Oklahoma vs. new-look Nebraska, Ohio State will get assist, extra we’re watching in Week 3

By R.J. Younger and Laken Litman
FOX Sports activities School Soccer Writers

Oklahoma vs. Nebraska is a rivalry wealthy in historical past.

The storied applications first battled one another in 1912, with the Huskers outlasting the Sooner 13-9. They’ve performed one another 86 instances since, with Oklahoma holding a 46-38-3 edge.

Associated: The Oklahoma-Nebraska sequence, by the numbers

As they put together to fulfill on Saturday in Lincoln, although, each groups discover themselves in a state of transition.

The Huskers (1-2) will take the sphere with a brand new coach main the way in which, Mickey Joseph having been promoted to the function on an interim foundation after the firing of Scott Frost on Sunday.

And the Sooners (2-0) will see if they will drum up some offense beneath their first-year coach Brent Venables, who is understood extra for his defensive experience.

However that is not all we’ve got occurring this weekend. This is what we’re wanting ahead to watching in among the largest matchups on Saturday.

What are you watching in No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska (midday ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities App)?

Younger: This Oklahoma group is probably the most balanced one I’ve seen prior to now 5 years. The truth is, OU held its final opponent, Kent State, to only three factors, cementing the protection’s finest displaying towards an FBS opponent in 5 years. Nevertheless, the offense is a bit worrying.

Although the Sooners scored 33 factors towards the Golden Flashes, they did not rating a single level till the ultimate minute of the primary half. If the Sooners cannot roll up a Nebraska program that gave up 45 to Georgia Southern final Saturday, I am going to query simply how potent Jeff Lebby’s offense will be towards the category of the Huge 12.

The Sooners are second-to-last in FBS in time of possession and run 30 fewer performs than their opponents to this point on common — growth(er) or bust is the very best description for this offense. Silver lining? Oklahoma has transformed all eight of its red-zone journeys into factors, with six TDs and two discipline targets.

litman: We most likely will not be taught an excessive amount of about Oklahoma till it will get into its Huge 12 schedule subsequent week. Whereas this can be a enjoyable reunion between previous Huge Eight (and Huge 12) rivals, Nebraska is in such a state of disarray proper now, firing Scott Frost final week following a house loss to Georgia Southern. How will the Cornhuskers come collectively towards the No. 6 group within the nation and salvage the remainder of their season? Can it even be saved? Will the gamers rise up for this recreation? Will the followers?

What storylines are you watching in Texas State at No. 17 Baylor (midday ET; FS1)?

litman: Baylor was picked to defend its Huge 12 title this season. Now, after a tricky double-overtime loss at BYU final week, it is out of the highest 10. This matchup towards Texas State is an opportunity to regroup at dwelling and get a strong W earlier than settling into its convention schedule. The Bears’ first Huge 12 recreation is subsequent week at Iowa State, which is rarely a straightforward place to play.

Younger: After a rock struggle with a Brigham Younger program I have been excessive on this season — even choosing the Cougars to beat Baylor — I am to see how the Bears bounce again towards a Bobcats program they need to handily defeat. It is a second for the Bears to remind us they’re the defending Huge 12 champs.

How about Connecticut at No. 4 Michigan (midday ET; ABC)?

Younger: Now that Jim Harbaugh has settled on JJ McCarthy as QB1, I am watching to see how he leads a program that isn’t solely trying to defend its Huge Ten crown however earn a second consecutive invitation to the School Soccer Playoff. I feel Harbaugh was good to make McCarthy the starter — he will be for Michigan what Trevor Lawrence was for Clemson in 2018. Nevertheless, I do not perceive not naming him the starter for the remainder of the yr. It solely looks like Harbaugh would not belief the five-star quarterback as a lot as he ought to.

litman: That is formally McCarthy’s group now. He went 11-for-12 for 229 yards and three touchdowns within the win over Hawaii, which was sufficient for Harbaugh to provide him the QB1 nod over Cade McNamara. Time will inform if this was the fitting choice, however Michigan followers appear to be pleased with Harbaugh’s selection.

JJ McCarthy wins Michigan’s beginning job

FOX Sports activities’ lead faculty soccer analyst Joel Klatt goes in depth on the choice from coach Jim Harbaugh to decide on JJ McCarthy because the beginning quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines this season after a two recreation in-season competitors between him and former starter Cade McNamara.

How about No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon (3:30 p.m. ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities App)?

litman: Is BYU a darkish horse CFP to contend? It has a tricky and impressive-looking schedule, which to this point has included a double-overtime win over reigning Huge 12 champion Baylor. The Cougars even have matchups towards Notre Dame and Arkansas this season.

Subsequent up: Oregon on the highway. After getting blown out by Georgia in Week 1, the Geese hung 70 factors on Japanese Washington final week. BYU’s protection held Baylor’s usually prolific offense beneath 300 yards final week, so this can be one other powerful take a look at for Kalani Sitake’s group.

Younger: BYU has a chance to construct a résumé that might make them simply the second program outdoors the Energy 5 to earn an invite to the CFP.

After a lopsided loss to Georgia, the Geese handed out their very own lopsided loss to FCS Japanese Washington. The Geese know that is their final alternative to make a mark of their nonconference schedule towards a group with CFP aspirations.

Add to this one terribly incriminating stat for the Pac-12? BYU went 5-0 towards the league final season.

What pursuits you most in Toledo at No. 3 Ohio State (7 p.m. ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities App)?

Younger: Ohio State coach Ryan Day expects to play huge receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming towards the Rockets on Saturday, however I do not count on them to see numerous motion. That is the final alternative for the Buckeyes to tune up earlier than starting their convention schedule towards a Wisconsin program with some extent to show. It behooves the Buckeyes to place Toledo away early and are available out of the sport unhurt.

litman: Ohio State will get two gifted receivers again. Smith-Njigba, who’s quarterback CJ Stroud’s favourite goal and closest buddy on the group, suffered a hamstring harm within the first quarter of Ohio State’s season opener towards Notre Dame. Fleming suffered an undisclosed harm throughout fall camp.

Whereas Ohio State has loads of depth at huge receiver and we have seen what the operating recreation can do, the offense is extra electrical when Smith-Njigba is taking part in.

What’s price watching in No. 11 michigan state at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET; ABC)?

Younger: That is the primary problem for both program this season and the very best alternative but to measure the budding Kalen DeBoer period at Washington. With Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard carrying the rock for the Spartans, I will be to see how the Huskies maintain up towards the energy of Mel Tucker’s offense.

litman: I will be watching Michigan State’s operating recreation. Berger and Broussard mixed for 188 speeding yards and 5 touchdowns in a 52-0 win over Akron final week. Via these first two weeks, Washington has a top-15 protection, so how will this matchup unfold? In the meantime, the Spartans’ protection is coming off a monster efficiency by which it recovered 4 fumbles and had 5 sacks. Can Mel Tucker’s protection equally get after the Huskies’ offense?

How about No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M (9 p.m. ET; ESPN)?

litman: How does Texas A&M bounce again after struggling one of many largest upsets in program historical past? Final week Appalachian State got here into School Station and beat the Aggies, 17-14, which despatched a beforehand No. 6-ranked Texas A&M tumbling 18 spots within the rankings.

At present 102nd nationally in whole offense, the Aggies tallied simply 9 first downs and 186 whole yards of offense on 38 performs. Quarterback Haynes King went 13-for-20 for 97 yards with no touchdowns and was sacked twice. This week, coach Jimbo Fisher stated he would “consider” all the pieces transferring ahead, together with doubtlessly giving up taking part in calling duties down the highway if issues do not get higher.

The Aggies had been an attractive choose within the preseason to make the School Soccer Playoff. And this week, they’ve a chance to get again on monitor towards No. 13 Miami and star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. One other loss at dwelling, even to a ranked group, could be devastating for the general mentality of this group earlier than it even will get into its SEC schedule.

Younger: After a surprising loss to Appalachian State, Texas A&M wants this win as badly as Miami does. For the Aggies, this recreation represents the final probability for them to persuade us they’re nonetheless an element within the race for the CFP. Alabama’s shut win towards Texas helps them right here, too, however a loss to the Hurricanes may very well be the top of what started as a promising season for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies.

Keys to Miami vs. Texas A&M

Keys to Miami vs.  Texas A&M

RJ Younger and Geoff Schwartz break down the matchup between the Miami Hurricanes and the Texas A&M Aggies, in addition to the matchup between the BYU Cougars and the Oregon Geese.

And at last, what catches your eye in Fresno State at USC (10:30 p.m. ET; FOX and the FOX Sports activities App)

Younger: I circled this recreation on the calendar after Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams made clear they’ll get the band again collectively at USC — not in contrast to Jeff Tedford and Jake Haener at Fresno State.

Haener was trying to switch once more till Tedford informed him he was returning to steer this system after DeBoer turned head coach at UW. Now that is a quarterback and offensive-minded head coach tandem at two applications who count on to compete for his or her respective convention titles, and this recreation might finish as a high-scoring affair.

litman: I feel we’re all simply usually intrigued by all the pieces Riley and Williams are doing at USC. Final week Williams accomplished 20 of 27 passes for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns in a win over Stanford. We do not actually understand how good Stanford’s protection is but, however Willliams moved the ball with ease, racking up greater than 500 yards of whole offense and averaging eight yards per play.

With the way in which issues are going for Riley’s high-powered offense, the No. 7 Trojans may not face any true roadblocks till they play Utah on the highway on Oct. 15.

Can USC be School Soccer Playoff certain?

Can USC be College Football Playoff bound?

Joel Klatt talks in regards to the USC Trojans and their probabilities of making the School Soccer Playoff later this season.


– How Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel and different switch QBs are becoming on this season

– Joel Klatt’s high 10 rankings

– CFB Week 3 by the numbers

– Key matchups NFL scouts are watching in Week 3

– Panic time at Texas, Notre Dame, Alabama and extra?

– How one can guess Oklahoma-Nebraska

– Can new Huskers coach make an influence?

– On the high of faculty soccer, a well-recognized scene

Laken Litman covers faculty soccer, faculty basketball and soccer for FOX Sports activities. She beforehand coated faculty soccer, faculty basketball, the US Girls’s Nationwide Soccer Group and the Olympics at Sports activities Illustrated, USA Right this moment and The Indianapolis Star. Her first e book, written in partnership with Rizzoli and Sports activities Illustrated and titled “Robust Like a Lady,” was printed in spring 2022 marking the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX.

RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The Quantity One School Soccer Present.Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube.

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