Across the Country – Week 3

Alabama Football

**Note: This was a print-only story**

Vanderbilt at No. 13 South Carolina (Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, S.C.)

Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t lived up to his preseason expectations, but it’s too early in the season to give up on a player considered by many to be a dark horse Heisman candidate. Clowney will look to silence his doubters against the formidable combination of quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels and wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Both teams are in a near-must win situation to stay in contention in a crowded SEC East.

Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon (Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Ore.)

Tennessee is off to a 2-0 start in head coach Butch Jones’ first year with the Volunteers, but the competition they’ve faced thus far has not been nearly as stout as what they’ll face in Oregon. The up-tempo Oregon offense headlined by quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De’Anthony Thomas may be too much to handle for the Tennessee defense.

No. 4 Ohio State at California (California Memorial Stadium – Berkeley, Ca.)

A perceived mismatch on paper, these two non-conference foes will face each other for the second year in a row, with the Buckeyes pulling out a late 35-28 win behind the heroics of quarterback Braxton Miller in last year’s game. But Miller could be questionable for this year’s game after sustaining a knee injury in last week’s game against San Diego State. For Cal, freshman quarterback Jared Goff could be a sleeper after passing for over 440 yards in each of his first two games this season.

No. 25 Ole Miss at Texas (Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas)

After allowing 679 yards of total offense, including a school-worst 550 rushing yards, in last week’s loss to BYU, the Longhorns will now face the task of answering any lingering questions against upstart Ole Miss. The key to the game is whether Texas can respond on defense against quarterback Bo Wallace, running back Jeff Scott and the rest of the Rebels, following last week’s performance.

No. 16 UCLA at No. 23 Nebraska (Memorial Stadium – Lincoln, Neb.)

Both teams are looking to bolster their resume with a critical early season non-conference win. UCLA brings back one of the top offenses in the nation from a year ago, but will be without running back Johnathan Franklin, who moved onto the NFL. On defense, the Bruins will need to slow down Nebraska’s high-powered rushing attack led by quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Ameer Abdullah, which averages well over 300 yards per game. The Cornhuskers dropped last season’s meeting, 36-30, in Pasadena.

No. 20 Wisconsin at Arizona State (Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Ariz.)

Two 8-win teams from a year ago square off in what should be a low-scoring, defensive battle. On offense, the Badgers will use a trio of running backs in Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement, while the Sun Devils will rely on the arm of junior quarterback Taylor Kelly, who enters his second season as starter. Both Wisconsin and Arizona State are two of three teams left in the country, who have yet to concede a point on defense in 2013.

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