 in the new Justin Fuente era, can be a tough early season opponent. The Hokies notably defeated the 2014 National Champion Buckeyes on the road and will attempt to make Tennessee the next victim.