What to Watch: Week 3

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Sophomore running back Samaje Perine avoids the tackle of junior linebacker Will Davis on October 17, 2015, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Renee Dick | The Collegian)

After an immaculate week one of the 2016-17 college football season, week two kind of took a step back. No need to fear, though, week three is loaded with big time matchups. Here are the best three games to watch this week.

No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 10 Louisville

If you like a lot of points scored, then this is the game for you. It is the only top 10 matchup of the week and this game should not disappoint. In Florida State’s two games this year, it has put up 45 and 52 points. Louisville, on the other hand, has put up a staggering 70 points in their first contest followed by a 62-point effort. Don’t be surprised one bit if both teams put up points in the 50s.

Florida State freshman quarterback Deondre Francois has put up solid numbers so far, throwing for 681 yards and five touchdowns. Preseason Heisman candidate junior running back Dalvin Cook hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations this year, but has been solid with 174 yards and a pair of scores in the two contests.

Easily the biggest surprise of the season has been Louisville’s sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson isn’t just putting up video games numbers, he’s putting up Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl numbers. Maybe it has something to do with the last name. Nonetheless, Jackson’s numbers are jaw-dropping. In the air, he has thrown for 697 yards and seven touchdowns, and has also added 318 yards and six touchdowns with his legs.

So if it’s 11 a.m. Saturday and you’re not around a TV, stop what you’re doing and go find one.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 19 Ole Miss

Remember the last two times the Tide and the Rebels played? In case you don’t, Ole Miss won both. I don’t think Alabama, or head coach Nick Saban, has forgotten that and that’s why the number one team in the nation will be playing with something to prove.

Alabama opened the season by routing USC 52-6 before slowing down a bit in a 38-10 win over Western Kentucky. In week one, Ole Miss played then-No. 4 Florida State, and looked to have things wrapped up. At one point, the Rebels were up 28-6. Before you knew it, the Rebels lost the game 45-34. Even though Ole Miss lost the game, it did show a whole lot of potential as to what they could have been, a playoff contender. Ole Miss has a lot of work to do if they want to be in the playoff mix.

The Crimson Tide offense is led by freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has thrown for 405 yards and four scores while sharing some snaps with freshman Blake Barnett. Junior ArDarius Stewart and sophomore Calvin Ridley have proven to be legit playmakers at the wide receiver position, combining for 341 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

The Rebels’ offense is led by senior quarterback Chad Kelly, who has 532 yards and seven scores through the air this year. The running game is still lacking, though, as the team only has one player with more than 100 rushing yards, senior running back Akeem Judd. One thing the offense does well is spreading the football around. So far this year, seven different players have a touchdown reception. If there’s a weakness in a defense, Kelly and his offense will find it.

The game will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 14 Oklahoma

No. 3 and No. 14. Buckeyes and Sooners. Does anything else really need to be said?

Ohio State’s offense has been dominant this year, outscoring Bowling Green and Tulsa by a combined score of 125-13. Junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is finally in a situation where he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder to see if another quarterback is taking his spot, and his play is showing it. He has thrown for 498 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games, and has also added three rushing touchdowns. Barrett isn’t the only factor in the offense. Freshman running back Mike Weber has ran for 228 yards and a score, and junior running back Curtis Samuel has added 162 yards and score in the Buckeyes’ two games.

Oklahoma stumbled out of the gates a bit, losing the first game of the season to a talented Houston team, 33-23. The Sooners did rebound with a 59-17 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Junior quarterback Baker Mayfield has been brilliant with 567 yards and five touchdowns. A pleasant surprise for the Sooner offense has been the play of sophomore running back Joe Mixon. Mixon, who has split carries with a banged up junior running back Samaje Perine, has rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown, and also added 77 yards in the receiving game.

The two historic programs will kick off in Norman, Oklahoma, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

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