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Success With Hyperlinking: Penn State Eyes Second Half Improvement In the Stretch Run

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The Nittany Lions will have a bit to work on during their second bye week of the season.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Chaos continues to be a cruel mistress, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. This week’s victim — previously-No. 5 Oklahoma.

There might be enough time left in the season for the Sooners to work their way back into the playoff picture, but right now, those chances seem grim. The loss also adds a layer to the College Football Playoff conversation this season, with one-loss teams once again the focal point.

Naturally, the Sooners top the list of losers from Week 9 of the season and suffered a major dip in this week’s AP Poll. At the top, a shorter but potentially more seismic shift may add more fuel to the fire in the “Game of the Century, Part Deux.”

The hype is already building on both sides of the rivalry, with each side doing basically what would be expected of them. Of course, a lot of the talk revolves around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle and what kind of impact his absence will have. In the end, though, it might not matter what happens to the Crimson Tide without their star player.

Sparty No

Penn State escaped the rainy voodoo of East Lansing with a convincing win over Michigan State.

As much as Penn State preaches “1-0” each week, the win moved the Nittany Lions to 8-0 heading into the bye week, a mark that matters more than almost any 1-0 could. The victory also pushed Penn State deeper into the contender conversation, while a few Nittany Lions have earned individual praise for their performances.

Bye Week, Part Two

Much like their first bye week earlier this season, the Nittany Lions are likely welcoming a bye this week with open arms. Having overcome their most difficult stretch of the season so far, coach James Franklin can give his players a bit of rest and address areas of concern as they head toward their final four games of the regular season. The next stretch of contests will help define Penn State’s season, but shouldn’t be the determining factor in Penn State’s success.

There will be plenty for Franklin to address this week, most notably an undisciplined second half against the Spartans. Issues during the second half extend beyond undisciplined play, as Penn State has flipped the script of when it was proudly declared a second-half team.