College football has returned for a few weeks. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 3.
1. BYU’s Second Big Game in a Row
In week 2, BYU won a thrilling overtime game against Baylor at home. They were without some of their best receivers, but were still able to get the job done. The Cougars have shown they can be a very formidable team and handle a tough schedule. That’s good news, as they travel to Eugene to take on Oregon.
Oregon looked pretty bad against Georgia in week 1, but that’s pretty common for most teams and they rebounded and looked solid in week 2, albeit against FCS competition. The Ducks have a great linebacker room and Bo Nix looked improved in week 2. It will be a tough game, but Oregon is favored to win currently. A win for BYU vaults them further up the rankings as they hope to make a run at the CFP or a New Year’s Six Bowl. Oregon can get back on track before the Pac-12 schedule begins for them.
2. Penn State at Auburn
Penn State has started off the season well with wins over Purdue and Ohio. They are currently ranked 22nd and have the potential to be a solid team. That hasn’t been the case in recent years, as James Franklin’s team had a 11-11 record in 2021 and 2022 combined. Sean Clifford has had an inconsistent time at quarterback, but some new recruits, including running back Nick Singleton. A better season could be on the horizon for the Nittany Lions.
Things have been tumultuous under Bryan Harsin’s time at Auburn. The Tigers are 2-0 though and have the game against Penn State at home. There would be nothing better to quiet the outside noise than getting a win over the Nittany Lions. The Tigers have a star at running back in Tank Bigsby, who has 198 rushing yards and three touchdowns so far this season. They also have allowed just 16 points per game so far this season. Auburn vs. Penn State will be one of the better games in week 3.
3. Texas Tech at NC State
Texas Tech has a 2-0 record, after getting a thrilling overtime win over a ranked Houston team. They won with backup quarterback Donovan Smith in the game for the injured Tyler Shough. Now they have a new test, as they go on the road to take on NC State. They boast the number one passing offense in the country and allow just 20 points per game through their two contests. The game against the Wolfpack will be their toughest of the young season.
NC State rebounded from week 1, when they narrowly defeated East Carolina on the road, to defeat Charleston Southern easily in week 2. Quarterback Devin Leary had a better performance, which is good as he may have to throw the ball a lot to keep up with the Red Raiders. The defense has the potential to be one of the country’s best, as they allow just 11.5 points per game, but their secondary will be tested in this game. The Wolfpack are favored to win and doing so sets them up for possibly more success than they had after their 9-3 record last season.
4. Can Texas A&M Rebound?
In a game where they were thoroughly outplayed, Texas A&M lost at home to Appalachian State. The loss dropped them to no. 24 in the polls and plenty of people are criticizing head coach Jimbo Fisher and his gameplan. Appalachian State is a good team, but expectations were a bit higher of Fisher ever since he took the job at Texas A&M and then were raised after some success on the recruiting trail.
The Aggies will not get a break, as Miami travels to College Station in week 3. Fisher needs to figure out how he can successfully move the ball, as the Aggies struggled against the Mountaineers. This may take being more creative on offense with more pre-snap motion. The Hurricanes will be ready to play and prove they are better than past years with Mario Cristobal at the helm. With Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback, the Hurricanes are capable of coming away with a win.
5. Pac-12 After Dark
There are two Pac-12 games that start late on Saturday that are worth checking out. The first of which features Fresno State traveling to USC. The Bulldogs just lost a heartbreaker to Oregon State at home, but have had some success against Pac-12 teams in the past. For the Trojans, this will be the first big test of the Lincoln Riley era. The Trojans are favored by 12, but anything can happen after dark.
The other late game that is intriguing is North Dakota State at Arizona. North Dakota State has been the best FCS program over the last decade. They have wins over plenty of FBS teams in the past and are a threat to win the game in Tucson. Arizona was not very good last season, but looks a little improved this season. After week 2 saw several FCS over FBS upsets, week 3 may give fans another.
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