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College football 2023: 10 games and names to know this weekend

Names of players and games to watch in Week 3 of college football.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - Notre Dame v South Carolina Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Is Texas back after beating Alabama? How many wins will Colorado end the season with after starting with back-to-back wins? Week 2 left a lot of questions on the table, and this week we could end up with that list of questions getting even longer.

We gave you some names to watch for last week, now it’s onto Week 3 of college football and a whole new list of names to watch for this weekend.


Colorado State vs Colorado Buffaloes (18)
Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
QB Shedeur Sanders

It’s consecutive weeks for Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes to square up against a rival team. This week the Buffaloes host their long-time rivals, the Colorado State Rams, in the “Rocky Mountain Showdown”. An interesting note is Colorado leads the series between the two teams 67-22-2. But the last six times these teams have met where either team was ranked, the non-ranked team won the contest.

Shedeur Sanders now has four receivers with 100 yards receiving, not bad since it’s only Week 3. He currently sits on top of the Heisman rankings as he leads the FBS averaging 451.5 yards passing per game. He’s also completed 77.5% of his passes and thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions. Keep an eye on Colorado’s left tackle Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan. He won offensive lineman of the week for the Pac-12 and allowed only one pressure last week. As for Colorado State, they have a receiver by the name of Justus Ross-Simmons. He had five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown last week. The Rams will need to keep pace if they want any chance of winning.

Penn State Nittany Lions (7) vs Illinois Fighting Illini
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
RB Nick Singleton

Penn State needs to make a statement this week and make sure they don’t allow themselves to slip up against Illinois. The Fighting Illini managed a win in Week 1 against Toledo then lost last week to Kansas. This means Illinois will come out feeling like their backs are against the wall and will look to put on a display against Penn State for their home crowd. Penn State has been firing on offense so far this season, and you could argue they are one of the more explosive offenses in college. This should make Nittany Lions fans happy as Illinois are allowing an average of 31 points and 477 total yards per game. The last time these two teams met in 2021, the game went into nine overtimes with Illinois finally securing the win.

Looking to control the game for Penn State will be running back Nicholas Singleton. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns last week against Delaware. Watch Penn States OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu, he has yet to allow a sack of pressure this year and is unbelievable as a blocker.

LSU Tigers (14) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
WR Brian Thomas Jr.

LSU needed to show everyone it’s not falling apart after their Week 1 loss to Florida State. They did that in Week 2 by winning 72-10 against Grambling. As for Mississippi State, they will look to stay unbeaten as they begin a tough portion of their schedule with LSU followed by South Carolina then Alabama. If the Bulldogs can get a win here in front of their home crowd then things would get interesting for Mississippi State. Unfortunately, they have lost 20 out of the last 23 meetings with LSU so the odds are stacked against them, especially on defense. LSU lead the SEC with 540 yards per game and are second in rushing with 207 yards per game. This MSU defense needs to come up big to help the team win but are facing a wide receiver corps that is completely elite. The LSU receivers are currently led by Brian Thomas Jr., who has 13 receptions for 220 yards and three touchdowns so far this year.

Tennessee Volunteers (11) vs. Florida Gators
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
RB Jaylen Wright

The Florida Gators are on a four-game losing streak against rival teams, where Tennessee is trying to prove that after years of failure they are now a contending team. The Gators have the upper hand playing at home in the Swamp and have won 16 of the last 18 contests against the Volunteers. But this time Florida has to face an outstanding ground game that leads the SEC with 257 rush yards per game. Running back Jaylen Wright will be a name we hear a lot of next April come draft season. He’s now rushed for 232 yards and averages 9.3 yards per carry in the last two games.

Kansas State Wildcats (15) vs. Missouri Tigers
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
WR Phillip Brooks

Both teams are looking to stay perfect and get to 3-0. The Tigers offense is struggling a little to score points. Last year ,Missouri’s quarterback Brady Cook was 15 of 27 for 128 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions when they last faced each other. Looking to help Kansas State win this week is their leading receiver Phillip Brooks. He has become their main offensive threat after the team lost running back Deuce Vaughn in the draft last year. Brooks has 134 receiving yards for the Wildcats this season and has one receiving touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs (1)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
QB Spencer Rattler

So far it’s been an easy ride for Georgia on their schedule, but this week is their first test as they face an SEC opponent. Georgia are looking to three-peat as champions, and so far they are staying right on course to do that. This will be the first time Stetson Bennett’s replacement, Carson Beck, gets to test himself against tougher competition. But he’s done fine so far throwing 577 yards with three touchdowns in two games. This Georgia defensive line will want to lay on the pressure on South Carolina’s quarterback, Spencer Rattler. In Week 1, Rattler was sacked nine times which resulted in a massive loss for the Gamecocks. If Georgia can get sacks on Rattler, then he loses control of the offense and it’s game over. If Georgia comes away with the win this week then that’s 20 straight wins for this Georgia team.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (20)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
QB Drake Maye

Another game where both teams are looking to stay unbeaten. If there’s an outside player in the Heisman race that could go on a quiet run of success these next few weeks,it’s Drake Maye. UNC ranks 24th in the FBS in total offense with 482 yards, and Maye has helped this offense rank first in third-down conversions in the nation. This is a huge test to see how good Maye is as a quarterback. He faces a Minnesota defense that ranks eighth in the FBS in yards allowed per game with 223, and ranks tenth in points allowed with 16 points allowed in their first two games.

Washington Huskies (8) vs. Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, 5 p.m. ET
WR Rome Odunze (Washington’s receiver corps)

Michigan State are without their head coach, Mel Tucker, after he got suspended this week and is under investigation. As the interim head coach, Harlon Barnett will try and maintain order for the Spartans. This game is simple in terms of battle. It’s the Washington’s passing game versus Michigan State’s defensive backs. The Huskies are a pure passing team and very rarely run, mostly due to the fact their wide receiver corps is one of the best in the nation. Rome Odunze leads the pack for Washington with 239 yards and two touchdowns. But this entire corps combine for nine receiving touchdowns in their first two games.

Syracuse Orange vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
RB LeQuint Allen

Syracuse are 2-0 and are trying to emulate last season when they went 5-0 at the start. For Syracuse, they have tight end Oronde Gadsden II who scored the winning touchdown in last year’s meeting during the final ten seconds of the game. This game. though. is all about the ground game. Purdue allowed only 11 yards rushing last week and is allowing 60 rush yards per game currently. But now Purdue face a real challenge this week with Syracuse’s LeQuint Allen. He scored three rushing touchdowns last week on just eight carries and had a 100-yard rushing game in Week 1.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
RB Jahiem White (WVU’s running backs in general)

Yes, it’s the “Backyard Brawl”. West Virginia have a lot more at stake here but this has the feel that the Mountaineers will somehow get the win. The West Virginia defense is very volatile so its hard to say which way this game will go, but it’s more how these teams stack up in the run game. The Mountaineers rushed for 304 yards and four rushing touchdowns last week, but Pittsburgh lost to Cincinnati last week allowing them to rush for 216 yards. This should be a fun game to watch as two teams battle it out in a physical contest. WVU running back Jahiem White played his first game last week and run for 110 yards while scoring his first touchdown. Expect the team to keep pounding the ball this week against the Panthers to control the game.

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