Week Three College Football 2021 Preview

College Football Week 3 2021
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week three of the College Football season is upon us. After the surprises and upsets that happened last week, who knows what could be in store for us in week three.

We have some great matchups that could impact the playoff down the road.

Here is your Week Three College Football 2021 preview.

Week Three College Football Top 25 Matchups

Michigan State at Miami (FL)

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Michigan State 28, Miami 25

Coming into this season I would have thought this would have been a blowout victory for Miami. But after two games watching both teams, I have to say I am now leaning towards a Spartan victory.

Michigan State has seemed to find the right combination with quarterback Payton Thorne and running back Kenneth Walker III. They have been very impressive through two weeks , but that was against Northwestern and Youngstown State, Miami should be a step up.

On the flip side, Miami is currently sitting at No.69 in the country when it comes to stopping the run and No. 110 in the country when it comes to total offense.

I say Michigan State pulls off the victory.

Virginia Tech at West Virginia

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Prediction: Virginia Tech 28, West Virginia 14

Virginia Tech is off to a hot start through its first two games. First they rose up and shocked North Carolina in the opener, and then kept it going in the 35-14 win over Middle Tennessee last week.

VT also has found a QB in Braxton Burmeister who has been terrific, the running game is also playing well, and the pass rush has been outstanding.

West Virginia meanwhile has had a mixed start to the season. They have played great defense over the last six quarters, but had some sloppiness against Maryland, in a game they lost. The defense should keep them in it but I don’t think they have the offense to pull the upset.

Cincinnati at Indiana

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Indiana 31, Cincinnati 30

Cincinnati has done what it’s suppose to do in hits first two weeks, crushing Miami (OH) and Murray State. The passing game has been great, the defense hasn’t had an issue, and the team looks as close to tuned up as it can be to start the season.

On the Indiana side, it’s passing game has been awful, the group game has only been decent and its defense has struggled a bit. But maybe they got things going last week against Idaho and can get back into form.

My pick might be a surprise one but I think Indiana will find its way against Cincinnati and pull out the upset.

Alabama at Florida

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Prediction: Alabama 52, Florida 28

Bryce Young has been close to perfect passing the ball to start his career. He may have missed a few reads here or there, and he doesn’t run the ball, but I think having a completion percentage of 71% and passing for 571 yards and seven touchdowns is pretty good. The defense also has been great as normal to start the season.

In Florida, I think they have some of the pieces needed to beat Alabama, I just don’t know if they are ready yet. For one, if Emory Jones is the starter I think they will struggle. I think its time to move to Anthony Richardson if he is healthy. He just brings an element that can take over a game and make even great defenses look bad.

With that being said, I think Alabama will be in a tough one for a bit before pulling away in the 2nd half.

Auburn at Penn State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Auburn 21, Penn State 17

Bo Nix has been excellent to start the season, though the competition has not – Akron and Alabama State. He hit 75% of his passes for 383 yards and five scores with no picks. He got the two warm-up games to be ready for this, he’s throwing well, and he’s a veteran who’ll hardly be fazed by playing in Happy Valley.

The defense looks like it will be a nightmare for teams all year. The pass rush has been tremendous against the inferior competition, and there hasn’t been anything happening against the run D so far.

For Penn State, they had some decent competition to start the year with wins over Wisconsin and Ball State. The defense has looked good as they just smothered both Wisconsin and Ball State. Where I do worry about Penn State is the offense, I am still not a believer in Sean Clifford. He has moments where he is good but I just don’t trust him yet.

With those thoughts, I think Auburn wins a close one.

Other Week Three College Football Contests

Nebraska at Oklahoma

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Prediction: Oklahoma 55, Nebraska 24

What was once a marquee game in the old Big 12, now you have to wonder if this will be competitive at all? I tend to think this will be a huge blowout by Oklahoma and could put the final nail in the coffin of Scott Frost’s tenure.

New Mexico at Texas A&M

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Texas A&M 34, New Mexico 7

I think Texas A&M should win this comfortably but I am worried about their offense with Haynes King being injured. This is the week and the game to get Zach Calzada ready for the rest of the season.

Coastal Carolina at Buffalo

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (TBD)
  • Prediction: Coastal Carolina 35, Buffalo 10

Coastal Carolina looked outstanding in the blowout against Kansas last week. I think they keep rolling this week against a Buffalo team that lost 28-3 to a Nebraska team that I think is not as good as Coastal Carolina.

Northern Illinois at Michigan

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (BTN)
  • Prediction: Michigan 34, Northern Illinois 20

This could be an interesting game for Michigan, I think they will win but it might be closer than they want. Northern Illinois has played some wild games so far and always plays tough. I just think the Wolverines will continue to run the football as they are averaging 339 yards per game and I don’t think Northern Illinois can stop that.

Purdue at Notre Dame

  • Game Info: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Prediction: Notre Dame 38, Purdue 10

I think this is the game that Notre Dame finally looks good. After struggling against Florida State and Toledo, I think they finally put it all together and have a good performance. I think you will see more Tyler Buchner, the running game will improve, and the defense will put together a total performance.

Kent State at Iowa

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
  • Prediction: Iowa 24, Kent State 13

This one could get nasty for Kent State as Iowa has looked outstanding so far, but they did look pretty good against Texas A&M so maybe it will be a little closer than one may think.

Georgia Tech at Clemson

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Clemson 66, Georgia Tech 6

Clemson beat Georgia Tech 73-7 last season, and they have won the last three home meetings by an average of 23.7 ppg. The Tigers also have not given up an offensive TD yet. Georgia Tech is struggling this year as well, so if you combine the two I think this is a huge blowout.

Tulsa at Ohio State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Prediction: Ohio State 45, Tulsa 17

The Buckeyes were shocked in a non-conference loss to Oregon, and defense will again be the focus against a Tulsa offense that averages 20+ points per game through two weeks. I suspect the Buckeyes to take out their anger on Tulsa.

Georgia Southern at Arkansas

  • Game Info: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Arkansas 42, Georgia Southern 10

FAU beat Georgia Southern 38-6 last week, which makes it tough to give them much of a chance against the Razorbacks. Arkansas runs the risk of an emotional letdown after the big win against Texas, and perhaps Georgia Southern can take advantage of that with its run-heavy offense. But I don’t think so.

South Carolina at Georgia

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Georgia 45, South Carolina 3

Georgia finally came out firing in a blowout against UAB last week, and Kirby Smart will surely remind his team of the double-overtime loss to the Gamecocks in Athens in 2019. It is the SEC opener for both teams, and first-year coach Shane Beamer’s first taste of the rivalry. I think South Carolina will be overwhelmed.

Tulane at Ole Miss

  • Game Info: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Prediction: Ole Miss 55, Tulane 38

It’s easier to bank on the Green Wave to come out and potentially win this game based on their effort against Oklahoma two weeks ago. But Ole Miss scores better than any team in the country and I think they will just outscore Tulane here.

Arizona State at BYU

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Arizona State 33, BYU 23

BYU has a chance to beat three straight Pac-12 opponents, and Jaren Hall has emerged as a playmaker at quarterback for the Cougars. Arizona State counters with an outstanding rushing attack led by Jayden Daniels and Rachaad White. I just think the talent of Arizona State will pull through in this one.

Iowa State at UNLV

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
  • Prediction: Iowa State 28, UNLV 9

Iowa State is coming off a tough loss against Iowa, they have to be careful here not to let that loss beat them two weeks in a row. I think UNLV is playing pretty well, but not good enough to beat the Cyclones.

Frenso State at UCLA

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:45 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
  • Prediction: UNLV 45, Fresno State 35

This should be an exciting offensive matchup. Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener has eight TDs and no interceptions, and UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet averages 13.1 yards per carry. Big plays are coming on both sides. Fresno State has won the last three meetings, so this will be worth staying up late for. UCLA gets the win.

College Football – Upset Alert

Virginia at North Carolina

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ACCN)
  • Prediction: Virginia 31, North Carolina 28

For my upset pick of the week, I am going with Virginia here. I have liked what I have seen from them this year and they have won four in a row over North Carolina. I am picking them to win a thriller

Should be another excellent week of College Football!

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