College Football Week 3 Picks: Michigan State over Notre Dame

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College Football Week 3 Picks: Michigan State over Notre Dame
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Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams.

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The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Notre Dame at Michigan State

Brian Kelly insists there is no quarterback controversy in South Bend. This despite the Notre Dame head coach pulling redshirt quarterback Everett Golson in favor of Tommy Rees for the game-winning drive last Saturday against Purdue.

Golson was 21-31 for 289 yards and a touchdown prior to being yanked. However, the Irish struggled to get the offense clicking against the Boilermakers (they only rushed for 52 yards as a team with a fumble). It’s not like Rees, 3-8 for 35 yards, transformed into John Elway that final drive. At the end of the day, the Irish are 2-0 with their first win of the season coming in a contest across the pond in Dublin, Ireland over Navy.

Granted, it’s only two games and one came against an in-state foe from the Mid-American Conference, but the Spartans do boast a Top 10 defense (225.5 yards allowed per game). They’ve gone two weeks without allowing an offensive touchdown.

Wins over Boise State and Central Michigan have been paced by running back Le’Veon Bell on offense. Those who bleed green and white were calling for Bell to be named a Heisman Trophy finalist after Week 1. He’s rushed 62 times for 480 yards (4.5 YPC) with four touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Andrew Maxwell, trying to shake off comparisons to Kirk Cousins, has started the season 42-69 for 523 with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

We simulated the Spartans and Irish 101 times and it’s Sparty coming out ahead 59.4 percent of the time by an average score of 24-22.

College Football Week 3
Matchup Win% Avg Score  
North Carolina Central Eagles 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils 95.0 45  
Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Miami (FL) Hurricanes 95.0 48  
Furman Paladins 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Clemson Tigers 95.0 52  
South Alabama Jaguars 6.9 14 Boxscore
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack 93.1 35  
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 25.7 20 Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles 74.3 27  
Virginia Cavaliers 38.6 23 Boxscore
@ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 61.4 26  
Connecticut Huskies 55.0 20 Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins 45.0 19  
Stony Brook Seawolves 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Syracuse Orange 95.0 45  
Delaware State Hornets 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bearcats 95.0 46  
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 38.6 18 Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls 61.4 22  
North Carolina Tar Heels 38.6 22 Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals 61.4 25  
Virginia Tech Hokies 76.2 27 Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers 23.8 17  
Northern Iowa Panthers 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Iowa Hawkeyes 95.0 47  
Massachusetts Minutemen 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Michigan Wolverines 95.0 35  
Charleston Southern Buccaneers 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini 95.0 42  
Arkansas State Red Wolves 12.9 21 Boxscore
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers 87.1 32  
Eastern Michigan Eagles 13.9 15 Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers 86.1 29  
Utah State Aggies 26.2 20 Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers 73.8 29  
California Golden Bears 34.2 22 Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes 65.8 28  
Ball State Cardinals 37.6 23 Boxscore
@ Indiana Hoosiers 62.4 28  
Boston College Eagles 38.1 21 Boxscore
@ Northwestern Wildcats 61.9 26  
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 40.6 22 Boxscore
@ Michigan State Spartans 59.4 24  
Navy Midshipmen 43.6 21 Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions 56.4 22  
Western Michigan Broncos 44.6 25 Boxscore
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers 55.4 28  
Morgan State Bears 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Akron Zips 95.0 31  
Bowling Green Falcons 39.6 24 Boxscore
@ Toledo Rockets 60.4 28  
South Carolina State Bulldogs 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Arizona Wildcats 95.0 53  
Portland State Vikings 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Washington Huskies 95.0 50  
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks 95.0 57  
Houston Cougars 36.1 25 Boxscore
@ UCLA Bruins 63.9 30  
Brigham Young Cougars 60.4 23 Boxscore
@ Utah Utes 39.6 20  
USC Trojans 76.2 32 Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal 23.8 24  
Florida Atlantic Owls 5.0 10 Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs 95.0 38  
Idaho Vandals 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ LSU Tigers 95.0 38  
Presbyterian Blue Hose 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Vanderbilt Commodores 95.0 43  
UAB Blazers 12.9 14 Boxscore
@ South Carolina Gamecocks 87.1 30  
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 20.8 21 Boxscore
@ Auburn Tigers 79.2 30  
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 28.2 17 Boxscore
@ Kentucky Wildcats 71.8 24  
Arizona State Sun Devils 51.5 27 Boxscore
@ Missouri Tigers 48.5 26  
Florida Gators 55.9 20 Boxscore
@ Tennessee Volunteers 44.1 18  
Alabama Crimson Tide 65.8 27 Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks 34.2 21  
Texas Longhorns 75.7 26 Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels 24.3 16  
Rice Owls 34.7 25 Boxscore
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 65.3 29  
Colorado State Rams 44.6 22 Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans 55.4 24  
Northern Illinois Huskies 56.9 22 Boxscore
@ Army Black Knights 43.1 20  
Western Illinois Leathernecks 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones 95.0 48  
James Madison Dukes 5.0 8 Boxscore
vs. West Virginia Mountaineers 95.0 59  
New Mexico Lobos 5.0 18 Boxscore
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders 95.0 36  
Sam Houston State Bearkats 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears 95.0 48  
North Texas Mean Green 12.9 17 Boxscore
@ Kansas State Wildcats 87.1 32  
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 23.8 23 Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys 76.2 34  
TCU Horned Frogs 87.1 32 Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks 12.9 20  
Nicholls Colonels 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane 95.0 46  
FIU Golden Panthers 30.7 24 Boxscore
@ UCF Knights 69.3 29  
East Carolina Pirates 32.7 22 Boxscore
@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles 67.3 27  
New Mexico State Aggies 42.6 25 Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners 57.4 29  
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 54.5 25 Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers 45.5 23  
Ohio Bobcats 60.9 27 Boxscore
@ Marshall Thundering Herd 39.1 24  
Texas A&M Aggies 79.2 28 Boxscore
@ Southern Methodist Mustangs 20.8 19  
Northwestern State Demons 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Nevada Wolf Pack 95.0 47  
North Dakota Fighting Sioux 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ San Diego State Aztecs 95.0 45  
Lamar Cardinals 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Hawaii Warriors 95.0 42  
Cal Poly Mustangs 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Wyoming Cowboys 95.0 43  
Miami (OH) RedHawks 17.8 20 Boxscore
@ Boise State Broncos 82.2 30  
Colorado Buffaloes 28.7 21 Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs 71.3 25  
Washington State Cougars 87.1 30 Boxscore
@ UNLV Rebels 12.9 15  
Mississippi State Bulldogs 90.1 32 Boxscore
@ Troy Trojans 9.9 17  
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 95.0 33 Boxscore
@ Georgia State Panthers 5.0 9  
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