Skip to main content


Penix Jr. vs. Williams headlines NCAA action on TSN

Michael Penix Jr. Washington Michael Penix Jr. - The Canadian Press

Heisman candidates do battle as Michael Penix Jr. and No. 5 Washington take on No. 24 USC and reigning award winner Caleb Williams. Plus, No. 12 Notre Dame renews acquaintances with Clemson and the Bedlam Series takes centre stage for what could be the last time for a while. Here's a look at the Week 8 NCAA football action available this weekend on TSN.

No. 12 Notre Dame (7-2) vs. Clemson (4-4), Saturday at Noon ET/9am PT on TSN+ - It's not unfair to say that the excitement surrounding a Notre Dame versus Clemson game has tempered as the season has gotten going. Though there is plenty for Marcus Freeman's Fighting Irish team to be happy with through nine games, there's still the sense that, maybe, this team should be in contention for a College Football Playoff place. A close loss to Ohio State that came with only 10 men on the field during the final play and an inexplicably flat defeat to a Louisville team that lost to Pitt the following week ensure that won't happen (the Irish were ranked 15th in the first CFP rankings of the year). While ND is ruing what could have been, Dabo Swinney and Clemson are coming to terms with being a non-factor in the ACC for the first time in several seasons. The frustration for Swinney came to a head earlier this week during a call-in radio show in which a caller questioned if his $11.5-million salary should guarantee better than a 4-4 record. Swinney would go on to unload on "Tyler from Spartanburg" in a now-infamous five-minute rant. “We’ve won 12 10-plus-win seasons in a row," a fiery Swinney said. "That’s happened three times in 150 years. So if you wanna know why Clemson ain’t sniffed a national championship for 35 years. We’ve won two in seven years. And there’s only two other teams that can say that: Georgia and Alabama. Okay?" A clearly upset Swinney ended his call by telling Tyler he wouldn't take any more criticism of that kind. “I’m not gonna sit here and let you call in — I don’t care how much money I make," Swinney said. "You ain’t gonna talk to me like I’m 12 years old. Gotta be freaking kidding me." Tyler will be the least of Swinney's worries on Saturday when the Tigers look to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2010.


No. 10 Oklahoma (7-1) vs. Oklahoma State (6-2), Saturday at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT on TSN+ - With Oklahoma's defection to the SEC coming in 2024, Saturday's game between the Sooners and Oklahoma State in Stillwater wraps up one of college football's greatest rivalries for the foreseeable future. Saturday's game effectively ends the Bedlam Series between the two schools for the time being with no games currently on either team's future schedule as non-conference opponents. That said, the rivalry existed for 40 years without the two schools being conference rivals, so declaring its death might be premature. Still, Cowboys coach and Midwest City, OK native Mike Gundy feels like Saturday marks its end. "We've lost 100 years of history," Gundy told ESPN's Chris Low this week. "That's what I'm most disappointed about." A former OSU quarterback, Saturday's game with be the 33rd Bedlam matchup that Gundy has either played in or coached. Gundy concedes that the rivalry has been a mostly one-sided one. The Sooners hold a 91-19-7 edge over the Cowboys over the series' history. Gundy is 3-15 as a coach with his last win coming in Stillwater in 2021. "No question they've gotten the best of us over a period of time and have gotten the best of most everybody, and that doesn't sit well with a lot of people on our side, most of all me," Gundy said. "But it is one game, and I understand people in our state don't approach it that way, the fans, because we don't have pro football. This is what people get fired up about, and it's not easy because so many people put so much stock into it." For Brent Venables' Sooners, Saturday's game will be a chance to get back on track after a surprise 38-33 loss to Kansas last weekend that ended their perfect season and created a five-way tie atop the Big 12 at 4-1 among the Sooners, Cowboys, Texas, Kansas State and Iowa State. The game, played almost in its entirety during a thunder storm, saw the Sooners almost exclusively run the ball in the first half, taking the ball of out of the hands of Heisman candidate Dillon Gabriel. “I think the opportunity was there,” Venables said of passing the ball more. “Wishing is not going to do anything, but we do need to maintain an aggressive mentality. There’s always that balance when you try to be efficient and protect the football, but at the same time, at the right time, take your shots. We’ve got good players who can run past people and go up and make competitive plays." Gabriel's current Heisman odds sit at +3000, giving him the eighth-shortest odds.


No. 5 Washington (8-0) vs. No. 24 Southern Califonia (7-2), Saturday at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT on TSN+ - Speaking of the Heisman, two of the favourites meet in a high-stakes battle on Saturday night when Michael Penix Jr.'s undefeated Washington Huskies take on last year's winner, Caleb Williams, and the USC Trojans. Penix Jr. is the current odds-on favourite for the Heisman at +270 with Williams now back in the pack at +8000, meaning Ohio State legend Archie Griffin's status as the only back-to-back winner of the award (in 1974 and 1975) appears to be safe. Statistically, there isn't a whole lot that is separating the two quarterbacks. In his second season with the Huskies following four at Indiana, Penix Jr. has thrown for 2,945 yards (first in the nation) on 203-for-294 passing with 24 touchdowns (third among FBS QBs) to six interceptions. Williams, for his part, has thrown for 2,646 yards (second) on 189-for-277 passing with 25 TDs (tied with LSU's Jayden Daniels for most) to four picks. The biggest difference between their two seasons might be when it comes to protection. Penix has only been sacked five times in 2023. Williams, on the other hand, has been sacked 24 times, the 12th-most among FBS pivots. Williams believes that he needs to do a better job of getting out of trouble and making better decisions. “There’s times where you need to understand the situation and get the ball out of your hands … or there’s times where you know who you are as a player and you know how much work you put into plays when they break down,” Williams said this week. “So it’s a weird kind of challenge to be able to balance both, and I still struggle with it, I still fight it every day.” The respective offensive lines could make a huge difference in this pivotal Pac-12 contest with the Huskies the only remaining undefeated team in the conference. Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer said this week that his team will have its hands full with Williams. “I mean an elite playmaker [who] can make all the throws,” DeBoer said of Williams. “Eyes are downfield, buys time, will not be afraid to make any throw – on the run, deep down the field.” Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley was also effusive with praise for his opposing QB. “The quarterback has really good command of what they’re doing, and you can tell he and their staff are really in sync,” Riley said of Penix. “He’s really decisive with the ball.” The game will mark the Huskies' first trip to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 2015.

Click here for the rest of TSN's Week 10 NCAA slate