Week 3 of the college football season will welcome a few more teams to the 2020 campaign, with Oklahoma State, UCF, and NC State among those making their season debuts. If the first two weeks were any indication, there could be some rust to knock off for these and any other teams stepping on the field for a game for the first time in 2020. As such, predicting how those games will play out can be tricky.
This week will also look to see if some teams can rebound (Navy) and keep things rolling (Marshall). And can some teams capitalize on the momentum from a big win the previous week (Georgia Tech)? We’ll find out this weekend.
If there was ever a chance for massive redemption, it will be this week for the Navy Midshipmen. After an embarrassing start to the season, a 52-point setback at the hands of BYU on national television, expect a significant improvement in the quality of play from Ken Niumatalolo’s program. Pride is on the line, and things should look much crisper from Navy against Tulane, who had their own sluggish start to the year. Don't sleep on Navy just yet. Navy 27, Tulane 24
Appalachian State has had a very good track record, it seems, against the spread, but this could be one of those rare instances where the line goes the other way. The Thundering Herd came out roaring in their season opener, while the Mountaineers had a bit of a battle with Charlotte. If Marshall can keep rolling on offense, expect a bit of a back-and-forth game that goes down to the wire. Take Marshall with the points. Appalachian State 34, Marshall 30
Are we riding that Georgia Tech buzz after a season-opening victory in Tallahassee? You bet. Georgia Tech returns home to take on a UCF team that may very well come away with a win. But the Knights are also playing their first game of the season and Georgia Tech has already managed to knock a little rust off the pads. UCF 27, Georgia Tech 23
The Wolfpack are getting a delayed start to their season, but they will do so against a Wake Forest team that is shallow in the talent pool and coming off a game against Clemson in which the Demon Deacons were dominated on both sides of the ball. Even if NC State comes out sluggish, they should score a win here, and a field goal is all that's needed to cover. The Wolfpack will win by more than that. NC State 24, Wake Forest 13
For the second straight week, Notre Dame is favored by at least 20 points in their game. After failing to cover in their win against Duke last week, the Fighting Irish are favored by more than three touchdowns this week against USF. Even though the Bulls opened up last week vs. an FBS opponent compared to the Irish's ACC foe, that still might be a few too many points even for Notre Dame backers. The safe move is probably to take USF and the points here, and sometimes playing safe is playing smart. Notre Dame 34, USF 17
The game of the week will take place in the ACC where Louisville will host Miami. It is still early, but the winner of this one will get a leg up in the ACC Championship Game chase. There are reasons to like where both teams are heading, and the QB show between Miami's D'Eriq King and Louisville's Micale Cunningham should be entertaining. But Scott Satterfield and the Cardinals get the last laugh. A late score to seal the win will also lead to a cover. Louisville 26, Miami 21
Podcast: The Big Ten Returns & Week 3 Preview
(Top photo courtesy of navysports.com)