Week 3 College Football Preview

Week 3 of College Football is finally here! Hussam Patel gives his top three week 3 college football preview and games that you need to watch.

Photo Credit: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 3 of the 2022 college football season is finally here. Here are the top three college football previews and games from week 3 that you need to watch.

Penn St. vs. Auburn preview

#22 Penn State Nittany Lions v Auburn Tigers. 3:30 P.M. EST, CBS

  • Line: Auburn -3, o/u: 46

Penn State week 3 college football preview

Sean Clifford is the most important player on Penn State’s roster, and the team’s success will heavily rely on what he does leading the offense. Clifford does have some help, though, as last week saw the arrival of one of the top players for the future, freshman running back Nick Singleton.

There were problems against Aidan O’Connell and the Purdue passing game, but the secondary held its own. Between that game and the Ohio win, Penn State has allowed just 48% of all passes to be completed.

Penn State’s offensive line is still looking to show some solid improvement. Through two games, this group has given up a big play to the opposing defense just when you think things are improving.

The Nittany Lions have an advantage at quarterback and feature multiple wide receivers to spread the ball around against the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn week 3 college football preview

For all of the problems the Tigers had least season, run defense wasn’t one of them. They held Penn State to 90 yards and just 2.7 yards per carry in the 28-20 game last year.

TJ Finley has thrown three more interceptions than touchdowns this season, and he will be going up against a solid defensive secondary led by cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

Running back Tank Bigsby should be a featured player, just as he was last year in this game when he ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He should get his work in this week. It’s a small sample size, but Penn State has surrendered 161 total rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground in its first two games.

Clifford and Singleton may have a tough time establishing much rhythm against Derick Hall and the Auburn defense. Can TJ Finley rise up and get the O moving? 

Miami vs. Texas A&M preview

#13 Miami Hurricanes v #24 Texas A&M Aggies. 9 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Texas A&M -5, o/u: 45

Miami week 3 college football preview

Miami’s defense isn’t quite there yet, but it showed off the offensive talent in layups against Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss, with 100 points and well over 1,000 yards in the two games.

So far, the early returns on Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke are as advertised. Working in new OC Josh Gattis’ system, Van Dyke has hit on 73% of his passes, connected with 12 receivers, and heads an offense that averages 9.0 yards per play, can spread things out, and works well in space.

Miami’s defense struggled last year (28.4 points a game allowed) and had issues with tackling and inconsistent play at linebacker. They still struggled early against Southern Miss and Bethune-Cookman.

The Hurricanes’ back seven is untested so far in two games, and had its weaknesses a year ago. They haven’t faced anything like Ainias Smith or Evan Stewart yet, either.

Texas A&M week 3 college football preview

For all of the team’s problems, the offensive line has been good in pass protection so far, the secondary hasn’t allowed much of anything, and there’s too much talent overall to be this mediocre.

The Aggies need to control the tempo and establish the run behind Devon Achane. Miami is 8th nationally allowing 58.5 yards per game on the ground, but hasn’t faced a back of Achane’s quality yet.

LSU transfer Max Johnson gets the start this game. Playing mistake-free ball and getting the ball in space to receivers Ainias Smith, Evan Stewart, Chris Marshall, and Yulkeith Brown has to be the priority.

The Aggies had aspirations of contending for a playoff spot, but now face major questions before the SEC opener.

BYU vs. Oregon preview

#12 BYU Cougars at #25 Oregon Ducks. 7:30 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Oregon -3.5, o/u: 58

BYU week 3 college football preview

Jaren Hall finds ways to guide BYU to victories when facing Power 5 opponents. Hall improved to 7-1 all-time as a starter against P5 foes following last week’s win over Baylor.

The Cougars are legitimately punishing on defense and still relatively healthy on that side of the ball. Offensively, BYU doesn’t usually do anything to beat itself. 

BYU will need more production from the backfield this week to have success against Oregon in their week 3 matchup.

Oregon Ducks week 3 college football preview

A matchup with a talented and physical BYU team will be a good indicator of where Dan Lanning can take his team in year one

Containing Jaren Hall and keeping him from escaping the pocket will be a big task for a defensive front that hasn’t consistently collapsed the pocket.

Oregon was unstoppable in the run game last week after struggling to move the chains against Georgia. The Ducks collectively averaged 5.5 yards per carry while totaling 263 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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Nick Saban’s Comments On Rival NIL Deals Sparks Drama

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders drew criticism from Nick Saban over NIL and star recruit Travis Hunter
Photo Credit: JSU / Edward Waters

During a media interview, Alabama head coach Nick Saban attempted to reveal his competition’s unscrupulous techniques in bringing recruits — mainly concerning NIL practices — into their institution. During said interview, Saban accused SEC rival Texas A&M of “buying every player,” while also pointing the charge at Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders for paying top recruit Travis Hunter one million dollars to commit to his school.

The college football community was incensed by these accusations, and both head coaches were enraged by what was said about them. Jimbo Fisher was the first to answer, and he delivered a Nas-worthy ether, calling Saban a “narcissist” and saying that some individuals believe they are God.

It’s one thing to poke fun at a competitor, but to accuse them of nefarious business practices is plain unprofessional and makes you appear entitled. The next person who quickly responded was Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders and his number one recruit, Travis Hunter.

These claims were swiftly debunked, with Sanders writing, “We as a People Don’t Have to Pay Our People to Play With Our People.” Even the millionaire recruit chimed in, tweeting, “I got a mill, but my mom still lives in a three-bedroom house with five kids.”

What Does All This Mean

This essentially implies that when it comes to recruiting, every school’s football program is on an equal playing field. While pay-for-play has been practiced in college sports for many years, Saban should not be concerned; if anything, it raises the level of competitiveness.

This coach is known as the Bill Belichick of college football, having sent countless Crimson Tide players to the NFL. It simply appears he feels as if the pressure is coming, and has real challenges ahead.

The SEC has grown a little stronger, and if Alabama is still the powerhouse it has been for the previous ten years, what happens inside another school’s program shouldn’t be their business. Saban’s remarks have undoubtedly made their games against Texas A&M a little more personal this season.

Jackson State Is A Huge Threat

When Jackson State hired Deion Sanders, he immediately transformed that program, putting all eyes on the HBCUs. In his debut season, he led his team to a near-unbeaten season and the SWAC conference championship. He also gained a number of recruits, the most notable being Travis Hunter, the nation’s number one recruit, who switched from Florida State to Jackson State.

Simply put, HBCU football programs are back, and Deion is leading the fight. With him at the helm, it is evident that prospects do not need to attend a big school to flourish; it is possible to do so at an HBCU.

If Hunter can flourish at Jackson State, the sky is the limit for Deion, as countless recruits will follow suit and leave a legacy rather than simply being a part of a winning program. It’s clear that NIL has changed the landscape of college football, and the comments from Nick Saban clearly reflect that.

Falcons Dueling Mocks

Will Stevie start a win streak? Or will his competitors dethrone him?

Falcons Dueling Mock
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Welcome back to another Falcons Dueling Mocks article brought to you by the Falcons ATB team. Stephen won last week after Adam’s dominant run as the title holder. Will Adam regain his crown? Will Hunter finally taste success? Read the mocks and vote on the Falcons ATB Twitter page.

Hunter’s Falcons Mock (@hthompsonNFL)

Decided to go with this route of “my guys” for most of my picks this week, I had to have confidence in my players and myself to pick these guys because I’m getting desperate for a dub. So if you’ve seen them before, it’s because these are guys I’d be pounding the table for.

Round 1 Pick 12: Jordan Davis, NT, Georgia

  • Dear God watching Carolina run all over us was brutal. So here we have Jordan Davis being the first pick of my mock for the first time this season. He is a mountain in the middle of the field who can do it all for the Falcons. He has absoluetly dominated at the point of attack all season for UGA and would help free up Grady Jarrett and other pass rushers, and Davis would help create holes for our undersized LB group to go make plays.

Round 2 Pick 47: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

  • So full transparency, Derion Kendrick is the only guy on this mock that isn’t one of “my guys” but he is still a great talent. Kendrick has dominated in college ball for years now. He is a high ceiling CB who is still learning the position after switching over from WR while at Clemson. Kendrick works well in both man and zone and really gives Arthur Smith and Dean Pees the ability to trust him against opposing WR’s like they do with AJ Terrell.

Round 2 Pick 63: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA

  • Tweeted out the other day that Zach Charbonnet has a very real chance to become my highest rated RB this draft cycle. He has carried UCLA this season and has shot up draft boards each week. He displays good vision, hits the hole hard, and has great size at 6’1″ 220lbs to be a bell-cow in the Arthur Smith offense. If Atlanta lands Charbonnet, the running game will immediately improve and help the team get back on track.

Round 3 Pick 78: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

  • I absolutely have loved Jalen Tolbert ever since Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson on Twitter) put him on my radar. You’ve seen me draft him before, but the 6’3″ vertical threat has sticky hands and is a great contested catch player. Tolbert is explosive with the ball in hand and could thrive as a YAC Daddy in the Arthur Smith offense. He needs some work in the route running department, but would still be a welcome addition to our weak WR Room.

Round 4 Pick 115: Cade Otton, TE, Washington

  • In this mock, I pick Cade Otton the 6’5″ 250lb TE from Washington. Otton lets us move on from Hayden Hurst without a massive dropoff. Otton is just a very solid player who does everything. He’s a solid pass catcher, solid size, and a solid athlete. He’s just solid. He does need to work on his blocking a bit, but other than that, feels like grabbing a guy who will let Arthur Smith keep running the two and three TE sets here is good value.

Adam’s Falcons Mock (@Damski32)

Round 1 Pick 12: DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M:

  • DeMarvin Leal makes his way back here. Other than Jordan Davis I’m still convinced Leal is one of the more logical fits for this defensive fronts. A&M uses a ton of over/under fronts and Leal lines up everyone and gives you juice. Coming off the EDGE is ideal in my opinion, but I don’t hate trying to work him inside along with Grady on twists and stunts. Brings some much needed size/nastiness to this front that’s been needed for a long, long time.

Round 2 Pick 47: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

  • Jermaine Johnson makes his first of what I’m sure is many visits to a mock draft for me. Johnson is a perfect fit for Pees scheme as an OLB or can stick his hand in the dirt and rush out of a 3-point stance. Johnson shows great length in his rushes but also shows incredible power while destroying gaps in the run game, he really could find himself in the first round come next years draft.

Round 2 Pick 63: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

  • Brandon Smith is a BIG physical LB that shows fantastic range and can be a really good asset for ATL in terms of having a guy that can play man-up on TEs. Pees has shown that he wants to play a bunch of man, but doesn’t yet have that TE eraser. Combine that with the fact that ATL might lose one of their star ILBs this coming off-season due to the salary cap, Smith makes a ton of sense as a tone setter and just giving some really good talent on the defensive side of the ball.

Round 3 Pick 78: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

  • Jameson Williams is a walking home run threat for Alabama, it’s something ATLs offense sorely needs as the group here is really missing some real big time talent. Williams gives ATL something they don’t have in a big play WR that can also be a machine in getting YAC. Jameson is still a smaller WR, but he shows ability to go over the middle and play the ball well while maintaining explosive speed.

Round 4 Pick 115: Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech

  • Amare Barno is another EDGE (yes, that’s four total trench picks) and I’m well aware of what I’m doing. Arthur Smith came out after the Carolina game and you could tell he was upset at the trench play, so I really made a focus to attack the front in a big pay and Barno is that next guy. He shows surprising strength for his size, but also is able to bend the corner. A bit of a liability in the run game, but I want him to be a dominate pass defender/rusher.

Stephen’s Falcons Mock Draft (@stevieraylee)

*Cues the Ric Flair intro music* You’re mock draft heavyweight champion is back with another banger! I ruffled enough feathers with my shameless (but successful) fan service mock draft last week, so this week I’m going back to something a little less tongue in cheek. The battering Atlanta took against the Panthers showed precisely how ineffective this team is in the trenches. 2022 is the year we try to turn that around.

Round 1 Pick 12: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Y’all will get sick of seeing Davis’ name in these mocks by the time we get to the draft. I’ve said that already, and I’ll keep saying it. It’s not the most entertaining start to a mock draft, but watching Ameer Abdullah and Chuba Hubbard post a 70%+ rushing success rate isn’t fun either. Atlanta’s defensive front is broken beyond the point of scheming around weaknesses. This Atlanta defense will never be effective if they can’t win at the line, and Davis is a one-man wrecking crew at nose tackle. Plug him in and watch everyone around him get better. My only concern is he’ll be gone before we get a chance to pick him.

Round 2 Pick 47: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

  • It’s a challenge to present new names in these mock drafts, of course. That said, I was happy to see that no one’s brought up the massive offensive tackle from UNI. Penning has an outstanding combination of size and athleticism, landing him on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks list for 2021. At 6’7 with 35″ arms, he has elite length and reportedly runs a 5.0 forty at 340lbs. Penning’s tantalizingly rare mix of size, strength, and athleticism will shoot him up draft boards this spring. Technically he’s more advanced than you’d expect from a small school prospect, but there is still work to be done there. Still, I’d much rather take a player that can do things you can’t coach and teach him the rest. Atlanta needs another option at tackle, a fact that is torturously apparent after watching Brian Burns and Haason Reddick assault Matt Ryan for 60 minutes on Sunday.

Round 2 Pick 63: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, FSU

  • I’m going to enjoy taking Johnson here for as long as I can, but I suspect he’ll move into the first round in most projections before too long. It would be easy to phone it in playing for a Florida St. team that is dreadful, but Johnson is playing like his hair is on fire. He’s piled up 7.5 sacks and routinely finds himself in opposing backfields. He has the size and frame to play with his hand in the dirt and the athleticism to handle the coverage responsibility Dean Pees doles out to his outside linebackers. The defensive front is far and away Atlanta’s biggest weakness, and Johnson, especially paired with Jordan Davis, is a huge step towards solving this perineal problem.

Round 3 Pick 78: Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Edge, Washington

  • Making his second appearance in my mock, ZTF completes my phase one rebuild of the defensive front. Atlanta has been bullied at the point of attack because they lack size and power. Tupuola-Fetui is a multiple tool pass rusher with the size and power to set the edge in the run game. After largely ignoring the defensive front, adding a mammoth NT and two 260+lbs edge rushers in the first three rounds is the type of heavy investment that should pay immediate dividends for the Falcons.

Round 4 Pick 115: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan St.

  • Walker is another example of a player that won’t be available in the middle rounds for much longer. He’s here now, though, and I’ll happily sprint to the podium to get him with the 115th pick. Walker is the new favorite to win the Heisman after posting a five-touchdown performance this week. Walker’s contact balance and burst are exceptional. Pair that with his NFL-ready size, and he’s got the makings of a standout lead back.

Come vote on who’s mock was best over @falcons_atb on Twitter.

Atlanta Falcons Dueling Mock Drafts

How have the mock drafts changed since last time?

Atlanta Falcons mock draft

Well Atlanta Falcons fans, we are back again using a mock draft simulator to cheer us up. Anyway, Adam and myself are competitive, so we’re updating our Dueling Mocks from last time. Whose mock was better in terms of fixing our precious Falcons? Let us know!

(Shoutout to our friends at RiseNDraft.com for the mock simulator where we got the picks and draft order.)

Hunter’s Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft (@hthompsonNFL)

Round 1 Pick 5: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

  • Grabbing Booth here felt like a no brainer to me; we are desperate for talent alongside Terrell. Even though Fabian Moreau has looked decent, you can’t pass up on a talent like Booth. He is a twitchy, athletic CB who could be the perfect running mate for AJ Terrell. He and Terrell would create a duo that can lock WR’s on islands and let Dean Pees be a mad scientist with the rest of the defense.

Round 2 Pick 36: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

  • Atlanta needs to do something about the WR opposite of Calvin Ridley, and adding Metchie brings something they’re missing – an explosive WR who can take the top off the defense. Metchie is a fast WR who Smith could use as YAC daddy or as an over the top deep threat that makes the defense be honest. Adding Metchie would do wonders for opening up the offense for Arthur Smith’s play calling.

Round 2 Pick 52: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

  • I’ve done this pick before, but it just felt right the way the board was falling. Anyway, Kaleb McGary has been rough this season, Matt Gono hasn’t been cleared yet, and we need help at RT. Insert Faalele, the 6’9″ 380lb tackle to fix these issues. After opting out in 2020, Faalele is back and better than ever. Faalele is a mauler in the run game and moves much better laterally than you would think someone at his size moves. Adding Faalele next to Chris Lindstrom would create one of the best right sides of an OL in football.

Round 3 Pick 67: Zion Tupuloa-Fetui, EDGE, Washington

  • This might be one of my favorite picks to make for the Falcons in mocks. ZTF is a perfect EDGE for the Atlanta defense, he has the size, length, and athleticism to thrive in the Falcons defense. He slides to the third round due to missing time from an Achilles injury. When healthy ZTF is a dominant EDGE who displays an incredible first step and dominates at the point of attack. His athleticism gives him all the tools in the world, we just need to see how he plays when he gets back.

Round 4 Pick 114: Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina

  • Not sure if McCall will declare, but he could be an interesting mid round QB prospect for teams. He is lower in many QB rankings due to his strange college system. However, McCall can be more than a gimmick QB. He’s 6’3″ 200lbs and is athletic enough to get by at the next level. McCall also has an arm that is good enough for the NFL in most schemes and offenses. If McCall declares, Atlanta should take a look at him to be the potential successor to Matt Ryan.

Adam’s Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft (@Damski32)

Round 1 Pick 5: DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

  • First time I’ve put him in an Atlanta Falcons mock draft for ATB but definitely not the first time I’ve talked about A&Ms DeMarvin Leal. Super freak in every sense is already stout vs the run but straight up bullies OL in the pass game with a variety of moves. I say OL cause Leal’s position versatility is so intriguing to me and as a team that runs multiple fronts having a strong 6’4 290 lb chess piece that can lineup anywhere from 0-7 tech and stand up even to rush the passer is ultimately what I want in this front 7.

Round 2 Pick 36: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

  • Isaiah Spiller is in every way an Arthur Smith style back. He’s physical, has great vision, fights for yards and has great contact balance. Also, his pass blocking is a plus trait. Schematically, he reminds me of former Titans RB DeMarco Murray; both lacked ideal top end speed but were bruisers between the tackles. Even better, both had great vision to set up blocks and cut up the backside of plays.

Round 2 Pick 52: Ikem Ekowonu, iOL, NC State

  • Ikem Ekowonu is probably the meanest/nastiest IOL in this draft. In the run game he looks like a heat seeking missile who’s trying to strike defenders and bounce them straight out of plays; in the pass game, he’s physical but sometimes can get caught being overly aggressive. The Mayfield project isn’t turning out super great and he’s definitely not making me not take Ekowonu. I think adding more competition and being nastier in the trenches is what Atlanta needs to do to get better.

Round 3 Pick 67: David Bell, WR, Purdue

  • Bell is a former basketball player who understands how to attack the ball with his body at its highest. Has strong hands and can be a physical YAC if needed be too. The game yesterday made it extremely evident that the Falcons absolutely miss Julio. To be blunt, they have too many of the same WRs; they need someone who can go get it, and it isn’t Ridley.

Round 4 Pick 114: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

  • Isaiah Foskey is another Notre Dame pass rush that I could see ATL being intrigued by. Long armed, big bodied pass rusher that just understands that he can destroy gaps and cause havoc. Foskey struggles with consistency, but when on, he’s a really physical player. At this point, I’m 100% going to gamble on a high upside guy with good length and size.

Summer Scouting: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

DeMarvin Leal is a defensive lineman for the Texas A&M Aggies and has proven to be one of the more versatile defensive lineman in the all of college football. He has the frame (6-foot-4, 290-pounds) to play on the inside, but also brings a hefty amount of explosiveness off the edge. It’ll be interesting to see how the Aggies use him this upcoming season after moving him all over the line-of-scrimmage last season, but one could expect the same type of movement from a guy with his versatility.

Pros:

  • Versatility, can play multiple techniques, can operate out of a two point stance.
  • Easy mover, good lateral agility. 
  • Gap penetrator/shooter. Strength at the POA. 
  • Dropping shoulder and getting around the edge. 
  • Keying on backfield as a run defender, two-gapping. 
  • Raw power, ability to push the pocket. Relentless pass rush.
  • Push-pull and bull-rush. Balance, can always find his feet. 
  • Disrupts QB, gets in passing lanes, brings consistent pressure.
  • Works inside move, wins.
  • Explosive out of his stance.
  • Chases down ball-carriers from back side.

Cons:

  • Lacks a plan as a pass rusher.
  • Hand counters, can often find himself getting stuck on blocks.
  • Pad level gets high, allowing OL to get hands on his chest and control the POA.
  • Converting pressures to sacks.

2020 Statistics:

18 solo tackles, 19 assisted tackles, 37 total tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections, and 1 interception.

Preliminary Grade:

7.38 – First Round