September 22, 2010 by
Top 25 Match ups for Week 3
By Anthony Carillo Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online
No. 19 Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is coming off a very nice win over New Hampshire, and they are looking to regain some national respect after losing a heartbreaker to Utah in week 1 in overtime. Miami is also looking to regain some respect, after losing to Ohio State in the horseshoe back in week 2. Jacory Harris has had twelve days to watch tape and get better from the 4 interceptions that he threw against the buckeyes, so look for him to have a big game against the panthers. Dion Lewis will have to rely on the offensive line to seal their blocks, because this Miami defense is fast and furious and can cause chaos for opposing offensives. Look for Miami to go into Pittsburgh and walk out of there with the win.
No. 4 TCU at Southern Methodist
The horned frogs are on the mission, and the mustangs, unfortunately, are standing in their way. Andy Dalton is having yet another good year, and the TCU defense is ranked in the top 10 in the country in many of the major statistical categories, so look for a sea of purple and black to be in the backfield throwing off the timing of the SMU run and gun offense. If SMU wants to have any chances at pulling the upset, it all rests on the shoulders of their quarterback Kyle Pardon. So far this season Pardon has thrown for 643 yards and 8 touchdowns, so for SMU to stay in the game, he is going to have to have an excellent game, but donít count on it with that fast and rugged horned frogs defense.
Austin Peay at No. 11 Wisconsin
This game should be fun to watch, if you are a badger fan. John Clay is one of the best bruiser running backs in the country, so look for the badgers to give him the ball a lot to wear down that defense. The only thing that could cause any distractions for Wisconsin is the players might be looking ahead to next weekís match up when they have to travel to number 25 Michigan State. John Clay will carry the ball between 28-35 times for 120 yards or more, as the badgers take care of business against Austin Peay.
Ball State at No 18. Iowa
I would not want to be the team playing Iowa this week. After losing a close game against Arizona, the Hawkeyes, led by their senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi, will be looking to put a hurting on Ball State. Just like Wisconsin, Iowa could be looking ahead to the month of October, where during the whole month they play four ranked teams that are in their conference. As long as Ricky Stanzi limits his mistakes and controls the game, look for Iowaís defense to make a big statement and get ready for a hectic October in front of them.
Bowling Green at. No. 21 Michigan
Denard Robinson, that is all that I have to say. Michigan finally has the personnel to run Rick Rodriguezís spread offense, and there is no player in the country right now better then Robinson. Bowling Green is coming off a very convincing win over Marshall last week, but look for Robinson to put up Heisman type numbers to keep himself on top of almost everyoneís Heisman list.
Northern Colorado at No. 25 Michigan State
Michigan State is coming off a very close game that came down to their head coach making a very gutsy call and going for a fake field goal that paid off in spades. Now the Spartans will play a Northern Colorado team that is a decent football team. The balanced running attack of Edwin Baker and LeíVeon Belle is a potent combination for their team, and so far looks like to be a strong force that should not be taken lightly throughout the Big Ten. Kirk Cousins has been known to make some mistakes throughout his career, but his experience this year is really showing off as he has thrown for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns in 3 games, so if the Spartans can get the ground game going and Cousins does not make any mistakes, Michigan State should win fairly easily, but the joy of the win will be short lived as the two weeks following this game they play Wisconsin at home, then travel to the Big House and play Michigan.
No. 20 USC at Washington State
Matt Barkley is maturing in front of all of our eyes. In just three games this year he has thrown for 651 yards and 9 touchdowns, with just only two interceptions. Yes, the Trojans will not be able to play in a bowl this year or next year, but they are all still playing and showing people that even though they can not make it to the big dance, they still want to excel at the game they love. Washington Stateís quarterback Jeff Tuel is having a good year, but not producing when it comes to the wins and losses column. Look for the Trojans to win this one, but also keep your eye on the play of Tuel.
No. 16 Stanford at Notre Dame
This is a very intriguing match up. You have Notre Dame who is coming off a heart breaking loss to Michigan State in overtime, and then you have Stanford, a team that just a few years ago shocked the world by beating USC, to being a legit national contender. Stanford is led by their Heisman hopeful quarterback Andrew Luck, as his offense is ranked 3rd in the country in points per game at an astonishing 51.7. Then you have Notre Dame, led by their quarterback Dayne Crist and the pass attack offense of the Irishmen that is ranked 8th in the country with 318.3 passing yards per game. If Notre Dame can pressure Andrew Luck and force him to make a mistake, and the passing game of the Irish can get into a rhythm, look for the upset here, but it is highly unlikely.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas
This is a true test of offense vs. defense. In Alabama, you have arguably the best defense in the country, going against Arkansas and Ryan Mallet, who is arguably the best quarterback in the country. Mallet is a pure passer as he stands 6 feet 7 inches tall, and can throw the ball all over the place. Arkansas also has a very good cast of receivers for Mallet to throw to, and it is showing as he has already thrown for over 1000 yards and ranks 3rd in the FBS for passing yards per game at 367.7. Also give a lot of credit to the Razorback defense, which ranks 5th in points allowed per game with 11.3, only 3 spots behind the Crimson Tide, who are at number 2 with 6.3 points per game. Alabama finally has a healthy Julio Jones, who battled injury all of last year, and just last week they got their Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, back. This game will come down to whoever does not blink first and make a mistake. I think this is going to be a really good game but as the saying goes, ìDefense wins championshipsî.
Eastern Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State
This game should be a game where Ohio State takes care of business and Pryor puts up great numbers. Eastern Michigan is 0-3 and is looking to come in and be the upset bug, but I really do not see that happening. The Buckeyes should, in my honest opinion, have all of their starters out before the start of the 4th quarter. Look for Ohio State to roll in this game.
UCLA at No. 7 Texas
This could turn out to be a huge trap game for the Longhorns because they all could be looking to the week ahead when they have to play Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry. Longhorn quarterback Garrett Gilbert, in his first year as quarterback, has done fairly well, and the team needs to make sure that he stays focused on the game against UCLA and not looking forward to the Sooners. UCLA comes in off a big win over Houston, so they are coming into Texas with a bit of momentum and confidence as well. UCLA will hang in there tough, and if the ball bounces their way and they can confuse and fluster Gilbert, watch out for the Bruins.
Temple at No. 23 Penn State
Temple is 3-0 and is doing very well with their balanced offensive attack. Their sophomore running back Bernard Price is a young back but also very talented, and their quarterback Chester Stewart is not a big time statistical guy, but he is consistent in his passes and controls the tempo of the game. However, the Penn State defense looks incredible in bouncing back from the 24-3 loss to Alabama as they shut out Kent State 24-0. Evan Royster will be too much to handle for the Owls defense, and Penn Stateís true freshman quarterback Robert Bolden is gaining confidence and maturity with each passing week, so look for Penn State to defend their home turf and give the Owls their first loss.
No. 8 Oklahoma at Cincinnati
Oklahomaís team has been very up and down early this season. They start the season by beating Utah State by only a touchdown, then the next week they go on to dismantle Florida State by 30, and then in week 3 they only beat Air Force by 3. So the question is this; which Oklahoma team will show up this Saturday? The team that dismantled Florida State, or the team that squeaked by Air Force. Cincyís offense is not the same with Marty Gilard and head coach Brian Kelly, and in the two games where they have played decent opponents, they have only managed to put up 33 points total. Look for the Sooners to go into Cincy and get their offense back on track.
South Dakota State at No. 6 Nebraska
With no disrespect to South Dakota State, the Corn Huskers should roll in this game. They are ranked 4th in the nation in running yards per game at 344 yards, and running backs Taylor Martinez and Roy Helu Jr. are a thunder and lighting duo that is a force to be reckoned with.
Kentucky at No. 9 Florida
With Rainey gone, Demps will be getting a lot more carries, and that is not a bad thing. He is arguably the fastest player in college football, and the Florida offense is clicking on all cylinders. John Brantley is pretty much the total opposite of Tim Tebow, but Urban Meyer has been able to shift the offense so it best suits his quarterback. Kentucky is 3-0 so donít count out the Wildcats just yet. They always play the gators tough and this should be no different. Watch out for a big physical battle between these two teams, and whoever has the ball last will win this game.
No. 12 South Carolina at No. 17 Auburn
This is by far the game of the week. Both teams have shown their toughness by pulling out close wins, and both teams look to challenge Alabama for the SEC title. For Auburn, Cameron Newton, a transfer from Florida, is a dual threat quarterback, and he has shown he can beat teams with his arm as well as his legs. The Auburn defense is very quick and very explosive, so look for them to stack the box to stop South Carolinaís freshman bruising running back Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is a big physical running back, with fast punishing runs, and Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia looks like he is finally grasping the offense that Spurrier wants. This game will come down to the wire, and it will come down to if Auburn can stop the run game of South Carolina, or if the Gamecocks can stop the dual threat quarterback from the Tigers, Cameron Newton.
No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State
This game can really help out the broncos chances at a national title. Kellen Moore is a Heisman hopeful, and rightfully so. He is on pace to shatter Colt McCoyís record for wins as a starting quarterback, and he is one of the most efficient passers in the history of college football. The Beavers and the Rodgers duo are a potent combination because they are both agile and quick, but also have the breakaway speed to make the big play. The big plus for Boise State is that they play this game on their blue turf, where they rarely lose any game they play. If Boise State can beat the Beavers, and Oregon State can run the table and get into contention to win the Pac-10, this could be just the right formula to put the Broncos in the national championship.
San Jose State at No. 13 Utah
San Jose States September has been a rough one to say the least. They had to travel to Alabama, then the very next week they had to travel to Wisconsin, and now they have to travel to Utah. Utah comes in undefeated, and has one of the longest winning streaks at home in college football. Utah has a very balanced attack and can beat you in any way on offense, and on defense they can force turnovers and rattle opposing quarterbacks. Look for Utah to extent their winning streak.
No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU
This is a pure game of speed vs. power. West Virginia is led by their senior running back Noel Devine, who is one of the most explosive players in college football. Devine can score from anywhere on the field, whether it is catching passes, or running up the middle and breaking off the big run. LSU and their offense has hit a stride and their quarterback turned all purpose athlete Russell Shepard is a threat to throw the ball, run the ball, or even split out wide and catch the ball. Look for the speed and quickness of Devine to put the Mountaineers over the top and go into death valley and beat the Tigers.
California at No. 14 Arizona
Arizona is a team that has a lot of confidence, and no one on that team has more confidence then their quarterback Nick Foles. The junior is a very accurate passer, completing 78.6% of his passes for 877 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cal lost a great player in Javid Best this season, but they are still a very competitive team, so donít count them out. Arizona should get the job done and beat the bears.
No. 5 Oregon at Arizona State
Can any team in the nation stop the running attack of Oregon? LaMichael James is a very good running back and even told the media that he was upset after his 277 yard rushing performance last week. Oregon ranks 2nd in the nation in rushing yards per game, 1st in points scored per game, and 1st in points allowed per game. For Arizona State to win, they will have to stop the run, but as we all see, that is easier said then done. Look for the Ducks to run wild all over the sun devils, putting on a dazzling performance to another high scoring affair, for Oregon that is.