With several teams scheduling “lesser” opponents for week 2, the expectations were a little on the low side; however, last week’s college football games performed better than expected as the teams still produced close games, a miracle finish, and a “lesser” team, Troy, played well, giving Clemson a real test. Never underestimate an opponent. Before getting to the predictions for Week 3, here are a few highlights from last week.
Receivers had a tough time staying in bounds before catching touchdown passes, drawing the illegal touching penalty. One of those mishaps caused one of my predictions to fail, not that this is the worst thing in the world, but is it too much to ask a receiver to run down the sideline, stay in bounds, and catch the ball?
TCU’s KaVontae Turpin was sensational against Arkansas, weaving in, out, and between defenders on his way to 169 return yards. Oh, and he also totaled 126 yards from seven receptions.
Oh, South Carolina Athletic Department, are you sure Will Muschamp is the person for the job? (No, I am not bitter that like an idiot, I picked South Carolina with the points against Mississippi State. )
Remember potential football stars, after running to daylight with no one left to stop the impending touchdown, make sure to actually cross the goal line before flipping the ball away in celebration. Clemson learned this painful lesson. Clemson still won the game, but mistakes like this will hurt against teams the caliber of Florida State.
Speaking of the Clemson and Troy game, a Troy defender was robbed of a fumble return for a touchdown when the referees determined that the Clemson running back’s forward progress was halted before he fumbled near the goal line. We’ve seen this type of scenario before: running back gets stopped initially, but then after a few seconds, his lineman friends push him to the goal line for a score. Well, in this instance the running back was initially stopped, but his legs never stopped moving, so he slid through the line and tried to extend the ball out to break the plane of the goal line, like running backs always do (and usually get rewarded with a touchdown), except that this time he fumbled the ball while trying to perform the maneuver. Too bad. Defense won – can’t the defense enjoy a victory every now and then?
Okay — enough living in the past, let’s roll forward to the predictions for week 3. In case no one has figured this out yet, please do not use these predictions to gamble with real money, because these predictions will probably lead to poverty.
Florida State (-2.5) at Louisville
Can Florida State’s defense contain Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, because he looked like a cross between the Flash and Spider-Man while playing against Syracuse? Can Louisville handle the combination of Dalvin Cook and Deondre Francois? The edge goes to Florida State due to their depth and the emergence of Deondre Francois at quarterback.
Bottom line: Expect lots of scoring in this one. Both teams feature players that will provide many plays worth of a highlight reel.
Florida State 38 – 35
Winner: Florida State
Ohio State (-2) at Oklahoma
Gauging Ohio State’s power ranking by their past two opponents doesn’t yield a ton of security. Are they really as good as people say regarding all of the five-star recruits? Ohio State quarterback J. T. Barrett brings experience along with the ability to make plays both running and throwing the football. We all know Urban Meyer is one of the best coaches in college football. On Oklahoma’s side is motivation as they are a home underdog, and they also know one more loss takes away any chance of punching a ticket to the title game.
Bottom line: A good, tested team with motivation versus a good team that has played Bowling Green and Tulsa — look for Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma’s offense to score just enough points to beat Ohio State.
Alabama (-9.5) at Ole Miss
Revenge for Saban and Alabama, or will Ole Miss continue their winning ways against Alabama? Ole Miss possesses the type of uptempo offense that gives Alabama fits, and for the record, this offense gives other teams problems as well. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly can really sling the ball, and is fun to watch; however, Ole Miss’ offensive line has struggled with pass protection. Alabama has a comparable defensive front to Florida State, and Florida State got to Chad Kelly in the second half and forced turnovers. It’s prudent to point out that Alabama’s offensive line has also struggled with..well, to put it bluntly, everything. At times, they can’t knock a hole through a screen door, and regarding pass protection, let’s just say that it is a good thing Alabama’s quarterback Jalen Hurts can run well.
Bottom line: Alabama will play a cleaner game than last year. Their defense should get to Chad Kelly and their depth will eventually wear down Ole Miss, but they won’t cover the point spread. Ole Miss will keep the game close as everyone always plays their best game against Alabama, and the Ole Miss offense can score in a blink of an eye.
Alabama 31 – 27
Winner: Ole Miss with the points
Texas A&M at Auburn (-3.5)
Good thing Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn figured out that rotating three quarterbacks in and out of the lineup was more like a circus performance rather than a football offensive system. Auburn will need a cohesive offense to outscore Texas A&M. Fortunately for Auburn, they will not have to solely rely on their offense as their defense has improved this year. Quarterback Trevor Knight leads the Aggies offense against a pretty good defensive front. The Aggies defense also has improved from last year. Their secondary already looks better than last year’s version as they held UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen in check for most of the game.
Bottom line: Evenly matched teams – go with the home team.
Auburn 21 – 17
East Carolina at South Carolina (-4)
Are we sure that Vegas picked the right favorite? South Carolina is not a good football team. While Will Muschamp can coach defense, he hasn’t proven the ability to perform head coaching duties at a high level.
Bottom line: Muschamp’s teams can’t manage to score enough points.
East Carolina 28 – 17
Winner: East Carolina
Michigan State at Notre Dame (-7.5)
Bottom line: It pains me to say that Notre Dame will win this game. Michigan State will play well, but Notre Dame has too many offensive weapons, plus they are playing at home.
Notre Dame 38 – 28
Winner: Notre Dame
Well, that’s a wrap. Enjoy week 3, everyone.
Categories: College football