College football week 3 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are 5 things learned from college football week 3.
1. Alabama isn’t Unbeatable
In the first two weeks of the college football season, Alabama has played extremely well. Miami and Mercer were no match for them. Fans and media alike had mentioned that the Crimson Tide were a step ahead of the rest of the competition in college football. That still may be true, but Alabama is beatable and Saturday proved it.
After jumping out to an early lead on Florida, they allowed the Gators to creep back into the game slowly over the next three quarters. Alabama was able to sneak away with a 31-29 win, but things easily could’ve gone Florida’s way. The Crimson Tide will be battle-tested in the rest of their SEC schedule and a loss isn’t out of the question at some point.
2. Oregon is the Pac-12’s Only Hope
The Pac-12 has had a rough start to the season. That’s been a theme for a couple of years now, as the conference has been left out of the College Football Playoff frequently and they are often overlooked. Week 3 didn’t help the Pac-12 win any fans, as they underperformed again.
To start, BYU won their third straight game over a Pac-12 opponent, beating a ranked Arizona State team. UCLA, who got off to a hot start, lost to a solid Fresno State team. Minnesota destroyed Colorado, a week after the Buffaloes gave Texas A&M a run for their money. San Diego State beat Utah in triple overtime. Northern Arizona defeated Arizona for another FCS loss chalked up to the conference. That leaves Oregon as the best team in the Pac-12 and the conference’s best chance (and maybe only chance) to make the CFP.
3. The Big Ten East Will be Competitive
For the last several years, Ohio State has been a constant at the top of the Big Ten East. This season, they have already lost a game, and haven’t looked great in their other two contests. Other teams in the division have looked better to start the year, which will necessitate the Buckeyes really stepping up their game in the coming weeks.
Penn State got a big win over Auburn and better yet, quarterback Sean Clifford played the best football of his career with only four incompletions. Michigan State went on the road to defeat Miami, which is a decent win that shows the Spartans are better than last season. Michigan still hasn’t been tested by a great team yet, but they are now 3-0. Although it hasn’t been pretty, Maryland and Rutgers are 3-0 as well. Indiana has losses to two solid teams in Iowa and Cincinnati. Ohio State may have their hands full this season.
4. Cincinnati has a Long Way to go
Cincinnati has been a dark horse to make the College Football Playoff after going undefeated in the regular season in 2020. They had a tough schedule for a group of five team and would benefit from being ranked highly to start the season. Their first tough matchup of the season was on the road against Indiana.
The Bearcats played sloppy football in the first half, with several false starts, missed blocks and tackles. They were able to come back and win by 14, but a game like that won’t overly impress the CFP committee. Cincinnati, most importantly, won the game and can now move forward. If they want to beat Notre Dame on the road in two weeks, and do so convincingly to impress the committee, they’ll need to be more disciplined.
5. Clemson’s Offense has Problems
Clemson’s only loss of the season is still to Georgia, a game they failed to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, the struggle to find the end zone consistently has become a theme for the Tigers. This week, they only scored 14 points against Georgia Tech. For reference, this is a Yellow Jacket team that allowed Kennesaw State, an FCS team, to score 17 points on them. Northern Illinois scored 22 points against Georgia Tech and beat them as well.
There was a weather delay, which likely impacted things, but Clemson shouldn’t be struggling to score this much to start the season. The offensive line doesn’t look great, the Tigers have struggled to run the ball and the receivers have failed to consistently separate. Add in the fact that D.J. Uiagalelei is still getting accustomed to being a starting quarterback and the struggles make some sense. The problem is that they need to find a way to generate offense soon with all of these problems still on the table at once.
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