The first two weeks of the college football season have provided plenty of upsets, and there’s bound to be more in Week 3. However, three teams that have underachieved to different extents are all set for big performances, and all three should cover as favorites this weekend. We break down these games and give you a little insight into our picks.
Kent State Golden Flashes @ No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes Prediction
Odds: Ohio State -30
The Ohio State Buckeyes experienced a scare against Navy in Week 1, and that foreshadowed the following week. The Virginia Tech underdogs upset Ohio State 35-21. Braxton Miller’s injury replacement, JT Barrett, completed just 9-of-29 passes with three interceptions, including a pick-six that sealed the loss. It was a sloppy game for both teams with 17 total penalties and six turnovers, but you can still expect Urban Meyer’s team to improve for Week 3.
First of all, Kent State is coming off back-to-back losses to Ohio and South Alabama. Second of all, the Buckeyes will have no problem establishing the run early on and opening up space for Barrett, so there will be less pressure on him to force balls downfield. Meyer is an excellent coach who will do what it takes to push his players to success.
Pick: Ohio State -30
No. 12 UCLA Bruins @ Texas Longhorns Prediction
Odds: UCLA -7.5
UCLA is 2-0, but those wins have been close calls. The offense struggled in Week 1 at Virginia, so they were saved by their defense. Last week, the offense showed up in a big way, but the defense collapsed. The Bruins gave up 469 total yards of offense and 35 points against Memphis last week, but Brett Hundley threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns to bail them out for a seven-point win. The Bruins know they’ll be tested this week and should bring a more balanced effort.
Texas is reeling, yet again, after being blown away at home against BYU in a 41-7 loss last week. The Longhorns don’t have a star quarterback to bail them out with David Ash injured, so look for Hundley and company to do some damage again this week. This should be the Bruins most complete effort of the season.
Pick: Bruins -7.5
No. 9 USC Trojans @ Boston College Eagles Prediction
Odds: Trojans -19.5
The Trojans survived a tough early season test at Stanford in a battle of top-15 teams, and that pushed them into the top-10 heading into this weekend. USC has the potential to climb even higher, and a big road win over a mediocre Boston College team push them in the right direction. The Eagles lost to Pittsburgh last week and rallied late to close the final deficit to 10. Obviously, the Eagles aren’t very good and will probably be overmatched.