3rd& 1: This Week’s Top 3

It’s week 2 and a new team is at number 2!

This week’s Top 3 features Alabama as the top contender, an upset, and the Tigers defending their territory.

No. 1 Alabama – Running game, running game, running game.

Did I mention running game?

Alabama’s number one aspect against Fresno State was their ability to run the football, despite showing improvement in passing. Alabama is known for their running game, but what will happen when a stronger opponent turns the tables on the Crimson Tide and they are forced to pass?

It may never become an issue, but another issue heading into Week 3 sheds some light on why it needs to be considered: Third downs.

Alabama ranks 118 of 130 FBS teams – a major drop of its 34th ranking a year ago and it’s 43.8 percentile. Alabama is successful in all other plays, improvements here will carry the team when it is severely necessary.

No. 2 Oklahoma  – Oklahoma’s defense carried the Sooners to an outstanding victory and their quarterback to the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

The Oklahoma defense only allowed the Buckeyes one touchdown scoring drive and three field goals throughout 60 minutes, while Baker Mayfield lead the offense and completed 27 of 35 passes for 386 yards with two touchdowns and a field goal for a 31-16 victory.

Oklahoma made a case for themselves Saturday night and if Mayfield’s stats continue on the rise with a strong defense, we could be looking at a national championship contender.

No. 3 Clemson – It was a tight kept score for Clemson versus the Auburn Tigers at Memorial Stadium, who remain at No. 3 this week. The Clemson Tigers dominated the line of scrimmage and kept their opponent from reaching the end zone successfully.

Clemson struggled early on and appeared to be in trouble when Kelly Bryant went down with an injury. The injury was minor however and he returned for their first scoring drive before halftime.

The Clemson Tigers returned from the half for their second, and final, touchdown when Kelly Bryant ran 27 yards into the end zone – avoiding a tackle as he did. In addition, the defense protected their lead by getting to Auburn’s quarterback with a total of 11 sacks.

Clemson has a lot going for them, and could gain additional momentum with more yards-per-carry and keeping turnovers at a minimum.

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