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The Daily Wildcat

 

Top three takeaways from week 3 in college football

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Ethan Hyman
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes during the first half against North Carolina State at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Louisville won, 20-13. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

This week in college football was an opportunity for three teams to make a case for their place in the College Football Playoff, in addition to players making their presence known. Some took advantage, some did not, in this weekly installment of the top three.

Big Ten delight

The Big Ten made a strong statement to everyone else in college football that the conference is elite. 

Ohio State traveled to Norman to face Oklahoma in a quasi-playoff eliminator and smacked the Sooners in the mouth 45-24, despite Ohio State being the team that returned only seven starters from a year ago. Michigan State also claimed a major victory against Notre Dame that will likely eliminate the Irish from the playoff this year. 

Topping off the conference’s weekend of success was Michigan’s comeback win over Colorado 45-28. Junior quarterback Wilton Speight threw for 229 yards and also recorded a passing touchdown. Speight showed great resilience for an inexperienced player whose team trailed almost immediately. 

RELATED: College football takeaways week 2

The Big Ten has three teams ranked in the top eight in the nation with a fourth team, Wisconsin, sitting just outside the top 10. With many claiming the Big Ten was in a down year and faced the possibility of not being represented in this years playoff, it appears that these critics have been proven wrong. 

The conference’s top dogs have looked far more superior than that of teams in the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12.

Are you paying attention now?

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is without question the front runner for the coveted Heisman Trophy. 

Facing Florida State, the second-ranked team in the nation, Jackson and his Cardinal counterparts inflicted one of the worst losses on the Seminoles in the history of the Florida State football program, beating them 63-20. Jackson had 362 total yards of offense and five touchdowns, bringing his total yards for the season up to 1,377. 

Only a sophomore, Jackson recorded a total of 2,800 yards in his first collegiate season and is on pace to blow that career record out of the water by the end of this season. Even more impressive is that his outstanding play has landed the Cardinals their highest ranking ever in the AP poll at No. 3,  matching their previous record high of No. 3 from 2006. 

With Clemson and Houston as the remaining ranked teams on their schedule, they too could be the next victims for Jackson, who is on a quest to become the school’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner.

It wasn’t pretty at all

Though Alabama avoided losing for a third straight year to Mississippi, the game revealed many of the cracks in its amour. 

Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 421 yards and had three passing touchdowns. These are numbers we are not used to seeing a quarterback put up against a defense as fundamentally sound as Alabama’s. Had Alabama’s running game not come alive in the latter parts of this game and produced 334 rushing yards and contributed to three scores, Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s team could have woken up to a new team ranked atop the polls. 

Moving forward, Kelly is not the only talented quarterback that the Crimson Tide will face this season. In a three-game stretch against Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M, Saban’s team could find themselves in a similar position to where they were on Saturday as each team has a proven quarterbacks that can put up big numbers. 

Improvements need to happen or teams with above-average quarterbacks will have a field day against Alabama. Despite remaining undefeated, this victory may have exposed a weakness so big that it could result in a eventual dethronement of the reigning champs.


Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter.


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