We’ve already reached the third week on the college football slate. Things seem a little shaky entering the weekend– after all, you know it’s tough going when Portland State gets a nighttime ESPN2 game– but there’s plenty of opportunities on the road ahead for teams this week.
With such opportunities, however, come potentially scary situations for some prominent teams. Here are the teams who are on upset watch heading into Week 3.
(All Times ET)
Penn State (Pittsburgh)
(12:00 p.m., ABC)
The Nittany Lions got a handful from Buffalo in Happy Valley last week. They trailed 10-7 going int the locker room before sobering up to restore normalcy to the tune of a 45-13 win. The fourth year of the Keystone Classic’s revival against Pitt presents a dangerous situation. Rivalries always bring out the best in teams, and the Panthers are seeking to reclaim some stability, especially after two mediocre efforts so far. The Panthers won the original version of the reboot 42-39 in 2016, the first time the teams squared off since 2000. That effort led to an 8-5 tally, tied for their best mark of the decade.
Florida (@ Kentucky)
(7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Last season’s Lexington football revival (their first 10-win campaign since 1977) was undoubtedly fun for the locals, but it was both a blessing and a curse in the sense that several of the heroes from that season (namely Josh Allen) got an invitation to the NFL. The first two games have ended in wins, albeit in relatively sloppy fashion. A visit from the Gators harkens back to one of the high points in last season’s slate: a win in Gainesville was the first in program history and set the pace for the rest of the year’s antics. Florida has had three weeks to stew over a mediocre, yet victorious, effort against Miami. They looked fine against FCS Tennessee-Martin, but the Wildcats are undoubtedly going to present a better challenge.
(7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
The Rainbow Warriors might be the Pac-12 champions when all is said and done. Their first two games (against Arizona and Oregon State), both in Honolulu, each ended in victories. It’ll be interesting to see what they do on the road, especially against the team smarting over a brutal loss. Washington not only had lost to Cal in their conference opener, they had to wait several hours to “pull it off” due to dangerous weather. If the Warriors want to steal the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six spot, Saturday is a must-win.
Nebraska (Northern Illinois)
(8:00 p.m., FS1)
Another Power Five team seeking redemption, the Cornhuskers are reeling after blowing multiple big leads (see what we did there?) against Colorado. The task to recover against a mid-major opponent seems easy, but the Huskies have proved themselves to be anything but an easy exit. NIU played ranked Utah pretty well before things got out of hands in the second last week. Furthermore, the Huskies actually bit the Huskers with a 21-17 victory in Lincoln back in 2017. If history repeats itself, it’s going to be a very awkward week for head coach Scott Frost.