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Stan Becton and Gary Putnik | | September 19, 2021

6 things to know from Week 3 of the college football season

College football rankings: Penn State jumps four more spots in latest AP poll

Week 3 of the college football season brought top-25 matchups, old rivalries renewed, upsets and much more. Here is everything you have have missed from the third week of college football:

6 things to know from Week 3 of the college football season

1. Top-ranked Alabama escapes The Swamp against No. 11 Florida

No. 1 Alabama came out the gates on fire against No. 11 Florida, getting out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter behind three Bryce Young touchdown passes. But the Gators persisted and managed to hold the Crimson Tide to 10 points the rest of the game. Florida would ultimately fall short and lost 31-29, as the Tide stopped a 2-point conversion attempt with 3:10 remaining.

TIDE ROLLS ON: Read more on No. 1 Alabama's nail-biter at No. 11 Florida

2. No. 10 Penn State gets by No. 22 Auburn to cement 10-0 week for top 10

No. 10 Penn State's matchup with No. 22 Auburn went down to the wire as the Tigers had a chance to tie to the game with 38 seconds left. The Nittany Lions stood tall and made the stop to earn a 28-20 win — their first win against a SEC opponent since they beat LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl. QB Sean Clifford lead the Penn State offense with 280 yards in the air to go along with two touchdowns and an interception. This win also marks the first time this season that all of the top-10 teams won in the same weekend. 

3. ACC teams get upset 

Two ranked ACC teams fell at the hands of unranked opponents this weekend. No. 15 Virginia Tech lost on the road to West Virginia 27-21, and No. 24 Miami fell to Michigan State 38-17 at home. Pitt, which defeated Tennessee last week, got beat by Western Michigan at home 44-41. As of right now, only two ACC teams remain undefeated: Boston College (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-0).

4. No. 8 Cincinnati responds in its first test of the season 

Indiana held its own with No. 8 Cincinnati in Bloomington, Indiana. Going into the fourth quarter the Hoosiers led 24-23, but the Bearcats pitched a shutout in the final quarter by outscoring Indiana 15-0 to win by a final score of 38-24 against a Big Ten team. 

Cincinnati will get Notre Dame next week in the first and potentially only ranked opponent of the regular season.

5. Top-20 teams escape with one-score victories

Although there were a few upsets around the nation, some ranked teams managed to stave off an impending upset. In addition to No. 8 Cincinnati, No. 3 Oklahoma beat Nebraska 23-16 and No. 16 Coastal Carolina held off Buffalo to win 28-25 on the road. Moreover, No. 6 Clemson squeaked out a 14-8 win over Georgia Tech.

While the scoreboard might not show it, No. 9 Ohio State struggled with Tulsa before pulling away to win 41-20. Tulsa pulled within 7 points with 12:07 remaining.

6. Southern California bounces back with a new coach at the helm

After falling to Stanford last week, Southern California bounced back to pick up the win. New interim coach Donte Williams got his first win with the Trojans defeating Washington State 45-14.

The Trojans overcame adversity on the field this week as QB Kedon Slovis exited the game during the second series of the game with an injury. Backup QB Jaxson Dart threw four touchdowns in a relief effort.

Florida State jumps to No. 4, Ohio State falls to No. 6 in penultimate CFP rankings

In the final CFP rankings before Selection Sunday, Georgia, Michigan, Washington and Florida State snag the top four spots.

When do College Football Playoff rankings come out?

Six top 25 rankings will be released by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for the 2023 season, including final CFP field selections on Dec. 3, 2023.

How scoring stats ignore the potential of Iowa football, ahead of the Big Ten Championship

Based on scoring statistics, the 10-2 Iowa Hawkeyes are the undisputed underdogs in the 2023 Big Ten championship game. But a glance at the bigger picture of the gritty Iowa program might prove that the Wolverines could have their hands full on Saturday.

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