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NCAA Football: What We Learned From Week 3


Well, after a somewhat lazy Week 2, NCAA Football was cranking for Week 3 with some marquee match-ups, shockers, and surprises. We witnessed the birth of a new superstar and favorite for the Heisman, the strength of some of the top teams in the land, and a small school super-power that stamped itself in the lexicon of college football. Without further ado, here are five things we learned from college football’s 2016 Week 3 action.

1.  Welcome to the spotlight, Lamar Jackson and Louisville

This match-up was so highly anticipated and hyped; ESPN sent its College Gameday crew to Louisville. Well, what they ended up seeing was a domination like no other. The Louisville Cardinals treated the Florida State Seminoles as a freshman intramural team, stomping them 63-20. And when it was all said and done, and the smoke cleared, college football just saw its next superstar in Louisville quarterback, Lamar Jackson. From the opening possession to the very end, Jackson dominated the flow of the game, and Florida State has no answer for him or the Cardinals offense.


It was as impressive a display of dominance as we’ve seen in recent history against such high-ranking teams. Overall, Jackson finished with 362 total yards and five touchdowns. In three games now, he’s totaled 1,377 yards and 18 touchdowns. While it’s still early, Jackson is looming large as the Heisman favorite, and until further notice, the Cardinals are the toast of the ACC. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this team and its young sophomore quarterback performs in two weeks when Louisville travels to Death Valley for a showdown against the Clemson Tigers, who also won big in Week 3.

2. North Dakota State Is The Real Deal

When will the big boys learn that North Dakota State is for real? We are talking about the FIVE TIME reigning and defending FCS champions, and they had defeated five consecutive FBS opponents, all of whom paid NDSU to play them. Well, make that SIX in a row, as the Bison went into Kinnick Stadium and defeated the No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Bison crushed the line of scrimmage match-up, as they rushed for 239 yards and held the Hawkeyes to just 34 yards.They won the game on a last-second field goal, stunning

They won the game on a last-second field goal, stunning Iowa, and its fans.North Dakota State had the look of a Big Ten squad, and it took down one of the best teams in the Big Ten conference. I think it can be officially stated now that all Power 5 teams are now officially “on notice” not to schedule this program for a tune-up game leading up to the ones that really “matter.”

3. Alabama’s Kryptonite Almost Struck Again

It looked like it was going to happen again, three years in a row. No. 19 Ole Miss was dominating all facets of the game against No. 1 Alabama for the first 20 minutes of the game, taking a commanding 24-3 lead. And, as it did in Week 1, the bottom fell out for Mississippi. Alabama roared back, capitalizing on mistakes made by quarterback Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss special teams, and after a furious late comeback held on for a 48-43 victory.

Now, it wasn’t pretty, but Alabama once again got the job done in a hostile environment, taking down the team that has won this rivalry game the two years before this year’s matchup. And once again, Ole Miss is one of the most maddening teams to watch, as they can lay a world of hurt on their opposition, and then do a complete 180 in the same game. With this victory, one has to wonder if Alabama will lose a game this year.

4. Ohio State Shines and the Big 12 Craters

The Ohio State Buckeyes stormed into Norman, Oklahoma, and dissected the Oklahoma Sooners with such precision; it was a thing of beauty. The chemistry between quarterback J.T. Barrett and receiver Noah Brown, who caught four touchdown passes on the night, wowed all onlookers, whether it was in the quiet stadium or on TV/laptop/smartphone screens.

In the end, the Buckeyes (No. 3) annihilated the Sooners (No. 14) by the score of 45-24, and the game never even felt that close. Props also need to go out to the Buckeye defense, shutting down Baker Mayfield (putting pressure and hits on him all night long) and the Sooners Offense was practically non-existent. With the Sooners loss (along with Texas’ late night loss to California), one has to wonder if the Big 12 has already played itself out of the college football playoff.

5. Goodbye Notre Dame, We Hardly Knew Ye

Yes, the final score read 36-28, and if one did not watch this game, they would have thought it was a hard-fought battle, but in reality, it wasn’t that close. No. 12 Michigan State overcame an early deficit and dominated No. 18, Notre Dame, they controlled the game the rest of the way. And again, it was the same old song and dance for the Irish – the interior line play being dominated from pillar to post.The Irish running game was once again mediocre, and the Spartans ran all day. A single battle to say the least. If it weren’t for DeShone Kizer, who totaled four touchdowns, the Irish wouldn’t have kept the score close. With this loss, say goodbye to the Fighting Irish for any playoff or New Year’s games, and one has to wonder if Brian Kelly’s seat is getting warm.

The Irish running game was once again reduced, and the Spartans ran all day. A one-sided battle to say the least. If it weren’t for DeShone Kizer, who totaled four touchdowns, the Irish wouldn’t have kept the score close. With this loss, say goodbye to the Fighting Irish for any playoff or New Years games, and one has to wonder if Brian Kelly’s seat is getting warm.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]