Week 3 games to watch: Previews and predictions

There are big games all around when it comes to Week 3. After plenty of upsets last week, some that were well-deserved — I’m looking at you, Arkansas — will there be more to come this week?

Let’s take a look and find out!

ACC: No. 15 Georgia Tech at No. 13 Notre Dame

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have looked very good in their first two games of the season, but looking at who they have played – Alcorn State and Tulane – it really doesn’t do them any favors. Aside from that, their running attack has looked very dangerous.

In last week’s game, eight different guys got into the endzone, so that diversity will certainly help them going forward.

The Irish, on the other hand, are just struggling to keep guys healthy.

In Week 1, they lost starting running back Tarean Folston for the year. Now, they are down quarterback Malik Zaire and tight end Durham Smythe, who both went down with ankle injuries. They are going to have to have guys step in their place if they want to continue to keep their name in the hat for the College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame wins, 35-30

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American Athletic Conference: Connecticut at Missouri

The Tigers are certainly on upset alert this week when they welcome in the Huskies. The team was barely able to get past Arkansas State last week and the Huskies are much more talented than they have been in the past. The Tigers are going to need to get their rushing attack going, because when your leading rusher is your quarterback and he doesn’t even have 100 yards two games into the season, something is going wrong.

The Huskies have had an efficient couple of weeks from quarterback Bryant Shirrefs. If he can get going and expose the Tigers’ defense, they could be putting the SEC in another embarrassing situation. However, I think the Tigers should be able to pull out the win, but it won’t be by as much as many may think.

Missouri wins, 25-19

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Big 12: California at Texas

How will the Longhorns react just days after their athletic director Steve Patterson was let go from his position? Will there be a different feeling in the air as fans take to the stands? That’s really what we have to look for this week.

Jerrod Heard looked very confident behind center for a freshman. He will definitely need that if he wants to lead his team past the Golden Bears.

Jared Goff is a very good quarterback who not a lot of people have heard about. He’s thrown for six touchdowns in two games in crushing wins. They should be able to exploit the Longhorns’ defense late in the game as they pull away in the fourth quarter. I don’t think people will be asking who Goff is after Saturday.

California wins, 42-24

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Big Ten: No. 23 Northwestern at Duke

The Wildcats really need to watch out for this game. The Duke Blue Devils aren’t the same football team they were in past years and they have been known to pull of some big wins in tough situations. Quarterback Thomas Sirk has looked very good, throwing for 600 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions while leading the team in rushing yards as well.

While the Blue Devils have proved to be tough, the Wildcats are hungry to prove that they can play with not only the Big Ten, but the rest of the Power Five as well. Pat Fitzgerald will have his team fired up and his defense will continue to play lights out.

Northwestern wins, 23-13

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Conference USA: NC State at Old Dominion

It’s not very often that a big school like NC State takes a road trip to a smaller school like Old Dominion, but it has been a common theme this season. This isn’t a game to watch because Old Dominion will beat NC State, although I think they can.

NC State running back Shadrach Thornton was suspended for the first two games for a violation of team rules. While Matt Dayes has done a very good job in his place, it’s time to see what the senior can do. Look for these two to split carries this week.

As for the Monarchs, running back Ray Lawry is going to have to get going and get going early. He already has six scores on the year and adding a few more against the Pack would certainly give his team a legitimate shot at pulling off the upset. The running game for the Pack will be too strong in the end as they ride on the backs of Thornton and Dayes to victory.

NC State wins, 31-17

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MAC: Iowa State at Toledo

The Rockets beating the Cyclones wouldn’t be considered an upset anymore. This team is expected to go out and perform well and I think they will. This team is very confident after their big win over the SEC’s Arkansas.

Iowa State just doesn’t have enough to get the job done. Their ground game is atrocious and their passing attack isn’t much better. But hey, if the Rockets do beat Iowa State, the Razorbacks can feel a little better knowing they got beat by a damn good team.

Toledo wins, 41-31

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Mountain West: Colorado at Colorado State

This is just a good old fashioned rivalry and it’s going to be a doozy to watch. The Rams are finally starting to get their feet underneath them offensively under first-year head coach and offensive guru Mike Bobo and they should be able to show off their skills against a hurting defense like Colorado’s

The Rams had a near-miss against Minnesota last week, so they want to show that they can get a big win over a Power Five Conference team. Look for wide receiver Joe Hansley to have a big game against a Buffalo defense that is just limping into this game.

Colorado State wins, 35-13

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PAC-12: No. 20 BYU at No. 11 UCLA

 I nearly picked the only conference game of Week 3 in the PAC-12 to be the game to watch in this conference, but I just don’t believe the Stanford Cardinal can give the Trojans a game. The BYU Cougars jumped into the AP rankings after a huge win over the Broncos. They are starting to prove that they can be the other independent team in discussion for the CFP and a win over an AP top ten team would help the cause.

Tanner Mangum and Josh Rosen will do battle this week and, after winning the last two games on Hail Mary passes, I think the Cougars prayer book is just about to the end…Just about. I think the Cougars have one more prayer in them as they are able to take another giant down and continue to climb the rankings.

BYU wins, 23-21

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SEC: No. 16 Ole Miss at No. 4 Alabama

The Crimson Tide are looking for revenge from their only regular season loss last season. Derrick Henry is looking nearly unstoppable on the ground. However, the quarterback situation is still up in the air as both Jake Coker and Cooper Bateman saw significant playing time last week.

The Rebels are lighting up the sky and the scoreboard. After two straight weeks of scoring more than 73 points, it’s hard to believe that anybody can stop this team. Chad Kelly is looking like the quarterback Clemson hoped he was going to be and Quincy Adeboyejo is scary fast. The Crimson Tide can’t get over their quarterback woes and the Rebels pull off the big upset.

Ole Miss wins, 35-21

Sun Belt: The Citadel at Georgia Southern

The Eagles were upset after their embarrassing loss at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers in Week 1 and the Western Michigan Broncos got the bad end of the stick. This game isn’t going to be watchable by halftime, but you should really tune into this one because of one man.

Quarterback Kevin Ellison is back from his academic ineligibility suspension and now HE is angry for having to wait to weeks to hit the field with his team. Look for Ellison to have a monstrous game against the Bulldogs.

Georgia Southern wins, 62-14

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports