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College Football Thoughts & Reactions: Week 3

 Miami Impresses in Saturday Primetime

Brevin Jordan, Miami

The only ranked matchup of the weekend came between Miami and Louisville, two teams looking to rise up the ACC totem pole. Miami's offense once again was on fire, totaling nearly 500 yards and putting up 47 points against a Louisville defense that looked overmatched. What was particularly impressive about the victory for the Hurricanes was that they moved the ball in a different way than Week 2. After running all over UAB previously, Miami chose to attack through the air in this one, with D'Eriq King finishing with 360 yards and three touchdowns. On the Louisville side, their offense kept things somewhat competitive, but it wasn't able to overcome some of the defensive struggles. Running back Javian Hawkins impressed by rushing for 164 yards, while speedy wide out Tutu Atwell added two touchdowns. Louisville still played decent enough to be considered somewhat of a factor in the league, but it was certainly the 'Canes that saw their stock rise in a considerable manner here. So far, the Rhett Lashlee hire has looked tremendous, and his relationship with King has been a match made in heaven. Will it continue next week in a rivalry game with Florida State?

UCF Once Again a Serious Group of Five Contender

UCF opened up their 2020 season on the road against Georgia Tech, hoping to begin a resume that could garner them CFB Playoff attention. The Knights did not disappoint, taking down the Yellow Jackets by four touchdowns in a game that was never close. Dillon Gabriel was in complete command, burning GT's pass defense to the tune of 417 yards and four touchdowns. The defense also forced Tech into five turnovers, picking off Jeff Sims twice and forcing three lost fumbles. It's a good sign all around for UCF, even though the Yellow Jackets aren't exactly the cream of the crop for Power Five football. The offense has to continue to be aggressive and explosive, and the defense can still be effective playing a bend-don't-break method. It might not be a victory that will convince the Playoff Committee UCF is definitely a Playoff team, but it's a win that can help bolster a resume.

Another Bad Week For the Big 12

Only one Big 12 team was in action this past Saturday, and that was Oklahoma State squaring off against Tulsa in Stillwater. It was a perfect opportunity for the Cowboys to flash their potential as a Big 12 Title contender but it instead led to more questions than answers. OSU QB Spencer Sanders went down with injury early on in this one, forcing the Cowboys to turn to Ethan Bullock originally and then later, Shane Illingworth. Neither Bullock nor Illingworth had ever thrown a pass in college football, and while Illingworth did jumpstart things, the offense looked incredibly underwhelming. Chuba Hubbard also struggled to get things going, averaging just 3.4 yards per attempt on 27 carries. Certainly Hubbard was hurt by the lack of a passing game to keep the defense honest, but you still would've liked to see more. Of course, Oklahoma State still ended up winning, which is a good thing but it wasn't the resounding win they were looking for. This is a team that has legit Big 12 Title aspirations; they should be beating the bottom of the American Athletic by more than nine points.

A Pair of ACC Teams Make Statements

Neither Boston College nor NC State entered 2020 with particularly high expectations. BC had been a consistent .500 team under Steve Addazio before firing him this past off-season, while NC State was fresh off a 1-7 mark in the league. But, both teams responded with quality conference wins to get their seasons going, with Boston College taking down Duke, and NC State beating Wake Forest. The Eagles displayed a crisp passing attack that flew in the face of the power-run attack they had operated under Addazio. Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec went for 300 yards and wide out Zay Flowers was tremendous, totaling 162 yards and a touchdown. The Wolfpack offense also looked very good for their first game action, going over 450 total yards and putting up 45 points. Ricky Person Jr. and Zonovan "Bam" Knight look like a potential potent 1-2 punch in the backfield, both nearing 100 yards on the ground and combining for four total touchdowns. Of course, I don't think either win necessarily moves BC and NC State into serious ACC contention, but they deserve a lot of credit. Jeff Hafley has quickly come in and injected serious energy into this lethargic BC program, while Dave Doeren hopes to work himself off the hot seat in Raleigh.

Welcome To the Coaching Ranks, Deion Sanders!

One of the more interesting developments in college football this past weekend happened to a team that wasn't even playing, as Jackson State hired Deion Sanders to be their next head football coach. Jackson State is a school that has had plenty of success in the past, but they've slipped significantly in the past decade. They desperately needed a breath of fresh air, and what better way to do it than to bring in Sanders, one of the best characters in the sport of football. Sanders has never coached on the collegiate level, so things will be a transition obviously. However, he knows the game of football, and he'll be an absolute beast on the recruiting trail. I'm not sure whether he'll win or not here, but it will be a fascinating watch either way.

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