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NCAA Viewing Guide: Week 3

No. 1 Alabama travels to College Station to play No. 6 Texas A&M in a big, big SEC battle. Several other quality games highlight the schedule, and then there's Boston College and USC.

Mike Zarrilli

Week three of the college football season is here and well I didn't give a damn about TCU and Texas Tech and apparently that was alright so you're going a Saturday only viewing guide.


No. 16 UCLA at No. 23 Nebraska, 12 p.m., ABC

This should be your top early game. Two top-25 teams to kick off your day? Yes, please. On a sadder note, UCLA will be dealing with the passing of WR Nick Pasquale, who was struck by a car on Sunday morning.

An answer in the Bruins Nation's Q&A with Corn Nation touches on the under-the-radar guys for Nebraska And this answer from the Corn Nation Q&A with Bruins Nation touches on UCLA QB Brett Hundley
Quincy Enunwa. He gets lost behind the glitz and glamor of Kenny Bell's afro and the joystick moves of Jamal Turner, but he's been the Martinez's primary passing target so far this year. He's a vicious blocker if Bell or Turner get the ball on the edge or in space, you can bet that Enunwa is out there looking to knock someone's block off. I'll let someone else give you a defensive player or two to keep an eye on, because there are a bunch to choose from there. Hundley has also shown better decision making in the pocket, both in preseason and in the opener, with a greater willingness to throw a ball away rather than feeling compelled to make a play every time, which led to a lot of those sacks, and better reads of the defense when going downfield. I think the entire offensive unit feels more comfortable with the system this year. Last season, everything was brand new to them, whereas this year they are able to pick up from they left off last season. I think it's made Hundley look more comfortable and confident as the leader on offense.

Boston College at USC, 3 p.m., PAC-12 NETWORK

If USC loses to Boston College, expect Lane Kiffin's house to be on the market. Honestly, how did this guy make it all the way to USC?

BC Interruption with a buttload of questions. I WANT ANSWERS. Conquest Chronicles focuses on the role of the USC defense
If Andre Williams gets banged up, does Boston College have another running back that will be able to effectively run the ball in Ryan Day's offense? Can Boston College make it two straight games without a penalty? Can BC contain Marqise Lee and keep the damage minimal? If BC jumps out to an early lead, will the USC faithful turn on Lane Kiffin quickly? If BC were to win this game, would Lane Kiffin be fired before the end of the season? What would a win against USC do for the Boston College football program? Are you as excited about this game as I am? If Cody Kessler can't capitalize on recently being named the starter and the offense sputters, the defense will once again be in a position to have to carry the team. It is going to be up to the Trojan defense to jump-start the game. The last time the team was in the Coliseum they ran off to a cascade of boos and fans chanting for Lane Kiffin to be fired. Kiffin is going to get booed when he comes out of the tunnel but if the defense can make a couple of big plays right off the bat the entire game could shift.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS

Alabama will get a shot at Texas A&M, the only team to earn a win against them a year ago. Also, if you are watching Boston College or Oregon over this game, what are you doing?

Roll Bama Roll previews the Alabama passing game vs. the aTm defensive backs Good Bull Hunting (I GET IT) looks at Alabama's defense
If Alabama has any hope of redemption against Texas A&M, the passing game (and offensive line) must live up to the preseason hype. Amari Cooper must demand double teams and Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White must be able to take advantage of a somewhat depleted A&M secondary. For A&M, the defensive back field, especially cornerback, was also expected to be the strength of the defense. Leading the charge for A&M at cornerback is 6-0 185 lb junior Deshazor Everrett. Deshazor is an All-SEC type corner and his stats from 2012 are impressive to say the least. Will Alabama be comfortable enough on Saturday to align similarly against A&M? I don't know, but if I'm Kirby Smart I certainly would take my chances early. Make Johnny Manziel try to beat you deep from the very start, and limit the running game and short horizontal or packaged passing routes as much as you can to put the Aggies in 3rd and long situations. That would be my gameplan going into the game if I were an Alabama coach. If we get burned, then we get burned.

Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon, 3:30 p.m., ABC


Rocky Top Talk with this stat that hurts my brain (See below)
No, really; Oregon's averaging 10 yards per run and 8.7 yards per pass. So ...yeah. This gets into passing premium a bit, but the short story is this: your average yards per pass play should be greater than your average yards per run play (the risk of turnovers is higher with a pass play, among other things). Addicted to Quack has a podcast up previewing the Tennessee game. So if you really, really, really, really really, want some insight head on over there.

Georgia Tech at Duke, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

This is a big one for Virginia Tech in the coastal division as a Duke win over Georgia Tech would (presumably) make things much easier down the road for the Hokies.

From the Rumble Seat provides this quick look at the game
This year's match pitches two similar style quarterbacks: Vad Lee for Georgia Tech and Brandon Connette leading the Blue Devils. Vad Lee was 7/11 with 189 yards and two touchdowns in week 1 against Elon. Lee ran the offense like a veteran and at times, effortlessly. Now I'm not saying he was perfect (pretty close) but you couldn't have asked him to perform any better. On the other hand, Connette will be replacing starter Anthony Boone, and is recognized as a run-first type of QB who has also played Tight End during his time in Durham, although he was an impressive 14/21 for 198 yards and 2 TDs against Memphis. Error 404: Duke Football blog not found. See related: Duke football program not found

Iowa at Iowa State, 6 p.m., FOX SPORTS 1

It's never too early in the season for an in-state rivalry game.

Adam Jacobi of Black Heart Gold Pants with this on the game I have no real rooting interest, but this is pretty damn good from Wide Right and Natty Lite
No, where the game will likely hang in the balance is what Iowa does inside the 20s. If the Hawkeyes are pinned deep, they cannot afford a three-and-out; the defense just doesn't have that shutdown quality that can keep opponents from taking advantage of good field position. Meanwhile, on offense it's imperative that Iowa finish drives. We're not going to freak out if it's 4th and 9 and a field goal has to go up; everyone kicks field goals now and then. It's just that this is going to be a close enough game that even one field goal turning into a touchdown could swing the balance of the game, and Iowa hasn't shown itself to be anywhere near automatic in the red zone. God said, "I need someone to wake up at the crack of noon, drink beer, spend all afternoon making meth, drink beer again, come home, beat their girlfriend, then stay up after midnight watching a VHS tape of the 2010 Orange Bowl and masturbating in front of their Hayden Fry shrine." God made a Hawkeye.

No. 4 Ohio State at California, 7 p.m., FOX

Ohio State travels to California and the status of star QB Braxton Miller is uncertain at this point.

Jeanna Thomas of Land Grant Holy Land with this bit norcalnick of California Golden Blogs on Ohio State:
The official word on quarterback Braxton Miller is that he will be a game-time decision on Saturday due to a knee injury he suffered last Saturday against San Diego State University. If Miller is able to play, his rushing potential will likely be limited, and depending on how well he can plant on his injured leg, his passing accuracy may also suffer, so Jordan Hall, Dontre Wilson, and the rest of Ohio State's running back corps will need to step up and move the ball on the ground for the Buckeyes. Last year, Ohio State's defensive line completely destroyed Cal on passing plays. Zach Maynard was abused all game long, to the point that he ended the game just walking out of bounds. Zach was pretty heavily criticized for that, but if I had been hit as many times as Zach had, I probably would have done the same. As a result of a season of weak performance, the entire Cal line has been rebuilt, with younger starters in many spots. They'll be a facing a completely rebuilt Ohio State line, as three players graduated and another declared early for the draft. As a result, the defensive line is perhaps the biggest question mark on Ohio State's roster.

Vanderbilt at No. 13 South Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN

HOW WE GON' GO FACE VANDERBILT NOW. Let's see if Jadeveon Clowney continues to make ESPN cry.

Anchor of Gold talks to Garnet and Black Attack about the USC defense One of Garnet and Black Attack's keys to the game
One of the things that's hurt South Carolina's defense is that other players haven't stepped up and made plays when UNC and Georgia have avoided or double-teamed Clowney. For instance, if Georgia's going to run the ball to the opposite side of the field each time, you have to rely on the other defensive end to defend the run well. Last year, Devin Taylor was our other defensive end, and he was great against the run. This year, it's Chaz Sutton, a good pass rusher but someone who's not as strong against the run. Georgia exploited that weakness. Last year's defense was bolstered by strong leadership from D.J. Swearinger and Shaq Wilson. The two players had different styles, but both enjoyed the respect of their teammates and were able to keep their teammates aware of their roles, keep them focused, and keep them motivated. These were the guys who rallied the troops when things got interesting. Last week, the Gamecocks suffered from a distinct lack of leadership. Players made mistakes, and no one rallied the troops. Instead, there was confusion and finger-pointing, even fighting on the sidelines by the coaches. It was concerning to see what had formerly been such a focused, cohesive unit fall apart like that. The Vandy game is another week, though, and hopefully some of our more experienced players have taken the reins, circled the wagons, and are helping this group refocus on stopping a talented Vanderbilt offense.

No. 25 Ole Miss at Texas, 8 p.m., LONGHORN NETWORK

It'll be interesting to see how Texas fares following the dismissal of Manny Diaz and the fact that QB David Ash will miss the game due to shoulder/head injuries.

Red Cup Rebellion's look at the o-line going into the game Barking Carnival gets points for saying "The Derping must be kept to a minimum"
On offense, the banged and battered Rebel offensive line will likely shuffle around a good bit, as starting right guard Aaron Morris tore his ACL against Vanderbilt. Look for Laremy Tunsil, Austin Golson, Pierce Burton, and Emmanuel McCray to all shuffle about at all of the guard and tackle spots. I can't help but worry that we are still looking for our identity up front, despite it being the third week of the season. Running back Itavius Mathers looked alright against SEMO last week, but is still reportedly tender from an ankle sprain he suffered in fall drills. Seriously, McCoy does have ability in the short passing game between the hashes, and he's very good at pre-snap recognition against obvious defenses, but he must maintain his composure and get the ball out quickly on short drops. The Derping must be kept to a minimum. We pretty much have to hope that the Ole Miss DC is a total incompetent and won't adjust to the Case Rules.

Marshall at Ohio, 8 p.m., ESPNEWS

Good game to watch in preparation of the next Tech game. Watching Rakeem Cato work is fun, but let's hope he gets all the "fun" out of his system against Ohio. No preview of this because, well, there aren't any Marshall/Ohio blogs on the network and yeah.