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2008 Game Previews - Week 3

Previews for the week 3 college football top 25 game games

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Archive: 2008 Week Three College Football Game Previews

Friday, September 12, 2008

#14 Kansas (2-0) @ #17 South Florida (2-0)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Preview: A little Friday night football features two teams that are in the hunt for a BCS bowl game. The Jayhawks of Kansas are 2-0, scoring 34.5 points per game, while only allowing 5.0 in their two wins over Florida International and Louisiana Tech. In Saturday’s win over Louisiana Tech, the Jayhawks only allowed 267 total yards, while racking up 538 in offense. Quarterback Todd Reesing threw for a career high 410 yards and three touchdown passes. Their opponents, the Bulls from South Florida are coming off an emotion, draining overtime victory over state rival UCF. Quarterback Matt Grothe threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, including a 25 yard pass in overtime to knock UCF off. South Florida is scoring 43.5 points per game to start the year, while allowing 15.5. The Bulls are looking to give the Big East a fighting chance, and knowing off a Big 12 contender would be one way to start. After the Jayhawks leave town USF takes on Florida International and North Carolina State on the road, before hosting Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) @ #1 USC Trojans (1-0)
Date: Saturday, September 13, 2008
Time: 8:00PM (EST)
Spread: N/A
Total: N/A
NCAA Football Preview: In what appears to be the NCAA football game of the year in just week three, the Ohio State Buckeyes will make the trip out west to take on the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Coliseum. The Buckeyes come in to the ball game 2-0 after wins over Youngstown State 43-0 and a narrow victory over Ohio University 26-14. Beanie Wells hopes to return after being sidelined for the latter part of the first game, and sitting the entire second game of the season with an ankle injury. For the Buckeyes, they hope the game with the Bearcats was simply them looking ahead, and not an indication of what the rest of their season will look like. For USC, coming in as the Associated Pressí number one team in the nation, they get a week off after completely dismantling Virginia on the road in week one, 52-7. The Trojans got quality work from their quarterback Mark Sanchez, who threw for three touchdowns, and 338 yards in the win. Ohio State hopes this game gets into the 30ís as they are 42-0 since 2001 when scoring 30 points or more in a game. USC is 1-6 since 2001 when being held to less than 20 points a game. This game will begin at 8:00pm ET, and be aired on ABC.

#2 Georgia (2-0) @ South Carolina (1-1)
Time: 3:30pm ET
Spread: Georgia -7
Preview: The Bulldogs have averaged 50.5 points per game in their first two games. Both games have been at home, and both against non BCS conference schools. Georgia’s two wins over Georgia Southern, and Central Michigan. This week, they will take their show on the road to South Carolina. The Gamecocks would have made this an even more primetime affair had they survived Thursday’s game at Vanderbilt. The Commodores had other thoughts, coming away with a 24-17 win. It was Vanderbilt’s first win over a top 25 team since 1992. In the Gamecocks first win, over Miami Ohio, quarterback Chris Nickson rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns. The loss will surely knock the Gamecocks out of the AP Top 25. Regardless of that, South Carolina will be looking to get back to the .500 mark inside the SEC.

#3 Oklahoma (2-0) @ Washington (0-2)
Time: 7:45pm ET
Spread: Oklahoma -20
Preview: The Sooners are putting up 52.5 points per game in their first two games. Week one the Sooners blasted Chattanooga 57-2, and in week two Oklahoma defeated Cincinnati 52-26. This week, they Bob Stoopes crew will take the road, and head out west to battle Pac Ten representative Washington. The Huskies are coming off a very controversial, rough loss, at the hands of BYU. A disputed unsportsmanlike conduct by quarterback Jake Locker pushed the PAT 15 yards back, and it was then blocked by BYU with 2 seconds remaining to seal a 28-27 win, and extend BYU’s winning streak. In week one, Washington was blasted by Big Ten rival Oregon 44-10, so coach Willingham’s crew is still looking for their first win of the season.

Nevada (1-1) @ #6 Missouri (2-0)
Time: 12:30pm ET
Spread: Missouri –26.5
Preview: The Missouri Tigers have put up 52 points on the board in each of their first two games of the year. With their 52-42 win over Illinois, and then their 52-3 over Southeast Missouri State the Tigers are showing why they are a true BCS contender. On Saturday, the Tigers compiled 592 total offensive yards, with 336 of them in the air. Quarterback Chase Daniel was nearly perfect throwing 16 of 17 for 245. After Nevada leaves town Buffalo will invade Columbia before the Tigers Big 12 slate begins. For Nevada, they are coming off a disappointing 35-19 loss at the expense of Texas Tech. In their week one win over Grambling State, the Wolf Pack put up 49 points, with the help of running back Vai Taua, who ran for 103 yards on 12 carries. The Wolf Pack begin a stretch of three straight games on the road.

North Texas (0-2) @ #7 LSU (1-0)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Spread: LSU -41
Preview:  After a week one blowout victory over Appalachian State, Hurricane Gustav was victorious in what was scheduled to be a LSU/Troy match up in Baton Rouge. The Tigers scored 41 points in week one propelled by running back Charles Scott, and his 160 yards, and two touchdowns. The Tigers put up 459 total yards on offense, while only allowing 239. Their week two opponent, the North Texas Mean Green have struggled to begin the 2008 season. In week one Big 12 representative Kansas State blasted the Mean Green 45-6, and then on Saturday North Texas fell to Tulsa 56-26. In the loss to Tulsa, North Texas allowed 555 total yards, and 420 in the air. At one point in the second quarter Tulsa led North Texas 42-7.

Arkansas (2-0) @ #8 Texas (2-0)
Time: 3:30pm ET
Spread: Texas –23.5
Preview: The Longhorns, led by quarterback Colt McCoy will look to send the visiting Razorbacks to their first loss of the season. McCoy in his first two games has a quarterback rating of 185.24, throwing for 504 yards and 7 touchdowns. That adds to his already impressive career statistics of 6,377 yards and 58 touchdowns. The Longhorns have not been tested like the Hogs will seemingly be able to do this weekend. Their wins over Florida Atlantic and UTEP, both turned into lopsided affairs. For Arkansas, the debut of head coach Bobby Petrino couldn’t have provided any more stress. Their 28-24 win over 1AA Western Illinois came after Arkansas trailed 24-14 to start the fourth quarter. Their week two victory over Louisiana Monroe, 28-27, came as Casey Dick threw an 8 yard touchdown pass to D.J. Williams with just over 1:00 to play. The Razorbacks even avoided a late 45 yard field goal attempt to seal the victory. Arkansas has four straight games against ranked opponents, starting with Texas, hosting Alabama and Florida, and then taking the road to take on Auburn.

#9 Auburn (2-0) @  Mississippi State (1-1)
Time: 7:00pm ET
Spread: Auburn –10.5
Preview: The Tigers of Auburn University will take face their first road test of the year on Saturday night. After wins over Louisiana Monroe(34-0), and Southern Mississippi(27-13), they will take their 2-0 record to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are 1-1, dropping week one to Louisiana Tech, and coming away with a win on Saturday, 34-10 over Southeastern Louisiana. For Auburn, quarterback Chris Todd has throw for 318 yards on 30-49 passing, with a touchdown and interception. Auburn has won 18 of their last 21 games played during the month of September. For Mississippi State, quarterback Wesley Carroll has thrown for 330 yards on 27 of 48 passing, including 3 touchdowns, but also three interceptions. Wide Receiver Brandon McRae has caught 12 passes early in the season, along with 2 touchdowns. 

#10 Wisconsin (2-0) @ #21 Fresno State (1-0)
Time: 10:30pm ET
Spread: Wisconsin –1.5
Preview: The Wisconsin Badgers just continue to win, and win big. Wisconsin is averaging 43.5 points, while only allowing 15.5 in their two wins; over Akron and Marshall. In week one running back P.J. Hill ran wild, for a total of 210 yards on 26 carries. In week two, quarterback Allan Evridge threw for 308 yards and a touchdown. That win was the Badgers 16th straight home victory. The Fresno State Bulldogs creep into the top 25 with a 1-0 record. Their week win victory came as a surprise to some, as they made the cross country trip to Rutgers, and beat the Scarlet Knights 24-7. In that game, running back Ryan Matthews ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs racked up 422 total yards, with a mixture of passing(216) and rushing(206). Fresno State’s defense forced two turnovers, and did not commit one on the offensive side. This appears to be quite the test for the untested Badgers team, taking the road.

Western Kentucky (1-1) @ #11 Alabama (2-0)
Time: 7:00pm ET
Spread: Alabama –27.5
Preview:  The Alabama Crimson Tide were week one’s darling after plowing through Clemson 34-10. Week two wasn’t quite as thrilling for Alabama, but it still resulted in a victory for Nick Saban’s crew. Javier Arenas set a school record for 212 yards returning, including an 87 yard punt return for a touchdown on Saturday against Tulane. The win was Nick Saban’s 100th of his collegiate coaching career. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are 1-1 coming into this game. In week one, the Hilltoppers fell to the Hoosiers of Indiana 31-13, and then on Saturday they bounced back with a 37-13 win over Eastern Kentucky. Both games were played on the road. On Saturday, running back Tyrell Washington ran for 98 yards and a touchdown, as the Hilltoppers ran for 248 yards.
Southern Methodist (1-1) @ #12 Texas Tech (2-0)
Time: 7:00pm ET
Over/Under: Texas Tech -37
Preview: Southern Methodist comes into Saturday nights game averaging 37.0 points per game, but that is still not enough to match their opponent- the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who come in averaging 42.0 points per game. Southern Methodist defense has struggled to start the year, allowing 56 points at Rice in the season opener, and another 36 Saturday night against Texas State. The Red Raiders have been better than expected defensively, allowing just 24 points to Eastern Washington, and 19 on Saturday night to Nevada. Their quarterback Graham Harrell, who has already thrown for 833 yards via the air, leads the Red Raiders. Running back Shannon Woods has ran for four touchdowns early in the 2008 season, on just 20 rushing attempts. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who has thrown eight touchdowns and 600+ yards in two games, leads Southern Methodist.

#14 East Carolina (2-0) @ Tulane (0-1)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Spread: East Carolina -14
Preview: The Pirates of East Carolina are suddenly the toast of NCAA Football. All they have done so far is complete two upset victories in the first two weeks of the season. If their comeback win over Virginia Tech in week one, 27-22, was not enough- their week two blowout win over West Virginia solidified them. The Pirates jump all the way up to #14 in the Associated Press Top 25. In the win over West Virginia, quarterback Patrick Pickney completed 22 of 28 passes for 236 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Tulane is coming off a 20-6 loss at the hands of Alabama on Saturday. The Green Wave out gained Alabama 318 to 172 in total yards, including 232 yards of passing, but that was not enough.

UNLV (-) @ #15 Arizona State (2-0)
Time: 10:05pm ET
Spread: Arizona State -22
Preview: The Sun Devils of Arizona State have started well in their attempt to become an elite program in the haunted Pac Ten conference. Arizona State has walked away with two easy victories to start their 2008 campaign. In week one, Northern Arizona was the victim, 30-13, while in week two, Stanford fell to Arizona State 41-17. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter has thrown for 733 yards and four touchdowns to start the season. The match up with UNLV will be the Sun Devils last match up against a top 25 team until November 1st. A slate of Georgia, California, USC, and Oregon await the Sun Devils. UNLV is 1-1 on the season with the state of Utah covered. In week one, the Runnin’ Rebs knocked off Utah State 27-17, and in week two the Utes of Utah defeated UNLV 42-21. Quarterback Omar Clayton has completed 36 of 59 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns in two games.

#16 Oregon (2-0) @ Purdue (1-0)
Time: 3:30pm ET
Spread: Oregon -7
Preview: The Ducks are scoring 55.0 points per game in their first two games, wins over Washington, and Utah State. Now they take the road across the country to take on Big Ten representative Purdue. In the 66-24 win over Utah State, the Ducks ground game by committee ran for 408 total yards. The Ducks broke a school record of 688 total yards on offense. For Purdue, their 42-10 win over Northern Colorado on Saturday was their season opener. Quarterback Curtis Painter threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns in the Boilermakers win. The defense was a little suspect for Purdue, allowing Northern Colorado 338 total yards. The Boilermakers hope that defense is much improved, if they want a shot at knocking off the high powered Ducks offense.

#17 Penn State (2-0) @  Syracuse (0-2)
Time: 3:30pm ET
Spread: Penn State –26.5
Preview: Penn State’s offense has been impressive thus far in the Joe Paterno circuit. Running back Evan Royster carried the ball 17 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday against Oregon State. In their week one victory over Coastal Carolina, Penn State’s running game ran for 334 total yards on the ground. For Syracuse, the Orange have struggled to start the 2008 season. In week one, Northwestern gave it to them 30-10, followed by a 42-28 defeat at the hands of Akron. Syracuse allowed close to 500 total yards of offense to Akron.

UCLA (1-0) @ #18 Brigham Young (2-0)
Time: 3:30pm ET
Spread: BYU –8.5
Preview: The Bruins of UCLA are coming off a bye week, following their emotional 27-24 win over Tennessee. In coach Rick Neuheisel’s first game as the Bruins head coach, he saw his kicker Kai Forbath kick a 42 yard field goal in overtime to knock off the favorite Volunteers. The Bruins were out gained 366 to 288 in total yards, and turned the ball over four times, but still came away with the win. The Cougars are coming in with a little different story, but most importantly coming in with two wins and no losses, and the nations longest winning streak on the line. The Cougars blocked an extra point kick with two seconds on the clock to beat Washington 28-27 in Seattle. Quarterback Max Hall threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns in that game. In week one BYU ran over Northern Iowa 41-17, in a game in which Hall threw for 486 yards. This will appear to be quite a test for BYU, whose schedule appears to lighten up after the Bruins leave town. Wyoming, Utah State, and New Mexico are their next three opponents.

#22 Utah (-) @ Utah State (-)
Time: 8:00pm ET
Spread: Utah -24
Preview: After the upset victory in week one over Michigan, the Utah Utes made sure they did not have a let down in week two. They did that by knocking around UNLV 42-21 in their home opener. In the win over Michigan, the Utes out gained Michigan 341-203 in total yards, including 305 yards in the air. Quarterback Brian Johnson has completed 36 of 57 passes so far on the season, with 488 yards, and three touchdowns. In the win over UNLV, it took 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to shake the pesky Rebels. The Utah State Aggies will be looking for their first win of the season, and what better time to pick it up, then against their state rivals. Utah State took it on the chin in week one 27-17 to UNLV, before getting beat around by Oregon 66-24. In the loss to Oregon, the Aggies allowed 408 rushing yards, and a grand total of 688 yards. The Aggies will look to clean up that defense before Saturday night’s battle.

#23 California (2-0) @ Maryland (1-1)
Time: 12:00pm ET
Spread: California -14
Preview: The Bears slide into the top 25 this week after two impressive wins. Week one win over Michigan State was a mild upset. They were able to beat the Spartans 38-31, and then in week two rolled over Washington State 66-3. California gained 505 total yards, including 391 on the ground. Running back Jahvid Best ran for 200 yards on just 14 carries, getting in the end zone three times. Maryland will host the Bears with a 1-1 record, including a week one win over Delaware, and a week two defeat to the hands of Middle Tennessee. The Terps are only averaging 10.5 points per game to start the year. Running back Da’Rel Scott has ran for 320 yards on 37 attempts to begin the year for Maryland.

Louisiana Lafayette (0-1) @ #24 Illinois (1-1)
Time: 12:00pm ET
Spread: Illinois –24.5
Preview: The Fighting Illini bounced back well, after their 52-42 defeat at the hands of the Missouri Tigers in week, by rolling Eastern Illinois 47-21. Quarterback Juice Williams has been impressive to start the year throwing for nearly 600 yards, and running for nearly 200 in his first two ball games. In their week two win, the Illini compiled 533 total yards offensively. The Illini are averaging 44.5 points per game to start the year. The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette are coming off a bye week, hoping to improve upon their defense. That defense gave up 51 points in a week one loss at Southern Mississippi. In that game, their defense allowed 633 total yards, including 427 on the ground. Offensively, they turned the ball over four times. They hope to shore up both of those areas during the off week, in time to face the Illini.



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