What To Watch: Week 3

By September 17, 2022 (9:00 am)Football

Last week looked to be a boring slate on paper, but it resulted in one of the most upset-filled weekends in recent memory for college football.

No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska (12 p.m. FOX): This is one heck of a game for Nebraska interim head coach Mickey Joseph to make his debut after Scott Frost was shown the door following the Cornhuskers’ loss to Georgia Southern last week.

The Sooners haven’t faced much competition yet this season with a 45-13 win over UTEP and a 33-3 victory over Kent State under the belt of first-year head coach Brent Venables, but things appear to be mostly the same in Norman so far under his tenure.

Nebraska has been competitive in all three games this season despite close losses to Northwestern and Georgia Southern, so this could be a decent test for Oklahoma if Joseph can inject some juice into the program.

No. 22 Penn State at Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS): Penn State enters this game a member of the AP Top 25 poll after pulling off a 35-31 comeback win over Purdue in Week One and following that up with a 46-10 thrashing of Ohio. While the Nittany Lions have been battle-tested thus far, the same cannot be said for the Tigers.

So far this season – a critical one for head coach Bryan Harsin, who survived a coup for his job last year – Auburn has a 42-16 win over Mercer and a 24-16 win that was closer than it should have been over San Jose State, not exactly the makings of a tough schedule. The good news is that Penn State is visiting Jordan-Hare Stadium, but this should be a solid non-conference matchup before conference play begins around the country next week.

The Nittany Lions will continue to ride Sean Clifford, who has looked fine since being pushed against Purdue, while the Tigers’ TJ Finley has just 279 passing yards and one touchdown to three interceptions in two games. The bulk of the offense will rely on running back Tank Bigsby, who is averaging nearly seven yards per carry this year.

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon (3:30 p.m., FOX): After an exciting 26-20 win in double overtime last week against then-No. 9 Baylor, the Cougars will look to keep that momentum going with a win over the Ducks in Eugene, Oregon.

Oregon got taken to the woodshed against Georgia in Week One, but responding with a dominant 70-14 win over Eastern Washington. Quarterback Box Nix completed just 56.8 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions against the Bulldogs, but tossed five touchdowns while completing 84.8 percent of his passes against Eastern Washington.

The Cougars are allowing just 154.5 passing yards per game – 21st in the country – and the Ducks have struggled to run the ball this season, with five players reaching double-digit carries but not one surpassing 100 yards through two games. BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has thrown for over 500 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games and will look to torch Oregon’s passing defense, which has allowed 263.0 yards per game.

No. 13 Miami (Fla.) at No. 24 Texas A&M (9 p.m., ESPN): This game had more intrigue back when the Aggies were a top-10 team just a week ago, but nonetheless, it should provide a solid analysis of where each team stands at this point.

Texas A&M will be trying out new quarterback Max Johnson, a third-year signal-caller who transferred to College Station from LSU this offseason. Johnson takes over the offense after Haynes King completed just 64.7 percent of his passes and threw three touchdowns to two interceptions in A&M’s 1-1 start to the season.

The Hurricanes are looking for just their third 3-0 start in the last six seasons, and will be led by running back Henry Parrish Jr., who is averaging 5.9 yards per carry and already has four rushing scores on the season, as well as quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who has completed nearly three-fourths of his passes and thrown for 454 yards this season.

Four other games on Saturday are kicking off between Power Five competition, including No. 1 Georgia at South Carolina (12 p.m., ESPN), No. 20 Ole Miss at Georgia Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC), Texas Tech at No. 16 NC State (7 p.m., ESPN2) and No. 11 Michigan State at Washington (7:30 p.m., ABC). Other notable games on the schedule include:

  • UConn at No. 4 Michigan (12 p.m., ABC)
  • Louisiana-Monroe at No. 2 Alabama (4 p.m., SECN)
  • Liberty at No. 19 Wake Forest (5 p.m., ACCN)
  • Missouri State at No. 10 Arkansas (7 p.m., SECN+/ESPN+)
  • Toledo at No. 3 Ohio State (7 p.m., FOX)
  • Akron at No. 24 Tennessee (7 p.m., SECN+/ESPN+)
  • USF at No. 18 Florida (7:30 p.m., SECN)
  • No. 23 Pitt at Western Michigan (7:30 p.m., ESPNU)
  • Louisiana Tech at No. 5 Clemson (8 p.m., ACCN)
  • UTSA at No. 21 Texas (8 p.m., Longhorn Network)
  • San Diego State at No. 14 Utah (10 p.m., ESPN2)
  • Fresno State at No. 7 USC (10:30 p.m., FOX)
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