SEC Football: Week 3 key SEC games and a couple of national matchups

CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 09: Lamar Jackson /
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Not SEC football but Louisville v Clemson is huge
Not SEC football but Louisville v Clemson is huge /

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Clemson at Louisville

Louisville has arguably the best player in college football. The Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Lamar Jackson has not missed a beat from last season. In two games, Jackson has run and thrown for over 1000 yards. He is completing almost 65 percent of his passes.

Matched up against Jackson may be the best defensive line in college football. Clemson had significant attrition at wide receiver and lost its QB superstar from last season. On the defensive side, only minor reloading was needed. Very simply, the Clemson defensive front seven is big, experienced, mean and fast.

Bobby Petrino’s Louisville offense gets the ball out fast. For that reason, the Clemson defense probably cannot match last week’s sack total of 11 against Jarrett Stidham and Auburn. But the Louisville offensive line will be overmatched.

Consider this from ESPN’s Chris Lowe,

"Since the start of the 2016 season, Clemson leads all FBS teams with 60 sacks. Jackson, meanwhile, has been sacked an FBS-high 48 times over that same span."

It pains us to report it, but the Clemson defense is being compared to recent great SEC football defenses. Some pundits even dare suggest Dabo is building defenses now to rival or surpass Nick Saban’s best defenses.

This post does not include game predictions. If it did, we would say the best college football player in America will need the best game of his career. Clemson is favored by three points.

Texas at USC

These two have not played since their epic game in 2006. For that reason alone the game is huge for both programs.

The Trojans are favored by 15.5 points. It is hard to see any real chance of the Longhorns pulling out an upset. For the last several seasons, the strength of USC has been speed and explosive offensive talent. During that period the most physical team in the PAC 12 was Stanford.

That changed last week in Los Angeles. The Trojans ran up 623 yards on the Cardinal. Even more impressive than the numbers was the physical style of play. One of the best college football analysts, Trevor Mattich described it perfectly,

"Used to USC Football looking flashy. Today they look angry. I mean, old school, SEC-style hostility."

The Longhorns could be in for a long night in the city of Angels.  In fact, after Saturday, the bloom may be off the yellow roses of Texas for Tom Herman.

Next: The All-Time Best Alabama Football Team

It will be another fun weekend for SEC football. Check in with us on Sunday as we review the game results of all the key games for Alabama football fans.