Skip to main content

What To Watch: Week 3

By September 16, 2023 (8:00 am)Football

Folks, the slate is not great for Week 3. After highlights including the likes of Nebraska at Colorado, Ole Miss at Tulane and Texas at Alabama last week, there is not much in terms of intrigue for this week, with not a single ranked matchups set to grace our televisions.

Here are some of the “top” matchups for this week:

No. 10 Alabama at USF (3:30 p.m., ABC): The only real reason this game is on here is that it’s always interesting to see what Alabama does following a loss.

After a loss on their home turf to Texas last week, head coach Nick Saban has already made a dramatic change, with reports indicating that the tide are rolling with quarterback Tyler Buchner – who transferred from Notre Dame this offseason – over Jalen Milroe, who starter the first two games of the season for Alabama.

Is it the shift that will save Alabama’s season? Unless Buchner can fix a spotty defense or add better playmakers at wide receiver, probably not.

No. 8 Washington at Michigan State (5 p.m., Peacock): This will be the first game for Michigan State following the sexual harassment claims against now-suspended head coach Mel Tucker, who will be filled in for by interim coach Harlon Barnett.

The Spartans, understandable so, will likely be a bit flat this week, which is a big opportunity for Washington to pick up a dominant win ahead of conference play beginning in a wide-open Pac-12.

Quarterback Michael Penix – formerly of Indiana – is already off to a solid start this season with 859 passing yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception, and it should be a good chance for the Huskies to continue their announcement as one of the top teams in the country.

No. 11 Tennessee at Florida: (7 p.m., ESPN): The tables have turned a bit in this rivalry as of late, with Tennessee on the rise and Florida seeming to opt for the cellar of the SEC even as the conference is set to grow next year. Even though it doesn’t have the intrigue of a ranked matchup as many of those mid-2010’s contests did, this is usually a pretty fan matchup regardless of how good either team is.

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton has had a muted performance through two games, completing just 66.7 percent of his passes for 429 yards and four touchdowns, and Florida has received a surprisingly competent performance from former Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz, who has tossed for 526 yards and two scores in two games.

For the Volunteers, Jaleyn Wright has rumbled to 9.3 yards per carry on 25 attempts, and linebacker Aaron Beasley has already accounted for six tackles for loss this season. Florida linebacker Shemar James has already put up 19 tackles in two games, while Ricky Pearsall has been Mertz’ favorite target with 14 receptions for 215 yards.

Colorado State at No. 18 Colorado (10 p.m., ESPN): Even if you don’t like Coach Prime, how can you not at least be entertained? I don’t know much about Colorado State, but I do know I’ll be tuning in for this late kickoff simply to watch the circus – for better or worse – that has been Colorado football this season.

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders has been instrumental in the Buffaloes’ 2-0 start to the season, completing 77.5 percent of his passes for 903 yards and six touchdowns, with 192 of those yards going to electric two-way player Travis Hunter, who also has seven tackles and an interception on defense this season.

I don’t know if the experiment at Colorado will ultimately work, but I’m happy to be along for the ride.

Other notable games on the schedule include:

  • No. 14 LSU at Mississippi State (12 p.m., ESPN)
  • No. 3 Florida State at Boston College (12 p.m., ABC)
  • No. 7 Penn State at Illinois (12 p.m., FOX)
  • No. 15 Kansas State at Missouri (12 p.m., SECN)
  • Central Michigan at No. 9 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m., Peacock)
  • Minnesota at No. 20 North Carolina (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
  • San Diego State at No. 16 Oregon State (3:30 p.m., FS1)
  • South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia (3:30 p.m., CBS)
  • No. 19 Oklahoma at Tulsa (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
  • Northwestern at No. 21 Duke (3:30 p.m., ACCN)
  • Tulane at Southern Miss (4 p.m., ESPNU)
  • Western Kentucky at Ohio State (4 p.m., FOX)
  • Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati (7 p.m., ESPN+)
  • Pitt at West Virginia (7:30 p.m., ABC)
  • Bowling Green at No. 2 Michigan (7:30 p.m., BTN)
image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print