We’ve been waiting for this matchup for a while now.

Minnesota, at 8-0, hosts 8-0 Penn State this Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon ET and the game will be televised on ABC.

Outside of Alabama-LSU, Minnesota-Penn State is the must-see game of the weekend for the average fan. We, of course at Tradition, like the Gophers-Nittany Lions matchup a bit more.

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Ahead of the two unbeatens clashing, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck spoke on 247Sports’ Notorious B1G podcast. To say the least, Fleck respects James Franklin and Penn State.

He respects them a lot:

“James is a good friend of mine. I think he’s one of the best coaches in the country. I have a ton of respect for him and visit him every year. I just have a ton of respect for how he runs his program. The challenges they have are at every position. I think everyone knows that. It sounds cliche. It sounds generic, but it’s true.
“You look at their receivers. Yes, they’ve got K.J. [Hamler], and he makes a lot of explosive plays. He may be one of the most explosive players in the country, but then they have three other receivers that are world-class sprinters that really can fly. They’re big. They’re strong. They can create mismatches for you. Their tight ends are some of the best blockers plus pass-catchers in the entire country. Quarterback is playing at a very high level — probably the best quarterback we’ve played up until this point. Then the running backs are very efficient, and they offensive line is big, strong, and athletic. Across the board on offense, they’re deadly at every position.”
Fleck on the Nittany Lions’ defense:
“Defensively, they play around 22 guys,” Fleck said. “They rotate in. Up front, they play about eight or nine guys. That’s how you know you have a really good football program is you’re rotating eight or nine defensive linemen. You’re getting fresh bodies in there, and they’re all long. Great pass-rushers. Great run-stoppers who play with a high motor. They’re linebackers are incredibly long and athletic everywhere. Their secondary has made a ton of big plays for them all year, and they play their system really well. It’s by far the best defense we’ve played all year, and we’ve got a tremendous challenge in front of us.”