College Football Predictions for Every Week 3 Game

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2012

College Football Predictions for Every Week 3 Game

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    Week 3 of the college football season is already here, and as you look around the national landscape, there have already been some upsets, surprises and key injuries.

    Last week college football fans saw Arkansas fall in an upset, and it was a reminder that no game is a gimme anymore.

    During this week, there are beginning to be more and more quality matchups as we approach conference play. Here is a quick look at each game in Week 3 and a prediction of who will be heading into Week 4 on a high note.

Rutgers at South Florida

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    Rutgers and South Florida get conference play started against each other, and one team will leave with a 3-0 start and an early conference win. With the game being played at home, South Florida holds a slight edge but needs the defense to pick things up.

    Prediction: South Florida

    Final Score: Rutgers 23, South Florida 13

Washington State at UNLV

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    Things have not gone like many believed they would for Mike Leach, but a win against UNLV would take the Cougars to 2-1. Look for this game to remain close, but ultimately Leach and the Cougars should be able to hang on for a close victory.

    Prediction: Washington State

    Final Score: Washington State 35, UNLV 27

Wake Forest at Florida State

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    Florida State has been tearing teams apart, and this week it enters conference play against Wake Forest. The Seminoles offense has been on fire to start the year, and there is little reason to believe the Demon Deacons can slow them down.

    Prediction: Florida State

    Final Score: Florida State 52, Wake Forest 0 

Cal at Ohio State

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    This week Cal makes the trip across the country to play Ohio State. It is an early start, and Cal has been known to struggle when coming out to the East Coast. The Golden Bears may make this game close in the second half, but look for the Buckeyes to have control throughout.

    Prediction: Ohio State

    Final Score: Ohio State 35, Cal 28 

Virginia Tech at Pitt

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    Pitt has looked awful so far this year and is going up against a Virginia Tech team that appears to be in midseason form. It shouldn't take long for the Hokies to go up big and cruise to a victory in Week 3.

    Prediction: Virginia Tech

    Final Score: Pittsburgh 35, Va Tech 17 

TCU at Kansas

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    This game will not even be close. The TCU offense is off and running, and Kansas is not a team that is going to slow it down. Look for the Horned Frogs to have things wrapped up by the half.

    Prediction: TCU

    Final Score: TCU 20, Kansas 6

Western Michigan at Minnesota

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    Minnesota has gotten off to a promising start but will struggle with the passing game of Western Michigan. Look for the Broncos to head into Minnesota and improve to 2-1 with a big road win.

    Prediction: Western Michigan

    Final Score: Minnesota 28, Western Michigan 23 

Arkansas State at Nebraska

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    After a tough loss to UCLA, Nebraska returns home to play Arkansas State. While the Red Wolves can put up points, don't look for the Huskers to slip up for a second straight week.

    Prediction: Nebraska

    Final Score: Nebraska 42, Arkansas St 13

Louisiana-Lafayette at Oklahoma State

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    After a rough loss to Arizona, Oklahoma State is looking to rebound against Louisiana-Lafayette. While the Cowboys should escape this game with a win, they should be concerned with how their defense is developing as they get ready for conference play.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State

    Final Score: Oklahoma State 65, LA-Lafayette 24

Northern Illinois at Army

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    These appear to be two teams heading in opposite directions. Army still has a lot of work to do to return to a bowl game, while the Huskies offense picked up steam last week and should help put some separation between the two teams early.

    Prediction: Northern Illinois

    Final Score: Northern Illinois 41, Army 40

Charleston Southern at Illinois

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    While Illinois is certainly not a powerhouse, the Illini should have little trouble earning a win this week. Charleston Southern will give it its best, but in the end, Illinois is too big and strong for this game to remain close.

    Prediction: Illinois

    Final Score: Illinois 44, CSU 0 

Bethune-Cookman at Miami (FL)

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    After being picked apart by Kansas State, Miami gets back on the field this week with a much easier task. The Hurricanes will have no issue taking out Bethune-Cookman but are heading for a long season if the defense doesn't improve in conference games.

    Prediction: Miami

    Final Score: Miami 38, Bethune Cookman 10 

Eastern Michigan at Purdue

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    Last week's loss to Notre Dame was tough, as Purdue lost a close one. This week, the Boilermakers take on Eastern Michigan at home. Purdue will get a good effort from the Eagles but ultimately will overpower Eastern Michigan and get a bounce-back win.

    Prediction: Purdue

    Final Score: Purdue 54, Eastern Michigan 16

Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn

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    In this game you have two teams that are feeling completely opposite. Louisiana-Monroe is riding high from its upset over Arkansas, and Auburn is dealing with its loss to Mississippi State.

    While Auburn should win this game, if the Tigers offense doesn't wake up and kick things into gear, the Warhawks could claim their second straight win over an SEC team.

    Prediction: Auburn 

    Final Score: Auburn 31, UL-Monroe 28 in OT

Connecticut at Maryland

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    This game appears to be a toss-up. Connecticut really struggled against NC State and could run into the same issues against Maryland. Look for Randy Edsall and the Terps to get out to a 3-0 start with a win over the Huskies at home.

    Prediction: Maryland

    Final Score: Connecticut 24, Maryland 21

Presbyterian at Vanderbilt

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    After a 0-2 start to the year, the Commodores will catch a break as they take on Presbyterian at home. While Vanderbilt's defense has been solid, this may give the offense a chance of getting on track as it heads into conference play.

    Prediction: Vanderbilt

    Final: Vanderbilt 58, Presbyterian 0

Tennessee Tech at Oregon

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    This game will be well over by the half. Oregon has way too much speed and skill for Tennessee Tech to keep up, and the Ducks will move to 3-0 as they head into conference play next week against Arizona. 

    Prediction: Oregon

    Final Score: Oregon 63, Tenn. Tech 14

Furman at Clemson

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    Clemson is off to another great start and is about to go 3-0 after this week. When going up against a team like Furman, the Tigers are hoping to stay healthy and get their starters out as soon as possible as they prepare to begin conference play.

    Prediction: Clemson

    Final Score: Clemson 41, Furman 7 

Alabama at Arkansas

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    With or without Tyler Wilson, Arkansas is going to be in trouble against Alabama. Alabama has looked good and ready to defend its title, and the Razorbacks are not going to be the team to derail that goal.

    Prediction: Alabama

    Final Score: Alabama 52, Arkansas 0

Massachusetts at Michigan

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    After losing to Alabama and struggling to beat Air Force, Michigan catches a break and plays Massachusetts this week. This game should give the defense a chance to get on the same page and prepare for conference play.

    Prediction: Michigan

    Final Score: Michigan 63, UMass 13 

North Carolina at Louisville

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    Early on this year, the Cardinals defense and offense have both looked good, and Teddy Bridgewater doesn't look to be suffering from a sophomore slump. If Bridgewater can continue to play at this level, Louisville will take down the Tar Heels and be a major force in the Big East.

    Prediction: Louisville

    Final Score: Louisville 39, North Carolina 34 

Virginia at Georgia Tech

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    Both teams have looked good at times early this season, but the Georgia Tech offense may be hitting its stride after last week's performance. To go along with their offense, the Yellow Jackets are at home and should move to 2-1.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech

    Final Score: Georgia Tech 56, Virginia 20

Boston College at Northwestern

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    Early in the year, Northwestern is adjusting very well to not having Dan Persa. While the passing game has been slow to get started, the running game and defense have carried them. Watch as the Wildcats jump out to a surprising 3-0 start.

    Prediction: Northwestern

    Final Score: Northwestern 22, Boston College 13 

Navy at Penn State

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    While the season has not gotten off to a great start for Penn State, the Navy Midshipmen have issues of their own. Penn State has the defense to force some turnovers and get the Nittany Lions their first win of the year.

    Prediction: Penn State

    Final Score: Penn State 34, Navy 7

Morgan State at Akron

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    Despite an awful defense, Akron would be hard pressed to lose this game. The Zips should have the offensive power to earn a win over FCS Morgan State.

    Prediction: Akron

    Final Score: Akron 66, Morgan State 6 

Northern Iowa at Iowa

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    Iowa needs to use this game as an opportunity for the offense to get on the same page. Through two games the Hawkeyes have only scored 24 points, and that must change this week.

    Prediction: Iowa

    Final Score: Iowa 27, Northern Iowa 16

Texas A&M at SMU

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    Texas A&M didn't get the start it hoped for against Florida but has a chance to bounce back this week against SMU. The Mustangs defense looked suspect against Baylor and could be what prevents them from staying in this game.

    Prediction: Texas A&M

    Final Score: Texas A&M 48, SMU 3

Miami (OH) at Boise State

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    After getting a week off to study its loss against Michigan State, Boise State heads home to play Miami of Ohio. While the Broncos didn't look as dominant as we are used to seeing, it is hard to believe they would lose two straight games.

    Prediction: Boise State

    Final Score: Boise St 39, Miami (OH) 12

Stony Brook at Syracuse

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    Through no fault of the offense, Syracuse is 0-2 and is still searching for a solid defensive performance.

    This week against Stony Brook, the Orange and Ryan Nassib should have no issues putting up big numbers and earning their first win of the season.

    Prediction: Syracuse

    Final Score: Syracuse 28, Stony Brook 17 

Portland State at Washington

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    After getting banged up against LSU, the Huskies return home to take on Portland State. Portland State will struggle to keep up, and the Huskies should get back on track with a win in Week 3.

    Prediction: Washington

    Final Score: Washington 52, Portland St. 13 


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    FIU's offense has gotten off to a hot start, but the defense still needs some work. On the other hand, UCF has looked strong in both of its games. With this game being played at home, look for the Knights to pull out a victory.

    Prediction: UCF

    Final Score: UCF 33, FIU 20 

James Madison vs. West Virginia

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    This is a game that will be over quickly. West Virginia has way too much offensive firepower, and even if the Mountaineers have a bad day, James Madison doesn't have the athletes to keep up.

    Prediction: West Virginia

    Final Score: West Virginia 42, James Madison 12

Florida at Tennessee

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    This could be one of the better games this week. Both of these once proud programs appear to be on the rise. Florida's defense looks tough this year, but the Vols offense has looked strong as well. In the end, playing in Knoxville could be the key to a Tennessee victory.

    Prediction: Tennessee

    Final Score: Florida 37, Tennessee 20 

South Alabama at NC State

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    Despite an early stumble to Tennessee, NC State bounced back with a win over Connecticut. This week the Wolfpack take on South Alabama, and this should be a chance for the offense to try to get on track and get back to the form it had last year.

    Prediction: NC State

    Final Score: NC State 31, South Alabama 7 

UTSA at Georgia State

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    UTSA has gotten off to a hot start in the FBS division and takes on Georgia State this week. The offense has been clicking early on this year, and there is no reason to believe it will not get the job done against Georgia State.

    Prediction: UTSA

    Final Score: UTSA 38, Georgia St. 14 

Cal Poly at Wyoming

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    While the passing game has looked good so far for Wyoming, the running game and defense have been sore spots for the Cowboys. With Cal Poly in town, Wyoming should have a solid chance of earning its first win and getting the running game on track.

    Prediction: Wyoming

    Final Score: Cal Poly 24, Wyoming 22

Ohio at Marshall

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    Right out of the gates, Ohio has been hot and has rolled its way to a 2-0 start, including a win over Penn State. The Bobcats offense is what will carry Ohio in this game, as it could turn into a shootout but will result in an Ohio victory.

    Prediction: Ohio

    Final Score: Ohio 27, Marshall 24 

UAB at South Carolina

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    South Carolina continues to get ready for the bulk of SEC play and this week faces UAB. The Gamecocks have too much talent and depth for this game to remain close. South Carolina should cruise to a victory and allow many of the starters to rest.

    Prediction: South Carolina

    Final Score: South Carolina 49, UAB 6 

North Texas at Kansas State

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    Last week Kansas State dropped a bomb on Miami, and this week it gets even easier as North Texas comes to town. This is another game that will be over quickly, as the Wildcats will go up big in this game.

    Prediction: Kansas State

    Final Score: Kansas State 35, North Texas 21

Western Kentucky at Kentucky

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    Last week Western Kentucky had to play one of the best teams in the nation in Alabama, and this week the Hilltoppers draw another SEC opponent in Kentucky. This is a game that could stay close in the second half, but the Wildcats' passing attack should be the difference in this Kentucky win.

    Prediction: Kentucky

    Final Score: Western Kentucky 32Kentucky 31 in OT

Arizona State at Missouri

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    The Arizona State offense has been on fire early on this year, as it has averaged 54 points per game. This week the Sun Devils head to Missouri for their first big test of the year and could be in for a shootout, as the Tigers are averaging 41 points per game.

    Both teams need this win badly, but ultimately the Tigers will earn their second win of the season.

    Prediction: Missouri

    Final Score: Missouri 24, Arizona State 20

North Carolina Central at Duke

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    After getting run over by Stanford, Duke returns home for an easier game against North Carolina Central. The Blue Devils are 1-1 on the year, and with Sean Renfree under center, they are about to earn their second win.

    Prediction: Duke

    Final Score: Duke 54, North Carolina Central 17 

Nicholls State at Tulsa

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    Bouncing back from its loss to Iowa State, Tulsa earned a win over Tulane and now takes on FCS Nicholls State. This should be a game that the Golden Hurricane should have no problem with as long as they are not looking past the Colonels to Fresno State.

    Prediction: Tulsa

    Final Score: Tulsa 66, Nicholls St. 16 

Delaware State at Cincinnati

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    In its season opener, Cincinnati looked good and took down Pitt 34-10. With Delaware State next up on the schedule, the Bearcats will go to 2-0, but they face Virginia Tech the following week.

    Prediction: Cincinnati

    Final Score: Cincinnati 23, Delaware St. 7 

Middle Tennessee at Memphis

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    While Memphis has not looked as bad as it did in 2011, the Tigers have lost two close games to drop to 0-2. The Blue Raiders have looked average, but average is enough for them to get a win over the Tigers.

    Prediction: Middle Tennessee

    Final Score: Middle Tenn 48, Memphis 30 

Rice at Louisiana Tech

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    With Colby Cameron at the helm for Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs offense looked extremely strong against Houston, but the same could not be said about the defense. This game could easily turn into a shootout, but the Bulldogs have the ability to outlast Rice and move to 2-0.

    Prediction: Louisiana Tech

    Final Score: Louisiana Tech 56, Rice 37 

Bowling Green at Toledo

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    While both teams are still trying to get things figured out, Toledo has shown more consistency this year. With an offense that can score from anywhere on the field, the Rockets will go to 2-1 and move on to Coastal Carolina next week.

    Prediction: Toledo

    Final Score: Toledo 27, Bowling Green 15 

New Mexico at Texas Tech

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    Out of the gate Texas Tech has been steamrolling through its out-of-conference schedule, and a home date with New Mexico isn't going to slow down the Red Raiders. With the offensive power that the Red Raiders will bring to this game, things will get out of hand quickly.

    Prediction: Texas Tech

    Final Score: Texas Tech 49, New Mexico 14 

Mississippi State at Troy

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    Mississippi State turned a lot of heads last week when it beat Auburn. This week the Bulldogs take on Troy, and the only thing preventing them from a win is if they let up and look past the Trojans. 

    Prediction: Mississippi State

    Finals Score: Miss St. 30, Troy 24 

Sam Houston State at Baylor

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    It has been a while since we have seen Baylor, but the Bears looked impressive in their opener against SMU. Sam Houston State will not provide much of a challenge, so look for Baylor to clear the benches and win this game easily.

    Prediction: Baylor

    Final Score: Baylor 48, Sam Houston St. 23

Northwestern State at Nevada

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    After a tough one-point loss to South Florida, Nevada stays at home to play Northwestern State. The game should provide the Wolf Pack ample opportunity to shake things off and get back on track with a win that will push them to 2-1.

    Prediction: Nevada

    Final Score: Nevada 45, Northwestern St. 34 

USC at Stanford

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    USC at Stanford is one of the most anticipated games of the week. Many expected the Trojans to be great this year, but not many believed the Stanford offense would be doing as well as it is. This will be the only test USC faces until Oregon, and the Trojans will pull out a narrow win.

    Prediction: USC

    Final score: Stanford 21, USC 14

Florida Atlantic at Georgia

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    Unlike in 2011, Georgia is off to a great start in 2012. The Bulldogs are looking to continue to cruise through their out-of-conference schedule and are preparing for another run at the SEC title.

    Prediction: Georgia 

    Final Score: Georgia 56, FAU 20 

Idaho at LSU

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    After taking care of Washington, LSU remains at home for a game against Idaho. This should be over by the half, and LSU will continue to prepare for its conference schedule.

    Winner: LSU

    Final score: LSU 63, Idaho 14

Notre Dame at Michigan State

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    Seems like every time that Notre Dame and Michigan State play, we end up being treated to an outstanding game. This game will come down to the Spartans defense against the Irish offense, and with a stop late in the fourth quarter, Michigan State will pull out a close win.

    Winner: Michigan State

    Final Score: Notre Dame 20, Michigan State 3

North Dakota at San Diego State

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    Another game that will not draw a lot of viewers is San Diego State against North Dakota. Not a whole lot for the Aztecs to fear unless they come into the game unfocused. Look for an easy win for San Diego State.

    Winner: San Diego State

    Final Score: San Diego State 49, North Dakota 41

Colorado State at San Jose State

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    In the first two weeks of the season, Colorado State has been inconsistent at best. The Rams started the year with a big win over Colorado, only to follow up with a loss to North Dakota State. The inconsistency on offense will cost them as San Jose State moves to 2-1.

    Winner: San Jose State

    Final Score: San Jose State 40, Colorado State 20

Western Illinois at Iowa State

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    While the offense has looked shaky at times, the Iowa State defense has been consistent. In a game against Western Illinois, the Cyclones defense will carry the load as the offense looks to get things figured out.

    Winner: Iowa State

    Final Score: Iowa State 37, Western Illinois 3

Ball State at Indiana

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    While the 2-0 start for Indiana is great, Ball State is a much more complete team. Last week the Cardinals suffered a loss to Clemson, but this week they will earn a win on the road and improve to 2-1 this year.

    Winner: Ball State

    Final Score: Ball State 41, Indiana 39

Utah State at Wisconsin

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    Last week was tough for all Badgers fans to watch. Wisconsin struggled mightily against Oregon State and ended up losing 10-7. This week the Badgers need to shake that off, because if they are still thinking about last week, Utah State will give them their second straight loss.

    Hard to think Wisconsin will lose at home, but look for this game to stay tight all the way into the fourth quarter.

    Winner: Wisconsin

    Final Score: Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14

Colorado at Fresno State

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    Fresno State showed some good things last week against Oregon. Colorado has picked right up where it left off last year and continues to struggle. With the game at home, look for Fresno State to earn a win this week over the Buffaloes.

    Winner: Fresno State

    Final Score: Fresno State 69, Colorado 14

New Mexico State at UTEP

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    This prediction has more to do with UTEP than anything. The Miners offense has been dreadful this year, and while the defense has managed to keep them in games, the Aggies should be able to put this game out of reach, especially against a team that has scored 17 points combined in the first two weeks.

    Winner: New Mexico State

    Final Score: UTEP 41, New Mexico State 28

Texas at Ole Miss

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    While it is still early in the season, Texas fans have a lot to be optimistic about. The offense looks a lot better so far this year, and if it continues to perform at a high level during this road game against Ole Miss, the Longhorns will garner more attention.

    Winner: Texas

    Final Score: Texas 66, Ole Miss 31.

BYU at Utah

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    This game is happening at the wrong time of the year for Utah. The Utes appear to still be getting their feet underneath them, but the Cougars look like they are in midseason form. Watch BYU return the favor to Utah from last year's blowout.

    Winner: BYU

    Final Score: Utah 24, BYU 21.

Houston at UCLA

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    One of the surprise teams this year has been UCLA. Last week the Bruins pulled off a stunning win over Nebraska, and this week they will keep rolling with a win over Houston as they prepare for conference play.

    Winner: UCLA

    Final Score: UCLA 37, Houston 6.

South Carolina State at Arizona

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    Arizona has been another Pac-12 team that has turned some heads. This week's test isn't that great for the Wildcats, but they will have a measuring-stick game the following week at Oregon.

    Winner: Arizona

    Final Score: Arizona 56, South Carolina State 0.

Lamar at Hawaii

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    While not a lot of people will stay up for this one, Hawaii takes on Lamar late Saturday and into early Sunday morning. The Warriors are looking to bounce back from their loss to USC and move to 1-1.

    Winner: Hawaii