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What to Watch in College Football: Week 3

It’s the last week before conference play really kicks into high gear. What should you keep an eye on?

NCAA Football: Lamar at Houston Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 can’t come soon enough. From a fun match-up between the other two Big 12 expansion candidates to a ranked team taking on Appalachian St. (why do they do that?). Here’s what you need to watch this week:

6 Houston at Cincinnati

Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 5:30 PM, ESPN

We need not rehash the significance of these two teams to BYU fans. You can expect plenty of Big 12 talk surrounding this game, with BYU being mentioned a fair bit. Cincinnati is a solid, if unspectacular team. This year’s Houston team is very special and very good. A legit playoff candidate. Cincinnati might be able to keep it close for a half. Houston should be able to pull away to another easy victory.

Prediction: Houston 38 - Cincinnati 20

2 Florida St. at 10 Louisville

Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 10:00 AM, ABC

The ACC’s top playoff hopeful takes on the nation’s top Heisman candidate. Lamar Jackson is the most exciting player in the country. He electrifies when he escapes the pocket (have you seen his hurdle against Syracuse?) and he’s one of the best downfield passers in the nation. He currently leads all Power 5 QBs in completions of 20 yards or more. FSU’s QB is no slouch either, averaging over 340/game against tougher competition. This game will be a slugfest. It will a lot of fun. Watch Lamar Jackson solidify his Heisman candidacy.

Prediction: Louisville 38 - Florida St. 35

25 Miami at Appalachian St.

Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 10:00 AM, ESPN

I will never understand why any team with any modicum of success will ever schedule Appalachian St. The Mountaineers took early SEC favorite Tennessee to OT and lost on a fluke fumble. They then easily defeated Old Dominion. Miami has demolished Florida A&M and dominated Florida Atlantic. Miami should win this game, but the Mountaineers won’t make it easy at all.

Predication: Miami 27 - Appalachian St. 21

1 Alabama at 19 Ole Miss

Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 1:30 PM, CBS

Ole Miss has won the last two games in this series. Nick Saban has not lost to an opponent three times in a row since he coached at Michigan St. Alabama’s offense was underwhelming in their last game compared to what they showed against USC. They still have the best defense in the country. Ole Miss took a 28-13 lead into halftime against Florida St. before a horrendous 3rd quarter. Alabama is chomping at the bit for restitution. The Rebels are feeling confident that they can take down Alabama for the third time after punching FSU in the mouth. This will be hard-hitting, smashmouth football.

Prediction: Alabama 23- Ole Miss 20

3 Ohio St. at 14 Oklahoma

Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 5:30 PM, FOX

Oklahoma started the year as the Big 12’s home run shot for a birth in the CFP. And then Houston happened. The Sooners need this if they want to be taken seriously by the Playoff Committee. What better way is there than taking down Urban Meyer’s behemoth from Columbus? Ohio St. is bringing the longest active road winning streak into this game. They’ve had two walk-through games at this point, and this will be their first test. There is a lot on the line going into this early season match-up, and if Oklahoma can pull out the win, they might get rewarded for their aggressive non-conference scheduling.

Prediction: Ohio St. 34 - Oklahoma 28