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College Football: 5 things to watch for in week 3

College football is underway after two good weeks. Now that more is known about all teams involved, fans can know what to watch for in the coming weeks. This list will narrow it down to five things to watch for in week 3.

1. Oklahoma without Rodney Anderson

Oklahoma has been firing on all cylinders this season with wins over FAU and UCLA. Their offense has proven that they can get past the loss of Baker Mayfield by putting up 63 and 49 points respectively. For the first two games, running back Rodney Anderson had 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10.8 yards per carry.

Anderson was supposed to be the focal point of the offense this season, but went down with an injury against UCLA. He is now out for the season with a knee injury. The good news is that the offense has been successful even without Anderson in the game so far this season. A lot of the carries that would have gone to Anderson will now go to T.J. Pledger and Trey Sermon.

The offense will face its first game without Anderson this weekend at Iowa State, a team that Oklahoma lost to last season.

2. Can Notre Dame bounce back?

Notre Dame
Brandon Wimbush (Photo by indystar.com)

Notre Dame had one of the bigger wins of the season so far when they beat Michigan in week 1. In week 2 though, the Fighting Irish struggled to beat Ball State 24-16. Playing like that against stiffer competition will result in a loss for Notre Dame.

The defense has played well this season, but the offense faltered against Ball State. Not only did the offense only generate 24 points, quarterback Brandon Wimbush threw three interceptions and stalled a lot of drives. For a team ranked in the top 10, the offense has to be better.

The Fighting Irish will be tested by Vanderbilt this Saturday.

3. Boise State’s CFP resume-building chance

Boise State is a shoe-in to make a New Year’s Six Bowl Game, if they go undefeated. If they are able to go throughout the season with an unblemished record, they will be the ultimate case study of whether a group of five conference team could get any consideration for the College Football Playoff.

In their first two games of the season, they have blown out their competition. They beat a solid team in Troy, 56-20 to open the season. In their second game, they beat UConn 62-7. Now they will get their biggest test of the non-conference schedule with a road game at Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys are ranked 24th in the country and have started the season 2-0. Oklahoma State is without quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington from last season and hasn’t been tested yet this season. With Mike Gundy at the helm, they are still expected to have a good season.

This won’t be the greatest resume win for Boise State, if they are able to pull it off, but a road win over a top 25 will be taken into account by the College Football Playoff Committee.

4. SEC Showdown

Greedy Williams
Greedy Williams (Photo by lsusportsnet.com)

SEC teams have looked good so far in 2018. Two of the conference’s best will square off on Saturday in LSU and Auburn. Both teams have started off the season well and will want to get a leg up in the tough SEC West.

After beating Miami in week 1, LSU beat SE Louisiana last week. Their calling card is defense, as they stymied Miami and shut out SE Louisiana. With players like Greedy Williams and Devin White on that side of the ball, they are tough to beat. Ohio State-transfer Joe Burrow has looked decent in his first two starts at quarterback, but will be tested by Auburn.

Auburn beat a CFP contender in Washington and also sports a good defense. They allowed just 16 points to a Washington offense with plenty of seasoned veterans. Their defensive line is stacked with talent, including a potential first-round pick in the NFL Draft Derrick Brown, who plays defensive tackle. With two good defenses fighting hard, the difference in this game might be quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who does a great job of protecting the football and moving the chains.

LSU will be trying to compete for the SEC West for the first time in the Ed Orgeron era, while Auburn is looking to start its defense of their SEC West title from last year.

5. Ohio State’s last game without Meyer

Urban Meyer just has one more game to sit out this season. The coach has been allowed back at practice, so his presence can still be felt. Ohio State hasn’t needed Meyer on the sidelines for the first two games, as the Buckeyes dominated Oregon State and Rutgers.

This week, Ohio State travels to Dallas to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU is ranked 15th in the country and is 2-0 heading into this clash. There are still a lot of unanswered questions for TCU with a lot of new starters, but they still present the Buckeyes with their toughest game yet.

Ohio State has the talent to win, but can Gary Patterson outcoach the Buckeyes?

 

Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.

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