College Football Picks Week 3: Picking the Best Games on Saturday's Slate
Week 3 of College Football should feature a terrific slate of games, with the biggest matchup being a re-match of last year's epic battle between Alabama and Texas A&M.
Of course, that's not the only great game on the schedule. There are a number of really talented teams going up against each other.
What are the best games on Saturday and how will they play out? Read on to find out.
Wisconsin at Arizona State
Wisconsin has absolutely beat up on its first two opponents, but they will have a much tougher time against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils feature Will Sutton on defense, perhaps the best defender in the nation not named Jadeveon Clowney. He will be essential to stopping the Badgers' running game, which has featured consecutive games with three runners rushing for over 100 yards.
The Badgers have a great defense too. In fact, statistically, it's the best defense in the nation, as they rank first in total defense. The Sun Devils, on the other hand, rank second.
That means that this game will be a grind-it-out, low-scoring game. If James White or Melvin Gordon can break through on the ground for the Badgers, they should win.
But if Jaelen Strong, a junior-college transfer who had six catches in the opener for Arizona State, and tight end Chris Coyle can make some waves against an untested Wisconsin secondary, then they should win pretty easily.
These two teams are evenly matched, but the Sun Devils will end up pulling off the minor upset. Sutton will be able to collapse the pocket, and the combo of Strong and Coyle will be a bit too overwhelming for the young Badgers secondary.
Arizona State will win this one by a score of 17-14.
UCLA at Nebraska
UCLA gained a whopping 653 yards of offense when they faced Nebraska last season.
But UCLA should worry about its defense too. The Bruins gave up 171 yards of rushing to Nevada, and the Cornhuskers are eighth in the nation with an average of 330 rushing yards per game. Taylor Martinez, who rushed for 112 yards in last year's matchup, and Ameer Abdullah, who rushed for 119 yards against the Bruins last season, should both have huge games.
Still, Nebraska has to stop Brett Hundley. The stud quarterback was efficient against Nevada, going 22-of-33 for 274 yards and two scores. Nebraska's defense, which gave up 34 points and 219 rushing yards to Wyoming, is suspect at best.
This will be a shootout, and the two teams will put up huge numbers on the ground. I like the Bruins with a slight victory over the Cornhuskers.
Alabama at Texas A&M
Can Johnny Football do it? Can he really beat the vaunted Tide again?
It's certainly possible. The offseason distractions have done nothing to Manziel's game. The Aggies have averaged a ridiculous 58.5 points per game, and they average 392 yards through the air.
Like it was last year, this is a game pitting one of the best offenses in the country against one of the best defenses. The Tide gave up just 10 points against Virginia Tech.
The most important matchup will not be C.J. Mosley against Johnny Manziel, but Vinnie Sunseri against Mike Evans. Evans is the next great receiver, and he's proven that by catching 13 passes for 239 yards and two scores so far this season. Sunseri, on the other hand, may be the next great Alabama cornerback. He had a pick-six against Virginia Tech and was the leader of a secondary that gave up just 59 yards in the air against the Hokies' talented quarterback Logan Thomas.
If Sunseri and the secondary can lock down Evans, as well as Ricky Seals-Jones, then it won't really matter if Manziel's legs go off. Manziel is at his best when his legs and his arm are working together. If one aspect of his game is taken away, then it's much harder for the Aggies to win.
I think this will be a classic game, and it will probably come down to one of the last few possessions. Still, Alabama's defense is too good, and I love how their secondary has performed so far. Look for the Tide to win a nail-biter, by a score of 24-20.
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