by Kevin Carroll, @Kevin_Carroll75
Week three of college football is somehow here, but before we look ahead to this weekends matchups, we have to discuss the previous two weeks of wild games. The Aggies of A&M looked like title contenders for three quarters against UCLA, even passing a pimp cane/baton around in celebration. Their cushy 44-10 lead didn't hold up as Josh Rosen and the Bruins scored 35 unanswered, including 4 TD passes by Rosen, to win 45-44 at the buzzer. Coach Sumlin's seat is piping hot.
While one team was busy melting down week one, the Terps came out fast against the Horns in Austin. The revamped Texas squad didn't have enough fairy dust in Tom Herman's Longhorn debut as Maryland won a shootout 51-41. This win was a statement game for DJ Durkin and his staff. I was sad to see Tyrrell Pigrome suffer a season ending knee injury after winning the starting job and putting on a show for three quarters. I remember his recruitment from a metro Birmingham high school hoping Auburn would offer and made a mentalnote that he would be a playmaker wherever he landed; I'm hoping for a speedy recovery. Looking ahead the Terps could/should be undefeated rolling into The Shoe on October 7th.
Boomer Sooner beating down the Buckeyes was the highlight of week two, and boy did Baker Mayfield look the part; throwing for almost 400 yards and 3 TDs. Indiana showed week one that Ohio State was susceptible on the back end and Lincoln Riley and his boys made them pay. Bedlam at the end of the year is looking like a play-in playoff game when the Sooners take on the Mullet and his Cowboys.
Week two also showed America that Gus Malzahn cant keep his hands off the Auburn offense and the Tigers were held to 117 total yards in a 14-7 loss to Clemson. The defense is stingy and physical as advertised, but the offense has major kinks to work out and injuries to overcome. The next three weeks should prove valuable in augmenting the plan before a October 14th trip to the real Death Valley in Baton Rouge.
Speaking of Baton Rouge, LSU takes their show on the road to Starkville this weekend for a SEC West showdown. LSU and Mississippi State have looked impressive on both sides of the ball against inferior teams so this weekend will be a good indicator of who's a contender and who's a pretender. The Bulldogs always play LSU tough and I expect a close ball game yet again. The Tigers are a touchdown favorite but it wouldn't shock me if the fighting cowbells pulled off the upset under the lights at Davis Wade Stadium.
The best matchup of the weekend will be in Papa Johns Stadium when Lamar Jackson and the Cards take on the reigning champs from Clemson. Dabo Swinney's defense is incredibly stout and I cant wait to see them matchup with the high powered Bobby Petrino offense. Last year this proved to be one of the best games of the season and this years edition looks just as good. The winner of this game looks like the early front runner to win the division after the Deondre Francois injury at FSU. Vegas has Clemson favored by a field goal and after seeing that defense last weekend I think the Tigers will win and cover. The Clemson defensive front will be too much for the Cardinals OL.
Tennessee and their trash can head south to play Florida in the Swamp where points will most likely be at a premium. The Florida offense looked less than desirable in their lone performance this year and look to change that this weekend against the porous Vols D. Tennessee also struggled much of the game against Tech in the opener before coming to life in the fourth quarter. The line opened at Florida -8 but has since dropped to a more realistic -4.5. Both coaches need this win in a bad way as both fanbases grow weary with the direction of the program/offense.
A rematch of the great 2005 National Championship between Texas and USC will take place in the LA Coliseum this weekend. I don't anticipate it to be as exciting this time around though. Texas is still rebuilding but its a quality out of conference opponent for the Trojans. Look for Sam Darnold to shred the Horns and keep pace with his signal caller counterpart across town.
I'll add a quick gambling thread Saturday morning for those interested...Bueller.... Feel free to comment about teams you want covered, as long as its not Alabama I'll probably oblige.