Week 3 of College Football was fun, but lacked the same kind of drama we’d grown accustomed to over the first few weeks.
Florida came relatively close to upsetting Alabama in the Swamp. Oklahoma barely held-off Nebraska in Norman. Penn State capitalized one on huge momentum swing against Auburn in Happy Valley, while Clemson got lucky against Georgia Tech at home. The most exciting game may have been Memphis beating Mississippi State on a punt snafu.
Despite the relatively quiet week, we had another wash of a week, going 2-2. On the season, we are 10-6. Cincinnati put away Indiana late, while BYU suffocated Arizona State in our second win, late on the West Coast. Alabama and Auburn both let us down in games which seemed promising at the half.
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A Look Ahead to Week 4
Last week had some fun and high-profile big games, but this week is severely lacking in that marquee game department.
#7 Texas A&M will travel to Arlington to play #16 Arkansas at AT&T Stadium (per Jerry Jones’ request). The only other ranked matchup is #12 Notre Dame at #18 Wisconsin. Aside from those two and a possible upset alert game for Clemson at NC State, the rest of the matchups are lopsided messes.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Miami (Ohio) at Army -7.5
Army is 3-0 on the season with huge wins over Georgia State and UCONN. It’s not saying much, but Army presents a very difficult challenge for teams during the early part of a college football season.
The modified triple option has been used for a number of years by Navy and Georgia Southern. Over the last few years, Army adopted the offense, adding their own wrinkles to it. Though it takes a disciplined team to successfully run, Army has just that.
Army’s offense moves like an efficient machine, and Miami OH will have had only six days to prepare for it. The Redhawks do actually have a pretty solid offense, but I’m not sure their last game against an FCS opponent was the kind of game to prepare a team for a matchup against such a disciplined opponent on the road.
I’m also weary of this line. Anytime there’s a line slightly over 7, the sole purpose is to entice bettors to take the dog, because they feel like they’re giving away points if they take the favorite.
Army 38 Miami OH 24
UMASS at #17 Coastal Carolina -36
UMASS might be one of the five absolute worst teams 2021. In their opener, they were blasted by Pitt, 51-7. Though the offense has picked up, their defense is just on another level of bad. UMASS has given up at least 42 points a game. Their last opponent was Eastern Michigan…
Coastal Carolina is in the small group of teams who are playing with a perpetual chip on their shoulder, because they are a ranked, small conference team. They are also coming off a disappointing performance on the road in which they failed to cover against Buffalo on the road.
Knowing CCU has to put up some impressive wins to get any consideration from the playoff committee, this is the perfect game to punctuate a legitimate case. It’s also the ideal bounce-back game for CCU.
Coastal Carolina 55 UMASS 14
#7 Texas A&M -5.5 vs #16 Arkansas
Texas A&M may not quite be up to speed offensively since losing Haynes King against Colorado. In that game, the backup (Zach Calzada) was terrible for the day. However, a lot can change in a week. Calzada came out last week against an inferior opponent and looked a lot more comfortable.
In addition to Calzada rounding into form, the Aggies defense is legitimately awesome. Arkansas, though impressive thus far, has not played a decent defense all season. The Texas game seemed unusually fluky, and Arkansas’ quarterback hasn’t looked very consistently potent all season.
This is a neutral site game with the edge to A&M. The Aggies have an amazing and devoted fanbase, and tend to travel well. As far as personnel go, I give the edge to A&M. The Aggies certainly have the better defense, but they also have the better running back and better overall receiving group.
The key here defensively is the Aggies planning accordingly for dual threat Arkansas QB, KJ Jefferson. If the Aggies can commit defenders close to the line of scrimmage, Jefferson has the tendency to get erratic in the pocket.
Offensively, the Aggies need to stay committed to the run game and play action. As long as they don’t ask too much of Calzada, the Aggies should be able to control this game and subdue the frisky Razorbacks.
Texas A&M 30 Arkansas 17
Louisville -1.5 at Florida State
I’ve watched quite a lot of both these teams this season. Both started out fairly poorly. Only one has showed signs of hitting their stride (Louisville). Florida State was getting mild buzz at the start of the season, while Louisville was believed to be in a sort of rebuild season.
Through the first three games, the Cardinals have improved each week, while the Seminoles have spiraled. Some part of me believes the Noles will eventually snap out of it, but there’s absolutely no evidence to this point that leads us to believe that is true.
Last season, the Cardinals blasted the Noles in Louisville, 48-16. I don’t buy-in on revenge factors very much and this is no different. If anything, last year’s game just indicates a philosophical issue with how FSU deals with quick-paced, innovative offenses.
Louisville 42 FSU 30