College Football 5 Things to Watch For Week 3
The Week 3 edition of 5 things to watch for is highlighted by some key conference matchups (LSU at Auburn, and Oklahoma at Iowa State) as well as some intriguing non-conference games (Boise State at Oklahoma State and Houston at Texas Tech).
Capture the Flag
Last season, the Cyclones stunned No.3 Oklahoma with a 38-31 victory and planted the Cyclone flag at midfield in Norman. This is a huge revenge game for the Sooners, who hit the road as 17 point favorites. Oklahoma is without injured running back Rodney Anderson, while Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt is game time decision for Saturday with a sore knee. But Kempt is probably more important to the Cyclones than Anderson is to the Sooners. Oklahoma is 36-2-1 in Ames. The Cyclones are just 5-17 in Big 12 openers.
Both Auburn and LSU are 2-0 and own wins from the opening week over teams that were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game. LSU dominated in a 33-17 victory over No. 8 Miami before pitching a shutout vs. Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday. Auburn, meanwhile, squeaked by No. 6 Washington by five points before putting 63 on the board vs. Alabama State in Week 2. LSU is 7-1 against the spread in their last 9 games and 6-0 in their last 6 conference games. This matchup has great potential to be a tight, low scoring games and could go either way. I like the under and LSU to cover the +10 spread.
Mean Green Upset
North Texas is heading to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks on midst of its best opening to a season in 20 years. The Mean Green are 2-0 for the first time since 1994 and look stellar offensively through two games against SMU and Incarnate Word. The Razorbacks are coming off a dismal performance giving up nearly 400 yards passing to a mediocre Colorado State team. The Mean Green’s aerial attack leads all FBS programs in total output, averaging 457.5 yards per game, and QB Mason Fine is a major reason why. He has thrown for 862 yards and 7 touchdowns against one interception while completing better than 72% of his passes. Fine also has dynamic receivers at his side, which is a major concern for Arkansas’ secondary.
Oklahoma State hosted Boise State Saturday afternoon. The Broncos have looked flawless so far at 2-0. Boise embarrassed Troy 56-20, then cruised pass UConn 62-7. Oklahoma State also comes in 2-0 as well, with easy wins over Missouri State and South Alabama. This is the first true test for both teams this year. Boise has road wins over Oregon State and Virginia and bowl victories over Arizona and Oregon over the last 4 years. They live for opportunities like this, and even better they have a ball club that could win this one with ease. Led by QB Brett Rypien with 667 passing yards and 7 TDs, I like the Broncos to ball out in Stillwater. Boise is 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 non-conference games.
Texas Tech vs. Houston ( O/U 70) – Both offense are coming off explosives performance, with Tech posting 77 against Lamar and Houston dropping 55 on Arizona. They also both own defensive units that are allowing 20 plus points a game and north of 350 yards a game. Should be another classic shootout in Lubbock.