Week 3 Preview

Welcome back to our 2021 simulated season! After a not-so-thrilling couple of weeks, maybe we will get a little more chaos this weekend to try to catch up to what’s been happening in real life. Let’s get into it!

Games of Note:

#8 Cincinnati @ #21 Indiana

Scott- When this game was scheduled years back, odds are is that no one within these two programs probably thought this was going to be a ranked matchup. But here we are. If Cincy has any shot of making the Playoff as a G5 team, they’ll need to hold serve in Bloomington. IU rebounded nicely last week against lowly Idaho after the season opening loss in Kinnick to Iowa. Another prerequisite for the Bearcats to receive playoff consideration is if IU is actually a solid team, meaning they’ll have to go on a run. UC hopes it’s just after this week. I think the Bearcats have enough firepower to get it done. Cincinnati 31, Indiana 21

Gavin- Indiana 28, Cincinnati 24

Nebraska @ #4 Oklahoma

Scott- One of the greatest rivalries in sports history comes back to us this Saturday as Scott Frost’s Huskers visit Lincoln Riley’s Sooners. While conference realignment has taken away this historic matchup from us in recent years, it may have actually benefitted Nebraska during this span. OU has been consistently atop the sport, while Nebraska has scuffled its way through mediocrity. But NU is 3-0, and looking to shock the world against the explosive Sooner offense. Can they keep it close? I say, no, as OU marches on towards an undefeated season. Oklahoma 52, Nebraska 13

Gavin- Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 21

Purdue @ #9 Notre Dame

Scott- Another rivalry is renewed in South Bend Saturday as the Boilers visit the Irish. Both teams are undefeated so far, but this will be the toughest challenge yet for Purdue by a country mile. ND may be looking ahead to its massive showdown with the Badgers next week, so it is crucial that Brian Kelly’s squad doesn’t overestimate Purdue. This would be a huge win for Jeff Brohm, but I think the Irish are too talented in this spot. Notre Dame 41, Purdue 14

Gavin- Notre Dame 35, Purdue 17

#1 Alabama @ #13 Florida

Scott- College Gameday visits Gainesville as we see a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship game where Bama won an absolute shootout. Plenty of stars are gone from both sides from that classic, but I’m more confident Alabama can reload faster than UF. But, putting Bryce Young in a hostile environment for his first career road start may be a recipe for disaster. While I think the Gators take advantage of some mistakes, the Tide will settle in in the second half and run away with this one, claiming the eighth straight victory in the series. Alabama 38, Florida 17

Gavin- Alabama 24, Florida 20

#12 USC @ Washington State

Scott- USC is off to an impressive start this far, and is trying to stake its claim as the favorite in the Pac-12. They’ll attempt to knock off another North opponent after defeating Stanford last week. Wazzu should be rainy and chilly Saturday afternoon, making for an advantage for the Cougars. Keep in mind, SC lost their last trip to Pullman back in 2017. I’ll take the road favorite to outpace Nick Rolovich’s high-tempo offense to give Wazzu their first loss of 2021. USC 45, Washington State 27

Gavin- USC 27, Washington State 14

#22 Utah @ San Diego State

Scott- In another matchup of undefeated teams, Utah visits San Diego State in an intriguing Pac-12-Mountain West showdown. The Utes are coming off a high, in defeating rival BYU last week yet again. They’ll look to keep up that intensity against a stout Aztec team led by Brady Hoke. SDSU has given fits lately to Pac-12 teams. I think Utah has just enough playmakers that they’ll be able to hang on for a close victory. Utah 23, San Diego State 16

GavinUtah 35, San Diego State 17

Auburn @ Penn State

Scott- This highly intriguing matchup will feature Auburn’s first visit to a Big Ten stadium since 1931! They’ll be up against quite the environment Saturday night, as Happy Valley will be rocking during their annual whiteout. PSU’s fans will be raucous, and I believe this one comes down to which quarterback can limit their mistakes better. Sean Clifford is much better positioned to do so, considering he is at home. Bo Nix has notoriously struggled on the road, but we’ll see if Bryan Harsin can fix that. I’m taking the Lions over the Tigers in a huge opportunity for the Big Ten. Penn State 27, Auburn 24

Gavin- Penn State 21, Auburn 19

Virginia @ #11 North Carolina

Scott- If UNC has any hopes of putting together a playoff run, this is the trap game they need to avoid. After narrowly defeating VA Tech in week one, UNC has another challenger from the commonwealth, albeit this one at home. Expect tons of points in this one, as two prolific QBs will be center-stage. Brennan Armstrong has led the Hoos to a boatload of points thus far, and Sam Howell is trying to prove himself as a Heisman frontrunner for the Heels. I like UNC to break a four game winning streak by UVA in this rivalry. North Carolina 44, Virginia 33

Gavin- North Carolina 31, Virginia 10

Upset Picks:

Scott- Oklahoma State @ Boise State

This is another fascinating G5 vs. P5 matchup featuring Gundy’s Cowboys traveling to the Smurf Turf to face Boise State. While the Broncos do have a loss, it was to a talented UCF team. OK State took care of business against the Broncos in Stillwater three years back. BSU gets their revenge Saturday night. Boise State 33, Oklahoma State 30

Gavin- #23 Arizona State @ BYU

Arizona State 38, BYU 31

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