Games to Watch: Week 3

Jacob Martella

No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 2 Alabama
ESPN — 8:15 p.m. — Saturday

Alabama will host the game of the week Saturday as the SEC sees its first top-­15 matchup this season. Ole Miss crosses the state line hoping to pull off a repeat of last year’s 23-­17 upset in Oxford, Miss. Completing that feat, however, will be no easy task with quarterback Bo Wallace gone and facing a defense that has only given up just over 200 yards per game. Alabama, on the other hand, is hoping that senior Jake Coker is the real deal at the quarterback spot. Coker has thrown for 427 yards and two touchdowns so far, but this will be his first SEC test. As we saw with this conference last year, anything can happen, which makes this must­-watch television.

No. 18 Auburn at No. 13 LSU
CBS — 2:30 p.m. — Saturday

LSU goes straight from the frying pan and into the fire in this battle of the Tigers in the SEC. LSU just hung on at the end to walk out of Starkville, Miss., with a 21­-19 win over Mississippi State. Sophomore running back Leonard Fournette has been the entire offense, running for 159 yards and all three touchdowns last week. Meanwhile, Auburn is coming off a surprising scare at home against FCS foe Jacksonville State, where the Tigers needed a late touchdown and a just­-in-complete pass to prevail in overtime. With a 2:30 p.m. starting time, this will be a great lead­-in to the Ole Miss­-Alabama game.

No. 14 Georgia Tech at No. 8 Notre Dame
NBC — 2:30 p.m. — Saturday

This game lost some of its luster when Notre Dame junior quarterback Malik Zaire went down with a broken right ankle Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. However, it remains a vital game for two teams looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. This game will be Georgia Tech’s first real test of the season after the Yellow Jackets beat Alcorn State and Tulane by an average of 59 points. The Irish will have to go with redshirt freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer, and if he can provide the same magic he did at Virginia, this will be a very entertaining game.

No. 19 BYU at No. 10 UCLA
FOX Sports1 — 9:30 p.m. — Saturday

This late­-night West Coast showdown features two teams that have been hard to get a read on this season. BYU has shown that no Taysom Hill is no problem, and that you never want to get in a position to defend a Hail Mary against them. UCLA, on the other hand, is a team that could be a contender in the Pac­-12, but it hasn’t had a real challenge yet. That challenge will come with BYU, and one of these teams will pick up a big boost to their playoff resume.