Preview Thursday: Week 3

Michael Penix

The Associated Press top-10 are hitting the road this week.  

Week 3 presents a slate of games that appears interesting, especially for ranked teams on the road. Eight ranked programs are on the road this week including four of the top-10.  

No. 1 Georgia hosts South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference matchup. The Bulldogs are already 2-0 behind 577 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Carson Beck, while the Gamecocks are led by Spencer Rattler for a second-straight season.  

Here are several games to watch this week.  

No. 3 Florida State at Boston College  

The Seminoles are off to one of the hottest starts in college football propelling themselves to No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, thanks in large part to their Week 1 victory over then-No. 5 LSU.  

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has had back-to-back games of at least 175 passing yards and two touchdowns. The sixth-year gunslinger has also had his legs involved on the ground, rushing for at least 20 yards in both outings this season. 

While the Seminoles have an eight-game winning streak which is the longest in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Boston College enters with a 1-1 record. 

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell said the Seminoles can appreciate their surge up to No. 3 in the poll, their highest ranking since 2017, but there is still more work to do in order to truly embrace it all.  

“There is an appreciation for where we’ve come because I watch our players work. I watch what they put into it. I see how hard our coaches coach. I see the program-wide investment to see guys believe, get better and then you obviously respond to the situations that we have found ourselves in,” Norvell said. “Oh, somebody says that we’re highly rated or highly ranked, whatever, or not. None of that matters. It’s about what we are willing to do when we show up and when we go to work. I believe in this team, I believe in this team for what they’ve been through. I believe in this team for the guys that have said yes to come be a part of it and the challenges that are presented to them when they were making that choice.”  

No. 8 Washington at Michigan State 

A matchup between future conference members of the Big Ten is on tap in East Lansing, Michigan, this Saturday. 

The No. 8 Huskies enter 2-0 behind strong quarterback outings from Michael Penix Jr. Penix currently leads the NCAA in total offense with an average of 434 yards per game. 

Washington has outscored its two opponents 99-29 through the first two games. The strengths for the Huskies remain in the passing game, and receiver Rome Odunze leads the team with 239 receiving yards. 

Michigan State will be without head coach Mel Tucker, who is suspended without pay as he is subject of an ongoing sexual harassment investigation

“I think the thing that we’ve just focused on, it’s our season theme, is us versus us and just focusing on what we’re in charge of, what we control,” Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer said. “We know we’re going to go out there. It’s going to be a hostile environment and I think anytime there’s strife and things like that it has an effect for teams at times to pull them closer together, and so I think without a doubt in my mind they’re going to come out ready to rip and play well.”  

Wyoming at No. 4 Texas  

It’s all about trust for Texas.  

The Longhorns are one of the several AP Top 10 teams at home this week, and they will do so defending their new positioning in the rankings.  

Quinn Ewers and Texas prevailed over then-No. 3 Alabama last week, besting the Crimson Tide 34-24. Ewers claimed a number of national awards for his performance as he threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns.  

Wyoming enters this week’s bout 2-0 behind quarterback Andrew Peasley. The Cowboys also lead the Mountain West Conference in sacks averaging 3.5 per game. 

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said the Longhorns have “aspirations of being champions this year,” and they’re off to a hot start on their way to possibly claiming a Big 12 title and more. 

“We have an adage, trust equals time plus consistency. And so it takes time to earn trust,” Sarkisian said. “But you also have to be consistent, whether you’re a person, a staff, whatever you are, so that they can feel what it looks like over and over and over. It’s hard to trust somebody when two days you do something one way then the third day, you totally contradict yourself. And so we’ve tried to be really consistent with our messaging, and we knew over time as our program grew that we could earn more trust along the way.”