Week 3 doesn’t boast much in terms of quality matchups.
This weekend, 20 ranked teams will take the field. Out of those teams, only seven of them will face an undefeated opponent. Furthermore, only four will face a fellow Top 25 member.
With all that said, three of those teams are a lock to lose this week.
Victim No. 1: No. 25 Ole Miss (2-0) at Texas (1-1), 8:00 p.m. ET
The Rebels are off to a 2-0 start for just the third time since 2002. They’ve also racked up 70 points on their way to earning the school’s first appearance in either poll since 2009.
However, beating Vanderbilt and Southeast Missouri State isn’t anything to write home about.
While scoring hasn’t been an issue, Ole Miss has also conceded 48 points and 678 yards to opponents. The team’s averages of 24 points and 339 yards per game rank 59th and 46th in the nation respectively.
It will be interesting to see how the Rebels react against a tougher opponent.
Why They Will Lose… The Longhorns are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in program history.
In last Saturday’s 40-21 loss to BYU, Texas surrendered 550 yards on the ground. The Cougars had two players over 180 yards rushing and a third with 87. It was the most rushing yards allowed by a Longhorns team in school history.
Not only did the loss propel Texas out of the Top 25, but it placed head coach Mack Brown firmly in the hot seat. A loss to Ole Miss would only make Brown’s departure a foregone conclusion.
Did we mention that it was a home game at night for the Longhorns?
Victim No. 2: No. 16 UCLA (1-0) at No. 23 Nebraska (2-0), 12:00 p.m. ET
In their only game this season, the Bruins looked impressive.
Quarterback Brett Hundley stole the show, throwing for 274 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 63 yards and another two scores. The sophomore was aided by running back Jordan James, who rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. All together, UCLA ran for a staggering 345 yards on the ground.
But while that’s an impressive feat, it was only against Nevada.
Sure, Hundley should continue to impress. But on the other hand, James isn’t too much of a sure thing—he rushed for just 215 yards on 61 carries (3.5 YPC) last year.
The pressure will be on the junior this Saturday.
Thus far, Nebraska has looked quite intimidating.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez is off to a fast start. The senior has thrown for 325 yards and six touchdowns on 71.1-percent passing. He has also racked up 114 yards of rushing on 22 carries.
In total, the Cornhuskers have four players with over 100 yards of rushing each along with a combined total of five touchdowns on the ground. The team ranks No. 8 in the nation, averaging 330 rushing yards per game.
Nebraska may not be able to stop too many offenses—they allowed 360.6 yards per game last year—but the team can certainly score with the best of them.
Not to mention UCLA hasn’t beaten Nebraska at home since 1948. The team is 0-4 since.
Victim No. 3: No. 6 Texas A&M (2-0) vs. No. 1 Alabama (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET
The Aggies are rolling offensively.
Through two games, the team has totaled 117 points, putting up 52 and 65 points respectively. Texas A&M also ranks fifth in the nation in total offense, averaging 600 yards per game.
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has picked up where he left off. The sophomore has racked up a total of 552 yards and seven touchdowns through the air and on the ground.
But the biggest question mark for the Aggies is their defense.
The unit has allowed 449.5 yards and 29.5 points per game thus far. They rank 96th and 84th in those categories respectively. Even more concerning, Texas A&M has been gashed for 273 yards on the ground—a mark that has the school ranked 115th in the nation.
What good is an unstoppable offense if you can’t stop the other team’s offense?
Why They Will Lose… Don’t expect the Crimson Tide to let their guard down against the Aggies for the second year in a row.
Running back T.J. Yeldon could be the team’s biggest weapon. The sophomore rushed for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns last season as part of Alabama’s two-man committee in the backfield.
Now, as the lone option, expect Yeldon to put together a breakthrough season. There’s not a better place to start than against a defense that has been ravaged by suspensions and injuries.
Then of course there’s quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Last year’s top-rated quarterback (175.3), threw for 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 2012. With another year of experience under his belt, the senior should only get better.
This one might not be as close as people think.