Week 3 College Football Preview

Now that we enter the third week of the 2016 college football season, we will begin to see more games that have an impact on the season-ending College Football Playoff. #15 Ole Miss at #2 Alabama This is one of the marquee games of the weekend. Both are SEC powers, and the result of this game will have a lot to do with who ends up winning the SEC West. As usual, Alabama is loaded with NFL quality talent all over their roster. The same can be said for Ole Miss though the most of their top NFL talent is underclassmen. At Alabama, the top senior prospects are linebacker Reggie Ragland, corner Cyrus Jones, linebacker Lee Dillon and defensive tackle Darren Lake. At Ole Miss, the top senior prospects are linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton. What will be interesting is how inexperienced quarterback Chad Kelly will perform on the big stage. To date, Mississippi has not played anyone tough. This game, Kelly has to play one of the best teams in the nation. How he plays will have a lot to do with how Ole Miss plays. I don’t think he is up to the task, and for that reason, I like Alabama to win. #18 Auburn at #13 LSU Last week, I thought that LSU playing in their opening game may struggle on the road at Mississippi State. I was wrong as the overall talent and speed of LSU was too much for Mississippi State to handle. Also, last week, Auburn playing at home versus FCS Jacksonville State played horribly and needed overtime to get a win. I think LSU is a little better than Jacksonville State. On top of that, this will be LSU’s home opener and that will give LSU a huge advantage. Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson came into the season with a lot of hype. He hasn’t delivered and, to date, has thrown three touchdowns to five interceptions. I can see LSU winning this game by as many as 14 points. #14 Georgia Tech at #8 Notre Dame The Notre Dame team we see Saturday is not the same team we saw two weeks ago easily beating Texas 38 – 3. In two games, Notre Dame has lost three key starts. In the Texas game, Notre Dame lost starting running back Tarean Folston. Last week in their road win at Virginia, the Irish lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire and starting tight end Durham Smythe. Very few teams can lose that many starters and survive. Redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer came in to replace Zaire and threw a last second 39 yard touchdown pass to secure the win at Virginia. How he holds up as a starter will tell us how far Notre Dame can go. Georgia Tech has its usual strong team. They have won their first two games by a combined score of 134 -16. While the wins were easy, they should have been as they played FCS Alcorn State and American Athletic Conference lightweight Tulane. Georgia Tech, which runs the triple option to perfection, is led by quarterback Justin Thomas. They also have a strong runner in Marcus Marshall, who is averaging better than 15 yards per carry in the first two games. The top senior NFL prospects at Georgia Tech are defensive lineman Adam Gotsis and safety Jamal Golden. Both are quality players. Notre Dame, for some reason, seems to always struggle when playing an option attack. Because of that and the injury to Zaire, I have to go with Georgia Tech by 3. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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