By Chris Carlson
In Week 2 the marquee matchups delivered especially LSU/Texas along with several upsets or almost upsets (I’m talking to you Michigan) and nail-biting finishes. Week 3 may be an underrated schedule that on the surface appears to be a dud but don’t be surprised if we get the complete opposite. Several ranked teams are facing foes that could be among the Top-25/30 in the country.
#19 Iowa vs. Iowa State: It really doesn’t matter which team is favored to win this in-state rivalry game it generally is competitive regardless. But when both schools have potential for a 9-10 win season it should only add to the dramatics. Look for a ground and pound style with the final result still on the table deep into the fourth quarter.
The Hawkeyes have an experienced QB Nate Stanley and a solid core returning enough for many experts to pick Iowa to win the Big Ten West. The Cyclones return QB Brock Purdy but suffered major losses in RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler. The Iowa team that turns the ball over more will lose it’s as simple as that.
The Pick: Iowa 20 Iowa State 16
Under The Radar
#18 Michigan State vs. Arizona State: Michigan State looks to bounce back after a subpar regular season in 2018. The Sun Devils aim to build off the foundation they set last year. In fact it was ASU that defeated Sparty in a razor-tight 16-13 contest. Michigan State will likely use a running back rotation as they search for an every down back. QB Brian Lewerke will need to cut down on the interceptions and return closer to the form he had in 2017.
Arizona State Freshman QB Jayden Daniels is now the man under center and RB Eno Benjamin will be depended upon to carry the load to set up the play action pass. Last week Sacramento State held ASU to 4-field goals, no doubt Herm Edwards’s boys will have to perform better against MSU.
The Pick: Michigan State 19 Arizona State 13
#24 USC vs. BYU: The USC Trojans finally lived up to their talented roster in a 45-20 beat down of PAC-12 rival Stanford. USC rolled out a true freshman Kedon Slovis and he didn’t disappoint putting up 377 passing yards setting a school record for a frosh debut. BYU upset Tennessee last week and gave Utah a run for their money until later in the game.
On paper the talent gap is wide obviously but don’t count out the Cougars, over the last few seasons BYU has a way of keeping it close no matter the opposition. USC will get the victory but it won’t come without a legit fight.
The Pick: USC 27 BYU 20
Saturday Upset Special
Purdue is a slight underdog at home to TCU but will get above .500 with a minor upset over the Horned Frogs.
#20 Washington State vs. Houston: A pair of Cougars do battle in what should be a very entertaining matchup with both teams sporting high-octane offenses.
North Carolina vs. Wake Forest: Neither school had much buzz as a possible Top-25 program before the year began but both teams have managed to start 2-0 with the winner likely ranked come next week.
Against The Spread
Michigan State lost to ASU last year and although they should beat the Sun Devils on Saturday it won’t be by 15-points.
Hawaii probably won’t be able to beat #23 Washington however theirs a good chance they will lose by less than the 21.5-points Las Vegas claims.
Take it to the window the offensive juggernaut thru 2 games known as Maryland covers as a 7-point favorite at Temple.
(The Cougars will win in the WSU/Houston game. J/K)
Quick Hits Recap
-LSU QB Joe Burrow threw for 471 passing yards the second most in school history.
-Adding another stat to LSU’s 45-38 win over Texas, the Tigers had 3 receivers over 100 yards for the first time ever in program history
-BYU had a great comeback upset in overtime beating Tennessee 29-26, the winless Volunteers haven’t started a season 0-2 in 31 years.
-Maryland put on another offensive display destroying a ranked Syracuse squad 63-20, making it the widest margin of victory by a non-ranked team since 1999.
-Central Florida kept its 28-game streak of scoring 30+ points alive, which hasn’t been done all the way back to 1936.
-EWU’s WR Dre’Sonta Dorton caught 15 balls for 283 yards and three TD’s in a 59-31 victory over Lindenwood.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio