College Football Schedule: Week 3 Matchups That Will Shakeup This Season

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIISeptember 14, 2012

Can USC avenge last year's crushing defeat against Stanford on the road?
Can USC avenge last year's crushing defeat against Stanford on the road?Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Some teams have easy sailing for Week 3 of the college football slate, but there are some matchups that are sure to shake things up. Just how much in these three matchups, all featuring ranked teams, remains to be seen.

Here are broadcast times and other mediums to watch the game if you can't find a TV, as well as a brief breakdown of what to expect in each matchup.


No. 2 USC at No. 21 Stanford

Date and Time: 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX


There's no question which team has the best quarterback this season. The potential No. 1 overall pick is now on the Trojans' side, and senior signal-caller Matt Barkley has an array of weapons to choose from.

The Cardinal recipe for success will be grounding and pounding with senior running back Stepfan Taylor, because Josh Nunes still hasn't settled in at quarterback in place of Andrew Luck.

Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro were also selected in the first round of this year's NFL draft, which hasn't helped the cause.

Meanwhile, USC sports an even more balanced attack than in 2011 thanks to the arrival of Penn State transfer Silas Redd, who is averaging nearly seven yards a carry and should continue to be an explosive, every-down back.

If David Shaw's team can play lights out on defense and pressure Barkley, the momentum of winning four of the past five meetings in this rivalry can spur an upset in Stanford Stadium.

Regardless of the outcome, it will be both teams' first true tests of the young season, and it will shape how the Pac-12 will play out.


No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State

Date and Time: Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Listen: Notre Dame Radio Network on

The Irish opened the season overseas in Dublin, Ireland, for a rivalry game against the Navy Midshipmen, winning in blowout fashion.

This road trip is guaranteed to be a tougher test against the rival Spartans, and the sternest examination for quarterbacks on both sidelines.

While Everett Golson continues to adjust to the pressure of being under center in South Bend, Andrew Maxwell is trying to prove he can steady Sparty's ship and keep his squad in the Big Ten title hunt.

Cierre Wood returns to the Irish backfield, which may help level the playing field in that aspect against Spartan workhorse Le'Veon Bell.

No. 18 Florida at No. 23 Tennessee

Date and Time: Sept. 15, 6 p.m. ET on ESPN

LiveStream: WatchESPN

The winner of this SEC East clash will have a huge leg up on the competition. This division should be extremely tight, as evidenced by Georgia's near against unranked Mizzou on the road.

This should be among the most interesting divisions to watch, especially since top teams LSU and Alabama will square off later this season in Baton Rouge.

Quarterback Tyler Bray is poised for consideration for the Davey O'Brien Award, and will have an ultra-motivated explosive target in Justin Hunter ready to roll against the Gators.

Both programs are attempting to climb out of recent ruts, and Will Muschamp's Florida team will throw multiple looks at the smart Vols QB. How he protects the ball will be the deciding factor in this game.