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College football Anxiety Games for Week 8

Week 8 has a few Anxiety Games to dive into, including Minnesota and Penn State trying to reverse course and a battle of two fledging teams in Conference USA.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Week 8 of the 2022 college football season has arrived and so has our weekly look at Anxiety Games across the country. For those new here, we’re keeping tabs on games where the fans and/or coaching staffs of specific programs may feel a bit uneasy about the possibility of things going downhill with a bad outing.

After last weekend’s exciting slate, we’re in for a comedown weekend around the sport and there’s not too many anxiety games on the agenda. There are still a handful worth diving into and we’ll do just that below.

Memphis at Tulane, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Memphis experienced an epic fourth-quarter collapse against Houston two weeks ago and fell in four overtimes to ECU last week. The Tigers are now 4-3 on the season and now will now be matched up against the hottest team in the AAC right now in Tulane. A third straight loss here would flatline their season and the conversations about head coach Ryan Silverfield’s viability with the program will only continue.

FIU at Charlotte, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3

This is a battle of two of Conference USA’s bottom feeder teams this year and there’s a real sickos element for tuning into this matchup. Will Healy’s once promising tenure at Charlotte appears to have flatlined and calls for his job has only increased as the season has progressed. A loss to a rebuilding FIU program would eliminate the 49ers from bowl contention and warm up Healy’s seat even more.

Arkansas State at Louisiana, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Things have not been going well for Butch Jones at Arkansas State so far. After a 2-10 season in 2021, his Red Wolves are 2-5 and losers of two straight heading into this Sun Belt West matchup. Their hopes of becoming bowl eligible effectively hinges on this matchup and if the former Tennessee head coach isn’t able to get the job done, more pressure will be placed on him to produce results next season.

Also, Louisiana has taken a step back in the first season post Billy Napier. Under first-year head coach Michael Desormeaux, the Ragin’ Cajuns sit at 3-3 but have been competitive in every game they’ve played in. Don’t take a step back with an ugly loss here.

Minnesota at Penn State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

The Saturday night slate in the Big Ten will feature two teams whose season’s could take a negative turn south with a loss here in State College, PA.

Minnesota has dropped two straight heading into this matchup, its latest a 26-14 setback to Illinois last Saturday. Equally as distressing for the Golden Gophers is quarterback Tanner Morgan being knocked out of last week’s game with a head injury, putting his status for the Penn State showdown in question. A third straight loss here would effectively kill the team’s dreams of a Big Ten West division title, a goal that seemed attainable just three weeks ago.

Penn State was pounded into the dirt in a 41-17 loss at Michigan last Saturday, another loss that magnified how they’ve fallen a step behind the two resident heavyweights in the Big Ten East. Saturday’s contest against Minnesota will be the Nittany Lions’ annual ‘White Out’ game and they could use a huge pick-me-up here. With Ohio State looming on the schedule next week, Franklin’s squad absolutely needs to pick up the ‘W’ here. Otherwise, their season could start circling the drain fast.