Week 3 College Football Primer

Time to check out the big games, top matchups and potential upsets as college football heads into Week 3.

Mark SanchezTop 25 Action:
No. 5 Ohio State (2-0) at No. 1 USC (1-0), Saturday 8:00 PM ET ABC
OSU head coach Jim Tressel said Tuesday that Heisman candidate Beanie Wells will play Saturday in Southern Cal. The Buckeyes are going to need all the offensive firepower they can get against one of the best front sevens in the nation. USC quarterback Mark Sanchez shredded Virginia for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, but OSU’s defense is loaded with experienced talent. This is one of the most anticipated college football games of the year and should be a tight contest, although oddsmakers have made the Trojans 10.5-point favorites. (Check out our offical Ohio State-USC smack talk thread as well.)

No. 13 Kansas (2-0) at No. 19 South Florida (2-0), Friday 8:00 PM ET ESPN2
This is a tremendous matchup to kick off the Week 3 schedule as Kansas and its high-powered offense take on South Florida, which has the No. 1 ranked defense in college football. In their two wins, the Jayhawks averaged over 450 yards a game, but they go up against a Bulls’ defense Friday night that has only allowed an average of 161.5 yards per game. Oddsmakers have listed South Florida as a 3-point home favorite.

No. 10 Wisconsin (2-0) at No. 21 Fresno State (1-0), 10:30 PM ET ESPN2
Marshall rolled out to a 14-0 lead on the Badgers last week before Wisconsin eventually settled down and hammered the Thundering Heard 51-14 to improve to 2-0 on the year. Fresno State dismantled Rutgers 24-7 in New Jersey in Week 1 and should be well rested coming off a bye last week. One thing to keep an eye on is the health status of Wisconsin TE Travis Beckum, who missed the Badgers’ first two games this year with a bad hamstring. Beckum is highly regarded as one of the top tight end prospect in college football and is expected to play this weekend.

Chris SmelleyNo. 2 Georgia (2-0) at South Carolina (1-1), Saturday 3:30 PM ET CBS
Before being upset by Vanderbilt last week, the Game Cocks were supposed to be Georgia’s first real test of the 2008 season. One has to assume that South Carolina is going to come out fired up after being bounced from the top 25 following their loss to the Commodores. The Bulldogs absolutely hammered Central Michigan last week, but can’t take anything for granted this Saturday playing a pissed off Steve Spurrier squad. SC is a 7.5-point home underdog.

Upset Watch:
UCLA (1-0) at No. 18 BYU (2-0)
Washington gave BYU all it could handle in Week 2 before the Cougars eventually eked out a 28-27 win. And the last time we saw the Bruins, they were upsetting Tennessee in the first week of the season. While this wouldn’t be a huge upset, it would be the second time in two chances that UCLA knocks off a ranked opponent. And with Fresno State, Oregon, California, ASU and USC on their schedule, the Bruins will have plenty of opportunities to make some noise and possibly become one of the best surprises of the season. BYU is currently an 8-point favorite.

Other notable games:
No. 14 East Carolina at Tulane – Saturday, 3:00 PM ET
No. 3 Oklahoma at Washington – Saturday, 7:45 PM ET
Arkansas at No. 8 Texas – Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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