College Football is approaching the end of non-conference games. Many schools are still playing their “cupcake” opponents but a few teams still have key games left in September. Last week was one of the best weeks in college football with numerous upsets and a plethora of games finishing in overtime. Week three is going to need a strong performance in order to live up to the standards set by week two. The weekend slate does not jump off the page but college football should be entertaining this weekend once again.
5: UTSA vs #21 Texas (8:00 EST, Longhorn Network) Spread: Texas -12.5 – UTSA lost their first game of the season to Houston but is still one of the best teams in Conference USA. Frank Harris is off to a great start for the Roadrunners. Harris has thrown for 696 yards and six touchdowns through the first two games. UTSA has an opportunity to upset the crown jewel program in the state of Texas. Jeff Traylor was an assistant at Texas before taking the head coaching job at UTSA making this game more meaningful to him. The Longhorns are coming off a devastating loss to Alabama where they suffered numerous injuries. Hudson Card is likely to start after Quinn Ewers left in the first half against the Crimson Tide. Superstar running back Bijan Robinson is also fighting injuries which may limit him on Saturday. Texas is in a position where a let down game is likely. The Longhorns defense will need to play another great game since the offense will be lacking fire power. Can the Longhorns maintain their focus to defeat UTSA or will the Roadrunners be fired up and on their A game Saturday?
4: #12 BYU vs #25 Oregon (3:30 EST, FOX) Spread: Oregon -3.5 – Oregon is favored in this game which may surprise fans but I have learned to never question Vegas. BYU will be without two of their top wideouts for the second consecutive game. Jaren Hall struggled at times to complete passes to receivers other than Chase Roberts. BYU’s defense was able to sack the quarterback four times against Baylor. Putting pressure on Bo Nix and making him uncomfortable in the pocket will be one of the keys for BYU. Georgia dominated the Ducks and finished the game with zero sacks. Georgia’s defense is more talented across the board than BYU so they will need get pressure in order to win. Oregon has plenty of questions on both sides of the ball. Bo Nix is likely to be replaced if his performance does not improve against top level opponents. The Oregon defense looked good against Eastern Washington but Stetson Bennett shredded the Ducks by throwing for 439 yards. Can the Ducks rebound or will BYU continue on their magical season?
3: Texas Tech vs #16 NC State (7:00 EST, ESPN2) Spread: NC State -10.5 – Joey McGuire is off to a hot start with Texas Tech. The Red Raiders won a thrilling game against Houston winning in overtime. Tyler Shough was injured in the first game of the season resulting in Donovan Smith taking over at quarterback. Smith impressed against Houston throwing for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw three interceptions and will have to limit his mistakes against NC State. The Red Raider have dominated at the line of scrimmage allowing opposing rushers to less than three yards per carry. NC State survived a scare against ECU in the first game of the season. The Wolfpack followed the win up with an easy victory over Charleston Southern. Devin Leary has only been sacked once this season which has allowed him time in the pocket. Leary was one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC but has struggled at times this season. NC State will come out on top if Leary continues to have time in the pocket. Will the offense finally click in game three for the Wolfpack?
2: #13 Miami vs #24 Texas A&M (9:00 EST, ESPN) Spread: Texas A&M -6.0 – This game had the potential of being a top 10 matchup before the season began. Texas A&M stumbled against Appalachian State last weekend resulting in them falling to 24. The Aggies have real concern at the quarterback position. Haynes King completed 13 of 20 passes for only 97 yards. If King struggles against Miami, will Jimbo Fisher put Max Johnson or Connor Weigman in the game? The Aggies defense has been solid but the offense needs to catch up in order to save the season. Miami on the other hand has looked good thus far on offense. The Hurricanes have not played a team even close to Texas A&M’s caliber but they have won easily in both games. Tyler Van Dyke has thrown for 454 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Miami needs to find a way to score at least 21 points. The Hurricanes put themselves in a great position if they can find a way to score points consistently.
1: #22 Penn State vs Auburn (3:30 EST, CBS) Spread: Penn State -3.0 – 12th year quarterback, Sean Clifford, will lead Penn State into Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. Auburn fell short against the Nittany Lions in last year’s matchup. Penn State’s passing defense has been one of the strongest parts of their team. Joey Porter Jr will likely be an All-Big Ten cornerback when the season is completed. Penn State’s rushing attack needs to rely on Freshman Nicholas Singleton in order to have success against Auburn. TJ Finley has been less than stellar for the Auburn offense. Finley has thrown just one touchdown while throwing three interceptions. Auburn will attempt to win this game by rushing the ball. The Tigers have rushed for over 200 yards in both of their games thus far this season. Penn State is more proven this season but Jordan-Hare stadium is full of tricks. Can Auburn find some magic or can Clifford’s experience help lead the Nittany Lions to victory?
Honorable Mentions: Liberty vs #19 Wake Forest, #11 Michigan State vs Washington, SMU vs Maryland, Fresno State vs #7 USC, Purdue vs Syracuse, Kansas vs Houston