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Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
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Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
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CFB 2023: Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Preview
Thursday, 2023 September 21 - 12:24 pm
Michigan and Penn State have some struggles but come away with a win. N.C. State demolishes its cupcake opponent.

Michigan 31, Bowling Green 6
This might be the worst 25-point win for Michigan I've seen in a decade. Michigan turned the ball over four times, and nearly turned it over three more times. Bowling Green quarterback Connor Bazelak didn't play due to an injury, and backup Camden Orth was injured during the game, so yeah, the outcome wasn't in doubt. But minus a miracle catch by Cornelius Johnson on an ill-advised flea flicker, and a potential touchdown pass dropped by BG receiver Odieu Hiliare, it's plausible that the final score could have been more like 24-17.

I feel like perhaps J.J. McCarthy was a little overconfident entering this game, throwing a number of ill-advised passes. Hopefully this was a bit of a reality check for him. There were also some concerns in the banged-up secondary as Bowling Green found ways to get open deep multiple times. But maybe the eventual return of Will Johnson will help right the ship.

On the plus side, the defensive line continues to be excellent, and Blake Corum seems to be getting back to form. I guess if there ever was a good time for the team to play its worst game, it was against Bowling Green.

Michigan vs. Rutgers, 12:00 PM BTN
Rutgers is 3-0, having beaten Northwestern, Temple, and Virginia Tech. Not strong competition to be sure, but they're not FCS cupcakes either. Their revamped offense focuses heavily on the running game, and they've got a real playmaker in RB Kyle Monangai. The passing game is weak, though; QB Gavin Wimsatt only has 407 yards passing through three games, completing at just a 51.5% clip. He's become more of a run-focused QB in the new scheme.

That's probably good news for Michigan; the first-string defense hasn't allowed much in the way of running lanes for their opponents. Despite some rushing success for Rutgers in the previous game, their offensive line will likely be overwhelmed in this one. And if Rutgers falls behind and has to take to the air, they're probably in for a tough time.

Prediction: Michigan 31, Rutgers 13.

Penn State 30, Illinois 13
It's a bit fortunate that Illinois turned the ball over five times in this game, because Penn State's offense was having a tough time for a while. Drew Allar came back down to earth with just a 16 of 33 day and no touchdowns.

The defense was stout and Penn State pulled away in the second half, but it's hard to determine how things might have played out if the Illinois quarterbacks hadn't gifted them four interceptions.

It feels a bit like Allar's season is mirroring McCarthy's... both QBs will go back to the drawing room during practice this week, I'm sure.

Penn State vs. Iowa, 7:30 PM CBS
This will be a real test. Iowa's offense, while still not explosive, is improved over last year with former Michigan QB Cade McNamara at the helm. On what might be a rainy, sloppy day on Saturday in Pennsylvania, we might see a low-scoring, high-variance game, with special teams and turnovers playing a large factor in the outcome.

The good news for Penn State is that Iowa hasn't played a quality opponent yet. The combined record of their opponents is 3-6, and those three wins came against Idaho State, Northern Iowa, and St. Francis PA. So I'll expect Iowa's offense to take a major step back. Iowa's defense remains legit, though, so it'll be incumbent on Drew Allar to take care of the ball. I think Penn State will pull out the win, but it might be a nervy affair.

Prediction: Penn State 24, Iowa 12.

N.C. State 45, VMI 7
In what was hopefully a confidence-building game against a clearly overmatched opponent, Brennan Armstrong had a big day, completing 27 of 32 for 264 yards and one touchdown. State's rushed for three touchdowns, and the defense and special teams tacked on a pick six and a kick return touchdown.

There's not much to take away here; VMI is the weakest opponent as State will face all year.

N.C. State at Virginia, Friday 7:30 PM ESPN
An away game, at night, against a conference opponent... historically, State has not performed well in these situations. But Virginia is 0-3, including a loss to James Madison. The defense is atrocious, and the offensive line is a mess. This seems like the kind of game where the N.C. State defense could get six sacks and three turnovers. If Brennan Armstrong avoids turnovers and manages the game, I think things will go well for the Wolfpack.

Prediction: N.C. State 38, Virginia 16.

Last Week's Notable Results
  • #1 Georgia 24, South Carolina 14. Georgia was one of many top teams to struggle.
  • #3 Florida State 31, Boston College 29. BC looked like the better team for much of the game.
  • #4 Texas 31, Wyoming 10. Wyoming kept it close until the fourth quarter.
  • #8 Washington 41, Michigan State 7. Sparty is a mess right now.
  • #10 Alabama 17, South Florida 3. Alabama's streak of Heisman-candidate QBs might have come to an end.
  • Florida 29, #11 Tennessee 16. Tennessee's dreams of glory took a major hit.
  • #14 LSU, Mississippi State 14. LSU will still make some noise in the SEC despite their opening loss to FSU.
  • Missouri 30, #15 Kansas State 27. A minor upset.
  • #18 Colorado 43, Colorado State 35. Still not a believer in Colorado.
  • #20 North Carolina 31, Minnesota 13. A solid win for UNC.
  • #21 Duke 38, Northwestern 14. I feel like Duke should be ranked higher.
Next Week's Big Ten Games
  • Wisconsin at Purdue, 7:00 PM Friday FS1
  • Rutgers at #2 Michigan, 12:00 PM BTN
  • Florida Atlantic at Illinois, 3:30 PM BTN
  • Maryland at Michigan State, 3:30 PM ABC
  • Louisiana Tech at Nebraska, 3:30 PM BTN
  • #6 Ohio State at #9 Notre Dame, 7:30 PM ABC
  • #24 Iowa at #7 Penn State, 7:30 PM CBS
  • Akron at Indiana, 7:30 PM BTN
  • Minnesota at Northwestern, 7:30 PM BTN
Games of the Week - No shortage of great games to watch:
  • #6 Ohio State at #9 Notre Dame, 7:30 PM ABC
  • #4 Florida State at Clemson, 12:00 PM ABC
  • #19 Colorado at #10 Oregon, 3:30 PM ABC
  • #22 UCLA at #11 Utah, 3:30 PM Fox
  • #15 Ole Miss at #13 Alabama, 3:30 PM CBS
  • #14 Oregon State at #21 Washington State (Pac-2 Championship!), 7:00 PM Fox)
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