Week two did not provide the big upset outside of Marshall handling Appalachian State by a score of 17-7. However, we did see a couple of top 25 teams barely survive. After Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders went down with an ankle injury, they were barely able to survive Tulsa by nine points. Additionally, Louisiana was able to fight off the letdown and defeat Georgia State in overtime, 34-31. Will we see some upsets this week? We take a look and hope to answer some that question as we preview matchups in our week 3 college football watch guide.
The season is young, but with the SEC returning this weekend we have the best slate of games so far this season. There are three top 25 matchups occurring in the ACC, AAC, and the SEC. We also have a whole host of interesting matchups across the country with a handful of top 10 teams hitting the road. Now, let us get into as we preview the second weekend in the regular season as we look at our week 2 college football watch guide.
Note: All game times are in central standard time
Week 3 College Football Watch Guide
The Gators come into 2020 with some very high expectations. They are the media pick to face Alabama in the SEC championship game and also a legitimate contender for the College Football Playoffs. Kyle Trask returns for his first full-year at the starting quarterback position for the Gators. This could be an interesting first game for the Gators in Oxford against the Rebels. We all know that Lane Kiffin will have the Rebels ramped up and ready to spring the upset.
This could very well be the best matchup in the country this week. If the Wildcats were more solidified with a better downfield passer at the quarterback position, they would be a top 10 team. Be that as it may, they have the best secondary and running back group in the conference. For the Tigers, it seems like it will fall on the right arm of Bo Nix. If Nix can fix his accuracy problems in big games, the Tigers will make some noise this year.
Kansas State has seen better days. The Wildcats were upset two weeks ago at home against Arkansas State. And, now it has been reported that they could be missing somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 kids today against the Sooners. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is looking to prove itself a little more after only really playing a half against Missouri State two weeks ago. The biggest test could be on the defensive side as the Wildcats torched the Sooners a year ago in their only regular-season loss.
This looks like a must-win scenario for the Cardinal. The defense looked very suspect in giving up 47 points to Miami a week ago. However, the offense has some serious playmakers at every position on the offensive side of the ball. Comparatively, the Panthers have the best quarterback you’ve never heard of in Kenny Pickett. But, they may have the best defense in the conference that includes Clemson. The Panthers have allowed just over 300 yards and 10 total points combined in two games this season.
Army has been as impressive as any team thus far in the 2020 campaign. They outscored Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Monroe 79-7. If the Black Knights can pull off the upset here, they will be favored in every game the rest of the season that concludes with Navy on December 12th. However, that will not be easy against the top-ranked Group of Five team in Cincinnati. They have a solid defense that doesn’t make mistakes and a really underrated quarterback in Desmond Ridder.
The Mike Leach era kicks off in Baton Rouge as he takes on the defending champions. The prevailing thought around Leach has always been to see what he can do with a team with a better ability to play defense. Here’s his chance. Although, with no spring season and a condensed fall camp one has to wonder if there will be some growing pains. For the Tigers, they are the defending champions but they have lost nearly all of their impact players from last year. Let the Myles Brennan career begin for the Tiger faithful.
On the surface, this has all the makings of a trap game situation for the Longhorns. Sam Ehlinger was brilliant in his opening game against UTEP throwing for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in a half. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders gave up over 500 yards passing against Houston Baptist in a game that Texas Tech was fortunate to win. The scoreboard will light up the Lubbock sky with Ehlinger and Alan Bowman. Texas needs to be careful of the overlook in this game.
The quarterback carousel has been more active in Georgia than anywhere else this summer. First, Jake Fromm elects to enter the NFL draft early. Then, Jamie Newman transfers to Athens only to opt-out of the season. That leaves JT Daniels as the presumed starter, but he’s not medically cleared to play at this time. For the Razorbacks, they are actually fairly solidified at the quarterback position with the transfer of Feleipe Franks. Franks is a clear upgrade at the position for Arkansas who will be building their program around him.
The Crimson Tide begin the 2020 season on the road, but not in a neutral site contest. However, it might as well be as the struggling Tigers are the hosts. Missouri appears to be down somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 players heading into the SEC opener. That’s not a good sign for a team looking to spring the upset. Mac Jones has won the quarterback derby for Alabama and he has plenty of weapons still with Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith.
How in the world is poor Florida State going to be able to compete? Head coach Mike Norvell tested positive for COVID-19. The Seminoles looked bad on offense in the loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago. Now, they head to Coral Gables to face the Hurricanes. Rivalries are tricky though. Miami is sky-high. They look like the offense of old with D’Eriq King at quarterback. The offense as a whole under Rhett Lashlee has been tremendously improved. This looks like a cakewalk, but somehow this will be a fight to the finish.
Tennessee finds itself in familiar territory. A strong close to a season that brings a new season of heightened expectations in Knoxville. But, it looks legitimate this season. The Vols are strong on both sides of the ball with experience in quarterback with Jarrett Guarantano. Conversely, South Carolina is looking to rebuild off of a losing season in 2019. Nothing would give a bigger bump to the season than an upset over the Volunteers.
Our final game of the weekend brings life after dark to the west coast. The Troy Trojans travel to Provo to face the 18th ranked Cougars of BYU. The Trojans continued the strong play in the Sun Belt Conference by dominating Middle Tennessee 47-14 last week. Could the Trojans make another statement for the conference with another big win? However, BYU was as dominant as any team we’ve seen so far. Their dismantling of Navy was impressive. Even more impressive after Navy’s comeback win over Tulane last week.