College Football Pick’em
Talking the business of sports
Week 3 proved to be a huge moment for top-10 teams around college football. No. 7 USC improved to 3-0 in Lincoln Riley’s first season on Saturday night by defeating Fresno State 45-17 behind a potent all-around offensive attack. Quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns, while running backs Travis Dye and Austin Jones each scored touchdowns and surpassed 100 yards on the ground. The hot start to Riley’s tenure marks USC’s first time scoring at least 40 points in the first three games of the season since 2005 — the year the Trojans played Texas for the national championship.
Fresno State star quarterback Jake Haener had to be carted off the field early in the third quarter after suffering a leg injury when he was sacked by USC’s Solomon Byrd. The Bulldogs were trailing just 21-10 at the time, but losing the All-Mountain West performer proved to be an insurmountable loss.
While USC’s showing was impressive, the best offensive outing for a top-10 team on Saturday belonged to No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes totaled 763 yards — second-most in school history — and 36 first downs in a 77-21 rout of Toledo. Quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for five touchdowns and the receiver trio of Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr. each surpassed 100 yards receiving.
While every top-10 team in action during Week 3 won by double digits, there was plenty of drama throughout the sport as No. 11 Michigan State, No. 12 BYU and No. 13 Miami each lost. Check out the full scoreboard recapping the action below.
No. 6 Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14 — Recap, takeaways
No. 1 Georgia 48, South Carolina 7 — Recap, takeaways
No. 4 Michigan 59, UConn 0 — Recap
No. 22 Penn State 41, Auburn 12 — Recap, takeaways
No. 25 Oregon 41, No. 12 BYU 20 — Recap
No. 2 Alabama 63, Louisiana-Monroe 7 — Recap
No. 3 Ohio State 77, Toledo 21 — Recap
No. 10 Arkansas 38, Missouri State 27 —Recap
Washington 39, No. 11 Michigan State 28 — Recap
No. 5 Clemson 40, UTSA 28 — Recap
No. 21 Texas 41, UTSA 20 — Recap
No. 24 Texas A&M 17, No. 13 Miami 9 — Recap, takeaways
No. 7 USC 45, Fresno State 17 — Recap
Check out the entire Week 3 scoreboard
Eastern Michigan survived a late run from Arizona State to edge the Sun Devils in a tight game. Amazingly, the win was the first ever regular season win by a MAC team against a Pac-12 opponent. Because of the distance between these two conferences, it makes sense that the conference rarely vie. The game was the first matchup ever between Eastern Michigan and Arizona State.
Logan Fife is playing quarterback for Fresno State now after Jake Haener was carted off in the third quarter. USC had an injury scare as well when Travis Dye needed attention on the field. But the Oregon transfer running back returned and is now over 100 yards rushing with a touchdown. The Trojans are doing well through the air as well as Caleb Williams is 22 of 34 for 245 yards, 2 TDs and no INTs.
Terrible news for Fresno State as star quarterback Jake Haener is carted off early in the third quarter after his leg appeared to buckle when USC’s Solomon Byrd tackled him for a seen-yard loss. Adding insult to injury, a fumble on the play sets the Trojans up in good field position. But the real concern here is with Haener, a warrior of a QB who stuck around at Fresno amid the transition from Kalen DeBoer to Jeff Tedford. Hopefully it wasn’t as bad as it looked.
This has turned into total domination for Utah as San Diego State still has failed to surpass 100 total yards midway through the third quarter. Cam Rising has thrown four touchdowns for Utah with Devaughn Vele on the receiving end for two of them. Utah has scored touchdowns on five straight possessions after failing to score on its first four.
After falling behind 21-3, Fresno State showed some life in the second quarter, drawing within 21-10 when Jake Haener found Erik Brooks for a 39-yard touchdown with 6:38 left in the half. The Bulldogs’ defense finally figured some things out as well after giving up three touchdowns on USC’s first three possessions as the Trojans just ate mounds of clock on 12-15 play drives. Bulldogs get the football to start the second half.
Fresno State was a trendy upset pick here because of Jake Haener and because the Trojans’ defense looked suspect against Stanford. But it’s all USC so far as Caleb Williams scores from a yard out to make it 21-3 with 8:04 left in the first half. The Bulldogs don’t have an answer defensively and the Trojans are absolutely dominating the time of possession.
Another TD for USC, another TD on the ground by Caleb Williams 💪@uscfb‘s offense is cruising in the first half pic.twitter.com/y7oaAnpoYT
If you’re looking for one last upset to cap your Week 3 Saturday, direct your attention to Arizona State, which went three-and-out on its first two possessions while Eastern Michigan assembled scoring drives of 10+ plays on its first two possessions. Sun Devils going to need some heroics from Emory Jones in this one.
Another impressive win for the Pac-12 over the Big Ten as Washington State follows Washington State’s win at Wisconsin last week by taking Michigan State down 39-28 in Seattle tonight. Michael Penix Jr. threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns as the Huskies piled up 503 yards. Amazing the overnight difference in this offense between the Jimmy Lake and Kalen DeBoer eras.
His name is Michael Penix Jr. He is him.
📱 https://t.co/MyEI9vbxPJ@UW_Football | #Pac12FB pic.twitter.com/aeVue6lM3b
Things started slowly for Utah, but the Utes are now in command with a 14-0 lead. Utah has allowed just one first down on SDSU’s first five possessions. Aztecs having problems at QB with Braxton Burmeister in the injury tent. Utah has scored on its last two possessions after going scoreless on its first four. This is when Utah does its work: quietly in the night after the rest of the nation has stopped paying attention.
Final: Pittsburgh 34, Western Michigan 13
With third-stringer Nate Yarnell at quarterback following the injuries to Kedon Slovis and Nick Patti last week, the Panthers didn’t miss a beat offensively as they get revenge for last season’s loss to Western Michigan. Yarnell attempted only 12 passes but was efficient, completing nine of them for 179 yards, a TD and no INTs. Israel Abanikanda ran 31 times for 133 yards and a TD, while the defense held the Broncos to 180 total yards, with just 50 on the ground.
As has become the norm recently, Clemson didn’t blow anyone’s socks off tonight, but the Tigers have handled business against Louisiana Tech in relatively acceptable fashion. The Bulldogs got within 34-20 at the 9:20 mark of the fourth quarter, but the Tigers just responded with a 6-play, 65-yard drive capped by a 19-yard strike from DJU to Antonio Williams. Big ACC game with Wake Forest coming next week.
Florida survives as Spencer Shrader’s 49-yarder goes wide right in the final seconds. The hold wasn’t quite right, so it was impressive to see Shrader even get the proper distance on the kick. A bad snap set the Bulls back 14 yards and doomed a once-promising possession for USF. Tough one to swallow for Jeff Scott’s squad. That would have been a huge win for him as he is still seeking traction in Year 3.
This is a nice win for NC State, but it wasn’t particularly inspiring from an offensive standpoint, as interceptions and trick plays had a lot to do with these 27 points. This is supposed to be a high-powered attack with Devin Leary at QB, but the Wolfpack mustered just 270 total yards. Nevertheless, it was a less dramatic victory than the season-opening 21-20 win over East Carolina, and it improves NC State to 3-0. Considering that UConn is up next, the Wolfpack appear likely to be 4-0 at Clemson on Oct. 1 in what could be a game with massive ACC implications.
Fourth career TD pass for WR @thayerthomas1 as he finds @kingmetrius_ for the 38-yard score in the 4th quarter.#HTT | #1Pack1Goal pic.twitter.com/hQ9konf0Qu
5:05 4Q: Florida 31, South Florida 28
Trevor Etienne punches it in from three yards out to put Florida ahead 31-28 after a Gerry Bohannon interception gave the Gators a short field. This has been an unexpectedly tense situation for Florida against an in-state opponent who hadn’t shown much to this point. Now it’s on the defense to make another stand. Rushing defense has been the issue tonight for UF.
On the heels of the 73-yard TD from Raheim Sanders, the Arkansas defense goes off on Missouri State, leading to a punt and an 80-yard return for touchdown from Bryce Stephens. First lead of the night for the Razorbacks comes with 9:16 left. This game has turned in a heartbeat in favor of Arkansas, which trailed 27-17 what seems like just a moment ago.
Raheim “Rocket” Sanders takes a shovel pass from K.J. Jefferson 73 yards to the house for a quick Arkansas response. The Razorbacks needed that, as they pull within 27-24 with 11:38 remaining. Huge play. Arkansas has 520 total yards.
Just good ole north and south runnin pic.twitter.com/7yTh9BuV06
Jose Pizano just drilled a 31-yard field goal to put Missouri State back ahead by two possessions. Can only imagine the tension inside that stadium in Fayetteville right now as Arkansas takes over again trailing by 10 to Bobby Petrino’s FCS team. Just an unbelievable outcome unfolding before our eyes. Arkansas has been pretty good offensively, but the turnovers have just been brutal.
Facing a fourth-and-1 at the Arkansas 47 late in the third quarter, Bobby Petrino kept his offense on the field. A play-action fake worked to perfection with quarterback Jason Shelley hitting Ty Scott wide open for a touchdown that puts the Bears back ahead 24-17. Petrino’s return to Arkansas has NOT gone as expected for the Razorbacks. Would be a wild result.
Pat Narduzzi wanted to run the football more as the Panthers transitioned from Mark Whipple to Frank Cignetti Jr. at offensive coordinator. Well, they may have little choice in this game at Western Michigan. Down to third-string QB Nate Yarnell after injuries to Kedon Slovis and Nick Patti last week, Pitt ran 25 times in the first half vs. just 7 passes. Defensively, they’ve allowed just four first downs to the Broncos, who beat Pitt last season in Pittsburgh.
The Wolfpack have mustered just 108 total yards, yet they lead Texas Tech by 13 at half, in large part because of an 84-yard interception return for touchdown by Aydan White that may have accounted for a 14-point swing. The Red Raiders did finally get on the board just before halftime but they surely feel like they should be even closer considering how little NC State has done offensively.
TO THE HOUSE!!! @aydanwhite9 with the Pick-Six!#HTT | #1Pack1Goal pic.twitter.com/o2mhLsXk8l
The Gators are getting a game from South Florida, which has been able to run the ball well so far in the first half. Florida’s offense has been strong as well, though, as the Gators appear to be bouncing back nicely on that side of the ball following last week’s loss to Kentucky. UF just surged ahead with a 7-yard touchdown run from Nay’Quan Wright to cap an 88-yard scoring drive. Anthony Richardson is 7 of 9 through the air for 75 yards thus far.
As expected, these SEC West foes are playing a close one as darkness envelopes Tiger Stadium. The Tigers just took their first lead of the game on a 3-yard run from Jayden Daniels to capitalize on a muffed punt by Mississippi State that set up LSU up wit a first-and-goal. Mississippi State once led 13-0 but has gone four straight possessions without a touchdown.
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has completed 10 of 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter to give the Huskies an early lead in Seattle. The Spartans came in with a 2-0 record, but have mustered just 11 total yards, including a trip for a safety. Michigan State struggled to defend the pass last season, and it’s showed up in a big way early in this one as Penix has turned back the clock to his best Indiana days under DeBoer.
The No. 19 Demon Deacons hang on vs. Hugh Freeze and Co., improving to 3-0 and setting up a big-time ACC showdown with Clemson next week. It got weird, though, as Liberty scored what appeared to be the game-tying TD with 1:11 left on a crazy tipped ball that wound up in the hands of a Flames receiver. Then, Liberty opted to go for two but failed. Finally, the Demon Deacons had to recover an onside kick to survive. They did. Fun game.
Oklahoma State looks quite convinced that it’s uninterested in joining the ranks of Power 5 teams struggling against FCS opponents. The Cowboys are scoring at will against Arkansas Pine-Bluff with Spencer Sanders having tossed four touchdowns already. Defense is the concern with Oklahoma State, but it hasn’t been a problem thus far. Should be plenty of time to get the reserves a little run.
The punt block, the scoop AND the score. Trace Ford is Trace Ford-ing 🔥#DAT | @traceford12 pic.twitter.com/dk1fsrjz6I
Tune-up game for the Volunteers before a big SEC East clash with Florida next week. So far, so good as the Vols score TDs on three of their first four possessions. Hendon Hooker starts out 8 of 12 for 173 yards and a TD. The most-recent score was a 57-yard strike from Hooker to Jaylin Hyatt. Looks like the Zips still have some developing to do under first-year coach Joe Moorhead before they’re ready to compete in a spot like this.
Lost: Jalin Hyatt
Found: the endzone
📲 https://t.co/HoJ8pzPrDB pic.twitter.com/58NurXOozF
The bright side for Ohio State: the offense appears to have figured things out, as C.J. Stroud is 12 of 14 for 211 yards and two TDs early in the second quarter. The down side: there are defensive issues as Toledo has driven 75 yards twice for touchdowns. The over looks like it was the play on this game. Sheesh. Also: OSU WRs Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are back in the lineup tonight.
For real⁉️ 😱@julian_040 x @OhioStateFB pic.twitter.com/X8mZ71r2bE
Not much doing offensively for either team in the first quarter, but the Wolfpack mustered a couple of field goals to take a 6-0 lead against visiting Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are coming off a big win over Houston, and the Wolfpack are looking to prove they belong in the national conversation. Lowkey good game on the Week 3 slate here appears to be evenly matched early.
Bobby Petrino is back in Fayetteville with Missouri State and he has his FCS Bears leading the Razorbacks 7-0 as the second quarter begins with Missouri State in the red zone once again. This one could get REALLY interesting if Arkansas doesn’t stop fumbling. Fumbles ended their first two possessions.
Matthew Dennis just hit from 46 yards to tie the game at 23 for Wake Forest with 12:39 left. After three straight scoring possessions of five plays or fewer, Liberty hasn’t done much offensively on its last two possessions. Could be a fun finish between in Winston-Salem as Wake tries to retain its place in the polls entering a showdown with Clemson next week.
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