By Jordan Newell
No. 23 Utah at Arizona (9:30 p.m., Friday, FS1)
The Arizona Wildcats return home after a decisive 63-16 win against the UTEP Roadrunners. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins accounted for six touchdowns, and for the moment, has silenced his doubters. The entire Arizona team is a young bunch, but it comes into Week 4 with momentum. As for the Utah Utes, who are undefeated, they have had a few stars emerge. In particular, quarterback Tyler Huntley is a dual-threat playmaker and leads the Utes in rushing yards (212) and rushing touchdowns (three). Huntley’s favorite target, Oregon transfer Darren Carrington, has 409 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Overall, this matchup, bound to be an offensive shootout, will prove to be an interesting bout for the Pac-12 South and may decide a contender for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship.
NC State at No. 12 Florida State (11 a.m., Saturday, ABC or ESPN 2)
Although Florida State has not had the opportunity to recover from its Week 1 loss to Alabama, it may have an opportunity to gain some confidence in a matchup against the 2-1 North Carolina State Wolfpack. After losing quarterback Deondre Francois to injury, starting at quarterback for the winless Seminoles will be true freshman James Blackman. A lack of offensive firepower may continue to trouble the Seminoles, as they have to establish offensive success in a young group filling big shoes. As for NC State, it notched a great win against FCS opponent Furman. The Wolf Pack’s second-straight double-digit win will end the warmup portion of their schedule, as they prepare to put up a fight against the ‘Noles. Last year, this game was quite the nail-biter for FSU but imanaged to secure the 24-20 win. The matchup this year could be closer than many may think and could substantially shake up the ACC.
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia (6 p.m., Saturday, ESPN)
Mississippi State delivered quite a statement with an 37-7 upset against then-No. 12 LSU in Week 3. Mississippi State quarterback and Heisman sleeper Nick Fitzgerald put up four total touchdowns. Fitzgerald, running back Aeris Williams and a strong Mississippi State receiver corps punished a strong SEC opponent with an offensive force to be reckoned with. The Bulldogs of Georgia are feeling their own sense of pride through Week 3. They come into this game undefeated, as does Mississippi State. Behind the power of running back Nick Chubb and the speed of running back D’Andre Swift, Georgia has had its way against opposing defenses. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm captains the offense well but is still working out usual freshman mistakes. A battle of often overlooked teams will be an exciting game that could reveal a team to challenge the powers of the SEC.