3rd & 1: This week’s Top 3

College football is back and that, for one, is worth celebrating. If you are in this week’s Top 3, that’s another. Make no mistake that even teams here have room to improve and there is plenty of time for that.

The Top 3 for this week each kicked off the start of the 2017 season with a win, which isn’t a surprise by any means, but let’s discuss what each team should do to keep it that way heading into week 2.

No. 1 Alabama – The 16-time National Championship winning team came out on top against Florida State University after struggling to maintain field position for majority of the game. It’s easy to say that Alabama has the No. 1 defense in the country, but even the top defense has some improvements to make if they want to add to the dynasty that Coach Nick Saban has created.

While Alabama’s defense is where they expected it to be, it was in large part to special teams. Special teams are an excellent advantage, but someone else needs to be there when they fall. Improvements with blocking would be a big improvement for Alabama heading into the first home game of the season against Fresno State.

No. 2 Ohio State – The start of the 2017 season was a slow one for the Buckeyes, who failed to score until the end of the first half against Indiana. They picked up the pace and retook the lead in the third quarter, scoring four more times throughout the second half.

Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins had a fantastic college debut, rushing for 181 yards – a new school record previously set 15 years ago by Maurice Clarett.

Ohio State will have their first big test when Oklahoma comes to Columbus. The Buckeyes defeated the Sooners 45-24 a year ago in Oklahoma’s territory. How will they fair in their own? An early scoring drive could carry the No. 2 team to another victory, and the return of Mike Weber could be another key to it.

No. 3 Clemson – The defending National Champions dominated against their first opponent of the season, Kent State. The Tigers scored 21 points within the first quarter and only allowed the unranked team a field goal in the 2nd quarter. They returned after the half to match their 1st quarter effort, ending the day 56-3.

A similar feature could easily carry Clemson to another victory versus the Auburn Tigers, where they won by a touchdown a year ago. Clemson has won the last three match-ups and holds home advantage heading into their next.

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