Friday, September 12, 2014

Top Week 3 Games

Noon Game
West Virginia Mountaineers @ Maryland Terrapins (BTN)

This is another weak Saturday for the noon slot. As I said last week, this is the perfect time to just get crap done that you've been putting off before diving into the real games. But if you need your early fix, tune into this game. West Virginia gave Alabama a real run for their money in Week 1 while Maryland seems to have worked out the kinks from last year and finally has a healthy quarterback. Neither of these teams look ready to take over in their conference, so this game really isn't of much consequence other than them getting to a bowl game. If anything, this will provide a good glimpse at some potential NFL prospects. Maryland boasts one of the best receivers in the country in Stefon Diggs, an incredibly athletic receiver who would be more well known if he had more stable quarterback play. Early reports believe he will be a first round pick. The Mountaineers also have one of the best safeties in the country in Karl Joseph, who made plays all over the field against Alabama. Keep an eye on these two players if you tune in.

Afternoon Game
No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs @ No. 24 South Carolina Gamecocks (3:30 on CBS)

This game would be a lot more interesting if South Carolina hadn't gotten blown out of the water by A&M in the home opener. South Carolina is at a disadvantage because their best player, running back Mike Davis, is banged up with injury and will probably get limited carries. Their offense was clicking in the game last week against East Carolina, but they are going to have a much more difficult time with Georgia. A&M isn't exactly known for their defense, so its discouraging for South Carolina that they couldn't sustain the drives necessary to keep the game close. Their defense will have its hands full with Georgia's stacked backfield. The Bulldogs don't run the same up tempo offense that gave the Gamecocks fits, but they have the ability to just bludgeon defenses and wear them down with a ruthless running game. Georgia had a bye week last week so they should be ready defensively for anything the Ole Ball Coach can throw at them. I think Gurley has another big game that helps carry Georgia in a hostile environment, 30-21.

Night Game
Tennessee Volunteers @ No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (8:00 on ABC)

There is pretty much no chance that Tennessee can win this game. They have made some good strides since extinguishing the dumpster fire that was Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley. But they simply don't have a good enough coach and a good enough team to go on the road to Norman and win this game. Oklahoma has looked a lot better than I could have predicted at the beginning of the season, winning their tune up games by a score of 100-23. They have ran the ball well despite the loss of freshman sensation Joe Mixon and Trevor Knight has played much more consistently, but not to the high level he did against Alabama. But as I mentioned, I can't expect them to struggle that much against the Volunteers. The defense has been very physical and should be able to get consistent pressure on Justin Worley. Tennessee does have some solid receivers though, especially in Marquez North who has been averaging 13 yards per reception. However, Tennessee hasn't ran the ball all that well in their early games. Jalen Hurd was supposed to make an immediate impact but really hasn't done too much of note early on. I think the Sooners put this one away early, 38-17.

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