College Football 2023: Week 3 Review – Two Winners from Florida and a Wild Upset

Week 3 of 2023 College Football: Florida State Seminoles & ACC

Week 3 in College Football. Many people have described this week as a down week, as there are no matches between 2 ranked teams. But that does not mean that the matches that were played were all bad.

Let’s look back at an eventful Week 3 of the 2023 College Football season.

A Near Upset for Boston College

The number 3 ranked Florida State Seminoles are the team that many are saying will win the ACC this year. Throw in the poor performances of the Clemson Tigers and I would say that it is a given that they (or the division’s “basketball schools”)  will win the ACC. Their opponents this week were the Boston College Eagles, who were opening their ACC season for the year after narrowly defeating FCS side Holy Cross last week, So, could the Seminoles’ continue their strong performances to keep them in contention for the CFP? 

Boston College would have the opening possession of the game and wasted no time moving the ball down the field. Led by quarterback Thomas Castellanos, the Eagles quickly moved into the Seminoles’ territory, aided mainly by Castellanos’ 35-yard pass to Joseph Griffin Jr. They were on the edge of the red zone, but were then forced to move back 10 yards because of an offensive holding penalty. This did not stop the Eagles, as on the game’s next play, Castellanos threw a 32-yard pass to Lewis Bond, which found the endzone for the touchdown. 

Florida State started their reply in a similar vein to the Boston College drive. They quickly moved into the Eagles’ territory and then deep into the red zone. However, unlike the Boston College drive, this drive stalled at the 12-yard line, resulting in a 30-yard field goal for the Seminoles. Boston College would also kick a field goal on their next drive to widen their lead. 

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The strong offensive performances in the early part of the game did not end there. Like their previous drive, Florida State quickly moved the ball into the Boston College red zone. Then, from the Eagles’ 19-yard line, Seminoles’ quarterback Jordan Travis threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jaheim Bell to tie the scores up. This tie would not last long, as on the next drive from Florida State, Trey Benson would run the ball into the endzone for a 2-yard rushing touchdown to give Florida State the lead. The rest of the half would be completely different from what we have seen. Both teams’ offenses struggled to move the ball, resulting in many punts. This meant that at halftime, the Seminoles had a 17-10 lead over the Eagles. 

The second half opened with Florida State returning to their usual form. On their first drive of the half, the Seminoles would again break through the Eagles’ defense and easily move deep into the red zone. A 4-yard touchdown pass from Travis to Preston Daniel would be the reward. In reply, Thomas Castellanos’ opening pass of the half was intercepted by the Seminoles’ defense.  This would be costly for Boston College, as Jordan Travis would throw a 39-yard pass to put Florida State on the one-yard line. From there, DJ Lundy would easily score the touchdown, widening the lead. 

Boston College would find some luck soon after. From their 20-yard line, the Eagles would slowly move the ball up the field. After 11 plays, they would soon reach the Seminoles’ one-yard line. Running back Kye Robinchaux would run the ball in for the touchdown. On the kickoff the for next drive, Florida State fumbled the ball, which would be recovered by the Eagles. Could they score again? The combination of Castellanos and Robichaux tried to score a touchdown, by fell short by 5 yards, turning the ball over on downs.  

However, Boston College would get the ball back very quickly. The Florida State drive started on their own 5-yard line. They moved the ball to the 18-yard line before they fumbled the ball again. This was again recovered by the Eagles’ who this time would score a touchdown. The Seminoles could not afford to allow Boston College to score another touchdown, as any close game to an unranked opponent would have a massive impact on their ranking. The next Boston College drive, like the previous Florida State drive, started at their own 5-yard line. But unlike the Seminoles, the Eagles managed to move the ball down the field. Then, from the Florida State 7-yard line, Castellanos ran the ball in for the touchdown. A successful PAT following the touchdown made it a 2 point game. Could we see a massive upset? 

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Florida State would punt the ball on their drive, so with 4 minutes left on the clock, Boston College was in prime position to cause an upset that would put a lot of teams on note. The Eagles drove the ball up to their 40-yard line, but the drive stalled. Castellanos would be sacked on 3rd down, ending the drive and the Eagles’ hopes of winning the game. At full-time, the Florida State Seminoles would narrowly defeat the Boston College Eagles 31-29. 

While Florida State did win this game, their performance was not good enough for the number 3 ranked team in the country. They had a 4th quarter collapse and were lucky to leave as victors. Next week, I will expect them not to be the number-ranked team in the country. Boston College played well and will hope to do the same next week against Louisville, while Florida State visits underperforming Clemson. 

Missouri Bring Misery to the Wildcats

The number 15 ranked Kansas State Wildcats are the reigning Big 12 champion. This came as a surprise, as last year, TCU was the dominant side in the Big 12 before we found out that they struggled to play championship games. The Wildcats have been undefeated so far this year, but have played weaker teams. This week, they played the Missouri Tigers who are not one of the best teams in the SEC, but they’re not one of the worst, that will always be Vanderbilt. 

Kansas State started the game strong. On their opening drive of the game, the Wildcats would move the ball down to the Missouri 4-yard line, before being forced to move back to the 10-yard line due to a penalty. Wildcats’ quarterback Will Howard would then throw the 10-yard touchdown pass to Philip Brooks to give them the early lead. In reply, Missouri Tigers’ quarterback Brady Cook would become a one-man team and both throw and run with the ball. Cook would then throw a 47-yard touchdown to Luther Burden III to tie the scores up. 

Will Howard would then be intercepted by the Tigers’ defense on a drive that did not get going. This would be costly for the Wildcats, as Missouri used the good field position to move the ball down to the Kansas State 12-yard line. Luckily for the Bearcats, the drive stalled and the Tigers only scored a field goal from it. Missouri could have widened their lead from their next drive, but their field goal attempt missed. Will Howard would then shake off his interception and the Wildcats’ offense would drive down to the Missouri 3-yard line. A Howard pass to Ben Sinnott for the touchdown would return the lead to Kansas State. 

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This lead would not last long. Two long passes from Brady Cook would move the Tigers’ into the Wildcats’ red zone. From there, they would run the ball down to the one-yard line, with Cook scoring the one-yard touchdown soon after to give the Missouri Tigers a 17-14 lead at halftime. 

Kansas State would be the first to score in the second half. Their first drive of the half would stall at the Tigers’ 30-yard line, so Wildcats’ kicker Chris Tennant would successfully kick the 46-yard field goal to tie the scores up again. The parity would not last long, as Kansas State would find the endzone again, with Howard and Sinnot again pairing up for the touchdown to give the Wildcats the lead again. In reply to this, Missouri managed to drive the ball down to the Wildcats’ 7-yard line, thanks again to 2 long passes from Cook. Unfortunately for them, the drive stalled there, and the Tigers had to settle with a 25-yard field goal. 

Missouri would soon retake the lead. They would open this drive from their own 23-yard line. However, a personal foul caused by a member of the Wildcats’ defense moved them immediately to the edge of the red zone. As we have seen during this game, the Tigers can move the ball long distances. We saw this again on the next play, as Cook would pair up with Burden III again to score the 26-yard touchdown, which gave Missouri the lead. In reply, the Wildcats managed to get down to the Tigers’ 8-yard line, but could not convert the field position into a touchdown, settling for a game-tying field goal. 

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It would be Missouri who would have the final drive of the game. They knew what they needed to do. Score a field goal. With time running out, Cook and company moved the ball down to the 44-yard line. They would have to kick a 61-yard field goal. Tigers kicker Harrison Mevis had this responsibility. He would be successful, and the Missouri Tigers would record a 30-27 victory over the number 15-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. 

Coming into this game, not many people would have said that Missouri would win this game. They did, and remain 3-0. As for Kansas State, one more loss and their chances of making the Big 12 championship game are over. Next week, Missouri will hope to continue their winning streak against Memphis, while Kansas State will open their Big 12 season against conference new boys, UCF. 

The Third Saturday in September

It is the third Saturday in September. In the College Football world, that means that the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators play each other. Coming into this matchup, the Volunteers are ranked number 11, while the Gators are unranked. Tennessee are unbeaten, could they keep their unbeaten record?

The Gators would have opening possession and would somewhat struggle to move the ball up the field. They would eventually reach the edge of the Tennessee red zone, where the drive would stall. This would force Florida to attempt a 46-yard field goal. This attempt would be blocked by the Volunteers. Tennessee would be far more successful on their opening drive. Quarterback Joe Milton III would quickly move the ball into the Gators’ red zone, mostly aided by a 41-yard pass to Squirrel White, probably now my favorite name in College Football this season. Apologies to General Booty. From the 11-yard line, Ramel Keyton would run the ball in for the touchdown to give Tennessee the lead. 

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Tennessee would not have the lead for long, as on the Gators’ next drive, running back Trevor Etienne, the younger brother of star running back Travis Etienne, scored a 62-yard rushing touchdown. The subsequent PAT would be blocked, keeping Tenneesse one point in the lead. That was until the next Gators drive. Compared to their previous one, this was a lot slower in pace. Gators quarterback Graham Mertz moved the ball down to the Vols 4-yard line. Then, Montrell Johnson Jr. scored the 4-yard rushing touchdown to give Florida the lead. However, their two-point conversion failed. 

While Tennesee were very good at blocking points, they struggled to have any offense. On their next drive, Milton III was intercepted deep in his own territory. From this, the Gators would quickly score another touchdown to widen their lead. Florida’s lead became even larger on their next drive, as Mertz connected with Montrell Johnson Jr. to score an 18-yard touchdown. This meant that at halftime, the Florida Gators would have a 26-7 lead. 

Tennessee would have some luck to begin the second half, as they managed to score a field goal. This would be the highlight of a poor period for both teams which followed a formula. Florida would punt each play, while Tennessee would fail on 4th down, turning the ball over. Neither team would get anywhere from this. Florida would break this period with kicker Trey Smack scoring a 27-yard field goal to increase their lead. 

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The Vols would finally have some offensive success near the end of the game. A 55-yard touchdown pass from Milton to Bru McCoy would give Tenneesssee some points, but it would do nothing in the grand scheme of things. Then, we have the same formula as before. Florida punt, Tennessee turnover. The game would end soon after, with the Florida Gators recording an impressive 29-16 victory over the number 11-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. 

In terms of entertainment, this game was not the best. Tennessee played awfully and will fall in the rankings next week. Florida dominated, and this could put them back into the top 25. Next week, the Gators face Charlotte, while Tennessee plays UTSA. 

What Happened to the other ranked teams?

South Carolina @ #1 Georgia

After two weeks of playing easy opponents, the number 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs faced the South Carolina Gamecocks. At halftime, the Spencer Rattler lead side had an 11-point lead over the Bulldogs. Georgia would end up winning 24-14, but could this be the first crack in the armor for the Bulldogs?

Bowling Green @ #2 Michigan

The number 2 ranked Michigan Wolverines played their final game with Jim Harbaugh on the side against the Bowling Green Falcons. Wolverines quarterback JJ McCarthy scored two touchdowns but threw 3 interceptions in the Wolverines’ 31-6 victory.

Wyoming @ #4 Texas

The number 4 ranked Texas Longhorns playing the best football that they have played for some time. After last week’s victory against Alabama, they faced the Wyoming Cowboys. While the statistics will say it was a close game, the scoreline says differently, as the Longhorns won 31-10. No appearance from Arch Manning yet, but Quinn Ewers is doing a good job.

Western Kentucky @ #6 Ohio State

The number 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes have easily won their first two games. This week, they faced the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Quarterback Kyle McCord had a dominant second quarter as the Buckeyes cruised to a 63-10 victory.

#7 Penn State @ Illinois

The number 7 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions hoped to keep their hunt for the Nig 10 championship game alive against the Illinois Fighting Illini. Unlike their last two wins, Penn State did not score many points. But their defense shined, in their 30-13 victory.

#8 Washington @ Michigan State

The number 8 ranked Washington Huskies faced the Michigan State Spartans this week. Huskies quarterback and potential Heisman contender Michael Penix Jr. threw for 4 touchdowns and 473 yards in the Huskies 41-7 rout.

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Central Michigan @ #9 Notre Dame

The number 9 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been a high-scoring team so far. They continued to score many in their game with the Central Michigan Chippewas. Sam Hartwell added 3 more touchdowns to his record, as the Fighting Irish remained unbeaten with a 41-17 victory.

#10 Alabama @ South Florida

Last week, the number 10 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide lost to Texas in one of the most watched College Football games in recent years. At times in their match with the USF Bulls, Bama was struggling. The Crimson Tide would win the game 17-3 but should have played better.

Weber State @ #12 Utah

Last week, the number 12 ranked Utah Utes were lucky to defeat Baylor. They did not have any problems in defeating the Weber State Wildcats. Utah would win the game 31-7.

Hawaii @ #13 Oregon

Last week I said that the Oregon Ducks would fall in ranking. This week, they are the number 13 ranked team, the same position they were last week. But unlike last week, the Ducks had no problem is defeating the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Quarterback Bo Nix threw three touchdowns in the Ducks 55-10 victory

#14 LSU @ Mississippi State

The number 14 ranked LSU Tigers faced the Mississippi State Bulldogs. In this game, the Tigers overpowered the Bulldogs on offense, recording 530 yards to Mississippi State’s 201. LSU would easily win this game 41-14.

San Diego State @ #16 Oregon State

The number 16 ranked Oregon State Beavers, the team still without a home conference for next year. They faced the San Diego State Aztecs in their week 3 matchup. The Beaver were strong on both offense and defense, recording 6 sacks in their 26-9 victory to remain undefeated. They may not have a home, but they live in the win column.

Georgia Tech @ #17 Ole Miss

After their somewhat boring victory over Tulane last weekend, the number 17 ranked Ole Miss Rebels faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Shouldn’t Georgia Tech be the Green Jackets as the Masters are played in Georgia? Team names aside, Ole Miss (which is another one I am not a fan of, they are the University of Mississippi, yet they don’t call themselves “Mississippi)” broke away in the third quarter to record a 48-23 victory.

Colorado State @ #18 Colorado

The number 18 ranked Colorado Buffaloes are the team that everyone is talking about. They have gone from nothing to record two impressive wins. This week, they faced state rivals the Colorado State Rams. This game was close all the way through. It was so close that we had to have 2 periods of overtime to decide the winner. An 18-yard touchdown pass from Shedur Sanders to Michael Harrington would give the Buffaloes a 45-35 victory and keep their unbeaten record. However, what comes up must come down, and Colorado was lucky this week

#19 Oklahoma @ Tulsa

The number 19 ranked Oklahoma Sooner faced the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Again, what is a Golden Hurricane? Oklahoma would easily defeat Tulsa 66-17. But, there is still no sight of General Booty.

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Minnesota @ #20 North Carolina

Drake Maye and the number 20 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels hoped to remain in the ACC race with a victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. In my head, this is a good matchup. In reality, we knew who the winner would be. Maye scored 2 touchdowns and threw 2 interceptions in the Tar Heels 31-13 victory.

Northwestern @ #21 Duke

The number 21 Duke Blue Devils faced the Northwestern Wildcats, the Big 10’s whipping boys. The in-form Blue Devils had no problem with this game and easily won 38-14. 

Bethune-Cookman @ #22 Miami

The number 22 ranked Miami Hurricanes faced the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The Hurricanes dominated this game, winning 48-7 to keep their unbeaten record.

Northern Colorado @ #23 Washington State

The number 23 ranked Washington State Cougars had an easy encounter with the Northern Colorado Bears, a team who are still without a win. They still are without a win, as the Cougars made 718 yards on offense in their 64-21 victory.

North Carolina Central @ #24 UCLA

The number 24 ranked UCLA Bruins faced the North Carolina Central Eagles this week. The Bruins would score 5 touchdowns in the first quarter in their 59-7 demolition.

Western Michigan @ #25 Iowa

The number 25-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes returned to the rankings this week, and will probably stay next week after their game with the Western Michigan Broncos. The Hawkeyes went behind but easily came back to win 41-10.

That was Week 3 in the 2023 College Football season. Next week, things get serious as conference play starts for the majority of teams, and we have 6 games where both teams are ranked. It should be a big week.

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