College Football Week 3 Marquee Matchups

#12 LSU AT #7 AUBURN – 3:30PM ET
Line: AUB -9.5

Buckle up and get ready for a show as two of the nation’s most elite programs go toe-toe. Both programs already have wins over ranked teams this season as LSU took down the Miami Hurricanes, and Auburn beat PAC-12 standout Washington Huskies. They’ve split the last two meetings. Auburn won in 2016, which would go on and become the end of the legendary Les Miles era. Last year, the Tigers got their revenge in a thrilling 27-24 victory in Baton Rouge. Look for this matchup to have major implications on the race for the SEC West divisional crown. A loss for Auburn and they could be in for an extremely tough road to the SEC Championship as they still have to travel to Mississippi State, Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss. This checks out to be the Tigers hardest road game remaining, as they’ll get Alabama and Georgia at home. Heisman trophy candidate and Auburn Tiger standout QB Jarrett Stidham will produce enough at home to get the W for Auburn. However, the game will be a lot closer than the line predicts. Roll with LSU on this one if you’re betting on the spread. LSU has a very tough and fast defense, and QB Joe Burrow will do enough to keep the game close late.

Prediction: Auburn 24-20 LSU

#17 BOISE STATE AT #24 OKLAHOMA STATE – 3:30PM ET
Line: OKST -2.5

It’s about time we stop recognizing Boise State as a mid-major football Cinderella and start considering them a damn good, and consistent football program. Led by Senior QB Brett Rypien the Broncos offense has been firing on all cylinders so far this season. Boise State has started the season 2-0, and they have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 118-27 over the two contests. The Broncos are 2-1 in their three games all-time versus the Big-12 Conference. They’re most notable victory came over the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. The famous hook-and-ladder play to tie the game, and then the statue of liberty trick-play handoff to win the game will forever be remembered as two of the most iconic plays in college football history. OKST are home favorites and look to add to an impressive 2-0 start to the season. QB Taylor Cornelius has had a solid start to the season replacing standout QB Mason Rudolph, who left the program for the NFL Draft after last season. The Cowboys offense will lean heavily on standout All-American running back Justice Hill, who led the entire FBS in rushing yards for a freshman in 2016 and last season was named to the All-Big 12 Team and also a Doak Walker Semifinalist. Brett Rypien will keep it close for the Broncos, but ultimately the OKST home crowd and running back Justice Hill will be too much for the Broncos to overcome on the road.

Prediction: OKST 34-27 BSU


#4 OHIO STATE VERSUS #15 TCU – 8:00 PM ET
Line: OSU -12.5
*THIS GAME IS BEING PLAYED AT AT&T STADIUM IN DALLAS, TX*

Coming into the start of this season OSU has had to battle some off-field issues with their most important piece to the puzzle, HC Urban Meyer. Meyer was suspended the first three games of the season due to an issue he failed to report that took place with one of his assistants. With a new QB under center and their HC out for the start of the season, many analysts and fans were concerned about the state of OSU football. Those critics have been silenced thus far. QB Dwayne Haskins has been as excellent as advertised and even climbed himself to the top of the Heisman race thus far. TCU has handed the reigns to the program to a sophomore in QB Shawn Robinson. Robinson is big, strong, and athletic, and prove to be a matchup nightmare if his accuracy is consistent throughout the game. TCU has elite speed at wide receiver in KaVantae Turpin and at running back in Darius Anderson. Look for the defensive line to be the difference for OSU in this matchup. DE Nick Bosa might be the most dominant defensive player in all of College Football and will be in the TCU backfield early and often for the Buckeyes. If Bosa can consistently apply pressure in passing situations, then it will be a long afternoon for the TCU Horned Frogs and HC Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs will keep the score close early, but the Buckeye defense will wear down the undersized TCU offense as the game goes on and prove to be too much for the Horn Frogs to handle. However, TCU and Gary Patterson are 7-1 at covering the spread when they’re 10.5-point underdogs or more. OSU will not win this game by a 13-point margin.

PREDICTION: OSU 38-31 TCU


#22 USC AT TEXAS – 8:00PM ET
Line: TEX -3.5

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium holds 100,119 screaming fans, good for the 8th most of any stadium in the country. USC freshman quarterback JT Daniels struggled on the road last week at Stanford. Going into Austin, and beating a historical longhorns program seems like a tall task to ask of a true freshman just two games into his collegiate career. USC defeated the Longhorns in overtime at home last year 27-24. The Longhorns were led by true freshmen gunslinger Sam Ehlinger in that defeat, who’s looking for revenge as a sophomore this go around, and has home field advantage. Despite the loss, Texas covered the spread as 17-point underdogs. The game is expected to be much closer this go around, and despite an early season loss to Maryland, the Longhorns seem much more prepared for the matchup this time around. Texas’ defense hasn’t been very good thus far, giving up 34 points to Maryland to open the season with a loss, followed up by 21 points to Tulsa this past week. If the Texas Longhorn defense doesn’t play with more assertiveness this weekend, they could be in for a long game against this USC offense. This game will be won on the shoulders of Sam Ehlinger and Shane Beuchele if the Longhorns decide to play both. JT Daniels will have a tremendous career for the Trojans, but for now, tamper your expectations.

Prediction: TEX 31-27 USC


#10 WASHINGTON AT UTAH – 10:00PM ET
Line: WASH -6.5

Prior to the season starting, many experts penciled in the Washington Huskies as the top PAC-12 team and the only one who could make a push for the playoffs. After a disappointing loss to Auburn to start the year, the Huskies will likely need to clear the table rest of the way to receive any consideration whatsoever. Led by seniors Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin, the Huskies boast one of the premiere QB-RB tandems in the country. Washington will travel into an extremely tough and hostile environment in Salt Lake City Saturday night. The Utes have the nations #1 ranked defense thus far this season, and the only team in the country giving up less than 150 total yards per game so far. The Utes are also one of only four teams to give up fewer than 17 combined points through the first two games of the season. The Utah offense is pedestrian at best, with not much explosive production. If Utah wants to win this game, they will have to rely heavily on their defense, and turning over Washington in plus territory, allowing for easy points for their offense. With two of the more experienced stars in the country, we expect Washington to wear down this Utah defense as the game goes on. Browning and Gaskin will be quiet early, but the offense will open up as the game proceeds. Washington wins big.

Prediction: WASH 31-13 UTAH

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