In Conference games play a huge part of our College Football Preview Week Three. There are some huge games that will affect Conference standings and the AP Rankings going forward.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WEEK THREE – PAC-12
We have a cracking game to kick off the PAC-12 week 3 of games. At 6pm (BST) Colorado welcome Big Ten conference side Minnesota to Boulder. Oregon State has a cupcake game at home to Idaho, at the same time there will be the only in conference game of the week. Washington State will welcome USC. The Trojans are coming into the game without a permanent head coach, after Clay Helton was sacked earlier in the week. California should get their first win of the season when they welcome Sacramento State to Berkeley.
Washington is another team that is in search of their first win, they have been granted an easy game when Arkansas State comes to town. I did say that in week 1 about Montana. Utah are looking to bounce back when they travel to unbeaten San Diego State of the Mountain West. Oregon now ranked the number #4 team, should be 3-0 as they play FCS side Stony Brook. After Stanford’s impressive win over USC, they travel to Vanderbilt of the SEC. Can Arizona finally break the losing streak? They should do against Northern Arizona. After a bye week, UCLA are back in action against Fresno State at the Rose Bowl.
Game of the Week – Arizona State @ BYU
Two unbeaten sides go head to head in the early hours of Sunday morning in the UK (3:15AM) when #23 BYU welcome PAC-12 outfit #19 Arizona State. This is the first real test for the Sun Devils, after recording two wins over opposition that they should be beating. The rushing game will be leaned on again, as it has been in the previous two wins. ASU have rushed for over 200 yards in each game, with running back Rachaad White picking up 148 and QB Jayden Daniels 165. BYU failed to stop the run against Utah last week, giving up 193 yards on the ground in just 25 attempts. If Daniels has to go to the passing game, I don’t think it will be a problem, The junior quarterback is more than capable.
The Sun Devils have been solid in stopping the run, limiting opposition to just 160 yards from 58 attempts. They face a far tougher run game from the Cougars, led by star running back Tyler Allgeier. If ASU can limit the damage, it will be another step towards winning this game. Both BYUs wins have come against PAC-12 teams, the second a big win over Utah. Arizona State are more than capable of going into Provo, Utah and coming out with the win. If they do, it will be a big statement to the South.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WEEK THREE – ACC
Louisville starts the ACC off on Friday night as they welcome UCF to Cardinal Stadium. Louisville has looked sloppy and UCF has looked solid. Even though The Cards are at home they are 6.5 point underdogs and whilst its a friday night, i think UCF take the dub. Boston College looks to stay on track even without Phil Jurkovec in a winnable game against Temple. Syracuse will look to bounce back after losing to Rutgers in a cupcake against Albany. NC State looks to return to winning ways as they face a 2-0 Furman who aren’t at the same level as The Wolf Pack. Duke takes on Northwestern who haven’t looked as good as recent years but are still a tough game. Duke should pound them into submission with Matteo Durant. Pitt will brush aside Western Michigan in a bid to increase the grip on the ACC power struggle.
A Hapless Florida State travels to Wake Forest, a game in which they are currently 6 point dawgs. Loose this and its squeaky bum time for Mike Norvell. Clemson faces a Jeff Sims Less Georgia Tech in which should be a walkover. They won 73-7 last season. My Hokies travel to West Virginia in what should be a cagey low scoring affair. Whilst they are -2.5 point underdogs I fancy a hard fought win for Virginia Tech. Finally in the ACC Miami faces Michigan State at Hard Rock Stadium. I think this is a trap game for Miami and can see them getting beaten up by The Spartans in an upset.
ACC Game of the Week – Virginia @ North Carolina
Virginia could be one of the most fun teams to watch in College Football all season. They have a solid but not great Defence and an Offence that can do many things and have many faces. North Carolina are a team many billed as perhaps a challenger to Clemson this year. However, they are far from that mark as they have struggled to protect their key asset, Sam Howell. The Tar Heels have also struggled to find someone who can operate over the middle and cause carnage like they had last year. Virginia are currently unranked, a fact that has ruffled some feathers when they have dominated games so far. NC are currently ranked number 21 and it would be a fine scalp indeed if The Cavaliers can knock off Howell and company.
The funny thing is I can actually see it happening. Brennan Armstrong has the talents to expose any Defence on his day and if he cant unleash bombs he can gut you with his run game. He isn’t a blazer but he offers the ability to run through players and short yardage options. Sam Howell has been superb in the last two games against The Cavs. His stats read, 38-of-57 passing for 796 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. That was in the past though and with weapons. He is lacking them this year and the Defence has some key players missing. The fact NC is currently -8 point favourites is almost laughable to me. I’ve got Virginia covering those 8 points easily and perhaps even the outright win. In fact, book it!
Written by Stocks @5yardrush
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WEEK THREE – SEC
There are a handful of SEC teams with games that kick off at 17:00 (BST). Kentucky should continue their unbeaten start against Chattanooga. Another team that should stay unbeaten is Texas A&M, who welcome New Mexico to Kyle Field. Missouri and Tennessee are both looking to bounce back from defeat. The Tigers welcome Southeast Missouri, while the Volunteers are also at home against Tennessee Tech. Arkansas has a cupcake match against Georgia Southern.
Mississippi State has a tough road game at Memphis. There is an all SEC East affair when South Carolina goes into Athens to take on Georgia. There is a top 25 matchup as #22 Auburn take on #10 Penn State of the Big Ten. LSU welcomes Central Michigan to Baton Rouge. Vanderbilt looks to build on their first victory since 2019, when they entertain Stanford. Ole Miss will welcome Tulane, who gave Oklahoma enough problems in week 1 for the Rebels to be on alert.
SEC Game of the Week – Alabama @ Florida
Two unbeaten SEC teams lock horns at the swamp, as national champions Alabama head to Florida. The Crimson Tide will of course be favourites again, but will need to clean up some of the offensive line issues from last week’s match up against FCS side Mercer. Alabama coach Nick Saban has spoken this week about his team being more consistent, after a handful of uncharacteristic mistakes from the Tide in last week’s win. Freshman quarterback Bryce Young does not fall under that statement. Young has shown high levels of maturity to his game, in just two starting appearances.
Florida’s quarterback issues are plain for everybody to see. Gators HC Dan Mullen has given the vote of confidence to Emory Jones, who has struggled through the first two games, throwing 4 interceptions along the way. I don’t know how much the decision was made easier by back up QB Anthony Richardson suffering a strained hamstring. Freshman Richardson has come in for a few snaps and has impressed with his dual threat ability. Florida will be up against it, but will make the Swamp as hostile as they can for Alabama. However the game ends, it will be a fantastic Saturday night spectacle.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WEEK THREE – B1G 10
Is the Big Ten title suddenly up for grabs? Ohio State lost to Oregon in week 2 and slid down the national rankings, while Iowa took national acclaim for how they dismantled Iowa State to claim the Cy-Hawk trophy. Week 3 throws up some great games and we could be looking at a totally different picture yet again at the end of it.
In the early hours of Sunday morning Penn State welcome #22 Auburn to Happy Valley for only the 3rd ever meeting, currently they are tied at 1 win each. The fans are preparing for a White Out which is a brilliant tradition at Penn State and always brings a rocking atmosphere with it. The Nittany Lions have a chance to solidify their status as a top 10 team with a win over a ranked SEC team – it’s going to be a cracker!
Michigan State wouldn’t have circled Miami as an opportunity to take a ‘W’ home before the season began, but after a really impressive start the Spartans are gunning for an upset and I wouldn’t want to bet against them. Miami are clinging to a top 25 spot – they are a good football team but they are definitely on the ropes. Having been blown out by Alabama and scraping past App State, can Sparty deliver the knockout blow?
Indiana has the opportunity to repair some of the damage inflicted by Iowa in week 1 as they go toe-to-toe with Cincinnati. The Bearcats are winning over the hearts of football fans everywhere and are looking forward to a bright future in the Big XII. We are waiting to see the Penix Jr of 2020 – if he shows up on Saturday the Hoosiers will have a shot at taking down a top 10 team for the second year running.
Buckeye Bounce Back?
Ohio State will look to bounce back from defeat last week – the first regular season loss under Ryan Day – and need to see defensive improvements. Fortunately they have a 0-2 Tulsa coming to Columbus who shouldn’t provide too stern a test. Michigan will be looking to pile on the points against Northern Illinois and Rutgers should go 3-0 with a win over Delaware. Iowa have shot up to #5 in the AP poll after taking down Iowa State and should make light work of Kent State.
Northwestern and Minnesota could be caught in sneaky good games as they take on Duke and Colorado respectively. These fixtures don’t scream ‘too good to miss’ but the Wildcats and the Gophers will need a big day from their run defense to stop prolific rushes Mateo Durant and Jarek Broussard.
There is one in-conference game between Maryland and Illinois which I expect Taulia Tagovailoa to dominate. His star receivers could have a massive day as Demus and Jarrett have talent that Illinois will really struggle to cope with.
B1G 10 Game Of The Week – Purdue @ Notre Dame
Jack Plummer and the Purdue offense have been flying so far this season! They have put up 79 points in their opening 2 games and been comfortable winners in both. Now, beating UConn isn’t that big an achievement but they way they outclassed a decent Oregon State team was impressive. David Bell is one of the best wide receivers in college football and is generating plenty of NFL draft chatter. He has 3 touchdowns already and is one of those players you can almost bookmark to score every game he plays.
Notre Dame presents the toughest game Purdue will play outside the Big Ten this year. The Fighting Irish are a Blue Blood of college football and made the playoffs last season – they are a strong outfit and will expect to beat teams of Purdue’s calibre. Jack Coan has won the QB battle and has given Notre Dame something extra in the passing game that they didn’t have last year. He is aided by Tight End Michael Mayer who is everything NFL teams dream of – big bodied, dominant in the air, fast, physical and a strong blocker. The brightest light on this team is in the secondary – Kyle Hamilton will be a first round pick in the 2022 draft and rightly so. He is an incredibly talented young man and a joy to watch, unless you’re up against him!
But Notre Dame aren’t firing on all cylinders yet. They have clawed their way across the line in victories over Florida State and Toledo and don’t look anything like the top 4 side of 2020. That’s why this is my game of the week, I think Purdue can pull off the upset! This is an in-state rivalry that hasn’t been played since 2014. There is a trophy for the victors to take home – the Shillelagh Trophy and Purdue will need the kind of game they mustered against Ohio State in 2018 but Jeff Brohm is one of the best offensive minds in the country and will have something up his sleeve. Let’s go Boilermakers!
Written by Jack @JackCDCTT
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: WEEK THREE – BIG XII
Oklahoma travels to Lincoln to face Nebraska where the seat is getting hotter for Scott Frost (FOX). Neal Brown’s West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies and witness one of the coolest entrances in college football (FS1). Carson Strong’s Nevada toll into Manhattan to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. Nevada are a -2 favourite in this game (ESPN+). Baylor goes up against Kansas in Lawrence (ESPN+). Rice travels to Texas to face Casey Thompson in his first start as a Longhorn (Longhorn Network). Texas Tech hosts Florida International in another momentum builder for Wells’ Red Raiders (ESPN+). Iowa State makes the trip to Las Vegas to take on UNLV. Matt Campbell will hope to right the ship here (CBSSN).
BIG XII Game of the Week – Oklahoma State @ Boise
Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0) travel to Boise as (at least) 3.5 point underdogs this weekend. They will face off against a Boise State Broncos (1-1) team who’s only loss came against UCF in week one.
Whilst Spencer Sanders returned last week, he didn’t look great. The QB from Ryan, TX admitted in an interview that he “must play better”. After giving himself a tough evaluation, it’s clear that Sanders knows he can’t play like he did last weekend. Tulsa were no push-overs and the Broncos will be an even harder test on the famous blue field.
Boise State have recorded eight take-aways in two games, whilst the Cowboys have given up 4 turnovers. It’s a grim forecast, and it’s a trend Gundy will want to put a stop to. If Sanders has another game like last week, the Broncos defence will eat. Shane Illingsworth will be ready to resume duties if things begin to look dire.
On the defensive side, Khalil Shakir will cause the Cowboy’s defensive backs some issues. He is a circus-catch wide receiver and showcased exactly that against UTEP last weekend with a ridiculous side-line grab. He racked up 166 yards on seven catches and is a favourite target of QB Hank Bachmeier.
Bachmeier is currently leading the Broncos to 372 yards per game, 30.5 more than the Cowboys are giving up defensively. He has never had a season pass percentage below 61.5% so the Cowboys defence needs to be on their game.
We have every ingredient here for a close game that goes to the wire. Boise will want this scalp after losing 44-21 in 2018. The Cowboys need to record a statement win, because their first two games were anything but.
Written by Jake @dynastybrit