Highlights From Each Conference in Week Three

cole tracy
Cole Tracy and LSU are elated after winning at Auburn. (Photo: Julie Bennett/USA Today Sports)

ACC

Boston College had a fairly tough road conference test against Wake Forest on Thursday, and for them to win, I said that their quarterback, Anthony Brown needed to have a big game. Well he did just that, throwing for 304 yards and 5 touchdowns. Boston College looks really good in the early part of the season and they’ve now cracked the top-25.

I thought Syracuse could beat Florida State, but I didn’t expect it to go down the way it did. The Orange held Florida State scoreless into the fourth quarter, and while struggling to score in the first half, they came out and moved the ball really well in the second half with their backup quarterback Tommy DeVito, after an injury to Eric Dungey, on their way to a 30-7 win.

All Duke has done this season is win. They now have three solid wins over Army, Northwestern, and most recently, Baylor. None of those are powerhouses, but they’re all three teams that could have beat them, but the Blue Devils came out firing to get a 23-0 halftime lead and then eventually ended up winning 40-27. Duke looks like a real threat in the ACC.

American

Temple had gotten off to a rough start this season, but this weekend they beat Maryland up. Remember that Maryland did have a win over Texas this season so they are a capable team. This was more of the Temple team that people expected to see in the American this season.

Big-12

How about the Jayhawks! Now I know that Rutgers is not good, but the fact that Kansas has two wins in a row in the same season is pretty crazy.

Iowa State looked horrible on offense last week against Iowa, but this weekend against Oklahoma they looked much better. Now they weren’t able to pull off the upset against the high-powered Sooners offense like they did last season, but I think them showing a huge improvement on offense from week one should be encouraging for Cyclones fans going forward.

I definitely underrated Oklahoma State coming into this season. I picked them to finish fairly low in the conference and I wasn’t taking anything away from their first two games of the season because they hadn’t faced any resistance, but this week they faced a good test with Boise State coming to town. Not only did they beat Boise State, but they dismantled them, winning 44-21. They were maybe the team I was most impressed with this week.

We know that Texas Tech can put up points, but how about the connection between quarterback Alan Bowman and Antoine Wesley on Saturday against Houston. Bowman threw for 605 yards and 5 touchdowns and maybe even more impressively, Antoine Wesley had 13 catches, 261 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Is Texas back? Let’s not go there because I hate that narrative until they actually have a 10+ win season, but they dominated a talented USC team on Saturday. Now I think that game said more about USC than it did about Texas, but the Longhorns still deserve credit.

Big Ten

I already mentioned that Maryland got beat up by Temple, and I think that was more of the Maryland team that we can expect to see going forward, but we’ll obviously have to wait and see on that.

I warned that Troy could be a team that Nebraska loses to, and it turns out I nailed that one. Now of course Adrian Martinez didn’t play, but they still should probably be able to beat Troy even though Troy is a good Sun Belt team. The rebuild is definitely on at Nebraska for Scott Frost and it won’t get easier this next week with them facing Michigan.

BYU is certainly an improved team, but there’s no excuse for Wisconsin to lose to them at home. I had Wisconsin as a playoff team this year, but that’s looking unlikely after they got upset by the Cougars.

Ohio State hadn’t been tested yet without Urban Meyer and with Dwayne Haskins as the quarterback. Well they got that this Saturday against TCU at AT&T Stadium, and they maneuvered through it perfectly. They were fortunate and got a pair of defensive touchdowns, but those are part of the game, and Dwayne Haskins looked really good in his first real test against a team that was able to pressure him a little bit.

Conference USA

Not too much happened in Conference USA this week, but North Texas had a huge win for the conference. The Mean Green went in and demolished Arkansas 44-17 and if you don’t know who Mason Fine is, well you better get to know him because he’s the North Texas quarterback and he’s really good.

Also, David Singletary scored five touchdowns on the ground for FAU.

Independent Schools

Someone was finally able to slow down the Hawaii offense. Now a part of that might have been Hawaii playing at such a time change, but either way, the Army defense deserves credit because nobody had been able to slow down the Hawaii offense this season.

I wasn’t sure what to make of BYU’s season-opening win against Arizona or them barely losing to Cal, but clearly this team is improved from last season after going in and beating Wisconsin on the road. This is no doubt the signature win of the Kalani Sitake era in Provo.

MAC

The Ohio defense really struggled against a team they probably could’ve beat when they lost to Virginia 45-31. The secondary really struggled, allowing Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins to go 25/30 for 379 touchdowns and 3 touchdowns.

Buffalo is off to a 3-0 start and now they got a conference win and a big reason for that is Tyree Jackson. Jackson went 21/26 for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns. Watch out for Tyree Jackson.

Akron was down 21-3 against Norhwestern at halftime and then they scored 36 second half points on their way to picking up a huge win for the conference over a Big Ten opponent.

Mountain West

Arizona State was coming off of a huge win against Michigan State and then San Diego State had the chance to take them off of their perch and they did just that, upsetting the Sun Devils 28-21. They did this by dominating the Sun Devils in the trenches. They allowed Arizona State to have virtually no running game and they had two backs go over 100 yards.

The Fresno State offense really struggled to get going last week against what is proving to be a pretty strong Minnesota defense. They were able to bounce back this week against UCLA, winning 38-14.

Pac-12

The Oregon State quarterback situation is confusing. I was starting to this Conor Blount should just be the starter, but then Jake Luton played much better this week against Nevada. Even in a loss though, Oregon State knows they have a good play-maker in Isaiah Hodgins.

I’m not sure USC could’ve looked worse. This has been twice now in the early part of the season that the Trojans have just been physically dominated. This week they ran for a whopping (-) 5 yards. That’s not going to win you any games, and this are starting to look bad for Clay Helton

Utah was a tough test for Washington and even though they are incredibly limited on offense, they play very physical and really well on defense. The Utes had multiple chances to really push Washington and maybe win, but they shot themselves in the foot in those chances and the Huskies were able to pass a big road test in a tough place to play.

SEC

A good chunk of SEC teams played cupcakes before conference play really kicks up, but there was one big-time matchup between LSU and Auburn. LSU had a nice win earlier this season when they beat Miami, but this was a chance to really prove themselves and pick up a huge road win against an SEC West rival. Joe Burrow wasn’t amazing, but he took care of the ball and did just enough while their defense made plays and they eventually hit a game-winning field goal as time expired to pick up the signature win of the Ed Orgeron era in Baton Rouge.

Sun Belt

Most people probably just figured Troy was going to get a big pay day to go lose to Nebraska, well that wasn’t the case at all. The Trojans are a good team and they went into Nebraska and pulled off an upset and a huge win for the conference, while still getting that big pay day.

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