College Football

College Football: Week 3 Risers and Fallers

By Anthony Wootton

Penn State had a statement win, while the Utah Utes reminded us that their Week 1 slip at the Florida Gators was just that. The Kentucky Wildcats continue to impress, but another of last week’s risers disappointed in Week 3; the BYU Cougars falling, along with the Miami Hurricanes and Michigan State Spartans.

Here are my risers and fallers from Week 3 of the college football season.


Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats are on fire. They’re 3-0 for the season and, more impressively, each of their wins have been by double digits. Quarterback, Will Levis, completed 27 of 35 passing attempts, throwing for 377 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. UK shut out Youngstown State 31-0.

The Cats’ wide receiver, Dane Key, who was influential in the Week 2 win against Florida, was among the highlights again with 90 receiving yards and a touchdown off six receptions. Kentucky’s offense has scored 94 points in three games. On the other side of the ball their defense has given up 29 points in that span.

They have bigger tests to come, but UK’s collective effort has been nothing short of impressive.

Utah Utes

The Utes’ opening day loss to Florida seems like so long ago. They improved to 2-1 for the season after a dominant 35-7 win over San Diego on Saturday. Utah’s receivers had a field day against the Aztecs’ defense, quarterback Cameron Rising seemingly distributing the ball a will.

Rising completed 18 of 30 pass attempts for 224 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Utes’ defense held SDSU to 171 total yards, just 60 of those were through the air. They were up against San Diego’s third-string quarterback, but they didn’t give the Aztecs’ offense a sniff in the first three quarters.

Penn State Nittany Lions

PSU broke into the AP Top 25 rankings last week and entered Week 3 as slight road favorites. The Nittany Lions marched into Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday and dominated Auburn, winning by 29 points in this 41-12 triumph.

Auburn’s quarterback, T.J. Finley, was given a rough day, as the PSU defense forced four turnovers and reduced the Tigers to just 12 points. Running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen were too much for Auburn to handle, combining for 178 yards on the ground and four touchdowns.

The freshman, Singleton, has rushed for a combine 303 yards and four touchdowns in his last two outings.


Miami Hurricanes

The Hurricanes failed to turn 393 total yards on offense into a single touchdown against Texas A&M. Miami’s defense was the antithesis of its offense, reducing the Aggies to seven points in the second half.

The Canes outgained A&M in first downs 27 to 16, outrushed them 175 to 124, and outpassed their opponents 217 to 140. They failed on multiple trips to the red zone, but penalties and dropped balls were their failings. Too many errors cost them in this 17-9 loss.

BYU Cougars

The Cougars were among my risers last week, after snatching their impressive win over Baylor. On Saturday they were blasted by Oregon. The Ducks got off to an early lead and, despite reducing the deficit, the Cougars were never in this one. They had no answer for Ducks’ quarterback, Bo Nix, who threw two touchdown passes and rushed for three.

BYU was outmatched in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and had little to no run game. Oregon had 212 yards on the ground, while the Cougars were held to 64. Quarterback, Jaren Hall, had a good game, throwing for 305 and two touchdowns. He was let down by his line and backfield.

He’ll also be hoping injured receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney will be back sooner rather than later to boost his attack.

Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans wilted to 2-1 on Saturday. Their secondary was in this 39-28 loss to the Washington Huskies, as was the coverage from their linebackers. They were down by 21 points at halftime and had no ground game.

Their No. 11 ranking last week looked vastly inflated. They scored two late touchdowns, but the coaches had no response to Washington and quarterback, Michael Penix Jnr, who had four touchdowns on the night. The Spartans have a lot of work to do.

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