COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Week Three Preview

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 19: General view before the white out game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Michigan Wolverines on October 19, 2019 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State defeats Michigan 28-21. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

It’s time to lock in because we have a doozy of a weekend in college football ahead of us. 

After a week in which multiple top-25 teams lost — Ohio State, Iowa State, Texas, USC, and Utah — we’re all on high upset alert as we look ahead to week three. 

In the best of news, the SEC on CBS makes its return to living rooms around the country with Alabama visiting Florida in “The Swamp” — I can hear the CBS theme song now and my eyes are wetter than usual. 

This Saturday is not for activities. Tell the family you’re not around for that picnic or a trip to Pottery Barn, there are simply too many important games that will be taking up your time. 

Let’s take a look at the best of week three in college football. 

No. 3 Oklahoma vs Nebraska – 12 p.m. ET, FOX

The old Big 12 rivalry will finally be renewed. 

The two schools will play for the first time since the Big 12 championship game in 2010 when Oklahoma won 23-20. 

These are two programs in very different stages. Oklahoma has been consistently in the National Championship conversation under head coach Lincoln Riley as they prepare to make the jump to the SEC sometime in the next few years. For Nebraska, Scott Frost is in his fourth season in Lincoln, and it hasn’t gone well. 

Nebraska has failed to win more than five games in the first three years under Frost, and after an opening week loss to Illinois, things looked bleak. But back-to-back wins over Fordham and Buffalo at least have the Huskers back on track. 

Oklahoma survived a first-week scare against Tulane and then obliterated Western Carolina 76-0. 

The Sooners are -22.5 favorites in the game and Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez will need to play a turnover-free game in order for the Huskers to have a chance of upsetting the Sooners in Norman. 

Indiana vs No. 8 Cincinnati – 12:00 p.m. ET, ABC

Cincinnati gets its first test of the season when they travel to Bloomington on Saturday before heading to South Bend on October 2. The Bearcats are going to need to run the table to be in the conversation for a playoff spot. 

It’s the first road game of the year for head coach Luke Fickell and Cincinnati. 

“The great thing about college football now is it’s really back,” Fickell said. “You have the environment, you have the crowds. For us to go and play a really, really, really good Indiana team that obviously we’ve been talking about since the summer, and then throw the road changeup and a lot of the things that we’re doing, and the crowd, that’s something we haven’t experienced in a year and a half or two years. How we will handle that will be a big deal.” 

After getting smoked by Iowa in week one, the Hoosiers bounced back against Idaho and play Cincinnati for the first time since 2000. 

No. 11 Florida vs No. 1 Alabama – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

We all tend to get excited when Alabama plays a ranked opponent on the road. It gives hope that the mighty Crimson Tide can finally be taken down. 

Don’t hold your breath. 

The Gators are still trying to figure out their quarterback situation as Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson battle it out. Dan Mullen has started Jones the first two games of the season, but he’s had some turnover issues, throwing four interceptions. Richardson impressed in week two against USF, throwing for 152 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another. 

“When the quarterback can run — and they run quarterback runs — it’s almost like playing against Wildcat, so they’ve got an extra blocker but they also have the ability to make big plays in the passing game, which they’ve made and been pretty efficient in the passing game,” Nick Saban said as his defense prepares for both quarterbacks.

After losing a Heisman Trophy winner, a first-round running back, and a first-round quarterback from last year’s National Championship team, Alabama is as loaded as ever. Quarterback Bryce Young is 46-65 for 571 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Maybe Florida’s running game can keep them close, but it’s hard to see Alabama losing in a major upset. 

“It’s a chance for this team to see where we are at this point of the season,” Florida head coach Dan Mullen said. “The outcome of this game is not going to define the season either way.”

No. 22 Auburn vs No. 10 Penn State – 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

After an afternoon of fun, the crown jewel of the day comes in the evening. 

Happy Valley will be pulling out all the stops, giving us a “Whiteout” game at Beaver Stadium. It’s the first time that Auburn will be on the road against a Big Ten opponent since 1931. 

Penn State started the year off with a huge win over then-No. 12 ranked Wisconsin, followed up with an over Ball State. Veteran quarterback Sean Clifford doesn’t have eye-popping numbers, but he’s yet to turn the ball over. He’ll face an Auburn defense that has nine sacks in its first two games. 

First-year head coach Bryan Harsin has the Tigers averaging 60 points per game, albeit in wins over Akron and Alabama State. Auburn has rushed for 316 and 364 yards in their two wins. 

No. 23 BYU vs No. 19 Arizona State – 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN 

A little West Coast action to end the day never hurt anyone. 

BYU will attempt to beat a Pac-12 team for the third straight week after beating Arizona in week one and upsetting Utah in week two. Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils face their first real test after beating UNLV in week two.

“They got a great fanbase. It’s going to be loud,” Edwards said about the trip to Provo. “Couldn’t go into a better venue if you think about college football. They talk about all these other venues — they have a nice venue there and do a great job of supporting their team so you better be ready to play because it’s going to take four quarters. I think our guys are excited about the opportunity to play as well.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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