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5 Things to Watch in College Football Week 3

College football has started. It is now time for loads of football every Saturday. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 3.

1. An Underrated Rivalry

In a huge game for both schools, Iowa and Iowa State will meet this weekend. ESPN’s College Gameday will be traveling to Iowa State for the first time ever. Both teams are undefeated and will be looking to compete in their respective conferences. Last season, Iowa defeated Iowa State in overtime. This year, the game has all the chances in the world to be just as good.

Iowa has two victories under their belts already with a win over Miami (Ohio) and Rutgers. While they haven’t exactly run up the score, they did control the game in both instances. The Hawkeyes have good offensive and defensive lines which could be the keys for them to win. Offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and defensive end A.J. Epenesa should lead the charge on both sides of the ball.

The Cyclones narrowly escaped an upset-bid from Northern Iowa in week 1 to make them 1-0 on the season so far. They’ll be relying on Brock Purdy and the offense to move the ball better against the Cyclones, although that could prove to be tough. Either way though, it will likely be a low-scoring, physical game.

2. Sawyer Smith vs. Florida

5 Things to Watch for in College Football week 3
Sawyer Smith (Photo by wdrb.com)

Last season, Terry Wilson was able to lead Kentucky to an upset win over Florida on the road. This year, he has been lost for the season to a knee injury. That puts Troy-transfer Sawyer Smith in a precarious situation, as he will have to step in and try to lead the Wildcats to victory against Florida.

Smith threw for just under 2,000 yards with Troy last season, but playing Florida will be tough. Luckily for Smith, he’ll be playing behind a solid offensive line. If the Wildcats can run the ball well, Smith will just need to complete a few key throws to help them win the game. Only time will tell if Kentucky can pull off the upset two years in a row.

3. Washington State at Houston Shootout

After losing to Oklahoma in week 1, Houston will now play another power conference team in Washington State on Friday. Dana Holgorsen and D’Eriq King have the potential to be an effective coach-quarterback combo, even after failing to reach 40 points against Prairie View A&M. King has accounted for six total touchdowns over the first two games of the season, but he’ll likely need to total at least that in this game to upset Washington State.

Gardner Minshew is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Washington State has found another solid quarterback in Anthony Gordon. In two games, he has completed 60 of 74 passes for 884 yards and nine touchdowns. In Mike Leach’s offense, Washington State should be able to outscore Houston if they play up to their potential. It may be a game of first to 50 wins.

4. UCF’s Crack at a Power 5 School

5 Things to Watch for in College Football week 3
Dillon Gabriel (Photo by blackandgoldbanneret.com)

UCF’s AD Danny White has made plenty of comments of not being able to schedule anyone, but this year UCF plays two Power 5 conference schools. Stanford is coming to town, which gives them a chance to get recognized. After winning their opening two games of the season, UCF needs to knock off Stanford to get some more national respect. Freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel will likely be under center after starting in the second game of the season. He played decently, but will be going up against some talented Stanford defenders.

Stanford lost to USC in a battle of backup quarterbacks. It appears Stanford may have some trouble this season, especially because they have a tough schedule. Davis Mills will start at quarterback again for Stanford and will need to improve. For any shot at winning though, they will have to slow down UCF’s offense. With Paulson Adebo at corner, Stanford should have the tools to keep it close and make it a game in Orlando.

5. Can Hawaii go Undefeated in the Pac-12?

So far this year, Hawaii is 2-0 against the Pac-12. They have defeated Arizona and Oregon State, but now have a stiffer test, as they have to travel to Washington to take on the Huskies. Quarterback Cole McDonald is going to have to play mistake-free football in order for the Warriors to have a chance. They’ll also have to hope that the Huskies’ offensive woes continue.

The Huskies were upset last week by Cal, which has put some uncertainty on their season. The offense has been average behind the arm of Jacob Eason and the defense hasn’t been able to play flawlessly. Washington will have to find a way to stop the Warriors’ air raid offense in order to win the game, but it will also take some points from their offense.

 

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

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