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4 Games to Watch That Aren’t Penn State: Week 3

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Welcome to week three!

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

(#24)USC at BYU
3:30 p.m., ABC

I’m waiting for the Clay Helton Hot Seat and the Urban Meyer to USC storylines to heat up, but it may not happen if the Trojans continue to perform like they did last weekend with an impressive blowout victory against Stanford. BYU is always a tough out, but I think USC takes care of business and stays unbeaten for now.
Prediction: USC-28, BYU-20

(#19)Iowa at Iowa State
4 p.m., FS1

This is the closest thing we have to a game between ranked opponents in week three, with Iowa State just outside of the top 25 in both major polls. The Cyclones have only one game under their belt this season, a triple OT victory against FCS Northern Iowa. Iowa stands at 2-0 with victories against Miami(OH) and Rutgers. Both teams enter the season with elevated expectations that have a long ways to go to prove themselves yet. Either way, it’s a rivalry game that usually comes down the wire for a thrilling conclusion.
Prediction: Iowa-24, Iowa State-21

(#9)Florida at Kentucky
7 p.m., ESPN

As Penn State fans know all too well, Kentucky had a mighty fine team in 2018. The Wildcats are replacing plenty of talent, but will fight to prove they can compete regularly in the SEC. Saturday night will be a huge opportunity to do so as they host a top-10 Gators squad. Florida didn’t look the part of a playoff contender in a sloppy Week 0 effort where they squeaked past Miami (FL.). With so many unknowns, the stars may align for the Wildcats to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Kentucky-20, Florida-17

(#1)Clemson at Syracuse
7:30 p.m., ABC

There’s only a couple reasons this game is included: 1). There aren’t really any marquee games in week three, just several intriguing match-ups that could be sneaky-good, but will likely turn into blowouts. 2). Syracuse has played amazingly well the last two years against Clemson. The Orange pulled off a massive Friday night upset in 2017, the last time they hosted the Tigers. A year ago, Clemson needed some late-game heroics to escape with a home victory in a game mostly controlled by Syracuse throughout. Maybe the Orange has some magic in them. Probably not, especially when considering they’re coming off a 63-20 spanking at the hands of Maryland.
Prediction: Clemson-48, Syracuse-24