Week 3 is in the books, and what originally looked like a boring Saturday turned out to be a pretty good one! We had a few upsets, some close calls, and a couple of really good games. Let’s get into the details.
Tennessee is not a top-tier team.
The Tennessee Volunteers were ranked #11 in the country going into their trip to The Swamp. Florida had a field goal blocked on their first drive, and then Tennessee scored 6 plays later to make it 7-0. It appeared the Vols would run away with this one with no problems, but then their next 3 drives in the first half ended with an interception and 2 punts. In the second half, Tennessee did not punt, but they failed to convert on fourth down 3 separate times in what turned out to be a rather uninspiring performance. Trevor Etienne’s 62-yard touchdown run (below) was one of just three plays in the game over 20 yards. At this point, it’s fairly obvious that Tennessee is not the second-best program in the SEC East, and it further strengthens the argument that the SEC is down as a whole.
Missouri won the day.
Not many people have picked Mizzou to upset Kansas State on Saturday. I figured this one would be close, and it took an SEC record-setting 61-yard field goal as time expired for the Tigers to come out on top. This game was tight from start to finish as neither team ever led by more than 7 points. Despite their inability to run the ball (74 yards on 28 attempts), the Tigers were able to put up 430 yards of offense. Wide receiver Luther Burden III proved that he is one of the nation’s best with 114 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 catches. Kansas State moved the ball well but obviously struggled to slow down the Missouri passing game, giving up 356 yards through the air on the day. This was a big win for Eliah Drinkwitz and the Missouri Tigers, and they could very well be the #2 team in the SEC East this year.
Struggles from powerhouse programs create questions.
Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Texas, and Michigan all really struggled to find wins on Saturday. Alabama’s performance at USF was definitely the most concerning of the bunch. The Tide managed to squeak out a 17-3 victory, but it’s safe to say that Alabama is in trouble.
Georgia ended up beating South Carolina 24-14, but the Bulldogs were losing this game until halfway through the third quarter. It took some serious halftime adjustments for this team to get going. Perhaps Georgia is just sleepwalking its way through the schedule, but the Bulldogs certainly do not look invincible.
Florida State survived a late scare at Boston College is a classic trap game. The Seminoles have a huge game at Clemson next week, and at halftime they were only up 17-10 on a bad BC team. The Seminoles pulled away in the third quarter and were up 31-10 at one point, but the Eagles fought back and this game finished 31-29.
In the final game of Jim Harbaugh’s suspension, Michigan beat Bowling Green State 31-6, but the score doesn’t tell the whole story. This game was 14-6 at halftime, and the Michigan offense looked out of sync. JJ McCarthy finished the game 8/13 with 143 yards and 3 interceptions to go along with his 2 touchdowns. The Wolverines will have to be much better to beat the likes of Penn State and Ohio State.
Finally, the Texas Longhorns struggled to get going against that feisty Wyoming team that beat Texas Tech just 2 weeks ago. This game was tied at 10 when the 4th quarter started, and the Horns were able to pull away to a 31-10 victory. Texas struggled to get the passing game going as Ewers threw for just 131 yards on 11/21 passing. Xavier Worthy had 45 of the 131 yards on the play below.
XAVIER WORTHY IS ELECTRIC⚡️— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 17, 2023
Washington is the best team in the PAC-12.
The Washington Huskies are one of the few teams in the nation that have looked absolutely dominant in all of their performances this year. The Huskies went into East Lansing and handed Michigan State a 41-7 loss, and they were chewing the clock halfway through the third quarter (see tweet below). Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. completed 27/35 passes for 473 yards and 4 touchdowns. On the season, Penix is now 84/113 with 1,332 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just 1 interception. The Huskies get Cal and then Arizona in their next 2 games before their showdown against Oregon on October 14th. I expect both of those teams to be undefeated, and College Gameday will likely be in town.
Michael Penix AT HALFTIME:— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) September 16, 2023
• 20-25 passing (80%)
• 375 passing yards
• 4 touchdowns
• 35-0 lead pic.twitter.com/etx6B1ac6M
Colorado does it again.
The Colorado Buffaloes hosted College Gameday and the Colorado State Rams in a hotly contested game. With a 9:00 PM CST kickoff time, many people did not stay up to watch this double-overtime thriller that ended at 1:30 AM, but I sure did. The Buffaloes struggled to get going on offense in the first half, and they also lost star two-way player Travis Hunter on a dirty late hit. Colorado got the ball back on their own 2-yard line with just over 2 minutes left to play. Quarterback Shadeur Sanders led an incredible drive that ended with a 45-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion to tie the game. Both teams scored in the first overtime period, and then Colorado scored again in the second overtime. The game ended with a Trevor Woods interception in the endzone. The Buffaloes will likely see their magical run end next week as they are at Oregon.
COLORADO TOUCHDOWN AND THEY TIE THE GAME WITH THE 2-POINT CONVERSIONpic.twitter.com/nxbhnCaEqr— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 17, 2023
#6 Ohio State rolled Western Kentucky 63-10.
#7 Penn State handled business at Illinois in a 30-13 win.
#9 Notre Dame continued rolling with a 41-17 win over Central Michigan.
#10 Oregon dominated Hawaii 55-10.
#11 Utah handled Weber State 31-7.
#12 LSU looked dominant in a 41-14 win over Mississippi State.
#14 Oregon State escaped with a 26-9 win over San Diego State.
#15 Ole Miss handled Georgia Tech with a 48-23 win,
#16 Oklahoma looked great against a bad Tulsa team in a 66-17 victory.
#17 North Carolina handled business with a 31-13 win over Minnesota.
#18 Duke dominated Northwestern in a 38-14 win.
#20 Miami beat Bethune Cookman 48-7 last Thursday.
#21 Washington State continued to look impressive with a 64-21 win over Northern Colorado.
#22 UCLA dominated North Carolina Central 59-7.
#24 Iowa handled Western Michigan easily in a 41-10 victory.
Coach Perry’s Power Rankings: Week 3
- Notre Dame
- Florida State
- Penn State
- Ohio State
This week Washington and Notre Dame claim the top 2 spots as they are the only teams in the country that have looked dominant in every game. Texas, Georgia, and Florida State drop a few spots after shaky performances. Over the next month we’ll get a more clear picture of who the best teams in the country are, but I think it’s safe to say that nobody is clearly the #1 team in the country.
Week 4 Games to Watch
We have a great slate of games in week 4, and there are a few games I’m really excited about!
Saturday, September 23
#4 Florida State at Clemson
SMU at TCU
Auburn at Texas A&M
Maryland at Michigan State
Texas Tech at West Virginia
#15 Ole Miss at #13 Alabama
BYU at Kansas
#22 UCLA at #11 Utah
#19 Colorado at #10 Oregon
Arkansas at #12 LSU
#14 Oregon State at #21 Washington State
#6 Ohio State at #9 Notre Dame
#24 Iowa at #7 Penn State
UCF at Kansas State