Week 3 college football storylines for Kentucky fans to follow
Believe it or not after this weekend the college football season will be roughly one-quarter of the way complete, at least in terms of the regular season. Most teams have their third game of the season at some point this weekend.
Here are some storylines for Kentucky fans and for all college football watchers to follow as we highlight the top action, stories, and trends going into Week 3.
Justin Fields' first road game ... It's not exactly much of a test. The Buckeyes are on the road in Bloomington, Ind., against a Hoosier team that is a heavy underdog but which has put up some points early in the season. Ohio State hasn't had to sweat at all to this point in the season.
Is Maryland for real? ... The Terps defeated then-Top-25 Syracuse 63-20 last week in one of the major surprises of early season college football action. They go on the road to Temple, now armed with their own national ranking (No. 21). A win won't tell us everything, but a loss would probably tell us a lot.
Speaking of Syracuse ... Clemson invades the Carrier Dome and the last time the Tigers were here they lost to the Orange 27-24. This could get ugly. Quick.
Mississippi State hosts K-State ... Joe Moorhead's Bulldogs rolled into Manhattan, Kan., and dismantled the Big XII's Wildcats 31-10 in a convincing early season win last season. Now K-State pays a visit to Mississippi State in Starkville. MSU looked improved from Week 1 to Week 2. K-State has been dominant but against Nicholls State and Bowling Green. Mississippi State is rightfully the favorite. Through two games Tommy Stevens is 29/40 (72.5-percent) for a modest 341 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks. More impressively, Kylin Hill is averaging 160 yards on the ground per game.
Can Mack Brown start 3-0? ... North Carolina takes on Wake Forest on the road Friday night in what is quietly one of the more interesting games of the weekend between two teams that have offensive firepower and unblemished records.
Will NC State add insult to injury for West Virginia? ... The Mountaineers looked downright bad in their 38-7 loss to Missouri in Columbia last week. Now they host an NC State team that has cruised against directional in-state schools. Our prior should probably be to expect a solid NC State win, but we don't know much about the Wolfpack yet.
Remember the last time Alabama traveled to South Carolina? ... Maybe you don't, actually. These teams haven't played since 2010, when in Nick Saban's fourth season at Alabama the Gamecocks shocked the Tide 35-21 in Williams-Brice Stadium. A lot has changed since then. Namely, Alabama hasn't lost any games to teams that are less than elite. South Carolina probably doesn't have the playmakers to keep this close. Oddsmakers and now bettors have them losing by about four touchdowns at home. This is a tough stage for freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski.
Is Stanford on the decline under David Shaw? ... Jim Harbaugh's successor with the Cardinal has proven resilient and has sustained Stanford's success for quite a while now. But one week removed from a loss to USC, Stanford is on the road at No. 17 UCF in a game against a characteristically explosive Knights offense.
Is USC for real? ... That USC team that beat Stanford with an impressive performance from new starting quarterback Kedon Slovis gets another test, this time on the road against a BYU team that just won in Knoxville. If the Trojans win this game you could start to hear people call for them to beat out Utah in the Pac-12 South.
Herm Edwards takes the Sun Devils into East Lansing ... Arizona State-Michigan State is an interesting non-conference matchup. Arizona State's defense has been stout against bad competition early in the year but the Sun Devils only scored 19 points against Sacramento State. It's difficult to see ASU scoring enough to pull the upset in Big Ten country with the Spartans roughly a two touchdown favorite.
Iowa-Iowa State finally in the spotlight ... The battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy never gets much national attention, at least until now. College Gameday will be in Ames, Iowa, population less than 70,000, for Saturday's game between the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes and the unranked but nearly ranked Iowa State Cyclones. The Hawkeyes, quarterbacked by Nate Stanley, one of the better senior quarterbacks in the country, take on the Cyclones, a trendy Top-25 preseason pick that did not look good in its season opener against Northern Iowa. This may be your tossup of the day. There's not actually a lot at stake unless you think either of these teams has a chance to mark a darkhorse playoff run (they don't), but it's a fun early season rivalry between two quality teams.
Louisville goes for two in a row ... The Cardinals dispatched EKU 42-0 and now travel to WKU to try to move to 2-1 with a win against the Hilltoppers. The Toppers lost their season opener to Central Arkansas 35-28 before rebounding for a 20-14 win against FIU last Saturday.
Watch out for Hawaii ... Hawaii has started the season 2-0 against Pac-12 teams with a 45-38 win against Arizona in Week 1 and a 31-28 win against Oregon State in Week 2. Winning at Washington will be a different challenge, but the Huskies appear vulnerable after losing at home to Cal to start the season.
Chip Kelly might get taken behind the woodshed ... The Bruins appear to have no answers in 2019. After losing to Cincinnati, UCLA dropped one at home to San Diego State. Now they get Oklahoma at home. UCLA's defense hasn't given up a ton of points this year, but nobody stops Lincoln Riley's offense.