Florida, USC, Braxton Miller and Other Bold Predictions for Week 3

Barry Leonard@@barryleonardjrAnalyst IIISeptember 10, 2012

Florida, USC, Braxton Miller and Other Bold Predictions for Week 3

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    With Week 2 of the college football season behind us, it's time to start looking ahead to the upcoming games.

    Week 2 provided us with high drama and surprising upsets. Three ranked teams lost at the hands of unranked opponents—none more shocking than No. 8 Arkansas losing in overtime to Sun Belt Conference member UL-Monroe.

    While one wouldn't think Week 3 holds an upset of that magnitude, there are some ranked teams that could struggle.

    This list makes 10 predictions for the upcoming weeks. It covers everything from upsets, first-time winners and player performance predictions.

Braxton Miller Will Contiune to Prove He Is the Best QB in the Big Ten

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    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has had a great start to the 2012 season. He has played a large role in helping the Buckeyes win their first two games.

    Miller has thrown for 362 yards with three touchdowns and only one interception. He has also run for 302 yards and scored four times on the ground.

    Miller is coming off a fantastic Week 2 performance in which he scored four total touchdowns, including three rushing touchdowns.

    Miller is quickly becoming the best quarterback in the Big Ten. He showed so far that he is a better dual-threat weapon than Michigan's Denard Robinson.

    Miller and the Buckeyes host Pac-12 foe California in Week 2.

    California's defense has struggled to start the year. They gave up 450 yards in a Week 1 loss against Nevada. In Week 2, the Bears defense gave up 371 yards (292 through the air) and four touchdowns to Southern Utah's Brad Sorensen.

    Miller should rack up four touchdowns in Week 3 and solidify his position as the top Big Ten quarterback.

Alabama Will Crush a Hurting Arkansas Team

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    The No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide roll into Arkansas in Week 3 to take on the reeling Razorbacks.

    The Razorbacks are coming off a shocking upset loss against Sun Belt Conference member UL-Monroe. The Warhawks shocked the Razorbacks 34-31 in overtime in Week 2.

    As if that's not bad enough, starting quarterback and first team All-SEC Tyler Wilson was injured in the first half against UL-Monroe. His status for Week 3 is unclear as of now.

    The Tide should have no trouble shutting down the Razorbacks with their superb defense. Even if Wilson is in at quarterback he will struggle against the Tide.

    UL-Monroe exposed the Razorbacks' defense as they gave up 550 yards of total offense to the Warhawks.

    Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and the Tide offense should be able to take full advantage.

    This game will be out of hand early, with the Tide winning by at least 20 points.

West Virginia Will Reach 69 Points Against JMU

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    Quarterback Geno Smith and West Virginia have been putting up a crazy amount of points in their last two games (dating back to last season's Orange Bowl in which they put up 70 points). In Week 1, the Mountaineers scored 69 points against in-state rival Marshall.

    After having a bye in Week 2, West Virginia heads to FedEx Field to take on FCS member, James Madison.

    The only story line for this game is whether or not the Mountaineers will put up 69 points for a third straight game.

    Smith, who set a WVU record with four touchdown passes against Marshall, should be rolling again in Week 3 against the Dukes. Weather through the air or on the ground JMU will have trouble stopping the prolific WVU offense.

    Depending on how long the starters stay in the game, West Virginia could hit 70 points at some point in the fourth quarter. The way this offense has been clicking, that's a pretty safe bet.

Penn State Will Finally Get a Win in 2012

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    After heartbreaking losses in the first two weeks of the season, Bill O'Brien and Penn State will look to get off the losing train in Week 3 at home against Navy.

    The Lions played well in the first half of their Week 1 game against Ohio, only to fall apart and give up 21 unanswered points in the second half.

    Week 2 saw Penn State lose a one-point thriller at Virginia after kicker Sam Ficken missed four field goals and had an extra point blocked.

    The Navy Midshipmen head into Beaver Stadium in Week 3 after getting clobbered 50-10 in Week 1 against Notre Dame in Ireland.

    Both teams will desperately be looking for a victory in Week 3, but the home field should help the Lions come out on top.

    Quarterback Matt McGloin looks to be comfortable in the new offense, as the passing attack has been a success for the Nittany Lions.

    This one should be a defensive struggle, but Penn State will come out on top in an emotional home victory.

Tennessee Will Earn Its First Vicotry over Florida Since 2004

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    A 30-28 victory in 2004 is the last time the Volunteers knocked off the Gators. Things will change this year.

    The No. 18 Gators come into Neyland Stadium to face the No. 23 Volunteers. Tennessee has been solid in the first two games, led by quarterback Tyler Bray. Bray has thrown for 643 yards and six touchdowns so far this year.

    The Gators are ripe for an upset in 2013. Yes, they are 2-0 on the year, but have struggled in both matchups. The Gators had a scare in Week 1, only defeating Bowling Green by a score of 27-14. Week 2 saw the Gators barely escape College Station with a fourth quarter comeback, winning 20-17.

    There is no doubt that the Tennessee crowd will be fired up for this one. Neyland Stadium will be rocking before the game, and the party will continue until the end. The Vols will edge out the Gators by a touchdown in a nail-biter.

Stanford Will Pull off the Upset over USC

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    In the upset of the week, the No. 21 Stanford Cardinal will use the home-field advantage to upset the No. 2 ranked USC Trojans.

    The Cardinal struggled in Week 1 against San Jose State, barely escaping with the 20-17 victory. The rebounded against Duke in Week 2, putting up 50 points against the Blue Devils.

    Stanford is led by junior quarterback Josh Nunes, who has thrown for 400 yards and four touchdowns on the year. Senior running back Stepfan Taylor has led the Cardinal ground attack, rushing for 185 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.

    USC continues to be one of the top teams in the country, scoring over 40 points in both its first two games.

    The Trojans are led by potential No. 1 draft pick, quarterback Matt Barley. All-American receiver Robert Woods and Penn State transfer, running back Silas Redd, help make the Trojans one of the most prolific offenses in the country.

    While all the numbers this year suggest an easy USC victory, the Cardinal have other plans.

    Don't forget that Stanford has knocked off the Trojans four of the last five times they have played. Throw in a nationally-televised, prime time home game, and the Cardinal faithful will be going home happy.

Texas Will Be the Next Top 25 Team to Fall to an Unranked Opponent

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    Week 2 saw four ranked teams lose at the hands of an unranked opponent. Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin all had their championship hopes take a hit.

    Heading into Week 3, the question is "Who will be the next ranked team to fall?"

    Looking at the schedule, this scenario does not clearly present itself. The best chance for an unranked school to shock a ranked team comes in the Texas at Ole Miss matchup. Both teams enter the contest at 2-0.

    The Texas defense ranks eighth in points against, allowing an average of only 8.5 points on the year. On offense, the Longhorns will look to quarterback David Ash to make plays with his arm.

    The Mississippi Rebels bring the ninth-ranked rushing offense into the game against a tough Texas defense. The Rebels are led by sophomore quarterback Ben Wallace. He leads the Rebels in both passing and rushing yards, and has seven total touchdowns on the year (five through the air and two on the ground).

    Wallce will have to have a huge game in order to pull of the upset. Ole Miss is 2-0 at home this year and hope to extend that to 3-0 after the visit from the Longhorns.

    Texas seems to be prone to the upset in recent years. Week 3 will see the Longhorns falter on the road.