College football is now in full swing. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 3.
1. Michael Penix vs. Michigan State
In a rematch of a game that happened last year, Michigan State will host Washington. The Spartans have started off the year well solidly with two wins. Even with the wins, they are not expected to seriously compete in the Big Ten this season. To make matters worse head coach Mel Tucker is going through a sexual harassment case. Even so, the Spartans have some talent and Michigan State won’t be an easy place to play.
Michael Penix has started off this season hot for the Huskies. He has passed for 859 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception on 73.1 percent completion. This is following a season where he passed for 4,641 yards. Penix has inserted himself in the conversation for the Heisman Trophy and getting a win on the road could get him some attention. This is especially true since more eyes could be on this game, as the slate of games doesn’t have the most marketability this weekend.
2. Can UNC Settle Down?
Things looked great for North Carolina after week 1. They had defeated South Carolina in Charlotte with their defense looking improved. In week 2, the Tar Heels played a tough Appalachian State team and needed double overtime to win. Now the question is whether the Tar Heels can settled down and in for a long season.
The Tar Heels can start to answer that question this weekend when they play Minnesota. Minnesota is 2-0 after getting an exciting win over Nebraska and another victory over Eastern Michigan. They have a few future pros on the roster including safety Tyler Nubin and tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford. If the Golden Gophers play well, they could make things tough for the Tar Heels in week 2.
3. BYU-Arkansas Rematch
Last season, Arkansas won a high-scoring game on the road over BYU 52-35. Both teams struggled to live up to preseason expectations, but plenty has changed since then. Arkansas enters the game with a 2-0 record, which includes wins over West Carolina and Kent State. BYU is also 2-0 with wins over Sam Houston State and Southern Utah. A win in this game could see the victor being ranked in the top 25 next week.
The important thing for Arkansas in this game is that quarterback K.J. Jefferson is healthy. A lot of their struggles last season came with injuries and having him healthy makes them a much better team. The dual threat can have a good game against BYU in another game that should see plenty of offense. Kedon Slovis will be on the other side for BYU and has plenty of experience in the FBS in stops with USC and West Virginia. He’ll have to play well to give the Cougars a chance to get a big road win.
4. Can South Carolina Get a Surprise Upset?
South Carolina hasn’t started the season off well, as they are 1-1 with a loss to North Carolina. Things didn’t look good against the Tar Heels, as their offensive line struggled. Last season, even with early-season struggles, South Carolina was able to get big wins over Clemson and Tennessee to end the season. Can they play well against premier competition again this weekend?
The matchup for the Gamecocks is the Georgia Bulldogs. So far this season, Georgia hasn’t been tested and haven’t played the greatest quality of competition. They are breaking in a new quarterback and seem to not have the running game that has been featured in the past. It is unlikely South Carolina can win the game regardless, as their offensive line really needs to improve, but they surprised people last season, so it is worth watching on Saturday.
5. Ohio State’s Defense vs. Western Kentucky
There have been a lot of criticisms of Ohio State this season. Kyle McCord is still settling in as quarterback and will need to continue to improve. Their offensive line looks like it could be a lot weaker this season. The Buckeyes haven’t impressed offensively yet, but their defense could be much-improved this season, which could be the key to them going on a run to a Big Ten Championship.
So far in two games this season, the Buckeyes have allowed just 10 total points. While the competition hasn’t been the greatest, this is still notable, as they gave up 14 points to Indiana last season and just three this season. If they are actually improved remains to bee seen, but Western Kentucky will test them. The Hilltoppers have Austin Reed at quarterback who passed for 4,746 yards last season and has 589 already this season. Star receiver Malachi Corley is expected back for this game too after injuring himself in the season opener. Ohio State’s defense has given up too many big plays over the past few seasons and playing the air raid attack of Western Kentucky should help give a gauge of how talented they are this season.
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