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College Football Predictions Week 3: Predictions for Statement Saturday

Graham KellyCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2011

College Football Predictions Week 3: Predictions for Statement Saturday

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    Several big matchups this week in the world of college football. Most teams are moving into the meat of their conference schedules, while some others are taking on major non-conference opponents.

    Here is a look and some predictions about a few teams looking to either make a statement this week or right the ship after early season struggles. 

Tennessee at Florida

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    The Tennessee Volunteers head to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to take on the No. 16-ranked Florida Gators. It will be the first test of the season for both teams.

    Nobody is quite sure what kind of team Florida has after two vanilla performances against overmatched opponents. While it is well known Tennessee has one of the best young passing attacks in the country, Tyler Bray and Company have yet to see a pass rush like what Florida will be bringing.

    Prediction: UT's young O-line holds up enough for Bray's hot start to continue. Vols 30, Gators 24. 

Michigan State at Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame is off to a disappointing 0-2 start but Brian Kelly's team can take a huge step towards salvaging their season on Saturday when they host No. 15 Michigan State.

    The Spartans won last year in East Lansing in dramatic fashion on a fake field goal. The reigning Co-Big Ten champs have improved a lot since then and have yet to give up a touchdown so far this season.

    Prediction: Notre Dame's struggles continue as they fall to 0-3. Sparty 24, Fighting Irish 20.

Ohio State at Miami

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    Two storied programs, both mired in controversy and under first-year head coaches.

    Ohio State looked sluggish last week against Toledo, while Miami lost their opening game on the road against Maryland. Ohio State is still missing a lot of key players due to their post Sugar Bowl suspensions. Miami will also be without three suspended Hurricanes.

    Prediction: Al Golden gets his Hurricanes back on track as Ohio State's struggles at QB continue. Miami 24, Ohio State 16.

Oklahoma at Florida State

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    The biggest matchup of the weekend is when No. 1 Oklahoma visits No. 5 Florida State. The biggest game to be played at Doak Walker Stadium in years, Florida State gets a shot to redeem itself after the drubbing it took at the hands of the Sooners in Norman last year.

    FSU is looking to prove that it is back to its status of the '90s and early 2000s while Oklahoma is looking to validate its No. 1 ranking going into the Big 12 season. The Florida State defense should be much improved this time around but its undoing will probably be quarterback E.J. Manuel's inexperience. He will be facing a talented and complex OU defense.

    Prediction: The Seminoles battle at home, but Landry Jones and the Sooners are too good. Oklahoma 31, Florida State 20. 

Other Weekend Picks

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    LSU at Mississippi State

    Even without Russel Sheppard and Jordan Jefferson, LSU is too talented for Vick Ballard and Co. Dan Mullen's team falls to 1-2 at home. Tigers 23, Bulldogs 17.

     

    Auburn at Clemson

    The magic runs out on Auburn, who needed Cam Newton to get past Clemson last year at home. This time in Death Valley, they aren't so lucky. Clemson 24, Auburn 20.

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