College Football Week 3 Locks

Week 3 of college football is shaping up to be entertaining, featuring numerous interesting and intriguing matchups and a few rivalry games as well. However, here are three games which appear to be locks.

Oklahoma @ UCLA

Current Spread: Oklahoma -22.5

The fifth-ranked Sooners will travel to the Rose Bowl on Saturday night to take on the 0-2 UCLA Bruins in their first road game of the season. While Chip Kelly’s men dropped two winnable games against Cincinnati and San Diego State to begin the year, Oklahoma has been dominant, as usual. The Sooners have arguably the most dangerous offense in the country.

Jalen Hurts, who transferred from Alabama months ago, is a Heisman front-runner. So far he’s thrown for 591 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions –– plus has added 223 yards and three touchdowns on the group. He is surrounded by wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, tight end Grant Calcaterra, and running back Tre Sermon who have all contributed to an offense that put up almost 710 yards per game in their first two matchups.

Perhaps the most under-looked part of Oklahoma’s team is their defense, an aspect which hasn’t been their strong suit in previous years. It was able to slow down D’Eriq King and the explosive Houston offense for the majority of the game in Week 1. UCLA is simply no match for the Sooners, who are much stronger in every category. The Bruins have a below-average quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a weak offensive line, and no playmakers at running back, wide receiver, or on the defense. Expect Oklahoma to easily cover, while putting up over 50 points, at the very least.

My Pick: Oklahoma

Iowa @ Iowa State

Current Spread: Iowa -2.0

After easy victories against Miami (OH) and Rutgers, the Hawkeyes will experience their first true test of the season in a battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy on Saturday. It won’t be easy for the Hawkeyes to take care of business away against their bitter rivals, but they have the means to do so. Iowa always has a fundamentally sound, tough, and talented pro-style team. This year, they’re led by quarterback Nate Stanley, a potential first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Stanley has been almost perfect early this season, throwing for 488 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.

Although star tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant have moved on to the next level, Iowa’s offense will remain productive behind a stellar offensive-line and a trio of capable running backs. On the defensive end, A.J. Epenesa, a projected top-five pick next year, will make life a living hell for Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy had a decent game in week one against Northern Iowa, but in the end the 1-0 Cyclones found it difficult to beat an FCS team without last year’s star wideout Hakeem Butler and running back David Montgomery.

Don’t get me wrong, this game will not be a blowout. The Cyclones are a good team, and their home crowd will definitely give them an edge in some areas. However, Kirk Ferentz runs a disciplined team that will eventually wear down Iowa State who will not be able to keep up with their opponent’s physicality. I see the Hawkeyes taking this one by a touchdown in a low-scoring affair.

My Pick: Iowa


Current Spread: USC -4.5

After quarterback J.T. Daniels tore his ACL in USC’s Week 1

victory over Fresno State, nobody gave them a chance the following week against Stanford. The Trojans proved everyone wrong as they annihilated a great Stanford team by 25 points and started the season out 2-0.

True freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis was extremely impressive last week throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against one of the better PAC-12 defenses. Slovis is also building a deadly passing combination with star receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns, who caught three combined touchdowns last week. If Slovis and the USC offense can do half of what he did last week, they can definitely dominate a much weaker team away in Provo on Saturday. The BYU Cougars are 1-1 but haven’t had a strong start to their season. After getting demolished by a much stronger Utah team in Week 1, they needed two overtimes to finish off the Tennessee Volunteers a week later. The fact that BYU struggled to possibly the worst team in Tennessee history, a team that was beaten handily by Georgia State at home, and the worst team in the SEC this year points out their many flaws. Quarterback Zach Wilson is inefficient, their defense has recorded one sack so far this season, and their mediocre running game will struggle against a talented USC front seven. I’m taking USC by at least 10 points in this one. 

My Pick: USC

As always, let me know what you think. Are there any other games that I missed here? Do you disagree with any of my locks for the week?

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