09/19/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Week 3 of the 2015 college football season has some big games between Top 25 teams. Let's take a look at the best matchups this weekend.
#19 BYU at #10 UCLA 10:30pm Saturday
So far BYU is 2 for 2 in the late game heroics department. After beating Nebraska in their season opener on a Hail Mary pass, the Cougars knocked off then #20 Boise State last week, scoring the game winning touchdown with :45 seconds left in regulation. It hasn't been that close for UCLA, as the Bruins rolled Virginia 34 to 16 in their season opener, then pounded UNLV 37 to 3 last week. Both teams are being led by freshman quarterbacks as well. UCLA's Josh Rosen has passed for 574 yards and 4 TD's in the Bruins two victories. BYU has been led by Tanner Mangum, who took over under center in the Cougars season opener after starting QB Taysom Hill was injured (and is out for the season). Mangum launched the Hail Mary game winner in week one, and passed for 309 yards and 2 TD's in last weeks win. He'll have a tougher test this week against a UCLA defense that is giving up just 147 yards per game passing, including giving up just 56 yards through the air in last week's win over UNLV. Rosen may have it a little bit easier, as BYU has struggled against the pass, giving up over 300 yards per game on average so far. These teams last met in 2008, with BYU routing UCLA 59 to 0.
#18 Auburn at #13 LSU 3:30pm Saturday
Despite winning their first 2 games, things haven't been going too well for Auburn. The Tigers started the season ranked 6th in the nation, but have fallen 12 spots after a couple of less than impressive performances. After beating Louisville 31 to 24 in their opener, Auburn needed a late score in regulation then overtime to defeat FCS opponent Jacksonville State. LSU got a big win in their opener, knocking off Mississippi State 21 to 19. RB Leonard Fournette led the way for the Tigers, rushing for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win. That's not good news for Auburn, who's allowed nearly 400 yards rushing through their first two games. Worse for Auburn is QB Jeremy Johnson hasn't done what was expected of him so far, throwing 5 interceptions so far and being held in check on the ground as well. It won't get any easier for Johnson this week, as last week, LSU held Mississippi State dual threat QB Dak Prescott to just 9 yards rushing. Auburn won last years battle of the Tigers 41 to 7, but has lost 7 straight games at LSU.
#14 Georgia Tech at #8 Notre Dame 3:30pm Saturday
The bad news for Notre Dame is they lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire for the season last week. DeShone Kizer will take over at the helm for the Irish, but a new QB means Notre Dame's defense will be counted on to do more. That could be worse news for the Irish, as they face a Georgia Tech team that's averaging 475 yards rushing per game so far and has outscored their first two opponents (Alcorn State and Tulane) by a combined score of 134 to 16. It'll be a big step up in competition though this week for the Yellow Jackets against the Irish, who have given up less than 100 yards per game rushing on average so far. But after an impressive performance in a 38 to 3 win over Texas in their season opener, Notre Dame struggled on defense last week against Virginia. The Irish surrendered a 12 point 4th quarter lead before coming back to win, allowing the Cavaliers to put up 416 yards in offense as well. This will be Georgia Tech's first road game of the season, Notre Dame is 1 and 0 at home.
#15 Mississippi at #2 Alabama 9:15pm Saturday
Last season, Ole Miss stunned Alabama at home. This year, the Crimson Tide will be seeking revenge on their home field against a Rebels team that has been lighting up the scoreboard so far this season. Mississippi has scored over 70 points in back to back games in wins over Tennessee Martin and Fresno State. The competition will be a bit more stiffer this week, as Alabama will be playing their second Top 25 team already this season. The Crimson Tide opened the season with an impressive 35 to 17 win over then #20 Wisconsin, and followed that up with a 37 to 10 win over Middle Tennessee State last week. Last year's Ole Miss win was the broke a 10 game losing streak against Alabama. The loss was the only defeat the Crimson Tide would suffer in the 2014 regular season. Alabama has also won 12 straight against the Rebels at home.
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