Week 3 Preview

Welcome to the week 3 Preview. Sorry about missing last week, but all of Florida was doing Hurricane Irma prep. While we have had some big games and 2 weeks of football not a whole lot has changed. Those who were the favorites to make the playoffs or contend for their conference crown are still in it. FSU and Ohio St, despite their loses are still every bit as in it as they were before. There are a few teams who have popped up who look good enough to possibly make some noise and affect the season (Duke, TCU, and Oregon most notably), but not much else has changed. Boise, USF, Houston, and SDSU are still the main challengers for the Group of 5 bid, although maybe you can throw UCF into that mix as well. Week 3 has one marquee match up and a couple other decent ones, but outside of that, it was pretty slim pickings.

Last week SF went 4-2 with the big picks and 10-4 overall.

 

Here are this weeks picks:

Tennessee @ Florida

Tennessee has a pretty good offense and a lousy defense. Florida has a pretty good defense and a lousy offense. So it should be a good close game. In close games I tend to go with the better offense, which is clearly Tennessee, to be able to get points when necessary and in crunch time. I think this is a low scoring battle that Tennessee is able to pull out a close win with their running game getting a few big plays in the 4th.

Tennessee 24 – Florida 21

 

Texas @ USC

A battle of 2 of the premier College Football programs and traditions. This match up is sure to be more sexy in the name than it is on the field. Texas is about as heavily out manned as you will find in a match up of this caliber. Sam Darnold of USC should shred the Texas defense as Maryland was able to do. Texas will find plenty of room to be able to run the ball and keep it somewhat close for much of the game. But in the end USC’s superior depth and Quarterbacking will win the day.

USC 42 – Texas 28

 

Kansas St @ Vanderbilt

We have been much higher on Vanderbilt than most publications. This is their most talented team and they have a pretty stout defense.  This is similar to the Tenn/UF game. Kansas St offense has been pretty stout, going against the Vanderbilt defense. The Vanderbilt offense has some positives, but not great, same with the Kansas St defense. I think this will end up being a pretty low scoring affair with Vanderbilt able to wear down Kansas St some and getting a few big stops in the 4th in order to pull out the win at home.

Vanderbilt 21 – Kansas St 17

 

Wisconsin @ BYU

Going to Utah and playing at BYU is never an easy task. BYU’s defense has also been pretty good the last few years, particularly at home. However their offense has been pretty bad thus far in 2017. In order to have a shot against Wisconsin they will need a much better performance from their offense. I just don’t think they will get it. I have an upset watch here as if Wisconsin is sleeping, BYU absolutely has the talent to beat them at home. I just don’t think it’ll happen. Wisconsin controls the game and shuts BYU down, and wins easily despite a valiant effort by the BYU defense.

Wisconsin 28 – BYU 7

 

Stanford @ San Diego St

This is a game that could really catapult San Diego St into the top 25 and potentially into the Playoff discussion. A win against Arizona St, Stanford, and Boise St (eventually) could really give them some good wins (particularly if Stanford ends up 9-3ish, Az St goes to a bowl, and Boise ends up like 10-2). Depending on how everything else shaped up that would make for an interesting Group of 5 team being thrown into the discussion. BUT I don’t think it’ll happen. San Diego St should play them relatively close and control the LOS on the defensive side, preventing Stanford from rolling over them. But in the end I just think Stanford has too much for them and they pull away in the 2nd half as SDSU tires out.

Stanford 28 – SDSU 17

 

Clemson @ Louisville

This is the big game this week. It has far reaching impacts to the ACC Atlantic division race, as well as the Playoff race. This is a match up of the Heisman winner and a high powered Louisville offense against an Elite top 3 defense (and defending National Champs) in Clemson. Clemson has a big advantage on ┬áboth Lines of Scrimmage. They also have an advantage pretty much everywhere on the Defense. They have NFL talent all over the field. They also have some very good WRs. Louisville has a BIG advantage at QB and at RB (haven’t been too impressed with either sides running backs as a whole). This game is going to come down to how Clemson is able to control (or not) Lamar Jackson. I have not been as impressed with Lamar Jackson’s improvement (although he has clearly improved) as a passer as others have. He still looks inaccurate at times to me and misses too many receivers for my tastes. What he has done the last 2 weeks while impressive, has been against shoddy defenses. He is facing a whole other beast against Clemson. I’ve also not been overly impressed with the receivers at Louisville. Smith is nice, but he doesn’t pop out to me and I’m not sure how many 1v1 battles he will win against Clemson. Clemson won’t leave the Louisville receivers running wide open like UNC and Purdue did. Jackson will have a lot more pressure, and not as many passing windows to throw into. He will do some damage with his legs, and he will move the chains against Clemson. How he protects the ball is going to be the key in this one.

On the other side of the ball Louisville has not been able to stop much. When the Freshman QB for UNC went down, they were able to stop UNC then, but with the Freshman QB UNC went up and down the field on Louisville’s defense. Purdue was able to as well. Clemson has at least a formidable offense despite a new QB in Bryant as those 2 teams do (better OL, better WR, better RB). Clemson should have no issue putting up points in this game and moving the ball as they want too.

In the end I think Jackson has a nice game and is able to put up numbers that are good enough to keep him firmly in the Heisman race, but has a few timely turnovers that Clemson capitalizes on with their defense.

Clemson 35 – Louisville 28

 

 

Notable other games:

South Florida picks up a signature win over Illinois (power 5 team)

Oklahoma St rips Pittsburgh

Miss St shocks LSU and knocks them from contention

Ole Miss beats California

Arizona St bounces back and beats Texas Tech in a very high scoring game

So Carolina over Kentucky

Notre Dame big over Boston College

Purdue beats Missouri

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