Week 3 preview: No ranked matchups but plenty of intrigue
For the second time in three years, there isn’t a game in which ranked teams face each other, but there are still some interesting matchups as the season enters its third weekend.
The last time there was an unranked weekend was Oct. 14, 2017. That might not be good news for No. 1 Clemson because it lost on the road to Syracuse 27-24.
Guess where the Tigers are this week? Back at the Carrier Dome for the first time since that upset. The Orange had their stock take a hit last week after a 63-20 loss at Maryland.
The weekend gets started on Friday with a pair of intriguing games. North Carolina visits Wake Forest and No. 20 Washington State visits Houston.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State
If it was the Top 26 rankings, this would be a ranked matchup. The Cyclones (1-0) were off last week and fell out of the rankings.
Iowa has won four straight in the rivalry, but the game in Ames two years ago went to overtime before the Hawkeyes were able to rally.
It should be an interesting quarterback matchup as Iowa’s Nate Stanley goes against Iowa State’s Brock Purdy.
LSU’s Joe Burrow has put himself into the conversation with nine touchdowns in the first two games, including four last week against Texas. Burrow and the fourth-ranked Tigers host Northwestern State.
Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts is the only QB in the Football Bowl Subdivision to have over 500 yards passing and more than 200 rushing. He is likely to add to those numbers when the fifth-ranked Sooners visit UCLA.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has 26 touchdowns with four interceptions in SEC play. The second-ranked Crimson Tide open conference play at South Carolina.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
7 — First-year coaches to start the season 2-0. Ryan Day of No. 6 Ohio State is the only one leading a ranked program while Michael Locksley (Maryland) and Mel Tucker (Colorado) have early wins over Top 25 teams.
17 — Consecutive wins by top-ranked Clemson, which ties a school record set in 2014-15 and is the nation’s longest streak. The Tigers are at Syracuse, where they lost the last time they played there in 2017.
20 — Consecutive wins by Oklahoma in true road games, which is tied for the third-longest streak post-World War II. The Sooners hold the record at 25 under Bud Wilkinson from 1953-58. Fifth-ranked Oklahoma travels to UCLA.
72 — Schools that have hosted ESPN’s “College GameDay”. The show visits Iowa State for the first time Saturday before the Cyclones host No. 19 Iowa. That leaves just 10 Power Five schools from which GameDay has not originated.
100 — Meetings between No. 13 Penn State and Pittsburgh. The Nittany Lions own a 52-43-4 advantage and have won the last two. This is likely the last time that the in-state rivals face each other for a while as it is the final game in a four-year contract.
UNDER THE RADAR
— No. 9 Florida at Kentucky: The Wildcats snapped a 31-game losing streak to the Gators last season and are attempting to get back-to-back victories over Florida for the first time since 1977.
— No. 24 USC at BYU: The Trojans shocked Stanford last week as freshman Kedon Slovis threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns. They face a tough challenge though this week with a road trip to Provo, Utah, to face the Cougars, who are coming off a double-overtime victory over Tennessee.
— Stanford at No. 17 UCF: The Knights have received plenty of criticism about their schedule, but they get a rare home game against a very good Power Five team.
HOT SEAT WATCH
— The temperature is really turning up on UCLA’s Chip Kelly after last week’s loss to San Diego State and Oklahoma coming to town this week. The Bruins are 3-11 with Kelly at the helm and are 0-5 in non-conference games.
— This is the first time since 1988 that Tennessee has started 0-2. Things could get extremely ugly if the Vols lose to FCS school Chattanooga.
— Florida State’s Willie Taggart hired Jim Leavitt as an off-field analyst after the Seminoles squandered second-half leads in their first two games. Florida State defeated Louisiana-Monroe in overtime last Saturday, but Taggart needs to pull an upset at No. 25 Virginia