Week 3 Predictions – 2023

Last Week:  The Buckeyes won the game over Penguins as expected but  more important, they have a starting quarterback established with Kyle McCord.  He can use WKU as his warm-up for South Bend.  As for our predictions, Steven Smith was bold enough to correctly call the Longhorn win over Alabama. Six others are tied with him on top our early leaderboard with a 5-1 record.

This Week’s Games For basically the third straight week there are no good match-ups in college football, is everyone afraid to schedule a big game?  There are not even any games this week with two ranked teams facing each other.  The Buckeyes have one more ‘advanced scrimmage’ this week with Western Kentucky.  The only question might be is can they hold the Hilltoppers to under 400 yards in the air?  ….  A decent contest in Chapel Hill as the Gophers take on UNC.  Minnesota was lucky in their win over Nebraska, can they generate enough luck to escape with a win over the Tarhills?  ….  All of the 2023 college scene is fixated on the Colorado story this year.  I saw a stat today saying the average ticket price now for the Buffalos is over $500.  That may just be an indication of how bad this season has been so far.  We will bring you our thoughts on the game but the real question is why is GameDay going there?

Buckeye Greats:   As in the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the ninth straight year.

Here we go with our Week 3 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg


 Western Kentucky (4)Ohio State

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Some jokes were made on the pre-game airwaves about the level of competition the Buckeyes will face from the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers last weekend. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, some of that may be true. However Hilltopper quarterback Austin Reed is no slouch. He has the arm behind a passing offense that amassed over 4,700 yards passing yards last year to lead all FBS QBs. He will be the best quarterback on the field this weekend at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes’ challenge to defend Reed is to have tight coverage and little time to get the ball off. If not, WKU will move the ball. Hopefully, the Buckeyes will not be tested by WKU’s somewhat porous defense. I anticipate a lot post-game neck cramps after watching these two teams sling the ball back and forth down the field. Our DBs will win out and throttle Reed while he is being chased by our DEs.   Ohio State over WKU 51-20

Andy:  This should be an interesting matchup because of how prolific Western Kentucky’s passing game is. Recently they had Bailey Zappe who passed for nearly 6,000 yards and 62 touchdowns his senior year alone. One of the biggest focuses for Ohio State in the offseason was getting their secondary to level up. So far we have seen a lot of impressive play out of the starting three corners (Igbinosun, Burke and Hancock). We will see another test here the week before the Notre Dame game. I don’t think it will be enough for Western Kentucky that they have a good passing attack.   Ohio State  38  Western Kentucky 17

Coach Rick:   I think this game will be better than most will think it will be.  OSU needs to iron out some items before next week.  I see the starters staying in longer to get reps.  I have OSU winning by 42

Cory:  Ohio State has not looked impressive on either side of the ball so far this season. They’ve got one chance at a tune up before the Notre Dame game in two weeks, and it’s this week’s game versus Western Kentucky. Ryan Day named Kyle McCord the full time starter at quarterback now, which is probably a good thing considering Devin Brown has not looked good in the limited playtime he’s had. McCord should take all the snaps this week to get as much playing time as possible in preparation for the Fighting Irish, and McCord could maybe learn a thing or two from the quarterback he’s facing this week. Austin Reed can absolutely sling it. He threw for 4,744 yards and 40 touchdowns last year, and has 589 yards and six touchdowns in two games this season. Defensively, Ohio State has to keep the big plays under control. Reed is a capable runner, too, so getting good, consistent, play from the defensive line is key this week. Overall, I expect more of a challenge this week than some people are expecting. The Buckeyes struggled to pull away from Indiana and Youngstown State, and if they sleep on Western Kentucky then it could be a long afternoon.   Ohio State 31, Western Kentucky 17  

Dave Ohio State 38  Western Kentucky 7

GreggThis game is coming along at the perfect time for the Buckeyes.  They need to get the offense ready now that the quarteback question has been answered. And the defense will see one of the best quarterbacks in the country with the Hilltoppers Austin Reed.  If they can figure him out, maybe they will be ready for Sam Hartman next week in South Bend.  Ryan Day needs to open up the offense and the Buckeyes need to execute.  And hopefully we don’t again have to listen to him whine about the new clock rules as any excuse.  Go Bucks, let’s keep this season on track.   Ohio State 45  Western Kentucky 17

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State

John:  Man, talk about a spoiled fan base.  Ryan Day has the second highest winning percentage through 50 games in college football history and at some pint this season will reach 50 wins faster that anyone in modern CFB history – he is currently 47-6 – and yet there is a sizable portion of the fanbase that wants him gone.  All I can say to those folks is be careful what you wish for.  Or to put it anther way, let’s look at historically great programs that have made knee-jerk fires and became dumpster fires for years (Michigan before the last two years, Texas, Miami, USC, Nebraska, Alabama pre Saban to name a few) and ask those fan bases if they would trade that pain for the Ryan Days tenure.  I’m guessing they would take OSU’s record under Day in a heartbeat.  That 2014 team looked pretty pedestrian through two games as well.  Rant over.   Oh yeah, Ohio  State 38  Western KY 17 

JoshThe Buckeyes used last week against Youngstown State to work out their quarterback battle with live game reps, and based on the outcome, this should be Kyle McCord’s team, and this is the game to let him prepare as the starter as the Buckeyes prepare for Notre Dame. The Hilltoppers though are not a team to take lightly as they will challenge the Buckeyes through the air, so there will be a lot of passes to try and stretch out the defenders who let Youngstown State pass for more yardage than expected. To help the secondary, the defensive line needs to get more pressure than they had in the first two weeks, and generate more sacks, and force Austin Reed of Western Kentucky to make mistakes. If the Buckeyes can get their offense in rhythm, and keep it simple with one quarterback, they should be in good shape. I anticipate the offense will get a lot more plays because there will be a lot of passing in this one which should help calm Day’s grievance with the running clock.   Ohio State 45 – Western Kentucky 17

Steven:  Well, the Hilltoppers certainly do like to sling the ball around.  Led by QB Austin Reed, WKU is averaging 327 yards passing per game which is good for 12th in the nation. Of course, those numbers were put up against Houston Christian and USF. Ohio State is only behind WKU by 29 yards per game in the passing dpeartment, good for 29th in the nation. While WKU claims one of the best recievers in Conference USA in Eaton Messer, the Bucks trot out the best receiving corps in the nation.  Offensively it is a mismatch, but only if the Bucks Defense can get the Hilltopper offense off the field.  This is the game where OSU Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles needs to release the hounds, aka defensive ends JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer. The defensive ends must find a way to impact the game, and really, going forward, the ends need to dominate each contest.  So far, the production from both has been lackluster. It may be that the ends have fed the middle so far, with interior linement Michael Hall, Jr. and Tyleik Williams having solid seasons so far. This one should turn out very much like the YSU game, but the Hilltoppers probably will manage to score a bit more. That being said, I expect the Buckeyes to eke out a possession or two more this week, and maybe a turnover or two, which should increase our scoring chances. It will be a beautiful day in the ‘Shoe on Saturday.  Bucks finally crack the 50 mark.   OSU 51-17

TroutAlthough this team is not where they should be at this point, I did see some positive steps. Especially with Kyle McCord. He is definitely not a finished product, but he is clearly the starter. I truly believe the series that they swapped Brown in for McCord, messed up the rhythm and made the game closer than it should be. McCord is not CJ or Fields, but he is the best option for the Buckeyes right now.  I hope that he improves over the season. Ohio State will need the best version of him for Notre Dame and Michigan. This should be another tune up game for the Buckeyes. Although the Hilltoppers seem to be a decent mid-major team, the Buckeyes should still be able to win comfortably. I hope to see another monster day for Harrison, and I’d like for at least one of the running backs to get over the century mark. I can see the game being unnecessarily close early, but as it goes on, The Buckeyes pull away and win by a large margin. The Buckeyes remain undefeated as they look to their big match-up next week in South Bend.   (Ohio State, 45-17) 

Final Score:  Ohio State 63   Western Kentucky 10 


Minnesota @ (18)North Carolina

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Minnesota will find the rowing tough as they visit Chapel Hill and take on the Tar Heels. North Carolina looked strong last week defeating the Gamecocks and I expect nothing less as they take on the Golden Gophers.   North Carolina 33-27 over Minnesota

Andy:  Minnesota struggled to beat Nebraska in the season opener and frankly struggled to get their offense moving. The Tar Heels on the other hand have had a great start to the season after beating South Carolina and then Appalachian State. They are lead by Hesiman hopeful Drake Maye who will be one of the top players drafted in next year’s NFL draft. I don’t think Minnesota’s secondary will hold up well against Maye and his offense.   North Carolina  31  Minnesota  14

Coach Rick:   I find it hard to believe both of these 2 teams are undefeated.  I would like to see Minnesota win, but I am going with the home team to win by 10.

Cory:  Minnesota is off to a 2-0 start, but it feels a bit like a mirage. The Golden Gophers played Nebraska and Eastern Michigan, neither of which are really much of a test at this point. One thing has become apparent and that is the Golden Gophers do not have much of an offense. Sophomore quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis is a first-time starter so it’s possible he will continue to grow, but right now Minnesota struggles to move the ball with consistency. That will be a problem against North Carolina, who features a good offense led by quarterback Drake Maye. Maye is considered to have first-round NFL draft potential, and though he’s only thrown two touchdowns this season he is completing 72.7 percent of his passes. The Tar Heels also feature a good running back in Omarion Hampton. Minnesota’s defense is good, but unless their offense can come alive, keep drives going, and put some points on the board, then I see North Carolina running away in the second half.   North Carolina 28, Minnesota 13 

Dave North Carolina 28  Minnesota 14

GreggI would love to see Minnesota do the Big Ten a solid and snatch a win over Carolina and the ACC but we are not going to be that lucky.  I guess they will have to row another day.  North Carolina 27  Minnesota 20

Joe-S-U:  Minnesota

John:  I haven’t had a chance to see with of these teams play, with he exception of a few plays of Minnesota’s week one win over Nebraska, so have no feel for this game at all.  UNC is the early betting favorite, -7 at home.  When in doubt, follow the money.   North Carolina 28  Minnesota 24 

JoshMinnesota will enter Chapel Hill undefeated, and going against a Tar Heel team that escaped a win against giant killer Appalachian State in double overtime last week. The strongest chance the Gophers have to win this game will be with their defense, and trying to keep Drake Maye in check, which will be a tall task. Offensively, Ninnesota is not the same threat with their rushing attack that they have been, so this will be one where they will need to find points anywhere they can in this game to keep it close. I think North Carolina is too good though, and will beat Minnesota at home and go 3-0 as they start ACC play.   North Carolina 38 – Minnesota 16

Steven:  Minnesota presently is #3 nationally in passing defense, which is exactly the standard they will need to uphold on the road in Chapel Hill.  Unfortunately, that lofty ranking is built upon games against Eastern Michigan and Nebraska, (who may have negative passing years for the season – yuck, the Huskers are dreadful). Tarheel QB Drake Maye has been solid through two games, but not overwhelming from a stats perspective.  WIth the new clock rules, it will take a while to adjust to the normalization of statistics. Fewer possessions means a 200 yard/per game passer isn’t bad, per se, it is just tough to live up to the lofoty numbers we had become so used to. May is hitting 70% of his passes for a 7.7 yard average. Minnesota will be hard pressed to keep up. Offensively, the Gophers are in the lower quartile in both scoring an total defense, so they will need to step up to keep this close. The Gophers lean more into the run game, and against a passer like Maye, utilizing the clock to limit the Tarheels’ posessions may be the perfect strategy. Unless they pull a Thrilla in Manilla Rope a Dope Minnesota just looks overmatched in this one.   UNC 31-21

Trout:  The Tar Heels will win this game. I don’t think North Carolina is great, but I do think they are better than Minnesota. The Golden Gophers just don’t have that great of an offense. They look pedestrian against a flailing Nebraska team. The only reason why they won that game was because Nebraska did what they always do, and made costly mistakes in pivotal times. I can see the Tar Heels getting an early lead, and Minnesota struggling to keep up. I don’t think it will be an out and out beating, but it should be a comfortable win for North Carolina. The Tar Heels win and serve PJ Fleck and the Golden Gophers their first loss of the season.   (North Carolina, 28-10)  

 Final Score:  North Carolina 31   Minnesota 13


Colorado State @ (21)Colorado

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)It will be Prime Time with Game Day bringing their show to THE SHOW. Unless Ralphie goes on a rampage injuring Colorado’s star players, this game will be over by half-time. The Buffaloes bash the Rams 50-20.

Andy:  Colorado was awful last year, but now with coach Prime and over 70 new players obtained from the transfer portal the Buffalos are stampeding their way through their schedule this season. Lead by quarterback Shaduer Sanders and two way star Travis Hunter, this Colorado team has a high flying offense that has managed to get a lot of yards and a lot of points through just two games. Colorado State better get prepared for Prime Time, because the Buffs are going to run right through Colorado State.   Colorado 42  Colorado State 20

Coach Rick:   I think Colorado State will play better than they did in their opening game giving up 50 points.  But I still see Colorado winning by 17 points.  

Cory:  I am honestly struggling to see why this game is featured on GameDay. Colorado State is 0-1 and got crushed by Washington State. The Rams have already made a change at quarterback, switching from Clay Millen to Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. Now they travel to Boulder to face a white-hot Colorado team that bullied Nebraska last week. Of course the Buffaloes are fun to watch with quarterback Sheduer Sanders and WR/CB Travis Hunter, but having Primetime as head coach is also a pretty big reason why the GameDay crew will be in Boulder this week. The game will be entertaining for the home team and their fans. For Colorado State? Not so much.   Colorado 52, Colorado State 17  

Dave Colorado 32  Colorado State 21

GreggAt the beginning of the season, this would not have been considered a very big game.  With the success of Prime Time and the Buffalos, it turns out this is where GameDay will be stationed.  Normally it would not have made the cut for our picks either but when you look at the match-ups this week, you realize there are no big games this week. In this rivalry since 1996, one of these teams has been rated, and the unrated team has won every time.  This is still a team that basically rebuilt from the ground up in the off-season against a team that has not won this season.  Can the Buffalos keep up the momentum for the third straight week?  Expect another big game for Colorado as they get ready to face the meat of the Pac-12 schedule after this.  Colorado 44  Colorado State 10

Joe-S-U:  Colorado

John:  I’m probably in the minority here, but I absolutely don’t see the Buffs as the “feel good” story the national sports press is making it out to be.  If fact, if “Coach Prime’s” example of cutting almost his entire roster and replacing them through the portal ends up being successful, it may just end college football as we have known it.  Basically, think unbridled free agency with idiot boosters willing to finance seeming unlimited NIL money, and the college game is boarder on becoming an unregulated version of the NFL writ large.  Now, turn down that music and get off my lawn you stupid kids!  Regarding the game, I’ll be rooting hard for CSU to pull off the upset, but I don’t think they have the athletes to do it.   Colorado  42  Colorado State 17 

Josh“Do you believe yet?” Colorado has been the story of the offseason when they hired Dieon Sanders on a gamble, and through two games so far, it has paid off. The Buffalos were 1-11 last year, and knocked off the National runner-up TCU in week 1 on the road, and defeated Nebraska at home with a solid defense in week 2. I will preface this by saying I am not discrediting anything that Colorado has done, as they have shown they actually might have two Heisman candidate players on their team in Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, but the journey for them will get a lot harder soon. This week though, this should be another win against rival Colorado State who are already 0-1, but this might be the only chance the GameDay crew might have in going to visit the campus this season with the games across the nation about to increase in playoff impact. FOX’s Big Noon crew will be there as well for the second straight week as well.   Colorado 49 – Colorado State 24

Steven:  This one doesn’t look like it should be close, which means it is almost 100% a trap game for Coach Prime and the Buffaloes.  Whether you are a fan of Prime and the way he has built his team or not, you can’t argue with the results.  Sometimes, all you need is that glimmer of hope to take root, and momentum starts to build.  How the team deals with adversity when things get tough becomes the true measure of how well Coach Prime has prepared his team.  Thisprobably will not be one of those weeks. Colorado State comes in with over 150 ards less of toal offense parired with a defense giving up over a hundred more than Colorado. Expect Buffalo QB Shadeur Sanders to have another career day, and keep himself in the thick of the Heisman race. Overall, the game should be fun to watch as neither team averages over 60 yards rushing per game, so this should be like an arena game on a big stage. THis could be close in the first quarter, but it will take a heroic effort on the part of the Rams to slow down the Hype Train that is Neon Deion and his band of Merry Men.   Colorado 42-17

TroutThis should be an easy win for Coach Prime and the Buffaloes. Colorado State is a bad team. So they should have their way with this. The fact that both Fox and ESPN will be there with their respective shows is a bit of a joke. I get it though. What Deion Sanders has been able to do these past 2 weeks has been astonishing. It makes for a great story. Colorado was the laughing stock of college football last year and if nothing else, he has made them respectable. Plus, there aren’t any marquee games this week. I don’t know how the rest of the season plays out, they could completely collapse. Plus, they still have USC and Oregon to contend with. But they will win this game with minimal issues. Colorado should be able to score early and often. The Buffaloes win in a landslide, and the  Coach Prime hype train continues for another week.   (Colorado, 56-3)  

Final Score:  Colorado 43   Colorado State 35  2OT


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