This week in college football only features two games between ranked teams, but there are many other games to keep an eye on. A few unranked teams with Top 25 aspirations have a real shot at an upset. Still, this week is undoubtedly centered on a certain game that is taking place in College Station.
The status of Braxton Miller’s left knee could dramatically impact the outcome of this game. Miller, a Heisman hopeful coming into the season, sprained his MCL in the first quarter of their win over San Diego State last week; he is listed as questionable for this week. Luckily for Ohio State, they have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the nation in Kenny Guiton, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more last week in relief of Miller. Although Cal is unranked and 1-1, they have the top-ranked passing game in the country. With freshman Jared Goff behind center, the Golden Bears have the firepower to put up points against anybody.
Even if Miller isn’t good to go, Guiton knows the offense well enough to lead the Buckeyes to a victory. Also, Jared Goff has never played against a defense like Ohio State’s, so his inexperience could be a problem. With all of that said, if I had to pick a major upset to happen this week, I would still go with Cal.
After a big loss last week at BYU, Texas fell from No. 15 in the nation to unranked. Ole Miss, on the other hand, jumped into the Top 25 after starting the season 2-0. Now the two teams will square off in Austin on Saturday, with both in need of a win. Texas fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after last week’s loss, so we’ll see what Greg Robinson can do with the unit. Texas wide receiver Daje Johnson has been ruled out for the game with an ankle injury, and quarterback David Ash is questionable.
Even with all of the injuries and a new defensive coordinator, I think the Longhorns will pull out a win. Picking against a Mack Brown-coached team coming off of a loss and playing at home just sounds wrong. Ole Miss will be a tough challenge, but I think David Ash will get back on track and lead Texas to victory.
Neither Wisconsin nor Arizona State has faced a real challenge in this young season, but they are both in for one this Saturday night. Neither team has allowed a point this season either, but something tells me that won’t happen this time. Arizona State, the first team left out of the Top 25, has one of the best passing attacks in the nation behind quarterback Taylor Kelly. Wisconsin has a great offense too, but they roll with the third-best running game in the country. Get ready for a shootout in the desert.
This game could really go either way, but home field advantage gives Arizona State the edge. Neither of these defenses has faced a tough test this season, so expect a lot of scoring. In what could end up being a classic game, I’m picking the Sun Devils to win and jump into the Top 25.
This nonconference battle between ranked teams could determine if one of them is BCS bound. UCLA has started the season off hot behind their high-flying offense. So Brett Hundley has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and is emerging as a Heisman candidate. UCLA will also be trying to win this game for their late wide receiver Nick Pasquale, who passed away this past Sunday. As for Nebraska, their season has been much iffier. They barely beat Wyoming at home, but then they rebounded with a huge win over Southern Miss. As long as they have Taylor Martinez the offense will be good, but their defense at this point is very suspect.
Nebraska is a good team and will be playing at home, but UCLA will win this game. This squad will be more motivated than ever following the passing of Pasquale. Also, the mediocre Nebraska defense shouldn’t be able to contain Hundley’s offense. This game might be close, but UCLA will end up on top.
It’s only Week 3, but this might be the most important regular season game of the year. It’s also the most anticipated…by far. It’s Johnny Manziel vs. A.J. McCarron. Nick Saban vs. the team who beat him at home last season. The storylines are endless. Both of these teams are legitimate title contenders, but a loss in this game wouldn’t help those chances. Manziel and McCarron are both Heisman frontrunners, and a win in this game would boost their resumes. To sum it all up, this game will singlehandedly change the outlook of the 2013 college football season.
Despite all of the negative scrutiny surrounding Johnny Manziel, he is the most exciting player in all of college football. As long as he is on the field, Texas A&M has a chance to win. However, this week “a chance to win” will not be enough. Nick Saban’s teams do not lose to the same team twice in a row, especially against SEC rivals. You know Alabama was been salivating at the thought of this rematch, and they will get their revenge on Saturday with a win.