Saquon Barkley trying to focus on bowl game over National Football League future

This year's Fiesta Bowl features The Penn State Nittany Lions and The Washington Huskies. First, Riley Patterson missed a 38-yard field goal at the tail end of the first quarter, and then Ferguson was sacked on a 4th-and-8 at the Iowa State 37 to open the second quarter.

Washington will certainly rely on the run game, but they are certainly not one-dimensional. Where the team really excelled was in points for and against, as they scored 41.6 points per game, placing them 7th in the nation, and held opponents to 15.5 points per game, good for 7th in the FBS as well.

Some people out west may not feel that the SEC deserves to have two teams in the College Football Playoff, but the Pac-12 has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had absolutely no business even sniffing the playoff. They got back on track after that loss, defeating UCLA and OR, before losing a lose one to Stanford.

Both suffered crushing, close losses down the stretch in which they had commanding leads; Penn State to Ohio State, and Washington to Stanford. But for as much attention as the Huskies will be paying to Barkley, it will create opportunities for McSorley to connect with Mike Gesicki, Juwan Johnson, DaeSean Hamilton and others for big plays.

The Fiesta Bowl parade Saturday in central Phoenix kicks off festivities ahead of the Fiesta Bowl game in Glendale Sunday.

The Nittany Lions will probably lose Barkley, but Miles Sanders can fill the void and Penn State is stocked at wide receiver. This unit was not ranked 6th nationwide for nothing, so Washington's defense should be up for the challenge.

Penn State helped bring the Fiesta Bowl into national prominence almost 31 years ago.

Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. They have stepped up against top-tier defenses all season long, so there is no reason to think that should not be the case on Saturday.

This isn't the first time this season that Penn State has faced the No. 1 rushing defense.

Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley have been touchdown-scoring machines this season, as the two have combined for 53 total touchdowns on the year.

Some people may not like the taunting, but in a vacuum, it's not a major deal.

He looks at Washington's defense and sees reminders of his own. Barkley slowed down a bit at the end of the year, but he still finished with 1,728 yards from scrimmage, 7.0 yards per touch and 19 touchdowns, and he's still a highlight-reel machine capable of taking the ball to the house on any given touch. You're looking at two teams that protect the football.