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College Football Insider - Week Three Trends and Notes

Drew Mangione and Jordan Adams of Doc's Sports Journal

ACC

Key Games: Brigham Young at No. 23 Boston College (-6), noon, Saturday
Troy at Georgia Tech (-18), 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Clemson at No. 9 Florida State (-4.5), 7:45 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: Duke is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference games, including a 45-0 loss last year to a Virginia Tech team favored by 21.5 points. This time around the No. 14 Hokies are favored by 35…Florida State junior defensive tackle Paul Griffin will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an MRI revealed Monday. Sophomore linebacker Derek Nicholson sprained his right ankle against Troy last week, but is listed as probable for the Clemson game. The Tigers are just 2-8 SU in their last 10 against the Seminoles, but won last year's meeting and are 5-4-1 ATS in those games…Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan (ankle) is again questionable for this week's game, though last week he played and threw for 212 yards and a TD in the team's 2OT win over Clemson. Eagles' junior linebacker Brian Toal (shoulder) and sophomore defensive tackle Ron Brace (head) are also questionable.

BIG EAST

Key Games: No. 17 Miami (Fl.) at No. 12 Louisville (-4), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Ohio at Rutgers (-16.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: West Virginia running back Steve Slaton (308 yds, 7.5 ypc, 4TDs) has extra motivation to help the No. 5 Mountaineers take control of its border rivalry with Maryland, now knotted at 21-21-2. The sophomore Slaton had signed with the Terrapins, but Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen rescinded the offer after signing two other tailbacks…Michigan State coach John L. Smith called Saturday's game against Pittsburgh (-2) his team's first real test and the team's leading rusher may miss the exam. Sophomore Javon Ringer (200yds, 6.5 ypc, 1TD) is questionable after spraining his ankle in the third quarter against Eastern Michigan, but junior running back Jehuu Caulcrick (50 yds, 4.2 ypc, 1TD) is expected to be full strength… In blowout wins against Kentucky and Temple, Louisville junior quarterback Brian Brohm has thrown for 561 yards and two TDs, but going into Saturday's game against speedy Miami, his completion percentage is down 10 points from last year's mark of 68.3 percent…Rutgers backup cornerback Leslie Jackman hurt his knee in the Scarlet Knights' 33-0 win over Illinois and will miss the remainder of the season, but starting cornerback Jason McCourty, who missed the last game, is expected to play.

SEC

Key Games: Alabama-Birmingham at No. 10 Georgia (-17), 1 p.m., Saturday
No. 6 LSU at No. 3 Auburn (-3.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 7 Florida (-3) at No. 13 Tennessee, 8 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: The Florida Gators practiced a silent cadence in Saturday night's 42-0 win over Central Florida, according to coach Urban Meyer. The Tennessee Volunteers will be without two starting defensive players for the rest of the season. In the game against Air Force, defensive tackle Justin Harrell ruptured a tendon in his left bicep and cornerback Inky Johnson had surgery to repair blood vessels in his right shoulder after a helmet-to-helmet collision…Georgia quarterback Joe Tereshinski suffered a high right ankle sprain and will miss 4-6 weeks, starting with Saturday's game against UAB. Georgia coach Mark Richt did not name a single replacement. Freshman Matthew Stafford will start Saturday, but freshman Joe Cox could also get a shot…Less than a touchdown has separated Auburn and LSU in nine of their last 16 match-ups.

WAC

Key Games: Colorado State at Nevada (-2.5), 9 p.m., Saturday
Nevada-Las Vegas at Hawaii, 11:59 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: UNLV sophomore quarterback Rocky Hinds (125.08 QB Rat.) is day-to-day after spraining his knee at Iowa State in a 16-10 loss…The Utah State Aggies (0-2) have not scored an offensive touchdown going into Saturday's in-state rivalry game against the Utah Utes.

Big 12

Key Games: No. 15 Oklahoma at No. 18 Oregon (-4.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 18 Nebraska at No. 2 USC (-18), 8 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: Kansas kicks off the Big-12 weekend on the road Friday at Toledo. The Jayhawks are just 16-32 ATS over the last 52 road games…One year ago Iowa State upset Iowa in Ames; this year they get the Hawkeyes away from home and are just 5-14 ATS in their last 19 road games…One of the best non-conference match-ups takes place in Eugene when the Sooners visit Oregon. Oklahoma defeated Oregon in last year's Holiday Bowl. This year Oregon is the favorite with Dennis Dixon and a talented offense firing on all cylinders…The Red Raiders and their passing attack face a stern test with TCU on the road. When the two played in '04, Texas Tech put up a 70 spot on the Frogs…After suffering a big loss at home to Ohio State, the 'Horns will take its frustration out on Rice, a team they've beat by three touchdowns each of the past three years…The So Cal dynasty faces a roadblock when Nebraska visits town. This is the first time these two storied programs will play.

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Big 10

Key Games: No. 13 Michigan at No. 3 Notre Dame (-7), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Michigan State at Pittsburgh (-2.5), 12:00 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: An easier test comes at home for the land's top team, Ohio State. Cincinnati now must try and stop Troy Smith and the best offense in the country…An underrated match-up pits the undefeated Spartans against the undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers. Slight road dogs, Michigan State is 24-9-1 over the course of their last 34 road games…Minnesota ran into an angry Cal team last week but now gets everyone's favorite opponent: Temple. The Golden Gophers are 8-2 ATS against a team with a losing record…Michigan visits South Bend with a big time game coming this Saturday against Notre Dame. Charlie Weiss' team rebounded last week to rout Penn State, but face a bigger Big Ten foe in the Wolverines. Notre Dame has taken three of the last four meetings and is labeled as a touchdown favorite this time around.

Pac-10

Key Games: No. 15 Oklahoma at No. 18 Oregon (-4.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 18 Nebraska at No. 2 USC (-18), 8 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: The Trojans will have its toughest non-conference test of the season this Saturday night when the Cornhuskers visit Los Angeles. Big time underdogs, Nebraska will look to continue its scoring barrage against college football's most recent dynasty…Another offensive juggernaut in the Pac-10 is on the road in Boulder when Arizona State visits Colorado. The Sun Devils are 8-2 ATS when facing a team under .500…Washington hosts Pat Hill and Fresno State after getting pushed around by Oklahoma last weekend. Fresno State has said it will play anyone anywhere, compiling a 9-3 record ATS in their last 12 games against Pac-10 teams…Oregon will continue its difficult non-conference schedule by welcoming the Sooners, a week after taking on Fresno State. 2-0, Oregon will be the best challenge for USC but will need all the quality wins it can get if they need to rely on an at-large BCS birth…Wazzou hosts Baylor in an expected shootout. Two exciting quarterbacks will be on display in Washington State's Alex Brink and Baylor's Shawn Bell.

C-USA

Key Games: UAB at No. 9 Georgia (-17), 1 p.m., Saturday
No. 22 Texas Tech (-1.5) at No. 20 TCU, 5:30 p.m., Saturday

Conference Notes: Central Florida hosts intrastate rival South Florida in their second Sunshine State battle in as many weeks. Last Saturday UCF got rolled up by Florida 42-0…Memphis and East Carolina meet in-conference for an early jump in the standings. Memphis has defeated ECU each of the last three years…Tulsa hosts North Texas and will look to rebound from its thumping laid on them at BYU last week…UAB gets the toughest test this Saturday when they visit No. 9 Georgia. Heralded freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to start with senior Joe Tereshinski III out with an ankle injury…Marshall is oddly +10 on the road against a Kansas State team that has been far from impressive thus far. The Wildcats barely slipped past I-AA Illinois State to start the season.

Mountain West

Key Games: No. 22 Texas Tech (-1.5) at No. 20 TCU, 5:30 p.m., Saturday
Memphis at East Carolina (-1.5), 7:00 p.m. Sunday

Conference Notes: The Aztecs have a big road game upcoming against Wisconsin this weekend. Over two touchdown dogs, SDSU must figure out how to score with starting quarterback Kevin O'Connell out of the lineup…Wyoming gets WAC powerhouse Boise State straight off Boise's 42-14 thrashing of Pac-10's Oregon State. Boise is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against Mountain West foes…TCU stays at home to face the Big 12's Texas Tech in an all-Texas showdown. This match-up dates all the way back to the late 80s but the two haven't played since the Red Raiders' 70-35 victory in 2004…Big armed Chase Daniels and Missouri visit New Mexico, fresh off a big win out of conference against the SEC's Ole Miss.

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