Articles By Steven Lassan

Path: /college-football/nevada-wr-hasaan-henderson-makes-incredible-one-handed-grab-against-texas-am
Body:

It’s early in the 2015 college football season, but Nevada wide receiver Hasaan Henderson’s touchdown catch against Texas A&M might be one of the best of the year.

 

Henderson made this nifty one-handed grab with an Aggie defender covering him like a blanket.

 

Check out this awesome catch by Henderson:

Teaser:
Nevada WR Hasaan Henderson Makes Incredible One-Handed Grab Against Texas A&M
Post date: Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 15:06
Path: /college-football/idaho-state-has-one-worst-punts-ever-against-boise-state
Body:

Idaho State was a heavy underdog for its Friday night matchup against Boise State, and the Bengals were soundly defeated 52-0. The biggest news out of this game was an injury to quarterback Ryan Finley for the Broncos.

 

The highlights for Idaho State in a 52-0 loss were few. And unfortunately for the Bengals, there were some low moments. 

 

How low? Well, this punt might be one of the worst we have seen in a while.

 

 

Teaser:
Idaho State Punter Has One of the Worst Punts Ever Against Boise State
Post date: Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/fordham-unveils-extremely-patriotic-uniforms-saturdays-game-against-columbia
Body:

Fordham is going with a full patriotic look for Saturday’s matchup against Columbia. The Rams unveiled a red, white and blue helmet that resembles the American flag, while the helmets feature the stars and stripes on the shoulder pads and on the pants.

 

Additionally, the back of the uniforms feature NYPD, FDNY, EMS or the Port Authority instead of the usual player names.

 

Needless to say, these are awesome and have our full approval.

 

Check out the , with a couple of quick views of the Fordham uniform for Saturday below:

 

 

Teaser:
Fordham Unveils Extremely Patriotic Uniforms for Saturday's Game Against Columbia
Post date: Friday, September 18, 2015 - 11:31
Path: /college-football/alabama-crimson-tide-vs-ole-miss-rebels-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

Last season’s meeting between Ole Miss and Alabama was one of the top games from the ’s 2014 slate, and the 2015 version has the potential to be another thriller on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. Both teams opened the season with a 2-0 start, but the schedule will get tougher starting on Saturday. Ole Miss crushed UT Martin and Fresno State in easy fashion, while the Crimson Tide handled Wisconsin in Week 1, followed by a 27-point victory over MTSU in Week 2.

 

While both teams have impressed through the first two weeks, Saturday night’s showdown is a huge barometer game for both teams. Just how good is Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly? Alabama’s rugged defense should give the Rebels a good idea of where Kelly is in his development, as well improvement from the ground attack. For the Crimson Tide, quarterback Jake Coker remains a question mark two starts into 2015, but this team is loaded with one of the nation’s top running backs (Derrick Henry) and an elite defense.

 

Related:

 

The Crimson Tide owns a significant edge in the overall series against the Rebels. Ole Miss won the 2014 meeting in Oxford, but the last victory for the Rebels in Tuscaloosa was in 1988.

 

Ole Miss at Alabama

 

Kickoff: 9:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 19

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Alabama -7

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly

New Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has lived up to the hype so far. After a short stint at Clemson and a stop at East Mississippi Community College, Kelly landed in Oxford prior to spring practice and edged DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan for the starting job. Through two weeks, Kelly leads the nation by averaging 13.9 yards per pass attempt, has completed 29 of 40 passes for 557 yards and six scores. The junior also has 46 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. While Kelly has been sharp in his first two outings, a road test at Alabama is a completely different animal than UT Martin or Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s front seven is arguably the nation’s best, and the secondary is loaded with top recruits. Will Kelly continue his hot start to the season? The junior’s supporting cast also has to step up, and the offensive line is not expected to have left tackle Laremy Tunsil back in the lineup due to an ongoing NCAA investigation. Additionally, the Rebels averaged only 3.9 yards per carry in games last season. That won’t get it done on Saturday night. While Kelly’s play is critical, Ole Miss needs to have balance on offense.

 

Related:

 

2. Derrick Henry vs. Ole Miss’ Run Defense

Alabama running back Derrick Henry is off to a fast start in 2015. Through two games, the junior has been one of the nation’s top players. Henry has 243 yards and six scores on 31 rushes, averaging a whopping 7.8 yards per carry. In last year’s meeting, Ole Miss limited Henry to just 37 yards. However, last year’s starter (T.J. Yeldon) had 123 yards on 20 attempts. Alabama’s offensive line hasn’t been perfect this season, but there’s no shortage of talent in this group. Anchored by junior Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss’ defensive front is one of the best in the SEC. This unit has allowed only 3.07 yards per carry this season and no player has reached paydirt against this unit on the ground. Considering the new players stepping into the starting lineup on offense, Alabama needs Henry to keep quarterback Jake Coker out of obvious passing situations, but coordinator Lane Kiffin may need Coker to have success through the air early to prevent the Rebels from stacking the box.

 

Related:

 

3. Alabama QB Jake Coker and New Wide Receivers

Alabama’s passing attack has its share of concerns entering this matchup. New starting quarterback Jake Coker is 30 of 47 for 427 yards and two touchdown passes this season and is completing 63.8 percent of his passes. Coker opened the year with a sharp performance against Wisconsin but wasn’t as crisp in the Week 2 victory over MTSU. How quick of a hook will Saban have in this game? Backup Cooper Bateman has played in both games so far this season and is 18 of 25 for 149 yards and a score. But the growth of the passing game isn’t solely on the quarterbacks. The Crimson Tide lost their top three receivers from last season, and after two games, this group is still unsettled. Running back Kenyan Drake and tight end O.J. Howard (seven catches for both players) lead the team in receiving yards. Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart are the team’s top receivers, but this group will face a tough assignment against an Ole Miss secondary limiting opponents to a 58.5 completion percentage. Coker doesn’t necessarily need a huge effort on Saturday night for Alabama to win. However, he needs to be efficient and limit the mistakes. This is his toughest test so far in 2015.

 

Final Analysis

 

This matchup in Tuscaloosa should be one of the weekend’s best games. Ole Miss has been very impressive through the first two weeks, but the competition level has been questionable. Just how good is Chad Kelly? We are about to find out. Kelly’s ability to attack downfield is a huge asset for the Rebels, as receiver Laquon Treadwell and tight end Evan Engram are big-time playmakers that can stretch the field. Has Alabama’s secondary improved since last year? Or will the Crimson Tide’s front seven generate enough pressure to limit the big plays downfield? When Alabama has the ball, keep an eye on the trenches. Running back Derrick Henry is off to a fast start, but the Rebels want to limit the ground attack and force Coker to win through the air. Ole Miss has its share of success on offense. However, Alabama’s defense makes enough plays in the second half to secure the victory.

 

Prediction: Alabama 27, Ole Miss 20
Teaser:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, September 18, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/auburn-tigers-vs-lsu-tigers-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and renew their annual rivalry in Death Valley on Saturday afternoon, as the Week 3 all-Tigers matchup is a crucial one in the rugged SEC West. LSU opened conference play with a 20-19 victory over Mississippi State last Saturday, while Auburn needed overtime to survive Jacksonville State. It’s only Week 3, but there’s plenty at stake in this matchup. While a loss here certainly doesn’t end the conference title hopes of either team, the SEC West is loaded with seven quality teams and there’s little margin for error.

 

While last week was certainly troubling for Auburn, coach Gus Malzahn’s team was shorthanded due to a few injuries on defense, and there was the look ahead factor to this matchup against LSU. For coach Les Miles’ Tigers, LSU’s passing game remains a question mark, but there’s no doubt this team can win a lot of games on the strength of running back Leonard Fournette and a strong defense.

 

Related:

 

LSU owns a 27-21-1 edge in the overall series and has won three out of the last four against Auburn. Coach Gus Malzahn’s team won last year’s meeting in convincing fashion (41-7). However, Auburn has not won in Baton Rouge since 1999.

 

Auburn at LSU

 

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: LSU -7

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson

Johnson was widely considered one of college football’s rising stars this preseason, and the junior was picked by most as one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks for 2015. However, the hype hasn’t matched the production through two weeks. Johnson struggled in last week’s win over Jacksonville State and has passed for 373 yards and three passing scores in 2015. However, the junior also has five interceptions and is not the dynamic running threat his predecessor (Nick Marshall) was for the Auburn offense. Is this the game where Johnson starts to figure it out? LSU’s secondary is among the nation’s best, but top safety Jalen Mills is still sidelined with a leg injury. The Tigers allowed 335 passing yards in last week’s win over Mississippi State, with a good chunk of it coming in the second half. A strong performance by Johnson would significantly boost the odds of Auburn pulling off a road upset.

 

Related:

 

2. Stopping LSU RB Leonard Fournette

The success of LSU’s offense starts with Fournette. Despite question marks about the passing attack and going against extra defenders in the box, Fournette gashed Mississippi State for 159 yards and three scores. If Fournette continues that production, he will be among the leading candidates to win the Heisman Trophy in December. The sophomore faces a similar storyline on Saturday afternoon, as Auburn hopes to slow the ground attack and force LSU to win this one through the air. Auburn’s defense is allowing 199.5 rushing yards per game, but end Carl Lawson – if healthy – would be a big boost for this group. Auburn needs to win the battle on first and second downs to put LSU in long-yardage situations.

 

3. LSU QB Brandon Harris vs. Auburn’s Defense

The final stat line for Brandon Harris against Mississippi State – 9 of 14 for 71 yards – wasn’t overly impressive. However, Harris didn’t make a mistake (zero interceptions) and added 48 rushing yards. But most importantly for coach Les Miles and coordinator Cam Cameron – LSU got the victory. The Tigers don’t necessarily need Harris to throw for 300 yards a week, but he needs to make plays in the clutch and eliminate any turnovers. How much will Harris build off last week’s performance? Safety Tray Matthews is expected back after missing last Saturday’s game, and Auburn has allowed only one passing score so far. Can Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp bait Harris into a couple of mistakes?

 

Final Analysis

 

This is a tough one to predict. Auburn isn’t as bad as it played against Jacksonville State, but it needs a healthy Carl Lawson at end, as well as Johnson to play his best game of the year under center. LSU has its own share of question marks. Will the defense tighten up after struggling in the second half against Mississippi State? Leonard Fournette will get his share of carries, but is quarterback Brandon Harris ready to take another step forward in his development? It’s tempting to take Auburn, as Malzahn should have this team ready to play after last week’s sluggish performance. However, it’s tough to pick against LSU in Death Valley.

 

Prediction: LSU 27, Auburn 24
Teaser:
Auburn Tigers vs. LSU Tigers Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, September 18, 2015 - 09:15
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/predictions-every-college-football-game-week-3
Body:

The third week of the 2015 season kicks off on Thursday night with a key ACC matchup between Clemson and Louisville. Thursday night’s game is one of the marquee contests for Week 3, but the action continues on Friday and Saturday with critical must-see matchups. On Saturday, the SEC takes the spotlight with Alabama-Ole Miss and LSU-Auburn. Additionally, Nebraska-Miami and Notre Dame-Georgia Tech are among the top games of the weekend, while Texas hopes to continue its recent momentum with a non-conference bout against California.  

 

Conference Predictions for Week 3

 

 

College Football Week 3 Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

Mark

Ross

John

Gworek

Clemson at

Louisville

Florida State at

Boston College

Idaho State at

Boise State

New Mexico at 

Arizona State

Wake Forest at

Army West Point

USF at 

Maryland

UNLV at 

Michigan

Air Force at 

Michigan State

Illinois at

North Carolina

Kent State at 

Minnesota

UConn at

Missouri

Nevada at

Texas A&M

Buffalo at

FAU

Tulsa at 

Oklahoma

Savannah State at

Akron

Northwestern at

Duke

Central Michigan at

Syracuse

Georgia State at

Oregon

SE Louisiana at

Ohio

Rice at

North Texas

Louisiana Tech at

Kansas State

Memphis at

Bowling Green

Temple at

UMass

Ball State at

Eastern Michigan

Nebraska at

Miami

Georgia Tech at

Notre Dame

Northern Illinois at

Ohio State

Virginia Tech at

Purdue

William & Mary at

Virginia

Auburn at 

LSU

Troy at 

Wisconsin

Norfolk State at

Marshall

UTSA at 

Oklahoma State

Cincinnati at

Miami, Ohio

East Carolina at

Navy

WKU at

Indiana

NW State at

Mississippi State

Austin Peay at

Vanderbilt

Utah State at

Washington

Wofford at 

Idaho

South Carolina at

Georgia

NC Central at

FIU

Citadel at

Georgia Southern

Furman at

UCF

NC State at

Old Dominion

Western Carolina at

Tennessee

Texas Tech at

Arkansas

Colorado at

Colorado State

Charlotte at

MTSU

Southern Miss at

Texas State

Murray State at

Western Michigan

Missouri State at

Arkansas State

Florida at 

Kentucky

California at

Texas

Rutgers at 

Penn State

Iowa State at

Toledo

Pittsburgh at

Iowa

SMU at 

TCU

San Jose State at

Oregon State

Stanford at

USC

South Alabama at

San Diego State

Maine at Tulane

UTEP at

NMSU

Wyoming at

Washington State

Ole Miss at

Alabama

Utah at

Fresno State

BYU at

UCLA

N. Arizona at

Arizona

Cal Poly at

Hawaii

 

Teaser:
Predictions for Every College Football Game in Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 13:55
Path: /college-football/pac-12-week-3-predictions-2015
Body:

California is in the spotlight on Saturday, as the top three matchups from the all involve teams from the Golden State. USC-Stanford takes the top spot in the game power rankings, but there’s no shortage of intrigue between BYU-UCLA and California-Texas. The Cardinal opened the year with a loss to Northwestern, but coach David Shaw’s team looked better in Week 2 against UCF. Can the Bruins prevent BYU from another last-second win? And will California’s passing attack have success against Texas’ defense? There’s plenty of must-see games in the Pac-12 this Saturday.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Pac-12 Week 3 predictions from three editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Pac-12 Week 3 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Stanford at USC

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

 

David Fox:

Stanford’s defense will need to corral the dynamic USC offense because the Cardinal’s offense won’t be able to survive an up-and-down game.

USC 31–14

 

Braden Gall:

Stanford's defense is pretty salty, and Kevin Hogan got back on track last weekend against UCF. USC has crushed two lower tiered opponents. The Trojans look like the better team but this game is always interesting, bizarre and closer than the experts think.

USC 24-21 

 

Steven Lassan:

Missed opportunities sums up last year’s meeting between these two teams. Will this season’s meeting go differently? Stanford struggled in its opener but looked better against UCF last Saturday. USC has crushed two Sun Belt opponents, so this will be a better barometer test of where the Trojans stand. The Cardinal defense has a tough task ahead in trying to slow quarterback Cody Kessler and a deep group of receivers for USC. I’m not sure Stanford’s offense will be able to score enough to win this one.

USC 31-20

 

2. BYU at UCLA

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

 

David Fox:

The most dramatic team in the nation against the best freshman quarterback. You won’t believe what happens next.

UCLA 38–31

 

Braden Gall:

This is one of the best games of the weekend. Josh Rosen is the real deal but his supporting cast is much better than anyone thinks. BYU has been riding some late-game magic and it's hard to see them do it again.

UCLA 38-27

 

Steven Lassan:

Can BYU keep up the magic on Saturday night? The Bruins are the best team the Cougars have faced so far, but it’s a little surprising to see BYU as a 17-point underdog. The battle of freshmen quarterbacks – Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Tanner Mangum (BYU) should be entertaining, but UCLA is the better overall team and should make enough stops on defense to prevent this one from coming down to a Hail Mary.

UCLA 34-24

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 

3. California at Texas

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

 

David Fox:

Between parting ways with the AD and reshuffling the offensive responsibilities and personnel, Texas is starting to pull itself together. All that won’t help the Longhorns slow down Cal’s passing game.

California 31­–21

 

Braden Gall:

This is a great battle between a great offensive coach and a great defensive coach. Jared Goff should be successful against a young secondary but Texas has some emotional momentum at home after firing their athletic director. This will go down to the final whistle.

California 31-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Things are looking up for Texas. The offense showed some signs of life against Rice (7.3 ypp), and Steve Patterson was dismissed as the athletic director on Tuesday. Can the Longhorns continue that momentum on Saturday? Stopping California’s high-powered offense will be a challenge for coach Charlie Strong, especially with a young secondary and a pass rush that’s been relatively quiet (three sacks so far). The Golden Bears are vulnerable on defense, but I’ll take Jared Goff and his deep group of receivers to win in Austin.

California 31-27

 

4. Utah State at Washington

Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

Washington freshman Jake Browning looked much better in Week 2 — against Sacramento State.

Washington 28–21

 

Braden Gall:

Washington is just a 5.5-point favorite over Utah State. That's all you need to know about the state of the Huskies. 

Washington 24-20

 

Steven Lassan:

Points could be at a premium in this one, as both defenses have been stingy through the first two weeks of the season. The quarterback battle between Chuckie Keeton (Utah State) and Jake Browning (Washington) also makes this one worth the viewing time. The Huskies’ young talent on offense does just enough to earn the victory.

Washington 24-20

 

5. Colorado at Colorado State

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS Sports Network

 

David Fox:

The Rams will get a big boost if Rashard Higgins returns.

Colorado 28–21

 

Braden Gall:

This is a sneaky good rivalry that has led to some dramatic moments. Who knows. Give me the Buffs.

Colorado 30-28

 

Steven Lassan:

Bragging rights are on the line in the Rocky Mountain Showdown between these two in-state rivals. Colorado State won last year’s matchup (31-17), but these two programs have alternated wins and losses over the last four seasons. The Rams should have star receiver Rashard Higgins back in the lineup after sitting out last week’s game against Minnesota. However, will Colorado State get consistent quarterback play from Nick Stevens or Coleman Key? Tough call here, but I’ll take the Buffaloes.

Colorado 31-30

 

6. New Mexico at Arizona State

Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET (Friday)

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

Arizona State gets a second shot at a team that runs a ton of option after having fits with Cal Poly last week.

Arizona State 34–13

 

Braden Gall:

Arizona State hasn't looked nearly as good as many thought in the preseason but this should be an easy warm-up for USC next weekend.

Arizona State 42-14

 

Steven Lassan:

Arizona State was picked by some to win the Pac-12 South this year, but the Sun Devils are off to a sluggish start. Is this the week coach Todd Graham’s team gets back on track? New Mexico’s offense can eat up the yards on the ground (281.5 per game), but the Sun Devils should be able to attack a defense that allowed 40 points against Tulsa last Saturday.

Arizona State 45-17

 

7. Utah at Fresno State

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS Sports Network

 

David Fox:

Through two weeks of the season, we know Utah can win ugly and Fresno State can lose ugly.

Utah 35–14

 

Braden Gall:

This isn't a vintage Fresno State team so Utah starts the year 3-0 with some sneaky good wins over Michigan, Utah State and Fresno State.

Utah 30-10

 

Steven Lassan:

I mentioned this last week in the Ole Miss-Fresno State writeup, but it’s worth mentioning again: This is not a vintage Fresno State team. The Bulldogs defeated Abilene Christian in Week 1 and was soundly defeated 73-21 by Ole Miss in Week 2. Utah starting quarterback Travis Wilson is likely out due to injury, but it shouldn’t matter here.

Utah 38-10

 

8. Wyoming at Washington State

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

Mike Leach and Craig Bohl have done a lot of winning in their careers, but they’ve lost to Portland State, Eastern Michigan and North Dakota this season alone. Yuck.

Washington State 37–24

 

Braden Gall:

Wyoming was embarrassed last weekend and Wazzu pulled off a cross-country upset.

Washington State 42-28

 

Steven Lassan:

Wyoming is near the bottom of most 128 rankings this season, as the Cowboys opened the season with losses to North Dakota and Eastern Michigan. Washington State’s road win over Rutgers was huge after the opening week disappointment against Portland State. The Cougars won’t have much trouble here.

Washington State 45-17

 

9. San Jose State at Oregon State

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

San Jose State hasn’t defeated a Pac-12 team since 2006 (a 1–11 Stanford team).

Oregon State 28–14

 

Braden Gall:

Oregon State was atrocious against Michigan last weekend but Seth Collins gives them a glimmer of hope.

Oregon State 34-27

 

Steven Lassan:

With Oregon State in rebuild mode, wins are going to be tough to come by in 2015. The Beavers should be able to get win No. 2 on Saturday against San Jose State.

Oregon State 31-20

 

10. Georgia State at Oregon

Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

The Ducks should have a chance to rest Vernon Adams and his finger in the second half.

Oregon 49–13

 

Braden Gall:

Vernon Adams has the busted finger but won't be needed too much this week. If I'm Mark Helfrich, I'm getting other people involved in what should be an ugly game against GSU.

Oregon 55-10

 

Steven Lassan:

Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams is dealing with a broken finger and is questionable to play. It won’t matter if Adams or Jeff Lockie gets the call against Georgia State. The Panthers are improving under coach Trent Miles, but they just picked up their first win against a FBS opponent.

Oregon 55-13

 

11. Northern Arizona at Arizona

Kickoff: 11 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

 

David Fox:

Arizona’s beleaguered defense won’t get a break even against Northern Arizona.

Arizona 42–28

 

Braden Gall:

Arizona's defense isn't elite (especially without Scooby Wright) but won't be challenged here.

Arizona 50-20

 

Steven Lassan:

The Wildcats have won the last two meetings against Northern Arizona by a combined score of 76-10. This one won’t be close on Saturday.

Arizona 48-17

Teaser:
Pac-12 Week 3 Predictions 2015
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-3-predictions-2015
Body:

For completely different reasons, Oklahoma and Texas have dominated the headlines in the since last Saturday. And going into Week 3, the Longhorns will have an opportunity to build off last week’s momentum and win over Rice with a tough matchup against California. The Golden Bears boast one of the nation’s top offenses and are off to a 2-0 start. Oklahoma’s win over Tennessee was a huge non-conference boost for the Sooners last Saturday. Bob Stoops’ team returns to Norman this week for a matchup against in-state foe Tulsa, and Oklahoma should move to 3-0 without much trouble. Elsewhere in the Big 12, Texas Tech-Arkansas, Kansas State-Louisiana Tech and Iowa State-Toledo are the three matchups to keep an eye on this weekend.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Week 3 predictions from three editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Big 12 Week 3 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. California at Texas

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

 

David Fox:

Between parting ways with the AD and reshuffling the offensive responsibilities and personnel, Texas is starting to pull itself together. All that won’t help the Longhorns slow down Cal’s passing game.

California 31­–21

 

Braden Gall:

This is a great battle between a great offensive coach and a great defensive coach. Jared Goff should be successful against a young secondary but Texas has some emotional momentum at home after firing their athletic director. This will go down to the final whistle.

California 31-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Things are looking up for Texas. The offense showed some signs of life against Rice (7.3 ypp), and Steve Patterson was dismissed as the athletic director on Tuesday. Can the Longhorns continue that momentum on Saturday? Stopping California’s high-powered offense will be a challenge for coach Charlie Strong, especially with a young secondary and a pass rush that’s been relatively quiet (three sacks so far). The Golden Bears are vulnerable on defense, but I’ll take Jared Goff and his deep group of receivers to win in Austin.

California 31-27

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 

2. Texas Tech at Arkansas

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

 

David Fox:

Against Tech last year, Arkansas rushed for 438 yards and seven TDs while Brandon Allen attempted only 12 passes. For some reason, Arkansas has flipped the script and put more on Allen and the passing game in 2015. Will Bielema get back to basics against Texas Tech?

Arkansas 31–21

 

Braden Gall:

Tech is improved from last year but the defense still has major question marks. Arkansas is reeling after a bad home loss to Toledo but outgained the Rockets by almost 200 yards. Look for the physical play of the Hogs to prevail at home.

Arkansas 38-31

 

Steven Lassan:

Arkansas’ ground attack pounded Texas Tech for 438 yards last season, but the Razorbacks have just 285 rushing yards through the first two games of 2015. And as if last week’s loss to Toledo wasn’t bad enough, top receiver Keon Hatcher is out indefinitely due to a foot injury. Arkansas needs to have a steady diet of Alex Collins on Saturday to keep Texas Tech’s high-powered attack on the sidelines. This one will be closer than it was last season.

Arkansas 38-27

 

3. Iowa State at Toledo

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNEWS

 

David Fox:

Could Toledo pick up two Power 5 wins? Yes, the Rockets can.

Toledo 21–20

 

Braden Gall:

Can Toledo move to 2-0 against Power 5 opponents this year? Iowa State is nothing special, but the Rockets need to get back up again to win.

Toledo 28-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Toledo scored a huge upset over Arkansas last week – and that was without star running back Kareem Hunt in the lineup. If the Rockets avoid a letdown, they will be 2-0 against Power 5 opponents this season.

Toledo 34-27

 

4. Louisiana Tech at Kansas State

Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FSN

 

David Fox:

Louisiana Tech is a good enough team to give Kansas State trouble, but the Wildcats will find a way, even with the backup QB.

Kansas State 27–13

 

Braden Gall:

The Bulldogs can play with Jeff Driskel and company on offense but Kansas State normally figures out a way to stop a quality offense at home. This could be close, but I'm taking the Cats.

Kansas State 30-20

 

Steven Lassan:

New Kansas State quarterback Joe Hubener was solid in his first start, as the junior completed 12 of 23 passes for 243 yards and led the team with 58 rushing yards. Additionally, the Wildcats have allowed only three points in the first two games of 2015. The competition will get tougher this week, as Louisiana Tech is one of the top teams in Conference USA and feature Florida transfer quarterback Jeff Driskel at quarterback. And after allowing just 49 rushing yards per game through the first two weeks, the Wildcats face a tougher test in stopping Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon. The Bulldogs could make this interesting, but Kansas State finds a way to win.

Kansas State 31-20

 

5. SMU at TCU

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FSN

 

David Fox:

Injuries are taking hold on the TCU defense, SMU is nearly halfway to its touchdown total of 2014. This might not be an upset, but it will be closer than TCU would like.

TCU 42–28

 

Braden Gall:

The Battle for the Iron Skillet has seen and will see better days.

TCU 54-28

 

Steven Lassan:

SMU has made significant strides under new coach Chad Morris, and quarterback Matt Davis could give TCU’s ailing defense a few headaches. However, the Horned Frogs simply have too much offense behind quarterback Trevone Boykin.

TCU 45-20

 

6. Tulsa at Oklahoma

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

 

David Fox:

The average score in this game since 2001 is 48–10, and some of those were good Tulsa teams.

Oklahoma 52–10

 

Braden Gall:

Get the ground game going should be the mantra of Oklahoma in this game. It struggled on the ground against Akron and Tennessee and needs to get Samaje Perine rolling before Big 12 play.

Oklahoma 45-17

 

Steven Lassan:

Tulsa is off to a good start (2-0) under new coach Philip Montgomery. However, the Golden Hurricane will need a perfect game to knock off the Sooners. Oklahoma may start slow after last week’s overtime win over Tennessee, but it’s asking a lot for Tulsa’s defense (5.8 ypp and 32.5 ppg) to limit the Sooners’ offense. Oklahoma’s rushing attack is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry, but the offense will have an opportunity to open up holes on the ground against a Tulsa defense giving up over 260 rushing yards per game.

Oklahoma 45-17

 

7. UTSA at Oklahoma State

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

 

David Fox:

Oklahoma State’s 2–0 start could best be described as “workmanlike.” Here’s another probable win of which you won’t take particular note.

Oklahoma State 35–7

 

Braden Gall:

Mason Rudolph got on track last weekend and the offense should roll once again.

Oklahoma State 45-17

 

Steven Lassan:

UTSA gave Arizona all it could handle in Week 1 but was dominated at home in a 30-3 loss to Kansas State. What should we expect from the Roadrunners in Week 3? Probably an outcome similar to the one in Week 2. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 400 yards last Saturday, but the Cowboys might use this game as an opportunity to work on their ground attack (4.5 ypc).

Oklahoma State 41-10

Teaser:
Big 12 Week 3 Predictions 2015
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-week-3-predictions
Body:

The took the spotlight last Saturday, as Michigan State-Oregon was the must-see matchup from Week 2. This weekend’s slate doesn’t have a marquee top-10 contest, but there’s plenty of intriguing games around the conference. Nebraska-Miami features two programs with plenty of history, but neither enters this matchup ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Rutgers-Penn State, Northwestern-Duke and North Carolina-Illinois are some of the top games to watch in Week 3.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Big Ten Week 3 predictions from three editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Big Ten Week 3 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Nebraska at Miami

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2

 

David Fox:

The Huskers are trying to find consistency on offense, but the emergence of Terrell Newby, who rushed for 198 yards and accounted for three touchdowns against South Alabama last week, is encouraging. Miami is also trying to figure out how to consistently move the ball. The team that avoids stalled drives will have the upper hand.

Nebraska 28–21

 

Braden Gall:

I have no good feel about this game but like the other Big Ten-ACC tilts this weekend, I like the home team. Joe Yearby and Brad Kaaya are forming a nice 1-2 offensive punch and Nebraska is still trying to find itself.

Miami 40-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Not sure what to expect in this game, as these two teams seem relatively even. Miami’s defense was shaky in the first half against FAU, but the Hurricanes allowed only three points in the final two quarters. Quarterback Brad Kaaya and running back Joseph Yearby is an explosive combination for Miami’s offense. Nebraska’s secondary has allowed 300 yards passing in back-to-back games and will be tested once again on Saturday. The Cornhuskers are going to score their share of points behind quarterback Tommy Armstrong and running back Terrell Newby (198 yards last week). This one is a toss-up.

Miami 38-34

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 

Related:

 

2. Pittsburgh at Iowa

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

Defensive end Drew Ott (arm) and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. (ankle) are iffy with “fairly significant injuries.” Iowa hopes both will be back Saturday. Pitt has its own injury concerns, with running back James Conner out for the season. Pitt plans on rotating its quarterbacks without the security of Conner running the ball.

Iowa 24–14

 

Braden Gall:

Iowa clearly made the right choice at quarterback with C.J. Beathard. This team has looked good in two easy wins — one on the road against an archrival. Pitt has two wins but isn't at full strength and is on the road.

Iowa 31-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Iowa has quietly impressed through the first two weeks of the season, but there’s two potential injury concerns – defensive end Drew Ott and running back LeShun Daniels – for this game. Even though Pittsburgh lost James Conner due to injury, the rushing attack remains strong with Qadree Ollison, Darrin Hall and Chris James. The bigger question for the Panthers – will it be Chad Voytik or Nathan Peterman under center?

Iowa 24-21

 

3. Northwestern at Duke

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

 

David Fox:

Duke’s Thomas Sirk has been a true dual threat, completing 67.7 percent of his passes while leading the Blue Devils in rushing. Northwestern’s pass defense has been stifling, but the Wildcats haven’t faced a team willing to open up its offense.

Northwestern 31–28

 

Braden Gall:

Love this game. Northwestern's defense is really good and Duke is extremely well coached. I'll take the home team.

Duke 30-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Not only is this a quality under-the-radar matchup of the week between two academic powers, it’s also one of the toughest games to predict. Northwestern has a good win over Stanford, while Duke has dominated two overmatched opponents. The Wildcats have the edge on defense, but I think quarterback Thomas Sirk is a rising star for the Blue Devils, and his play in the second half will be the difference in a tight game.

Duke 27-24

 

4. Illinois at North Carolina

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

 

David Fox:

Illinois has defeated two overmatched opponents by a combined score of 96–3. Time to find out if the Illini are legit. Illinois has played standout defense early this season. That unit will be tested on the road against North Carolina’s spread attack.

North Carolina 35–24

 

Braden Gall:

Illinois has been sneaky good behind the play of quarterback Wes Lunt (although, the ground game hasn't been great). North Carolina rebounded with an easy win over N.C. A&T. This is a great offensive matchup and I'll take the home team in a close one.

North Carolina 41-38

 

Steven Lassan:

Expect plenty of fireworks in this game. Both teams are averaging over 30 points per game and are led by solid quarterbacks in Wes Lunt (Illinois) and Marquise Williams (North Carolina). The Tar Heels have improved on defense under new coordinator Gene Chizik, and I think that’s the difference in this game. Lots of points, but North Carolina makes a critical stop or two in the second half.

North Carolina 38-31

 

5. Rutgers at Penn State

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

After giving up 10 sacks to Temple, Penn State allowed none in Week 2. Never mind the game was against Buffalo; that’s reason to celebrate. Meanwhile, Rutgers was minus-3 in turnover margin in a loss at home to a Washington State.

Penn State 21–14

 

Braden Gall:

This is a conference game? Penn State was better in Week 2 and Rutgers laid a big egg against Washington State. I'll take the home team.

Penn State, 24-20

 

Steven Lassan:

Another week and more bad news for Rutgers. Standout receiver Leonte Carroo is suspended after an off-field incident last Saturday, which means the Scarlet Knights will have to rely more on Janarion Grant and a rushing attack averaging 244.5 yards per game. Additionally, coach Kyle Flood is suspended the next three games after an academic investigation. Penn State’s offensive line played better against Buffalo, and the rushing attack showed some signs of life. The Nittany Lions win this one with their defense.

Penn State 27-10

 

6. WKU at Indiana

Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPNEWS

 

David Fox:

Indiana’s defense keeps opponents in every game. WKU has a prolific offense, one that might be more pass-heavy with running back Leon Allen out. Get ready for a track meet.

Indiana 52–44

 

Braden Gall:

The over-under on total passing yards in this game might be 1,000 yards. Brandon Doughty and Nate Sudfeld is a fantastic matchup and an upset would give Western Kentucky wins over the SEC, Louisiana Tech and the Big Ten.

Western Kentucky, 45-40

 

Steven Lassan:

If you like offense, this is definitely the game to watch on Saturday. The good folks in Vegas have this projected right around the 70 over/under mark, and both offenses scored over 35 points in Week 2. WKU is one of the top Group of 5 teams this season, but the Hilltoppers lost starting running back Leon Allen to a serious knee injury against Louisiana Tech. While Allen will be missed, quarterback Brandon Doughty is capable of winning this game against a young Indiana secondary. Last team with the ball wins?

Indiana 38-34

 

7. Northern Illinois at Ohio State

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2

 

David Fox:

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was unhappy with his offensive line against Hawaii. The lackluster performance led to a 20-of-34, 181-yard line by the quarterbacks. The defense proved it could carry the day, which is good news against NIU’s offense.

Ohio State 49–20

 

Braden Gall:

NIU is a good team but isn't good enough hang with the mighty Buckeyes.

Ohio State, 45-10

 

Steven Lassan:

After a short turnaround from the Labor Day victory over Virginia Tech, it was no surprise Ohio State was sluggish in its win over Hawaii. Expect a different Buckeyes’ team in Week 3. But Northern Illinois isn’t a pushover, as the Huskies are one of the favorites in the MAC and is 25-6 over the last three years. Northern Illinois hangs around, but Ohio State just has too much talent.

Ohio State 45-17

 

8. Air Force at Michigan State

Kickoff: Noon ET
TV Channel: ABC

 

David Fox:

A week after planning for Oregon, Michigan State’s defensive staff needs to begin work on Air Force. The Falcons don’t run a pure triple option like Georgia Tech or Navy. Instead, they’ll give the Spartans a more complex scheme to consider.

Michigan State 28–13

 

Braden Gall:

Sparty keeps it rolling.

Michigan State, 38-13

 

Steven Lassan:

This is not the ideal matchup for Michigan State a week after playing Oregon. However, the Falcons lost starting quarterback Nate Romine to injury last Saturday, but new starter Karson Roberts is capable of keeping the offense on track. The Spartans might have some trouble early in adjusting to the option offense. However, the talent on Michigan State’s defense eventually takes over, and the one-two punch of LJ Scott and Madre London at running back wears down the Air Force defense.

Michigan State 40-17

 

9. Virginia Tech at Purdue

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

 

David Fox:

Purdue’s Austin Appleby returned from his collapse against Marshall to go 20-of-34 for 289 yards with four TDs against Indiana State. Now, the hope is that facing the Hokies won’t set him back.

Virginia Tech 28–10

 

Braden Gall:

Purdue is better this year but still not good enough to win games like this. Even at home.

Virginia Tech 31-24

 

Steven Lassan:

I was surprised to see this spread at only six points. Purdue is improving, but I don’t think it has the necessary pieces to upset Virginia Tech on Saturday. New starter Brenden Motley played well (16 of 24, 233 yards) against Furman for the Hokies last week, and faces a Purdue defense giving up 161.5 rushing yards per game. Virginia Tech’s defense will be too much for the Boilermakers.

Virginia Tech 31-13

 

10. South Florida at Maryland

Kickoff: Noon ET
TV Channel: ESPNU

 

David Fox:

Losing at home to a MAC team is not a good look for Maryland and coach Randy Edsall. The Bulls won’t challenge the Maryland secondary like Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson did.

Maryland 28–14

 

Braden Gall:

Maryland and Randy Edsall desperately need a win and a home loss to USF might doom him.

Maryland, 34-14

 

Steven Lassan:

Maryland coach Randy Edsall is looking for a spark on offense after last week’s loss to Bowling Green. Caleb Rowe has replaced Perry Hills as the starting quarterback, but the key to the Terrapins’ victory hopes resides with the ground attack. After rushing for 341 yards in the opener, Maryland posted only 156 in Week 2. That has to change this Saturday, especially after USF gave up 278 rushing yards to Florida State. The Bulls are a work in progress on offense, but the defense is good enough to steal this one if Maryland struggles to move the ball.

Maryland 27-20

 

11. UNLV at Michigan

Kickoff: Noon ET
TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

The Wolverines are starting to look like a Jim Harbaugh-coached team, with solid defense and a productive running game. This is a chance for Michigan to further refine that identity.

Michigan 42–7

 

Braden Gall:

Michigan got Jim Harbaugh's first win in impressive defensive fashion last weekend. More defense and more De'Veon Smith.

Michigan, 38-3

 

Steven Lassan:

Michigan’s offense showed some signs of life last week, and the defense dominated Oregon State after giving up a touchdown on the Beavers’ opening drive. The Wolverines should have an easier time this week, as UNLV was crushed by UCLA last Saturday and may be without quarterback Blake Decker.

Michigan 44-7

 

12. Troy at Wisconsin

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

Corey Clement (groin) can’t return fast enough. Wisconsin has rushed for 80 yards in the first half — total, in two games.

Wisconsin 42–7

 

Braden Gall:

Wisconsin rolled big last weekend and will continue to roll.

Wisconsin, 45-17

 

Steven Lassan:

Running back Corey Clement was sidelined due to injury last Saturday, yet Wisconsin easily defeated Miami (Ohio). Expect much of the same for the Badgers in Week 2. Another positive for Wisconsin: Quarterback Joel Stave is off to a good start.

Wisconsin 48-14

 

13. Kent State at Minnesota

Kickoff: Noon ET
TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

If Minnesota is going to have another standout season, the Gophers need Mitch Leidner to build upon his performance late on the road against Colorado State.

Minnesota 35–10

 

Braden Gall:

The Gophers needed some big plays late to leave Fort Collins with a win and should finally be able to roll to an easy win.

Minnesota, 34-10

 

Steven Lassan:

This was probably overlooked by most last week, but Kent State allowed -33 yards in a win over Delaware State. Yes, that’s correct. Minnesota survived Colorado State’s upset bid last Saturday, and the Golden Gophers should have a much easier time against Kent State. Quarterback Mitch Leidner has not thrown an interception in his last five starts for Minnesota.

Minnesota 38-7

Teaser:
Big Ten Week 3 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/sec-week-3-predictions-2015
Body:

After a strong performance in Week 1, the took its share of hits in Week 2. Auburn needed overtime to defeat Jacksonville State, Arkansas lost to Toledo and Tennessee blew a 17-0 lead to Oklahoma in a 31-24 two-overtime loss. The focus in Week 3 shifts to conference play, as the top four matchups in the SEC this week feature games between league rivals. Ole Miss-Alabama is the top game for Week 3, but there’s no shortage of intrigue between Auburn-LSU, Florida-Kentucky and Georgia-South Carolina.

 

Athlon Sports offers its SEC Week 3 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), Mitch Light () and Braden Gall ()

 

SEC Week 3 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Ole Miss at Alabama

Kickoff: 9:15 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

 

David Fox:

In what likely will be the first competitive game of the year for the Rebels, look for Alabama to put the pressure on quarterback Chad Kelly — particularly if he’s missing the protection of left tackle Laremy Tunsil for a third consecutive game.

Alabama 42–24

 

Braden Gall:

Both teams are loaded on defense. Both teams have some question marks under center. Both teams have playmakers on offense. But one team is at home and is likely taking the revenge angle personally after what happened between these two last season. Roll Tide.

Alabama, 34-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has been sharp through the first two games of the season, but this will be his toughest test so far. The Crimson Tide’s defense is allowing only 4.05 yards per play, and there are encouraging signs for the secondary, as this group has yet to allow a pass of 30 yards or more. Of course, those numbers will be tested against Kelly and receiver Laquon Treadwell. Stating the obvious here, but Ole Miss needs to stop running back Derrick Henry and force the Crimson Tide to win this one through the air. It’s a lot to ask the Rebels to go into Tuscaloosa and win.

Alabama 27-20

 

Mitch Light:

Chad Kelly, the Rebels’ new quarterback, and been incredibly efficient, completing 72.5 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception while leading the nation with 13.9 yards per attempt. The opponent this week will offer far more resistance and the environment will be far more hostile, but Ole Miss is one of the few teams in the nation that features the top-end talent to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Ole Miss 31–27

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 
2. Auburn at LSU

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

 

David Fox:

Auburn’s defense hasn’t played to its full potential, in part because of absences of Carl Lawson and Tray Matthews. More concerning are the five interceptions so far form Jeremy Johnson. LSU’s offense looked all too familiar — the Tigers accounted for only 71 passing yards on nine completions. On the bright side, Leonard Fournette was terrific, rushing for 159 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries. He’ll be too tough for Auburn to slow down.

LSU 17–13

 

Braden Gall:

LSU is playing better football, is at home and is playing with revenge on their mind after a horrible showing on The Plains last fall. If Brandon Harris can offer some sort of balance, the cajun Tigers will top the BBQ Tigers.

 

Steven Lassan:

Plenty of intrigue here. Auburn has not played like a top-10 team this season and barely survived last week’s matchup against Jacksonville State. However, coach Gus Malzahn’s team was a little shorthanded, as end Carl Lawson and safety Tray Matthews did not play. The Tigers should be in better shape on defense for the trip to Death Valley - assuming Lawson and Matthews are able to go - but the offense still has its share of concerns, especially with quarterback Jeremy Johnson. LSU also has question marks about its passing game, but running back Leonard Fournette can carry this team to a win. This is a tough one to call.

LSU 24-20

 

Mitch Light:

We aren’t quite ready to jump off the Jeremy Johnson bandwagon, but maybe it’s time to admit that we shouldn’t have had the Tigers’ first-year starting quarterback No. 8 on our preseason Heisman list. 

LSU 21-16

 

3. Florida at Kentucky

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

 

David Fox:

UK’s run game has been outstanding so far at 6.0 yards per carry, but expect quarterback Patrick Towles to test a Florida secondary that could be without All-America cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.

Kentucky 24–17

 

Braden Gall:

The whole world is picking the Cats to end their 29-year losing streak against Florida. So this is dangerous but Kentucky is improving as a team and is at home. Commonwealth will be rocking and Patrick Towles gives this team stability under center.

Kentucky, 31-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Kentucky has lost 28 consecutive matchups to Florida, but the Wildcats have a good shot at ending that streak in 2015. The Gators weren’t sharp in a win over East Carolina and needed a late interception to secure the victory. This one is a tossup, but I’ll take Florida’s defense to keep Kentucky running back Boom Williams in check, while the Gators’ offense takes advantage of a Wildcats’ defense giving up 6.01 yards per play.

Florida 27-24

 

Mitch Light:

Kentucky took a big step last weekend, snapping a 22-game road losing streak with its win at South Carolina. Can the Wildcats make it 2–0 in the SEC? The guess here is no. Florida’s defense — even if Vernon Hargreaves III doesn’t play — will be the difference.

Florida 21-17 

 

4. South Carolina at Georgia

Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

 

David Fox:

Georgia is far from ready to contend for the SEC championship, particularly at quarterback where Greyson Lambert started 0-for-7 against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs still have Nick Chubb. That should be the difference maker — provided this isn’t the kind of out-of-nowhere loss Georgia has suffered in recent years.

Georgia 31–14

 

Braden Gall:

Georgia is a much better team and South Carolina is dealing with some serious injuries, including starting quarterback Connor Mitch. But this game is always weird, low-scoring and close.

Georgia, 27-17

 

Steven Lassan:

The South Carolina-Georgia series has seen some strange matchups in recent years. But everything on Saturday night suggests an easy win for the Bulldogs. Sure, Georgia has its share of concerns at quarterback, but the defense and rushing attack will be too much for a South Carolina team starting a former walk-on (Perry Orth) at quarterback and ranks 13th in the SEC in rush defense.

Georgia 31-13

 

Mitch Light:

Greyson Lambert is 2–0 as a starter but has yet to quiet the concerns that Georgia will be good enough at the quarterback position to win an SEC championship. South Carolina isn’t thinking about winning a league title; the Gamecocks, fresh off of a loss at home to Kentucky, is simply trying to avoid an 0–2 start in the league.  

Georgia 28-10

 

5. Texas Tech at Arkansas

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

 

David Fox:

Against Tech last year, Arkansas rushed for 438 yards and seven TDs while Brandon Allen attempted only 12 passes. For some reason, Arkansas has flipped the script and put more on Allen and the passing game in 2015. Will Bielema get back to basics against Texas Tech?

Arkansas 31–21

 

Braden Gall:

Tech is improved from last year but the defense still has major question marks. Arkansas is reeling after a bad home loss to Toledo but outgained the Rockets by almost 200 yards. Look for the physical play of the Hogs to prevail at home.

Arkansas, 38-31

 

Steven Lassan:

Arkansas’ ground attack pounded Texas Tech for 438 yards last season, but the Razorbacks have just 285 rushing yards through the first two games of 2015. And as if last week’s loss to Toledo wasn’t bad enough, top receiver Keon Hatcher is out indefinitely due to a foot injury. Arkansas needs to have a steady diet of Alex Collins on Saturday to keep Texas Tech’s high-powered attack on the sidelines. This one will be closer than it was last season.

Arkansas 38-27

 

Mitch Light:

Arkansas passed the ball on 53 of its 84 snaps in last week’s loss to Toledo. Expect the Hogs to get back to what they do best — run the ball — with Texas Tech coming to town. 

Arkansas 37-24

 

6. UConn at Missouri

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN

 

David Fox:

If Missouri is going to stun the SEC again, Maty Mauk needs to be more consistent. In his last 12 games, Mauk has completed 49.6 percent of his passes and averaged 166.6 yards passing. Meanwhile, Mizzou’s run game is lost without Russell Hansbrough, who will miss this game with an ankle sprain.

Missouri 28–14

 

Braden Gall:

Maty Mauk and the SEC speed along both lines of scrimmage gives Mizzou the easy win.

Missouri 40-17

 

Steven Lassan:

UConn is making progress under coach Bob Diaco, and the Huskies are catching Missouri at a good time. The Tigers won’t have running back Russell Hansbrough available due to injury, and the offense averaged only 4.1 yards per play in last week’s win against Arkansas State. However, even though the Huskies are improved and Missouri is a little shorthanded, coach Gary Pinkel’s team finds a way to pull away in the second half for a comfortable victory.

Missouri 31-10

 

Mitch Light:

The good news: Connecticut is 2–0. The bad news: Those two wins have come against Villanova and Army West Point, both at home, by a total of 10 points. Missouri has struggled offensively en route to its 2–0 start, but the Tigers have been very strong on the defensive side of the ball. 

Missouri 28-10

 

7. Nevada at Texas A&M

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

 

David Fox:

The Aggies’ offense is rolling, which is not great news for a Nevada team that just gave up 570 yards and 7.4 yards per play to Arizona at home last week.

Texas A&M 49–17

 

Braden Gall:

Texas A&M is just tuning up for a nasty SEC schedule.

Texas A&M, 50-20

 

Steven Lassan:

A bad week for Nevada coach Brian Polian is only going to get worse on Saturday. Polian – who was on Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s first staff in College Station – was fined $10,000 by the school after two unsportsmanlike penalties in last week’s loss to Arizona. The Wolf Pack has some firepower on offense, but it’s asking a lot for this team to win at Kyle Field. Expect Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray to have their share of highlights in this one.

Texas A&M 48-13

 

Mitch Light:

Few teams have been as impressive through two weeks than the Aggies. Nevada, a solid team from a solid league, will provide a decent test, but A&M should win this game by at least two touchdowns. 

Texas A&M 41–23

 

8. Northwestern State at Mississippi State

Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

 

David Fox:

This might be a good week for Mississippi State to figure out who can lead in the run game.

Mississippi State 42–14 

 

Braden Gall:

#HailState.

Mississippi State 45-10

 

Steven Lassan:

Mississippi State’s second-half rally fell short against LSU last Saturday. The Bulldogs shouldn’t need a comeback to win this one, as coach Dan Mullen’s team should cruise to an easy victory. But here’s the real challenge for Mississippi State: Back-to-back road dates await, starting with a trip to Auburn next Saturday, followed by a date at Texas A&M on Oct. 3.

Mississippi State 48-10

 

Mitch Light:

His supporting cast isn’t nearly as strong, but Dak Prescott is off to a strong start to his senior season. He will put up some big numbers against the Demons from Northwestern State. 

Mississippi State 41-13

 

9. Western Carolina at Tennessee

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

 

David Fox:

The Vols shouldn’t have much trouble, but they need to bounce back from a double dose of bad news: the collapse against Oklahoma and losing star defender Curt Maggitt to a hip injury.

Tennessee 49–14

 

Braden Gall:

Tennessee needs to get lots of young bodies onto the field on both sides of the ball to be ready for Florida, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama — the next four following this one.

Tennessee 45-10

 

Steven Lassan:

Tennessee should be eager to erase the disappointment of last week’s collapse to Oklahoma. Western Carolina is the perfect opponent to work out the kinks before a road trip to Florida.

Tennessee 48-7

 

Mitch Light:

Tennessee is still recovering from last week’s emotional loss to Oklahoma. Good thing the Catamounts — who lost to The Citadel last week — are next on the docket.

Tennessee 47-6

 

10. Austin Peay at Vanderbilt

Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

 

David Fox:

To his credit, Derek Mason is sticking with quarterback Johnny McCrary, who has thrown five interceptions. Austin Peay will help the sophomore build confidence.

Vanderbilt 35–10

 

Braden Gall:

Derek Mason is treating this as an SEC game... as he should. Because he needs every win he can get.

Vanderbilt, 34-7

 

Steven Lassan:

Vanderbilt has improved in coach Derek Mason’s second season, but wins will be tough to come by this year. This Saturday won’t be problem, as Austin Peay is the easiest opponent on the schedule for the Commodores in 2015.

Vanderbilt 45-3

 

Mitch Light:

Vanderbilt leads the SEC with 165 offensive plays through two games. The Commodores, however, are only averaging 4.76 yards per play — and that ranks last in the league. 

Vanderbilt 38-0

Teaser:
SEC Week 3 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/acc-week-3-predictions-2015
Body:

The still has its share of one-sided matchups on the slate for Week 3, but there’s a handful of contests with national appeal. Notre Dame begins life without Malik Zaire this Saturday, as DeShone Kizer makes his first start under center against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have been one of the nation’s most impressive teams through the first two weeks of 2015. Elsewhere in the , Clemson travels to Louisville for a showdown on Thursday night, while Florida State travels to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College on Friday night. Miami hosts Nebraska in an intriguing non-conference affair that should see its share of points.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Week 3 predictions from three editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

ACC Week 3 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Georgia Tech at Notre Dame

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC

 

David Fox:

The Yellow Jackets’ offense is rolling, and Paul Johnson wouldn’t mind sticking it to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder, who wasn’t keen on the option when he succeeded Johnson at Georgia Southern. That, and Notre Dame is down four starters with injuries since the preseason.

Georgia Tech 35–24

 

Braden Gall:

Tech is really, really good and Justin Thomas is the best quarterback Paul Johnson has ever had. Notre Dame will be extremely physical too but is relying on a new starter DeShone Kizer — who isn't nearly as mobile as Malik Zaire. This could be a playoff elimination game and I'm taking the road team.

Georgia Tech 34-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Georgia Tech hasn’t faced much competition through the first two weeks of the season, but the Yellow Jackets have been very impressive. Notre Dame is battle tested after games against Texas and Virginia. However, is this game where the injuries catch up to Brian Kelly’s team? Interested to see how DeShone Kizer performs in his first start, as well as the Fighting Irish’s defense against the Yellow Jackets’ option attack.

Georgia Tech 31-27

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 
2. Clemson at Louisville

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

 

David Fox:

The sense of optimism around the Cardinals has slowed. Louisville is giving up 100 more yards rushing per game than last season. That's before facing Clemson.

Clemson 38–20

 

Braden Gall:

Louisville hasn't gotten off to the start it has hoped for but the competition has excellent. Clemson hasn't been tested but has rolled big. The Cardinals play well at home on Thursday nights traditionally, but I'm taking the Tigers.

Clemson 38-24

 

Steven Lassan:

We should find out a little more about Clemson on Thursday night. The Tigers have been sharp in two games, but Louisville is the best team they will face so far. The Cardinals have already started two different quarterbacks and could turn to a third – Kyle Bolin – on Thursday night. However, the bigger question for both teams is how the offensive lines perform. The edge here goes to Clemson behind quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Clemson 27-24

 

3. Nebraska at Miami

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2

 

David Fox:

The Huskers are trying to find consistency on offense, but the emergence of Terrell Newby, who rushed for 198 yards and accounted for three touchdowns against South Alabama last week, is encouraging. Miami is also trying to figure out how to consistently move the ball. The team that avoids stalled drives will have the upper hand.

Nebraska 28–21

 

Braden Gall:

I have no good feel about this game but like the other Big Ten-ACC tilts this weekend, I like the home team. Joe Yearby and Brad Kaaya are forming a nice 1-2 offensive punch and Nebraska is still trying to find itself.

Miami 40-30

 

Steven Lassan:

Not sure what to expect in this game, as these two teams seem relatively even. Miami’s defense was shaky in the first half against FAU, but the Hurricanes allowed only three points in the final two quarters. Quarterback Brad Kaaya and running back Joseph Yearby is an explosive combination for Miami’s offense. Nebraska’s secondary has allowed 300 yards passing in back-to-back games and will be tested once again on Saturday. The Cornhuskers are going to score their share of points behind quarterback Tommy Armstrong and running back Terrell Newby (198 yards last week). This one is a toss-up.

Miami 38-34

 

4. Florida State at Boston College

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET (Friday)

TV Channel: ESPN

 

David Fox:

Boston College tends to play Florida State tough, and this is not the Jameis Winston Seminoles. BC will threaten to upset before FSU finishes the job.

Florida State 27–21

 

Braden Gall:

The Noles struggle consistently in Chestnut Hill, and Everett Golson hasn't been the playmaker Jimbo Fisher envisioned. Boston College has rolled to two easy wins but won't be able to stop Dalvin Cook.

Florida State 35-21

 

Steven Lassan:

The competition has been low, but Boston College’s defense has been dominant through the first two weeks of the season. The strength of the Eagles’ defense is up front, and this will be a tough matchup for Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. This game should be controlled by the defenses, leaving it up to whichever quarterback makes enough plays in the second half.

Florida State 24-20

 

5. Illinois at North Carolina

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

 

David Fox:

Illinois has defeated two overmatched opponents by a combined score of 96–3. Time to find out if the Illini are legit. Illinois has played standout defense early this season. That unit will be tested on the road against North Carolina’s spread attack.

North Carolina 35–24

 

Braden Gall:

Illinois has been sneaky good behind the play of quarterback Wes Lunt (although, the ground game hasn't been great). North Carolina rebounded with an easy win over N.C. A&T. This is a great offensive matchup and I'll take the home team in a close one.

North Carolina 41-38

 

Steven Lassan:

Expect plenty of fireworks in this game. Both teams are averaging over 30 points per game and are led by solid quarterbacks in Wes Lunt (Illinois) and Marquise Williams (North Carolina). The Tar Heels have improved on defense under new coordinator Gene Chizik, and I think that’s the difference in this game. Lots of points, but North Carolina makes a critical stop or two in the second half.

North Carolina 38-31

 

6. Pittsburgh at Iowa

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

 

David Fox:

Defensive end Drew Ott (arm) and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. (ankle) are iffy with “fairly significant injuries.” Iowa hopes both will be back Saturday. Pitt has its own injury concerns, with running back James Conner out for the season. Pitt plans on rotating its quarterbacks without the security of Conner running the ball.

Iowa 24–14

 

Braden Gall:

Iowa clearly made the right choice at quarterback with C.J. Beathard. This team has looked good in two easy wins — one on the road against an archrival. Pitt has two wins but isn't at full strength and is on the road.

Iowa 31-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Iowa has quietly impressed through the first two weeks of the season, but there’s two potential injury concerns – defensive end Drew Ott and running back LeShun Daniels – for this game. Even though Pittsburgh lost James Conner due to injury, the rushing attack remains strong with Qadree Ollison, Darrin Hall and Chris James. The bigger question for the Panthers – will it be Chad Voytik or Nathan Peterman under center?

Iowa 24-21

 

7. Northwestern at Duke

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

 

David Fox:

Duke’s Thomas Sirk has been a true dual threat, completing 67.7 percent of his passes while leading the Blue Devils in rushing. Northwestern’s pass defense has been stifling, but the Wildcats haven’t faced a team willing to open up its offense.

Northwestern 31–28

 

Braden Gall:

Love this game. Northwestern's defense is really good and Duke is extremely well coached. I'll take the home team.

Duke 30-24

 

Steven Lassan:

Not only is this a quality under-the-radar matchup of the week between two academic powers, it’s also one of the toughest games to predict. Northwestern has a good win over Stanford, while Duke has dominated two overmatched opponents. The Wildcats have the edge on defense, but I think quarterback Thomas Sirk is a rising star for the Blue Devils, and his play in the second half will be the difference in a tight game.

Duke 27-24

 

8. Virginia Tech at Purdue

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

 

David Fox:

Purdue’s Austin Appleby returned from his collapse against Marshall to go 20-of-34 for 289 yards with four TDs against Indiana State. Now, the hope is that facing the Hokies won’t set him back.

Virginia Tech 28–10

 

Braden Gall:

Purdue is better this year but still not good enough to win games like this. Even at home.

Virginia Tech 31-24

 

Steven Lassan:

I was surprised to see this spread at only six points. Purdue is improving, but I don’t think it has the necessary pieces to upset Virginia Tech on Saturday. New starter Brenden Motley played well (16 of 24, 233 yards) against Furman for the Hokies last week, and faces a Purdue defense giving up 161.5 rushing yards per game. Virginia Tech’s defense will be too much for the Boilermakers.

Virginia Tech 31-13

 

9. Central Michigan at Syracuse

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

 

David Fox:

Turnovers helped ‘Cuse, down to a backup QB, get a lopsided win over Wake last week.

Syracuse 28–21

 

Braden Gall:

Cuse gets its third win in three tires over CMU, matching its season total last year.

Syracuse 31-24

 

Steven Lassan:

It’s early, but this is a must-win game for Syracuse’s bowl hopes. True freshman quarterback Eric Dungey has played well since replacing an injured Terrel Hunt under center. Central Michigan gave Oklahoma State trouble in the opener, but Syracuse avoids the upset here.

Syracuse 30-20

 

10. NC State at Old Dominion

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: American Sports Network

 

David Fox:

I’m not sure why NC State is playing AT Old Dominion or AT South Alabama next week. Anything to make this paltry September schedule seem interesting.

NC State 35–10

 

Braden Gall:

The nation's leading rusher (Ray Lawry) will battle with Jacoby Brissett and NC State at home — which is interesting but unlikely to be close.

NC State 45-24

 

Steven Lassan:

NC State has looked good through the first two weeks of the season, but the competition level has been questionable. The theme continues on Saturday. Old Dominion running back Ray Lawry leads the nation with an average of 219 rushing yards per game in 2015. However, the Wolfpack have one of the ACC’s top backfields and are getting Shadrach Thornton back from a two-game suspension.

NC State 40-17

 

11. Wake Forest at Army

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: CBS Sports Network

 

David Fox:

Wake’s run game is still a mess, averaging 1.4 yards per carry last week. Army ran only 41 plays last week against UConn.

Wake Forest 21–14

 

Braden Gall:

Wake Forest needs a rebound after a tough road conference loss to Cuse last week. Army is one game it should win.

Wake Forest 30-20

 

Steven Lassan:

Wake Forest had a 17-13 halftime lead over Syracuse last week, but the Demon Deacons couldn’t overcome three turnovers. Regardless, this is an improved team in coach Dave Clawson’s second year. Army’s triple option is tough to stop on a short week to prepare, but the strength of Wake Forest’s defense rests with its front seven.

Wake Forest 27-20

 

12. William & Mary at Virginia

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

 

David Fox:

The Cavaliers’ brutal September schedule may get them only one win. This is it.

Virginia 31–14

 

Braden Gall:

Virginia's only break in the first month is a win. Finally.

Virginia 40-17

 

Steven Lassan:

Virginia has faced one of the toughest two-game stretches to start 2015. Things should be a little easier for the Cavaliers on Saturday.

Virginia 38-7

Teaser:
ACC Week 3 Predictions 2015
Post date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/rutgers-coach-kyle-flood-suspended-three-games-and-fined-50000
Body:

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood has been after an investigation into academic rule violations. The news about Flood’s suspension was first reported by NJ.com’s Keith Sargeant.

 

Flood will miss Saturday’s game against Penn State and will sit out the Scarlet Knights’ games against Kansas and Michigan State. Running backs coach Norries Wilson will serve as the interim coach for the next three games. Flood will return for Rutgers’ Oct. 17 matchup against Indiana.

 

An before the season after NJ.com reported the fourth-year coach sent an e-mail to a faculty member regarding the status of one his players – Nadir Barnwell. The cornerback’s status was in question for 2015 due to academics. The contents of the e-mail to the faculty member have not been released, but academic support about the status of the player.

 

Flood was on the hot seat entering last season but guided Rutgers to an 8-5 record in its Big Ten debut. The Scarlet Knights are off to a 1-1 start in 2015.

 

Teaser:
Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood Suspended Three Games
Post date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 15:51
Path: /college-football/clemson-tigers-vs-louisville-cardinals-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and enter Thursday night’s critical early-season showdown with a completely different outlook through the first two weeks of the season. The Tigers are off to a fast 2-0 start thanks to convincing wins over Wofford and Appalachian State, while the Cardinals are just one of four Power 5 teams without a win so far. Louisville has a significant edge in strength of schedule over Clemson, as there’s no shame in losing to Auburn and Houston.

 

While the first two weeks of the season has brought significantly different fortunes for these two programs, Thursday night is a new opportunity. Clemson is considered by some to be the frontrunner in the ACC, but Louisville is by far the toughest opponent coach Dabo Swinney’s team has played in 2015. On the other sideline, even though the Cardinals are 0-2, this is the ACC opener for both teams. A win against the Tigers would eliminate some of the bad feelings from the 0-2 start and keep Louisville in the mix to win the Atlantic Division.

 

College Football Podcast: Week 3 Preview with Dari Nowkhah



Subscribe: |

 

Thursday night’s matchup is only the second meeting between these two teams. Last year’s game was the first contest between Clemson and Louisville on the gridiron.

 

Clemson at Louisville

 

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET (Thursday)

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Clemson -6

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Louisville’s Quarterbacks

Two games, two different starters at quarterback for Louisville. Where will the quarterback carousel end on Thursday night? Could true freshman Lamar Jackson make his second start of the season? Will Reggie Bonnafon return to the starting role after not playing against Houston? Or is the third game Kyle Bolin’s opportunity to take the controls of Louisville’s offense? Or can Will Gardner – seven starts in 2014 – recover from a rib injury to start? Jackson is a dynamic dual-threat option, but he has three picks on 47 attempts and rushed for only 16 yards against Houston before Bolin was inserted into the lineup. In limited action against the Cougars, Bolin threw for 157 yards on 10 completions. Bolin’s experience isn’t limited to just this year, as he saw extensive action against Kentucky in 2014 and started the Belk Bowl against Georgia. Even if Bolin starts, could coach Bobby Petrino have a package of plays for Jackson?

 

2. Battle in the Trenches

Rebuilding the offensive line was a theme among contenders in the ACC this preseason. Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Miami all entered the opener with question marks about the offensive line. So far, both units for Clemson and Louisville have experienced their share of ups and downs, as the Tigers have allowed five sacks, while the Cardinals have surrendered six. And oddly enough, both teams are averaging 4.2 yards per carry. The similarities between these two teams in the trenches continues with freshmen starting at left tackle. For Louisville, Geron Christian protects the blindside, while Deshaun Watson has touted recruit Mitch Hyatt anchoring the left side. There are a lot of similarities between these two groups, and both units will be tested on Thursday night. Louisville’s front seven is among the best in the ACC, and Clemson is loaded with promising young talent in a rebuilding year. Can the Tigers protect Watson to give him time to throw to an explosive receiving corps? Will Louisville’s line clear the way for running back Brandon Radcliff to take some of the pressure off of the starter at quarterback? The play in the trenches should have a huge impact on which team emerges with the victory.

 

3. Clemson’s Rebuilt Defense

So far, so good for coordinator Brent Venables. Clemson’s defense returned only two starters from a defense that ranked first nationally by limiting opponents to just 4.03 yards per play in 2014. Through two games, the Tigers are holding opposing offenses to just 3.8 yards per play, have allowed only 20 points, forced four turnovers and generated 20 tackles for a loss. The pass rush – only two sacks so far – is a concern, but there’s plenty of room to improve this area as the year progresses with a handful of freshmen cracking the two-deep for this game. While Appalachian State’s offense is one of the best in the Sun Belt, Louisville should be a better gauge of where Clemson’s defense stands in 2015. Even with James Quick and Jamari Staples sidelined due to injury, the Cardinals have talented playmakers on the outside in Jaylen Smith, Ja’Quay Savage, Traveon Samuel and tight end Micky Crum. Additionally, running back Brandon Radcliff is averaging 4.4 yards per carry in 2015 after rushing for 737 yards in 2014. A road test against a Louisville offense coming off 24 points against Auburn and 31 against Houston should provide Venables with more insight on just how quickly this defense is rebuilding after losing several key players from the dominant 2014 group.

 

Final Analysis

 

It’s only Week 3, but this is a critical showdown in the ACC Atlantic. Additionally, this game will provide better insight into Clemson’s rebuilding effort, as well as Louisville’s quarterback situation. The home crowd and front seven on defense should help the Cardinals in their upset bid. However, Louisville won’t win this game if it continues to lose turnovers (six so far this year) and struggles to block Clemson’s defensive line. While the Tigers are also dealing with their share of new faces in the lineup, the difference in this game has to be sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson. This one won’t be decided until the fourth quarter, but Watson delivers with the game on the line to give Clemson a close victory.

 

Prediction: Clemson 27, Louisville 24
Teaser:
Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 13:00
All taxonomy terms: Arkansas Razorbacks, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/bills-coach-rex-ryan-takes-shot-arkansas-coach-bret-bielema-over-scheduling
Body:

Last week was a tough one for Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. The Razorbacks’ coach in Ohio State’s schedule after Week 1, and of course, after Arkansas’ loss to Toledo on Saturday.

 

On Wednesday, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan took a jab at Bielema over scheduling when asked if he wished the Patriots were in another division. 

 

Teaser:
Bills Coach Rex Ryan Takes a Jab at Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema Over Scheduling
Post date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 12:55
Path: /college-football/old-dominion-unveils-awesome-alternate-helmet-week-3-game-against-nc-state
Body:

Old Dominion has a huge home game this Saturday, as NC State visits Foreman Field in Week 3. It’s rare for a Power 5 team to play a Group of 5 opponent on the road, so this will be a good opportunity for coach Bobby Wilder to showcase his program.

 

And what better way to mark an important home game than with an alternate helmet?

 

Old Dominion released these helmets yesterday for the Week 3 matchup against NC State: 

Teaser:
Old Dominion Unveils an Awesome Alternate Helmet for Week 3 Game Against NC State
Post date: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 12:05
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/10-college-football-quarterbacks-could-make-statement-week-3
Body:

Quarterbacks are always under heavy scrutiny for all 128 teams, and the pressure only increases in big-time matchups. While it’s still very early in the 2015 season, there are a handful of teams with critical matchups in Week 3. Whether it’s a conference contest, a non-conference matchup or a player looking to solidify his place at the top of the depth chart, Week 3 is a key Saturday for some quarterbacks to make a statement for their team in the national landscape or just to see where they stack up within the conference.

 

Here’s a look at 10 quarterbacks to watch in critical spots for Week 3’s action:

 

10 QBs Looking for a Statement Performance in Week 3

 

Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska – at Miami (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Armstrong has the most career starts of any quarterback on this list. However, question marks surrounded the junior in 2015, as new coach Mike Riley tweaked Nebraska’s offense to more of a pro-style approach. Would Armstrong fit in the new scheme? That was the preseason question surrounding the Cornhuskers and Armstrong. But through two weeks, those questions have been erased. The junior is completing 63.4 percent of his passes, averaging 13.1 yards per completion and has only one interception on 71 attempts. After a last-second loss in the opener against BYU, Nebraska rebounded with an easy win over South Alabama. However, Saturday’s game against Miami will be a tough test on the road, as Armstrong faces a secondary that has allowed only one passing score (yes, questionable competition) and has limited quarterbacks to a 51.1 completion percentage through two games. So far, Armstrong’s transition to the offense has been seamless. And a clutch performance against the Hurricanes would be a good way to build confidence and continue to show why Armstrong could be one of the nation’s most improved passers this year.

 

Related:

 

Jake Coker, Alabama – Ole Miss (Saturday, 9:15 p.m. ET)

With one of the nation’s top defenses and rushing attacks in place, Alabama doesn’t need an elite playmaker at quarterback. Sure, it would be nice, but the Crimson Tide just needs their quarterback to eliminate mistakes and get the ball in space to their playmakers. After throwing for 213 yards and a score against Wisconsin in the opener, Coker wasn't as sharp against MTSU, completing 15 of 26 for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception. There’s certainly room to improve for Coker heading into Saturday night’s game versus Ole Miss. The Rebels are the best defense Alabama has seen so far in 2015, but Coker could solidify his place at the top of the depth chart and eliminate some of the question marks surrounding this position in Tuscaloosa with a steady performance on Saturday night.

 

Will Grier, Florida – vs. Kentucky (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Treon Harris or Grier? That’s the key question facing new coach Jim McElwain once again this week. Harris started the opener against New Mexico State, while Grier got the nod against East Carolina in Week 2. Both quarterbacks have looked sharp at times, but will one emerge as the clear starter? Kentucky’s secondary features a true freshman (Chris Westry) starting at one cornerback spot, and this unit has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 63.2 percent of their passes so far this year. Will Grier make a clear claim for the job against the Wildcats? Or will Harris continue to make this decision a tough one for McElwain?

 

Related:

 

Brandon Harris, LSU – vs. Auburn (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

There’s no doubt LSU is going to win a lot of games on the strength of its defense and rushing attack. However, for the Tigers to make the jump to contend for the SEC West title in 2015, the passing game has to improve after struggling mightily in 2014. The opener against McNeese State was canceled due to weather, but Harris showed promise by completing 9 of 14 passes for 71 yards in a road win at Mississippi State. He also rushed for 48 yards and five carries, and most importantly, tossed zero interceptions. Auburn should be a good test for Harris, as new coordinator Will Muschamp has this unit on the right track, and the Tigers have allowed only one play of 30 yards or more. With end Carl Lawson and safety Tray Matthews expected back from injury, Auburn’s defense should be at full strength on Saturday afternoon.

 

Jerrod Heard, Texas – vs. California (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Texas ran only 38 plays against Rice, so it’s tough to evaluate the offense under new play-caller Jay Norvell. However, Heard showed flashes of promise, completing 4 of 7 passes for 120 yards and two scores, while leading the team with 96 yards on the ground. Although Heard has to develop as a passer, his running ability could be a difference maker for a young Texas offense. California has one of the nation’s best offenses, so the Longhorns will have to score a few points to keep up with the Golden Bears. Is Heard ready to take another step forward in his development?

 

Jeremy Johnson, Auburn – at LSU (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

High expectations surrounded Johnson this preseason, but the junior is off to a slow start. Through two games, Johnson is completing 60.4 percent of his throws and has 373 passing yards and three scores. However, Johnson isn’t the runner that last year’s starter Nick Marshall was (only 18 yards so far) and has tossed five interceptions on 53 picks. Additionally, Johnson has only two passing plays of 30 yards or more (tied for seventh in the SEC) and just a single pass connection of 40 yards or more. Big plays are a staple of Auburn’s offense under coach Gus Malzahn, but the Tigers are lagging in that department so far. With a trip to LSU ahead this Saturday, Johnson has a chance to shake off the slow start and get back on track before the heart of SEC play.

 

Chad Kelly, Ole Miss – at Alabama (Saturday, 9:15 p.m. ET)

Kelly has earned high marks for his first two performances in an Ole Miss uniform, but Saturday night’s matchup against Alabama will be his toughest of 2015. After transferring to Oxford from the junior college ranks (after a stint at Clemson), the junior was picked over Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade as the starter this offseason. Kelly completed 9 of 15 passes for 211 yards and two scores in the opener against UT Martin and followed that up with an even better performance against Fresno State. Kelly passed for 346 yards and four scores on 20 completions against the Bulldogs and also added a score on the ground. Through two weeks, Kelly is tied for 11th nationally in passes of 30 yards or more nationally (five) and has three completions of 50 yards or more. The junior’s ability to stretch the field only adds to the explosiveness of this group and could be the missing piece in Ole Miss’ quest to win the SEC West in 2015.

 

Related:

 

DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame – vs. Georgia Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Kizer was placed into a difficult role for his first taste of extended action. Prior to Saturday’s appearance against Virginia, Kizer had just one career pass attempt (Week 1). But after Malik Zaire went down with a season-ending ankle injury, Kizer stepped into the spotlight and completed 8 of 12 passes for 92 yards and two scores. The biggest throw of Kizer’s day was a 39-yard strike to Will Fuller with 12 seconds left, which was just enough for Notre Dame to earn a 34-27 victory. The redshirt freshman should benefit from a full week of snaps with the No. 1 offense, and the strong supporting cast in South Bend should ease his transition into the starting lineup. If Kizer delivers with a strong performance in Week 3, the concerns about the offense without Zaire should quiet – at least for one week.

 

Related:

 

Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh – at Iowa (Saturday at 8 p.m. ET)

Peterman isn’t guaranteed the starting job, as coach Pat Narduzzi is playing coy with the depth chart as a road trip to Iowa awaits the Panthers in Week 3. Last year’s starter Chad Voytik was outplayed by Peterman against Akron last Saturday. While Voytik completed 6 of 8 passes for 32 yards, Peterman was 12 of 17 for 148 yards and a score. Through two weeks of action, Voytik has a small edge in attempts (22 to 21), but Peterman has 209 passing yards to 104. Additionally, Peterman is averaging a healthy 14.9 yards per completion. It wouldn’t be a surprise if both quarterbacks played on Saturday night. However, will Peterman build off last week’s performance and claim the job outright?

 

Darius Wade, Boston College – Florida State (Friday, 8 p.m. ET)

Boston College has thoroughly dominated its first two opponents, but the schedule gets significantly tougher this Friday, as defending ACC champion Florida State visits Chestnut Hill. The Eagles have the defense and rushing attack to pull off the upset over the Seminoles, but is Wade ready to stretch the field to prevent the Seminoles’ defense from stacking the box? The sophomore played sparingly against Howard and threw for 155 yards against Maine. Without question, this is Wade’s toughest assignment of 2015. The sophomore doesn’t necessarily have to throw for 300 yards for Boston College to win, but this is a good opportunity for the dual-threat sophomore to see just how far along he is in his development.   

Teaser:
10 College Football Quarterbacks That Could Make a Statement in Week 3
Post date: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/10-amazing-college-football-stats-week-2-2015
Body:

Numbers and statistics are a huge part of . Every Sunday, reading updated box scores and stats is like Christmas for fans and media members. Some stats like total offense and total defense are overrated, but each help paint a picture for a team or particular game.

 

Whether the stats are historic, advanced or just an observation from a box score, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

 

10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 2

 

11: Total Yards Allowed by Boston College Against Howard

As expected, Boston College had no trouble with Howard in Week 2. The Eagles thoroughly dominated the Bison on both sides of the ball. The offense accumulated 76 points, averaged 8.8 yards per play and recorded 347 rushing yards. But the most impressive effort from Saturday’s game has to be the defense. Howard managed only 11 total yards of offense, with five drives in the first half resulting in negative yardage.

 

Related:

 

4: Key Notre Dame Players Out for the Year Due to Injury

The injury bug has hit Notre Dame hard this season. The Fighting Irish was considered by some to be a playoff contender, but coach Brian Kelly’s team has a lot to overcome if it wants to be one of the four teams playing for a national championship. Starting quarterback Malik Zaire was lost for the year with an ankle injury against Virginia, which means Notre Dame will enter Week 3 with a new starting backfield after running back injury against Texas. Additionally, defensive tackle Jarron Jones and defensive back Shaun Crawford suffered season-ending knee injuries prior to the first game. That’s four key players missing from coach Brian Kelly’s team after two games.

 

22: Kentucky’s Road Losing Streak in SEC Play Ends in South Carolina

Kentucky’s rebuilding effort under third-year coach Mark Stoops and its bowl hopes for 2015 got a huge boost with a 26-22 win over South Carolina on Saturday night. The victory in Columbia snapped a 22-game losing streak for the Wildcats in SEC play. This will be an intriguing team to watch over the next few weeks, as the Wildcats host Florida and Missouri before a matchup against Eastern Kentucky, followed by a home date against Auburn on Oct. 15.

 

Related:

 

2: Touchdowns Scored by Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche on Offense in 2015

Who knows how much time Nkemdiche will spend on offense once the Rebels hit SEC play, but the defensive tackle already has two touchdowns through two games. Nkemdiche caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the 76-3 win over UT Martin in the opener and scored on a one-yard plunge against Fresno State in Week 2. Nkemdiche’s two touchdowns are more than two teams – Akron and North Texas – have scored so far in 2015.

 

17-0: Tennessee’s Largest Blown Lead in a Home Loss in School History

With a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, everything pointed to a Tennessee victory against Oklahoma. However, the Sooners rallied in the second half and clinched a win after Zack Sanchez intercepted Joshua Dobbs’ pass in the second overtime. The 17-point comeback by Oklahoma was the largest blown lead in a home loss in school history for the Volunteers.

 

Related:

 

2: Wins by MAC Teams Against Power 5 Opponents

MACtion was in full effect on Saturday, as two teams – Bowling Green and Toledo – scored upset wins over Power 5 opponents. The Falcons’ explosive offense accumulated 692 total yards against the Terrapins, while quarterback Matt Johnson passed for 491 yards and six scores in the upset. Toledo contained Arkansas’ powerful ground attack to just 103 yards and limited the Razorbacks to just three points in four red zone trips in the second half.

 

1988: Eastern Michigan’s Last Non-Conference Road Win

Eastern Michigan is one of the toughest jobs in the nation, but second-year coach Chris Creighton seems to have the program on the right track. After a close loss to Old Dominion in the opener, the Eagles won 48-29 at Wyoming on Saturday, which was the program’s first non-conference road victory since 1988.

 

0-10: Mountain West’s Non-Conference Record in Week 2

It was a forgettable weekend of action for the Mountain West. Air Force – in a conference matchup against San Jose State – was the league’s only winner, as the Mountain West went 0-10 in non-conference games. The losses weren’t unexpected according to the Vegas spreads, but the conference missed an opportunity to score key victories. Boise State’s 35-24 loss to BYU is a small setback for the Broncos’ hopes of being the top Group of 5 team this season, while Nevada and Colorado State were unable to take advantage of a home matchup against a Power 5 opponent.

 

2: Last-Minute Wins on Fourth Down Touchdown Passes by BYU

Two games, two last-minute wins by Hail Mary touchdown passes. That’s quite a way for BYU to open the season. After Tanner Mangum hit Mitch Mathews for a 42-yard score on the final play of the opener against Nebraska, the Cougars’ offense delivered once again versus Boise State on Saturday night. Mangum connected with Mitchell Juergens for a 35-yard score on fourth down with less than a minute remaining to give BYU a 28-24 lead over the Broncos. The Cougars later added an interception return to win 35-24.

 

412: Combined Rushing Yards by Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby

, and this duo had two of the top rushing performances in the ACC in Week 2. Cook carried the Florida State offense against USF by recording 266 yards and three touchdowns on 30 attempts. Yearby rushed for 146 yards and a score in Miami’s 44-20 victory over FAU. Both players averaged at least eight yards per carry and are two of the nation’s biggest rising stars at running back.

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 2 2015
Post date: Sunday, September 13, 2015 - 12:02
Path: /college-football/tennessee-coach-butch-jones-tells-oklahoma-lb-eric-striker-have-some-damn-class
Body:

Oklahoma staged a furious second-half rally against Tennessee on Saturday, as the Sooners defeated the Volunteers 31-24 in Knoxville. But the on-field action wasn't the only part of Saturday's game that was noteworthy.

 

Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker is one of the Sooners’ top defenders and attracted plenty of interest from Tennessee and coach Butch Jones for his . The Volunteers reportedly used those comments as motivation. 

 

Considering how Saturday night’s game ended (overtime) and the second-half comeback, there was plenty of celebrating on the Sooners’ part. And needless to say, Jones had a few choice words for Striker (as Oklahoma was celebrating on the field) after the game:

Teaser:
Tennessee Coach Butch Jones Wants Oklahoma LB Eric Striker to Have Some Class
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 23:26
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Florida Gators, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/florida-coach-jim-mcelwain-goes-running-back-kelvin-taylor
Body:

Penalties or mental errors drive coaches crazy. On Saturday night, Florida coach Jim McElwain exploded on Kelvin Taylor after he was assessed a 15-yard penalty for a throat-slash gesture against East Carolina.

 

Here’s McElwain’s reaction on the sidelines after the penalty:

Teaser:
Florida Coach Jim McElwain Goes Off on Running Back Kelvin Taylor
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 22:39
Path: /college-football/southern-miss-coach-todd-monken-isnt-happy-fan-attendance-against-austin-peay
Body:

Southern Mississippi is in the middle of a rebuilding effort under third-year coach Todd Monken. However, Monken made it clear after Saturday’s win over Austin Peay: He is not happy with the fanbase.

 

As expected, the Golden Eagles had an easy win over Austin Peay, but the program only drew around 23,000 in attendance.

 

After the game, Monken went on a rant to let fans he was not happy with the attendance:

Teaser:
Southern Miss Coach Todd Monken Isn't Happy With Fan Attendance Against Austin Peay
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 20:20
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-qb-malik-zaire-suffers-ankle-injury-against-virginia
Body:

quarterback Malik Zaire suffered a significant ankle injury during Saturday’s game against Virginia. Zaire was injured during the third quarter on a rush attempt for the Fighting Irish and was replaced by DeShone Kizer.

 

Prior to the injury, Zaire completed 7 of 18 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 87 yards and one score. The sophomore was carted to the locker room to examine the injury. Zaire’s injury is a huge loss for Notre Dame, as Kizer and true freshman backup Brandon Wimbush have little experience.

 

After the game, coach Brian Kelly indicated Zaire will miss the rest of the 2015 season with a fractured ankle.

 

Kizer is a redshirt freshman with just one career pass attempt entering Saturday’s game.

 

Here’s a look at Zaire’s injury:

Teaser:
Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire Suffers Ankle Injury Against Virginia
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 18:11
Path: /college-football/southern-miss-ball-boy-scared-td-cannon
Body:

Being a ball boy for a college football team can be a dangerous task. Just ask the staff at Southern Miss.

 

On Saturday, a Southern Miss ball boy got quite the scare after one of the Golden Eagles’ touchdowns against Austin Peay.

 

Shortly after Southern Miss scored, the cannon was fired, and the ball boy was a little too close to the explosion.

  

Teaser:
Southern Miss' Ball Boy is Scared by TD Cannon
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 17:32
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Oregon Ducks, Pac 12, News
Path: /college-football/oregon-unveils-new-combat-duck-helmets-game-against-michigan-state
Body:

Oregon has some of college football’s best uniforms, but the Ducks unveiled an awesome alternate helmet for Saturday night’s showdown against Michigan State.

 

The helmet features the Duck logo on a white background to complete the all-white look for Oregon.

 

Check out the Ducks’ alternate helmet, along with its uniforms for Saturday night’s matchup:

Teaser:
Oregon Unveils New Pro Combat Duck Helmets for Game Against Michigan State
Post date: Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 15:01
Path: /college-football/lsu-tigers-vs-mississippi-state-bulldogs-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and open SEC play with one of ’s must-see matchups on Saturday night in Starkville. The SEC West is the toughest division in the nation, as all seven teams enter Week 2 ranked in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. While there’s still a lot to be decided in this division over the next few months, Saturday’s matchup is a good barometer test for both teams.

 

For LSU, it’s a chance to show improvement in the passing game. The Tigers aren’t hurting for talent, but the offense can’t be one-dimensional again. And this is also the first look at coach Les Miles’ team after the opener against McNeese State was canceled due to weather. Mississippi State lost a handful of key players from last season’s 10-win team, yet this program is positioned for a quick reload. Quarterback Dak Prescott is one of the nation’s best, and there’s promising talent in the program waiting to emerge on both sides of the ball.

 

Related:

 

LSU and Mississippi State have played 108 times, with the Tigers holding a 71-34-3 series edge. The Bulldogs ended LSU’s 14-game winning streak in this series last season, defeating the Tigers 34-29 in Baton Rouge in the SEC opener for both programs.

 

LSU at Mississippi State

 

Kickoff: 9:15 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: LSU -4

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. LSU QB Brandon Harris

LSU’s passing game struggled mightily last season. The Tigers averaged only 162.9 yards per game, while Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings combined for just seven passing scores in SEC contests. Harris has the edge in talent over Jennings, and after spending most of 2014 as a backup, the sophomore earned his place at the top of the depth chart this offseason. Will this move spark the LSU passing attack? Harris has one of the SEC’s best receiving corps at his disposal and a solid offensive line leading the way. The supporting cast isn’t a concern. A road start in the SEC is no easy assignment, but coordinator Cam Cameron can ease Harris into the game with a heavy dose of running back Leonard Fournette. While all eyes will be on the stat column for Harris, it’s important to remember that he doesn’t need huge statistical totals. The sophomore just needs to make timely throws and eliminate any turnovers or mistakes. Mississippi State’s secondary features talented cornerbacks in Will Redmond and Taveze Calhoun, so this will be a good test of just how far Harris has progressed since 2014.

 

Related:

 

2. Mississippi State’s Run Defense

Despite losing tackles P.J. Jones and Kaleb Eulls and end Preston Smith, Mississippi State’s defensive line entered 2015 in good shape. Tackle Chris Jones is the headliner for this unit, as the junior is a rising star and could be one of the league’s top linemen by the end of 2015. A.J. Jefferson and Ryan Brown are experienced options off the edges and combined for three tackles for a loss in the opener against Southern Miss. The linebacking corps lost Benardrick McKinney and Matt Wells, but Beniquez Brown, Zach Jackson and Richie Brown are a solid trio for coordinator Manny Diaz to build around. Additionally, the Bulldogs held the Golden Eagles to 102 rushing yards and just 2.8 yards per carry last week. This group passed its first test last Saturday, but the going gets a little tougher in Week 2. LSU running back Leonard Fournette is one of the nation’s best and averaged 5.4 yards per carry in limited action against the Bulldogs last season. Considering the question marks for the Tigers in the passing game, Mississippi State should load the box and force Harris to win. But if Fournette has success on early downs and limits long-yardage situations for Harris, that’s a bad sign for the Bulldogs’ defense.

 

3. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

While LSU has an advantage at several positions for Saturday night’s matchup, the best player on the field is on the Mississippi State sideline: Quarterback Dak Prescott. In last year’s game, Prescott completed 15 of 24 passes for 268 yards and two scores and rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown. LSU has one of the best defensive backfields in college football, and a revamped offensive line, as well as a new cast of talented and versatile weapons at running back surround Prescott. Adding to the uncertainty of this game is LSU’s defensive scheme, which has changed under new coordinator Kevin Steele. The senior is capable of carrying Mississippi State to a win on Saturday night, and it’s clear the Bulldogs need his “A” game.

 

Final Analysis

 

Revenge is on LSU’s mind after Mississippi State stunned the Tigers in Death Valley last season. But both teams enter this matchup with question marks. The Bulldogs had a solid opener against Southern Miss, but coach Dan Mullen’s team wasn’t overly impressive. LSU’s opener was canceled, so it’s hard to know just how far the offense has progressed under Brandon Harris. While Harris is the x-factor here, this game is still decided in the trenches, and the Tigers have an edge up front. Fournette delivers in the fourth quarter to give LSU a 1-0 start in SEC play this year.

 

Prediction: LSU 24, Mississippi State 20
Teaser:
LSU Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, September 11, 2015 - 12:45
Path: /college-football/tennessee-volunteers-vs-oklahoma-sooners-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and meet in Knoxville on Saturday evening for an intriguing Week 2 non-conference matchup, with this game also serving as a good barometer test for two programs looking to get back on track. Oklahoma was expected to be a playoff contender in 2014, but the Sooners slipped to 8-5. Bob Stoops wasted no time addressing his team's biggest problems, revamping his coaching staff and changing the offensive scheme back to an Air Raid approach. Tennessee is trending in the right direction under coach Butch Jones, and a win against Oklahoma would be another piece the rebuilding puzzle on Rocky Top.

 

Both teams earned victories in Week 1, but both programs are looking for improvement. Tennessee’s defense struggled against Bowling Green, while Oklahoma’s revamped offense started slow against Akron. While this game doesn’t factor into either team’s conference championship hopes, this is an excellent opportunity for both programs to gauge where they are after two weeks.

 

Related:

 

Tennessee and Oklahoma have played three previous times, with the Sooners owning a 2-1 edge. Oklahoma won last year’s matchup 34-10 in Norman.

 

Oklahoma at Tennessee

 

Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Oklahoma -1.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Tennessee’s Secondary

Tennessee’s secondary was torched in last week’s win over Bowling Green, and this unit will be tested once again. The Volunteers’ defensive backs gave up 433 passing yards and two touchdowns to the Falcons, while allowing five plays of 30 yards or more. This unit has been hit with a few injuries this preseason, but Oklahoma’s passing attack has all of the necessary components to take advantage. New quarterback Baker Mayfield is a good fit in the new Air Raid attack and finished the opener with 388 passing yards and three scores. Receiver Sterling Shepard is one of the best in college football and is a tough one-on-one matchup for the Volunteers. Will cornerback Cam Sutton spend most of his snaps on Shepard? Even if Tennessee finds a way to contain Shepard, the Sooners have other options to target, including Jarvis Baxter (five catches in his first game with the Sooners), Durron Neal, Dede Westbrook and Mark Andrews as key weapons in the passing attack. Additionally, running back Joe Mixon showcased his playmaking ability out of the backfield by catching three balls for 115 yards and a touchdown. Stopping any passing attack has to start in the trenches with a good pass rush. While Tennessee’s secondary doesn’t share the entire blame for last week’s performance, this group has to play better if the Volunteers want to improve to 2-0.

 

2. Oklahoma’s Defense Against Tennessee’s Rising Stars

The Volunteers have arguably one of the nation’s best trio of rising stars on offense. Joshua Dobbs picked up where he left off in 2014 with a strong performance against Bowling Green, throwing for 205 yards and two scores on 15 completions and rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Running backs Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd each eclipsed 100 yards in last week’s win over the Falcons. This duo will test an Oklahoma front seven that allowed 138 rushing yards to Akron in Week 1. The Sooners have one of the nation’s top linebacking corps, but the line entered the season with a few question marks. Will Oklahoma’s front seven contain the one-two punch of Kamara and Hurd on the ground? And if the Sooners are able to slow the rushing attack, will this secondary limit Dobbs’ through the air? After all, Oklahoma surrendered 24 plays of 30 yards or more last season, and the defensive backs have a lot to prove this fall – especially against a solid group of Tennessee receivers.  

 

3. Oklahoma’s Ground Attack

While most of the attention in Week 1 was devoted to the revamped scheme and quarterback Baker Mayfield, lost in the box score was just 100 yards on 33 rushing attempts against Akron. While the Zips have one of the better front sevens in the MAC, the Sooners need more production from the rushing attack to win in Knoxville. Redshirt freshman Joe Mixon showed his big-play ability with a 76-yard catch and run for a score. In addition to Mixon’s emergence, Oklahoma still has Samaje Perine (only 33 yards in the opener) and Alex Ross (20 yards in Week 1). This is one of the best backfields in the nation, but the Sooners have a young offensive line. Can this group generate a push against the Volunteers’ defensive line? Tennessee defensive tackle Danny O’Brien was suspended indefinitely, but this unit is led by standout end Derek Barnett, with talented freshmen Shy Tuttle and Kahlil McKenzie in place as rising stars in the middle.

 

Final Analysis

 

The Sooners and Volunteers enter this matchup with question marks on both sides of the ball. However, both teams should have a better idea of where they stand after Saturday night’s meeting in Neyland Stadium. Oklahoma’s passing attack should give Tennessee’s secondary trouble, and the backfield should have a better performance than it did in last week’s win over Akron. The Volunteers should be able to move the ball on the Sooners’ defense as well, so this matchup could be a high-scoring affair. The homefield advantage certainly helps Tennessee, and the emerging one-two punch of Hurd and Kamara will be tough for Oklahoma to contain. This one is a tossup, but a slight edge goes to the Sooners.

 

Prediction: Oklahoma 34, Tennessee 30
Teaser:
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Oklahoma Sooners Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, September 11, 2015 - 11:00

Pages