Week Three Preview

NCAA Football: Auburn at Louisiana State
One of the games of the week will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium between LSU and Auburn. (Photo: Saturday Down South)

Thursday

Boston College vs Wake Forest, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN

This could be a tough conference road test for Boston College. The Eagles have a strong running game and are the better team than Wake Forest, but for them to go in and for sure win this game on the road they’ll need a solid performance out of quarterback Anthony Brown. Ultimately, I think Wake Forest will hang, but Boston College is just a better team.

Pick: Boston College

Saturday

Florida State vs Syracuse, Noon ET, ESPN

Syracuse has looked really explosive so far on offense this season and Florida State, not so much. The Seminoles of course got beat up by Virginia Tech in week one and then struggled to beat Samford last week. Now they face a road test as they go to the Carrier Dome. Florida State will need to put up some points in this one or else they risk slipping to 0-2 in the ACC.

Pick: Florida State

Troy vs Nebraska, Noon ET, Big Ten Network

Nebraska is the better team here and should win this game at home, but with the status of Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez being uncertain, this is a game to watch, and frankly, it’s a game to watch either way. I’m not going to pick against Nebraska, but if they don’t show up ready to go, Troy can beat them.

Pick: Nebraska

Hawai’i vs Army, Noon ET, CBS Sports Network

Hawai’i has been lighting people up this season, and they already have a win over a triple option team this season in Navy. Army also has a solid defense, which will be a good test for this high-flying Hawai’i offense. I think the difference in this game will ultimately come down to Hawai’i having to travel all the way to West Point and have what is such an early kickoff time in Hawai’i.

Pick: Army

(12) LSU vs (7) Auburn, 3:30 PM ET, CBS

This is the game of the week in a lot of people’s eyes and I think this will be an exciting game between two teams with really strong defenses. I’m not expecting a lot of points to be put up in this one, and the reason for that is fairly obvious. It will be LSU quarterbacks Joe Burrows first time playing on the road as the LSU quarterback and I think that will ultimately make the difference. This game will likely come down to just a few plays, and I like the odds of Jarrett Stidham making a play or two instead of Joe Burrow.

Pick: Auburn

Duke vs Baylor, 3:30 PM ET, Fox Sports One

Baylor looks like an improved team this season and now they’ll be hosting a Duke team that has two fairly impressive wins over Army and Northwestern. The Blue Devils have shown to have a strong defense this season against two teams that have good offenses. Now Baylor probably has more on offense than those two teams, but I’m expecting this game to be pretty close.

Pick: Duke

(17) Boise State vs (24) Oklahoma State, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

This should be a great game, between what might be the top group of five team in the country and what is a team that’s been consistent over the years and knows how to put up points. I think this game will be plentiful with points and I could definitely see both teams getting to the high 30s. I’m very excited for this matchup and think it’s a great chance for Boise State to put themselves in position to be a in a New Year’s Six Bowl. Ultimately, I’m going with Brett Rypien and co. to pull off the win on the road.

Pick: Boise State

Houston vs Texas Tech, 4:15 PM ET, FOX

This is another game where points should be put up. It’s about a one-point spread right now so it’s fair to think this will be a close game. I think Houston is the better team and they have a better defense, plus D’Eriq King has taken it up a notch with his play, which to me, will make the whole difference in the game.

Pick: Houston

(1) Alabama vs Ole Miss, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN

I’m not going to be surprised at all if Ole Miss puts up some points against Alabama and finds a way to hang in the game for a while. Ultimately though Alabama will have too much, plus the Alabama offense seems to be more explosive this season and Ole Miss doesn’t have the greatest defense so I think Alabama will put up too many points for Ole Miss to be able to keep up.

Pick: Alabama

(22) USC vs Texas, 8:00 PM ET, FOX

A rematch of what was an amazing game last season has had some of the steam taken out of it by the early struggles by both teams on the offensive side of things. At this point in time, Texas appears to have the better quarterback and them being at home I would think would lead to them being able to win, but I really don’t know what to expect from this game because I don’t trust either of these teams at this point.

Pick: Texas

(4) Ohio State vs (15) TCU, 8:00 PM ET, ABC

This is the other game of the week in most peoples eyes and that’s easy to see why. Both teams have looked good so far this season even though they’ve faced limited resistance. This will be by far the biggest test that either Dwayne Haskins or Shawn Robinson have seen. I think the defenses will be superior in this game to the offenses, at least at first until the offenses are able to settle in and adjust to the speed and talent of each defense. This game will be really fun.

Pick: Ohio State

(10) Washington vs Utah, 10:00 PM ET, ESPN

With Washington hosting newly-ranked Arizona State next weekend, this is a tough test with the Huskies going to Salt Lake City. Utah is physical on the defensive side of the ball and I think they can give Washington a lot of the same problems that Auburn did and keep the game close going deep into the game. I do think the Utah offense is pretty limited and going against a great defense like this Washington one will be tough. I think this game will come down to the wire and Washington will get tested and it’ll be a physically tough game, but they’ll have enough to win.

Pick: Washington

(23) Arizona State vs San Diego State, 10:30 PM ET, CBS Sports Network

The Sun Devils are coming off of a huge win over Michigan State, and with them having Washington next week, they’ll have to make sure they’re focused for a game that could be very tough. Rocky Long always finds a way to get his team to compete no matter who they are playing against and they like to play physical. Arizona State should win, but this won’t be a cakewalk.

Pick: Arizona State

Fresno State vs UCLA, 10:30 PM ET, Fox Sports One

Chip Kelly is still looking for his first win in Westwood, and I think he’ll have to keep looking after this one. Fresno State is coming off of a tough road loss against Minnesota last week where they struggled to get their explosive offense going against a solid defense. I think they’ll get this offense back on track this week and win. I don’t think it’ll be a blowout as UCLA did look a little more in sync last week against Oklahoma than they did against Cincinnati in the opener. So I’m going to assume they keep improving and this game will come down to the wire.

Pick: Fresno State

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