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Let's figure out Week 3's best non-Georgia vs. South Carolina games

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Georgia-South Carolina is the only marquee battle in the third week of the college football season, but there are plenty of other games that might be appealing and will definitely answer some questions for us.

Let's be honest: this week's slate of college football games is not incredibly impressive. It's good because it's college football, and we'll be watching all weekend regardless, but it's lacking in terms of obvious, exciting matchups.

Week 4 features Auburn-Kansas State, Clemson-Florida State, Mississippi State-LSU, Florida-Alabama, and so on. Week 3 basically gives us Georgia-South Carolina and a ton of games we hope will be interesting. So let's peruse the schedule, grab-bag style, and check out which games offer the most potential intrigue, either in the form of close games or fun action. (This isn't the week's full schedule -- that's over here.)

These selected games are ordered from the most one-sided to the least, according to the F/+ projections. So maybe we can work our way from the bigger games that are expected to be blowouts to the bigger games that should be close.

Full F/+ picks are here at Football Study Hall. Here, we'll just share the odds of winning and an average of the projected scoring margin (based on two different styles of projections).

Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, ABC)

F/+ Projection: Oklahoma by 25.0 (89.5 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Tennessee vs. The Clock. We're all assuming Oklahoma pulls away from the young Vols. If that doesn't quite happen, that will very much redefine the way we think of both of these teams moving forward.

But more realistically, we're watching to see how long the 2-0 Vols can hang around. Can they withstand the opening blitz Oklahoma put on both Louisiana Tech and Tulsa this season and keep it close into halftime? Into the fourth quarter? Do they start the game as poorly as Utah State did against them?

Butch Jones had his team fighting well enough to take down two tricky mid-major opponents to start 2014. Now things get much more difficult.

East Carolina at No. 17 Virginia Tech (Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)

F/+ Projection: Virginia Tech by 17.4 (82.1 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. Expectations. After four BCS bowl appearances in five years from 2007-11, Tech went just 15-11 in 2012-13, misplacing its running game and playing offense too poorly for the defense to pick up the slack.

The Hokies have hype again! Virginia Tech served notice by heading to Columbus and taking down Ohio State by two touchdowns. No, the Buckeyes aren't what the Buckeyes were supposed to be before Braxton Miller's injury. Yes, winning at the Horseshoe is still impressive.

So now what? Virginia Tech is still a conservative 19th in the F/+ rankings, but the Hokies are a pretty hefty favorite over a salty, speedy ECU that gave South Carolina all it could handle. Can the Hokies switch gears and handle a Pirates offense that wants to pass as much as Ohio State wanted to run? Can the offense maintain its good-enough tendencies?

Iowa State at Iowa (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

F/+ Projection: Iowa by 17.0 (81.7 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Iowa vs. There's No Possible Way The Hawkeyes Can Top This on the Field (But They'll Probably Win Regardless).

Iowa with an 81 percent chance of winning? It seems high at first. Iowa barely beat Ball State, while Iowa State nearly took down Kansas State.

But there were oddities in both -- Iowa lost two fumbles and missed three field goals while more than doubling up the Cardinals in total yardage, while Iowa State was outgained by 152 yards and stayed close in part because of a special teams touchdown. Special teams definitely skew toward ISU in this one, but both offense and defense are in the Advantage: Iowa category.

UTSA at Oklahoma State (Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, FSN)

F/+ Projection: OSU by 14.6 (78.8 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Daxx Garman vs. Experience. Due to J.W. Walsh's foot injury, Garman is taking over as OSU's short-term starting quarterback. He showed off his arm strength in completing 16 of 26 passes for 244 yards and two scores (including an 87-yarder to Brandon Shepard) in the Cowboys' underwhelming, 40-23 win over Missouri State last week.

And now he faces a UTSA team that flustered Arizona for the vast majority of a 26-23 loss last Thursday night. UTSA is as experienced as a college football team will ever be, and as Arizona learned, the Roadrunners will hit you hard and often. OSU still has the overall athleticism advantage, still has Tyreek Hill, and still has that aggressive defense. But UTSA should be able to force some mistakes. How many?

Kentucky at Florida (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

F/+ Projection: Florida by 14.5 (78.7 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Both Teams vs. Progress. Florida gained 655 yards and scored more points last Saturday (65) than it did in the final four games of 2013 (58). Kentucky has allowed 17 total points in two games after allowing fewer than 17 in a game just twice all of last year (against Alabama State and a historically bad Miami (Ohio) offense). Signs point to improvement for both units.

Those two units will be facing off in Gainesville, however. Which one will still be pushing forward with its REDEMPTION! storyline on Sunday morning?

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 69 percent of his passes against a woeful EMU defense, but they didn't really go anywhere (8.0 yards per completion). Meanwhile, Kentucky's defense might need a bit more help from its offense than it got against Ohio. The Wildcats averaged 8.6 yards per play in two scoring drives to start the game, then averaged just 3.8 yards per play thereafter. Patrick Towles took five sacks in 36 pass attempts. There's still work to be done for both teams.

Minnesota at TCU (Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, FS1)

F/+ Projection: TCU by 12.3 (76.0 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: TCU vs. Big Ten Pride. Minnesota was one of the only Big Ten teams to actually look pretty good last weekend, taking a 28-0 halftime lead over Middle Tennessee. The Gophers then forfeited those good feelings while getting outscored, 24-7, in the second half, but regardless, Minnesota and Wisconsin (over Western Illinois) were the only B1G teams to win by double digits.

And now the Gophers are projected to lose by double digits to a TCU team playing its first real game of 2014. The Horned Frogs looked perfectly fine in beating Samford by 34 points, and quarterback Trevone Boykin looked surprisingly excellent (29-for-41, 320 yards, two touchdowns). Can Minnesota do something no B1G team has to date and actually overachieve?

No. 21 Louisville at Virginia (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)

F/+ Projection: Louisville by 13.6 (75.3 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Louisville vs. Exactly How Good Is Virginia? Forget everything we assume about Virginia for a moment. Forget that the Hoos went 6-18 in 2012-13, and forget that we all assume this is head coach Mike London's last year in Charlottesville.

Look only at what Virginia has done on the field in 2014. Thus far, UVA has held UCLA to 4.9 yards per play in a near-upset of the then-No. 7 Bruins and has handily thumped a Richmond team that is usually pretty good at the FCS level. The Cavaliers outgained UCLA by 28 yards and outgained Richmond by 92. They have sacked opposing quarterbacks nine times, and they have at least shown signs of semi-competence on offense, albeit while juggling two quarterbacks and underachieving in the run game.

Saturday's visit from Louisville could mark the end of hopeful feelings in C'ville. Bobby Petrino's Cardinals could shut down the Cavaliers and roll to victory, and that loss could be followed by losses to BYU, Pitt, Duke, and most of the remaining opponents on the schedule. But we should watch, just to make sure Virginia is what we think it is. It hasn't been so far.

UCF at No. 20 Missouri (Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

F/+ Projection: Missouri by 9.5 (72.3 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Justin Holman vs. Encores. Penn State more than doubled UCF's total yardage when the two kicked off the season in Dublin. But the Nittany Lions needed a last-second field goal to take down the Knights because a) UCF did the Little Things™ really well -- they won the field position battle, held PSU to field goals, and held a plus-two turnover advantage -- and b) Justin Holman entered the game. After starting quarterback Pete DiNovo was rendered ineffective by the Penn State defense (3-for-8 for 18 yards and a sack), Holman started winging the ball downfield. He completed nine of 14 passes for a whopping 204 yards, and he engineered three touchdown drive in five possessions.

That DiNovo won the job in fall camp is a sign that Holman isn't actually that much better. Still, if Holman finds similar downfield success against a young set of Missouri cornerbacks (and, yes, a fierce pair of Missouri defensive ends in Markus Golden and Shane Ray), it could put a lot of pressure on Maty Mauk and the Tiger offense to keep up.

Toledo at Cincinnati (Friday, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

F/+ Projection: Cincinnati by 5.8 (66.8 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Cincinnati vs. Rust. Cincinnati has finally decided to grace us with its presence! The Bearcats employed a 1980s-esque double bye week to begin the season, which means they will be hosting a Toledo team that has played 120 more minutes of real football than them in 2014. Does the time off help Cincy? Are the Rockets going to find an edge simply by having knocked off more rust? Was Tommy Tuberville giving us a couple of extra weeks to set expectations he could thwart, for better or worse?

The real matchup here comes at the quarterback position. Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel makes his first start for Tommy Tuberville, while Logan Woodside will likely make his first start for Toledo after Phillip Ely went down with an ACL injury against Missouri. Kiel has all the physical tools you could ask for, and Woodside didn't look overwhelmed inheriting a Toledo offense that was down a few touchdowns in the second half.

Arkansas at Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

F/+ Projection: Texas Tech by 4.0 (64.0 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Texas Tech vs. Underachievement. Speaking of preconceptions and reality ... looking only at 2014 performance, Arkansas has been better than Texas Tech. Arkansas was tied with Auburn at halftime, then treated poor Nicholls State like an NAIA school, scoring virtually every time it touched the ball in the first half on the way to a huge win. Texas Tech, meanwhile, has beaten Central Arkansas and UTEP by a combined 11 points.

Of course, two weeks isn't a legitimate sample. There's a reason why the preseason F/+ projections still carry heavy weight. Two weeks create a reality that can be debunked in Week 3. At least, Texas Tech hopes this is the case, because the visiting Razorbacks look much less like the sure win they appeared to be two weeks ago.

West Virginia at Maryland (Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, BTN)

F/+ Projection: Maryland by 3.9 (63.9 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Maryland vs. Itself. In two games, Maryland has thrown three interceptions and fumbled an incredible nine times. The Terps have also outgained opponents by 229 yards and won both games. They handled James Madison easily, then came from behind to beat USF despite a minus-five turnover margin. They are willfully adding to their degree of difficulty, then winning anyway.

If they want to keep that last sentence in the present tense instead of moving it to the past tense, they might want to hold onto the ball. We don't know much about West Virginia yet -- Dana Holgorsen's Mountaineers looked great on offense for a half before fading against Alabama, then routed a Towson team that was decent last year. If Maryland holds onto the ball, WVU might still be enough to hand the Terps their first loss as a Big Ten team. But let's just say that another minus-five turnover margin will likely result in about a 42-point loss this time.

No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

F/+ Projection: UCLA by 5.7 (63.6 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Both Teams vs. Malaise. UCLA's offense looked sketchy against Virginia, then its defense allowed 469 yards to Memphis, and two projected blowouts became one-possession wins. Texas handled a sound North Texas team easily, then without quarterback David Ash and some suspended linemen, got roughed up by BYU even worse than it did last year.

You almost get the impression that Texas head coach Charlie Strong wanted the BYU game to happen, or at least needed it to. He wants his team to get the message that it has a long way to go, and that's what it received last week. Maybe there's a bounceback week in store for the Longhorns, and maybe the Bruins are beatable.

Or maybe the quarterbacks matchup -- Brett Hundley vs. Tyrone Swoopes -- is all you really need to know about this game. (We'll talk more about this one tomorrow.)

Louisiana Tech at North Texas (Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports)

F/+ Projection: North Texas by 3.5 (63.2 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Louisiana Tech vs. Last Week. It had been quite a while since Louisiana Tech truly looked good. Since beating UTSA by 24 points, then surviving a trip to Texas State late in 2012, the Bulldogs had lost 11 of 15 games and had started the Skip Holtz era with a 4-9 record after a season-opening pasting by Oklahoma.

But leave it to an in-state rivalry to light a spark. Tech held UL-Lafayette quarterback Terrance Broadway to 4.4 yards per pass attempt (including sacks) and forced three turnovers (yes, with some luck involved: they recovered all four of the game's fumbles), and Kenneth Dixon ripped off 184 rushing yards to pace Tech to a 48-20 throttling of the Ragin' Cajuns.

Now comes the real test: proving this was New Tech and not simply a big performance in a rivalry. North Texas is a steady entity; Tech is a total mystery. Thursday night's more big-name game takes place in Provo, where BYU hosts Houston. But the game in Denton will be more interesting.

Penn State at Rutgers (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, BTN)

F/+ Projection: PSU by 5.0 (62.6 percent chance of winning)

Key Matchup: Penn State's offense vs. Rutgers' defense vs. Resistible forces and movable objects. When Rutgers' offense takes on Penn State's defense, it will be, if not a heavyweight-caliber matchup, at least a super middleweight one. PSU defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and new Rutgers offensive coordinator Ralph Freidgen have found plenty of pieces to move around thus far.

Then there's the other matchup. Rutgers allowed 295 non-sack rushing yards to Howard last week, and Akron had Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, um, flustered. Hackenberg is still completing 65 percent of his passes, and Penn State's still 2-0, but we'll kindly say that both of these units still have some growing to do.