Notre Dame heads to the Big House to battle Michigan
Week 2 in college football is highlighted by Notre Dame’s trip to Michigan, the South Carolina-Georgia clash in Athens and Florida’s visit to South Florida to play Miami.
No. 52 UCF at No. 120 FIU
FIU’s decision to hire Ron Turner, who had not coached in college since 2004, was very curious. His return to the collegiate sidelines did not go well; the Panthers lost at Maryland 43–10 in Week 1. Expect a similar result this week, even at home.
No. 68 Wake Forest at No. 83 Boston College
Wake Forest was dominant defensively in its opener, holding Presbyterian to 151 total yards in a 31-7 win. Boston College was trailing FCS foe Villanova 14-7 at the half but controlled the final two quarters and won in Steve Addazio’s debut, 24-14. These teams are evenly matched.
Boston College 20-17
No. 88 San Diego State at No. 2 Ohio State
Ohio State fans might not have been thrilled with the play of their team in Week 1, but at least the Buckeyes won the game. San Diego State, on the other hand, lost at home to Eastern Illinois, 40-19. Aztec quarterback Adam Dingwell threw 36 incomplete passes in the game. That’s a lot.
Ohio State 41-10
No. 3 Oregon at No. 50 Virginia
It’s been three full years since the Ducks last played a game east of the Mississippi River. That day went well: Oregon blasted Tennessee 48–13 in Neyland Stadium, and it would be a significant surprise if the result was much different this weekend in Charlottesville.
South Carolina State at No. 4 Clemson
Clemson is fresh off one of its biggest wins in the past three decades. Even if the Tigers are a bit sluggish, they will have no problem with South Carolina State. The Bulldogs lost to Coastal Carolina 27-20 last week.
No. 5 South Carolina at No. 6 Georgia
Georgia missed a great opportunity last week in Clemson, but there is no shame in losing by three points on the road to a top-five team. Georgia is still explosive on offense — the Dawgs averaged 7.8 yards per play last week — and should be able to score enough to win this game.
No. 60 San Jose State at No. 7 Stanford
Stanford lost three straight in this series from 1998-2000 but has since won nine of the past 10. Last year, however, the Cardinal had to sweat, holding on for a 20-17 win. San Jose State’s David Fales is a top-flight quarterback, but the Spartans don’t match up well at any other position.
No. 108 UAB at No. 8 LSU
LSU was one of the most impressive teams, both in the SEC and nationally, in Week 1. The Tigers looked more dynamic on offense, and the new-look defense limited TCU to 259 total yards. Picked by many (including Athlon Sports) to finish third in the SEC West, LSU has the look of a team that can compete for the national title. UAB, on the other hand, lost in overtime to Troy in Week 1. This will not go well for the Blazers.
Sam Houston State at No. 9 Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel gets the start for the first time this season. That’s about the only intrigue in this game. Sam Houston State is a pretty good team — the Bearkats played for the 2012 FCS national title and opened the ’13 season with a 78-0 win over Houston Baptist — but this shouldn’t be close.
Texas A&M 55-10
Eastern Kentucky at No. 10 Louisville
Teddy Bridgewater was brilliant in the Cards’ win over Ohio on Sunday. Bridgewater likely will be brilliant in every game this season. Partly because he’s a very, very good quarterback and partly because he won’t face too many quality defenses.
No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 13 Michigan
Notre Dame and Michigan meet for the last time for the foreseeable future. These two Midwest rivals have played in all but six seasons dating back to 1978, but due to Big Ten expansion (Michigan will begin playing nine conference games in 2014) and Notre Dame’s commitment to playing five ACC teams each season, this game no longer fits into either team’s schedule. Each of the last four meetings between these teams has been decided by seven points or less. This game should be no different.
No. 12 Florida at No. 29 Miami (Fla.)
Miami plays host to the Gators for the first time since 2003, when Larry Coker and Ron Zook were roaming the sidelines for their respective schools. The Hurricanes won that game 38-33, and have won six of the past seven in the series. Florida, however, is the more talented team this season.
No. 15 Oklahoma State at No. 105 UTSA
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy will be facing his offensive coordinator during his playing days. Larry Coker, now the head coach at UTSA, was the O.C. at Oklahoma State from 1983-89. The pupil will beat the teacher. Badly.
Oklahoma State 51-14
No. 57 West Virginia at No. 16 Oklahoma
Credit Dana Holgorsen for being honest. Earlier this week, West Virginia’s coach said: “I’ve been asked a lot if I’m excited about playing Oklahoma Week 2 or if I’d rather play them Week 12. The truth is I’d rather play them never because they’re pretty good.” Holgorsen’s team, on the other hand, wasn’t very good last week. The Mountaineers beat William & Mary 24-17 in Morgantown — and it was as much of a struggle as the final score indicates.
No. 17 Texas at No. 51 BYU
You like balance on offense? How about this: Texas had over 350 yards rushing and passing in its 56–7 win over New Mexico State. The Longhorns averaged 9.9 yards per snap en route to a school-record 715 total yards. Things won’t be quite as easy this week. BYU gave up only 223 yards in a 19–16 loss at Virginia.
Tennessee Tech at No. 18 Wisconsin
Three Badgers rushed for 100-plus yards in Wisconsin’s 45-0 win over UMass last week. The same three — Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement — should top the century mark once again.
SE Louisiana at No. 20 TCU
TCU gets a breather after taking on LSU, one of the most talented teams in the nation, last week. The Frogs put up a good fight, but LSU was simply the better team. This time, TCU will be the better team — by a very wide margin.
No. 74 Syracuse at No. 21 Northwestern
Northwestern gave up nearly 600 yards in last year’s opener at the Carrier Dome but somehow found a way to beat the Orange, 42–41. The Wildcats are capable of scoring a bunch of points — they beat Cal 44–30 in the ’13 opener — but this rematch figures to feature fewer fireworks. Syracuse played well in its opener but lost to Penn State, 23–17, at the Meadowlands.
SE Missouri State at No. 22 Ole Miss
Hugh Freeze will remind his team that eight FCS teams beat FBS teams in Week 1. What he probably won’t tell the Rebels is that SE Missouri State lost to SE Louisiana 45–7 last week. This will not be difficult for Ole Miss.
Ole Miss 44-7
Cal Poly at No. 23 Fresno State
Fresno State gave up 51 points in Week 1 — and won. Quarterback Derek Carr set school and Mountain West records with 52 completions and 73 attempts while throwing for 456 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 52-51 overtime win over Rutgers.
Fresno State 47-10
Tennessee-Martin at No. 25 Boise State
Boise State was humbled in a shocking 38-6 loss at Washington last week — the most lopsided defeat of the Chris Petersen era. We don’t know yet if the Broncos are down or if Washington is that good.
Boise State 30-13
No. 113 Southern Miss at No. 27 Nebraska
Nebraska gave up a staggering 602 yards (and 8.1 per play) in last week’s 37–34 win over Wyoming — a team that ranked 70th nationally in total offense. The Huskers have now allowed a total of 1,831 yards in their last three games.
No. 61 Washington State at No. 28 USC
It’s still early, but Washington State appears to be vastly improved. The Cougars had a chance to tie Auburn in the final five minutes, but Connor Halliday’s pass was intercepted in the end zone. The most positive sign? Washington State rushed for 120 yards on a healthy 5.2-yard clip. Not bad for a team that ranked last in the nation in rushing last year.
Austin Peay at No. 30 Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt needs a get-well game after the agonizing last-minute loss to Ole Miss last Thursday night. Austin Peay, which trailed Tennessee 42–0 at the half last week, should provide plenty of comfort. The Governors will be at a huge talent disadvantage at every spot on the field.
Western Carolina at No. 31 Virginia Tech
Logan Thomas will be able to pad his stats after completing 5-of-26 for 59 yards in the loss to Alabama. Western Carolina gave up 495 yards last week to Middle Tennessee in a 45-24 loss.
Virginia Tech 37-10
No. 94 South Florida at No. 32 Michigan State
Facing a 4th-and-1 at the Western Michigan 41-yard line on the opening possession of the season, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio elected to punt rather than see if his offense could pick up one yard against a MAC team. On the next possession, MSU punted on 4th-and-3 from the Western 48-yard line. That is mind-boggling.
Michigan State 31-14
No. 34 Cincinnati at No. 85 Illinois
Cincinnati was very impressive in the first game of the Tommy Tuberville era as the Bearcats recorded a surprisingly easy 42-7 victory over Purdue. With Munchie Legaux at quarterback, UC outgained the Boilermakers 425 to 226 and had four scoring drives of at least 75 yards en route to the decisive win. Illinois scored 42 points and had 464 total yards in the debut of Bill Cubit as the offensive coordinator. That’s the good news. The bad news? The Illini gave up 407 yards and had to sweat through a 42-34 win over Southern Illinois.
No. 100 Buffalo at No. 35 Baylor
Baylor averaged 9.6 yards on its 72 plays in a 69-3 win over Wofford. The Bears will score a ton of points this year. Stopping Big 12 teams will be an issue. Stopping Buffalo, however, might not be too difficult.
No. 118 Eastern Michigan at No. 36 Penn State
It looks as though Bill O’Brien made the right call at quarterback: True freshman Christian Hackenberg completed 22-of-31 for 278 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Nittany Lions’ 23-17 win over Syracuse.
Penn State 28-6
No. 37 Arizona at No. 104 UNLV
Arizona is only favored by 10.5 points — a line that seems a bit low considering that UNLV ranked 95th in the nation in both scoring offense and scoring defense last year. Arizona might struggle a bit on defense, but the Wildcats know how to score points.
No. 97 Middle Tennessee at No. 38 North Carolina
Middle Tennessee quarterback Logan Kilgore is expected to play despite a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the Blue Raiders’ win over Western Carolina last week. He will need to be at close to full strength to give Middle Tennessee a chance to win.
North Carolina 38-20
Samford at No. 39 Arkansas
It didn’t get much attention nationally, but Arkansas was quite impressive in its 34–14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Brandon Allen was efficient throwing the ball (15-of-22 for 230 yards with three TDs and no picks) and two running backs (Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins) rushed for at least 130 yards. This was a very good win over a solid team. The test in Week 2 will not be as great — though Samford did beat Georgia State in Week 1.
Stephen F. Austin at No. 41 Texas Tech
It’s the home debut for the rookie head coach (Kliff Kingsbury) and the walk-on freshman quarterback (Baker Mayfield) who threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns in his first game. Expect more gaudy stats from Mayfield and the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech 51-17
Alcorn State at No. 42 Mississippi State
Mississippi State needs to build some confidence after struggling through a 21–3 loss to Oklahoma State in Houston. The Bulldogs managed only 333 yards of offense and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since losing to LSU 19–6 in September 2011. Alcorn State beat Edward Waters 63–12 last week.
Mississippi State 41-10
No. 59 Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 43 Kansas State
Both teams were disappointing in Week 1. Louisiana-Lafayette lost at Arkansas 34–14, and Kansas State was shocked at home, 24-21, by North Dakota State. These teams last met in Lafayette in 2009, a game won by the Ragin’ Cajuns 17–15.
Kansas State 28-14
No. 103 Arkansas State at No. 44 Auburn
It’s possible that Auburn’s Week 2 opponent (Arkansas State) has more talent than its Week 1 opponent (Washington State). The Red Wolves are solid at quarterback with Adam Kennedy, a transfer from Utah State, and outstanding at tailback with David Oku, a former Tennessee Vol. The wild card on offense could be Fredi Knighten, who ran for 101 yards (one of four Red Wolves to top the 100-yard mark) and two touchdowns on three carries against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. I smell upset.
Arkansas State 27-21
No. 67 Western Kentucky at No. 45 Tennessee
There was nothing fluky about Western Kentucky’s 35–26 win against Kentucky. The Hilltoppers, who rolled up 216 yards rushing and 271 yards passing, were the better team. Now, however, the challenge becomes greater for Bobby Petrino’s club. Tennessee is rebuilding but is still far more talented than Kentucky — on both sides of the ball. The Vols feature an NFL-caliber offensive line and have some nice parts on what should be an improved defense. Expect to see heavy doses of tailbacks Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane, who combined for 179 yards on 22 carries against an overmatched Austin Peay team. Western Kentucky struggled to slow Kentucky’s rushing attack, especially in the first half (174 yards on 18 attempts). Tennessee will take advantage of this mismatch and run for 250-plus yards.
No. 77 Toledo at No. 46 Missouri
Missouri struggled in the first quarter but dominated Murray State the rest of the way en route to a 58–14 win. It’s dangerous to read too much into a game against an FCS opponent, but Gary Pinkel had to be pleased that his offense had over 300 yards rushing and passing. Despite struggling last week at Florida (against an elite defense), the Toledo offense figures to put some pressure on the Missouri defense. The Tigers ranked near the bottom of the SEC in most defensive categories last season, and it will not be a good sign if they give up a bunch of points to Toledo — a team that failed to score a touchdown against Florida.
Old Dominion at No. 47 Maryland
The Terps are showing signs of significant life early in Year 3 of the Randy Edsall era. C.J. Brown, who missed last season with a torn ACL, completed 20-of-23 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns and added 105 yards and two scores on the ground in Maryland’s 43-10 win over FIU.
Richmond at No. 48 NC State
Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell, who won the preseason quarterback derby at NC State, is out for 4-6 weeks with a broken foot. Another transfer, Pete Thomas (Colorado State), will get the start this week when Richmond rolls into town.
NC State 30-13
Norfolk State at No. 49 Rutgers
This is the third meeting in the last seven years between these two schools. The first two did not go well for Norfolk State — the Spartans lost 59-0 in 2007 and 31-0 in 2010. The goal this season: Score a point.
Portland State at No. 53 California
There was some good and some bad in the Golden Bears’ 44-30 loss at home to Northwestern. Obviously, losing the game was not the desirable result. But true freshman Jared Goff showed some promise, completing 38-of-63 passes for 445 yards with two touchdowns and three INTs. The offense rolled up 548 yards, but that was on 99 offensive plays, and that translates to only 5.5 yards per play. That number needs to improve.
Weber State at No. 55 Utah
It got lost in some of the other games last Thursday — Ole Miss over Vanderbilt and Fresno State over Rutgers — but Utah picked up a quality win in Week 1, beating Utah State 30-26. Sophomore Travis Wilson threw for 302 yards and two TDs and did not throw an INT.
No. 66 Navy at No. 56 Indiana
Navy rallied from nine down midway through the fourth quarter to beat Indiana 31-30 in Annapolis last season. This year, the Hoosiers get the Middies at home — the first of five straight games in Bloomington for IU. Last week, Kevin Wilson’s club exploded for 632 yards in a 73-35 win over Indiana State. This is a very, very good offensive team.
No. 58 Minnesota at No. 121 New Mexico State
Two years ago, in Jerry Kill’s home debut, Minnesota lost to New Mexico State 28-21 in one of the low points for Golden Gopher football in recent memory. It’s time for revenge!
No. 59 Utah State at No. 79 Air Force
This is a sneaky good game between two solid teams in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West. Utah State lost its opener, by four points at Utah, but this is a very good team that has a seasoned quarterback in junior Chuckie Keeton.
Utah State 28-21
No. 119 Hawaii at No. 62 Oregon State
Surely, Oregon State can’t be as bad defensively as the Week 1 numbers indicate: The Beavers gave up 625 yards (448 through the air) in a stunning 49-46 loss at home to Eastern Washington. Expect Mike Riley’s team to play much better this weekend.
Oregon State 33-14
No. 63 Bowling Green at No. 101 Kent State
Bowling Green was the pick by Athlon Sports to win the MAC East, and the Falcons looked very good in a surprisingly easy 34-7 win over Tulsa last week. The defense was especially impressive, holding Tulsa to 273 total yards and only one score.
Bowling Green 28-7
No. 92 Colorado State at No. 64 Tulsa
Tulsa really struggled offensively in its loss to Bowling Green, with only 51 yards on the ground and 222 yards in the air. The Golden Hurricane should find yards easier to come by this week against Colorado State. The Rams were torched for 509 yards in the 41-27 loss to rival Colorado.
Gardner-Webb at No. 70 Marshall
Not many college fans realize that Marshall led the nation in both total offense (534.3 ypg) and scoring offense (40.9 ppg) last season. The Herd picked up where they left off, rolling to a 52-14 win over Miami (Ohio) that featured 591 total yards of offense.
No. 71 Duke at No. 96 Memphis
This is an off-the-radar yet intriguing Week 2 game. Duke broke through and reached a bowl game in 2012 for the first time since 1994. The Blue Devils need to keep the momentum going. Memphis was vastly improved in the first year of the Justin Fuente era. The Tigers can make a statement with a win over an ACC team.
No. 112 Army at No. 72 Ball State
This is the fourth meeting between these two schools in the past five years. Ball State has won the past two, 48-21 in 2011 in Muncie and 30-22 last year in West Point. The Cardinals, under third-year coach Pete Lembo, should contend in the MAC West. Army, under fifth-year coach Rich Ellerson, will struggle to win more than three games.
Ball State 37-21
Missouri State at No. 76 Iowa
There’s no shame in losing to Northern Illinois, even at home, but Kirk Ferentz really, really needed to get off to a good start. Didn’t happen. The Hawkeyes should have little trouble breaking into the win column this week, but there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on Ferentz & Co. next week when they visit Iowa State.
No. 115 Miami (Ohio) at No. 78 Kentucky
The Mark Stoops era was going about as well as possible — until the games started. Kentucky was humbled by in-state rival Western Kentucky in Nashville on Saturday afternoon. The Cats’ defense had no answer for Western Kentucky’s balanced attack, allowing 215 yards rushing and 271 yards passing. UK went with Jalen Whitlow at quarterback, but he was pulled after throwing for only 78 yards on 15 attempts. Maxwell Smith, his replacement, was named the starter for Week 2. There was one bright spot: UK rushed for 216 yards on 32 carries, led by 98 yards on 14 attempts from tailback Raymond Sanders.
Central Arkansas at No. 80 Colorado
Mike McIntyre won his first game as the coach at Colorado — and did so in impressive fashion. The Buffs rolled up 509 yards of offense in a 41-27 win over rival Colorado State in Denver. Former Texas Longhorn Connor Wood played well at quarterback, and wideout Paul Richardson, who missed last season with a torn ACL, caught 10 passes for 208 yards.
UC Davis at No. 81 Nevada
Cody Fajardo did his thing (106 yards rushing and 164 yards passing), but the Nevada defense had no answer for the UCLA offense (647 yards) in a 58-20 loss last week. The Wolf Pack should give new coach Brian Polian his first win this week.
Grambling at No. 82 ULM
ULM managed only 166 yards of offense in its 34-0 loss at Oklahoma. Kolton Browning, the Warhawks’ outstanding quarterback, was limited to an average of 3.3 yards on his 39 attempts. Things should be a bit easier this weekend.
Indiana State at No. 84 Purdue
It’s tough to find many positives from the Boilermakers’ 42-7 loss at Cincinnati last Saturday. Purdue was outplayed in every phase of the game. The season is still young, but Darrell Hazell’s team needs to show significant improvement — and soon — if it hopes to reach bowl-eligibility.
No. 123 Idaho at No. 86 Wyoming
Wyoming had 602 yards of total offense last week at Nebraska but fell just a bit short, losing 37-34. Brett Smith was sensational for the Cowboys, completing 29-of-43 passes for 383 yards with four touchdowns and one INT. The Pokes figure to have a relatively easy time with a pretty bad Idaho team.
South Dakota at No. 87 Kansas
We had to wait an extra week to watch Charlie Weis and the junior college-laden Jayhawks in action. Weis’ starting quarterback is Jake Heaps, who once was the No. 1 QB recruit in the nation. If Heaps plays well and some of the junior college transfers on the defensive side of the ball live up to the hype, KU should be significantly improved in 2013.
No. 89 Houston at No. 93 Temple
Houston and Temple are in the same conference — as strange as that might seem. Houston pounded Southern with ease in Week 1 led by a rushing attack that picked up 372 yards on 50 carries. Temple faced a more difficult test and lost 28-6 at Notre Dame. This is a big barometer game for both programs.
No. 110 North Texas at No. 90 Ohio
Ohio won at Penn State in Week 1 of the 2012 season. In their ’13 debut, however, the Bobcats had no answer for Louisville and were never in the game. They return home to face a North Texas team that is feeling pretty good about itself after beating Idaho 40-6 last week. A lot of teams, however, will be feeling good about themselves after playing Idaho.
Ohio 30, North Texas 24
Montana State at No. 91 SMU
SMU outgained Texas Tech 490-to-461 last week but lost the game 41-23 due in part to struggles in the red zone. Texas Tech scored on all five trips inside the 20 (three TDs, two FGs); SMU scored on only three of five trips with only one touchdown.
Lamar at No. 95 Louisiana Tech
Skip Holtz lost to NC State 40-14 in his debut as the coach at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs, who lost a ton of weapons from last year’s nine-win team, could struggle in their first season in C-USA.
Louisiana Tech 41-17
No. 106 New Mexico at No. 99 UTEP
New Mexico showed signs of progress last season under Bob Davie, but the Lobos’ 2013 season got off to a rough start with a 21-13 loss at home to UTSA. New Mexico’s struggles in the passing game continued (6-of-17 for 84 yards), something that must be fixed if this team is going to take a step forward this fall. UTEP will be playing its first game under new coach Sean Kugler.
Nicholls State at No. 102 Western Michigan
Western Michigan hosts a Nicholls State team that gave up 772 yards and 66 points last week to Oregon. The Broncos should have little trouble evening their record to 1-1.
Western Michigan 41-7
Savannah State at No. 107 Troy
Troy rallied from 14 down in the fourth quarter to beat UAB last week. Corey Robinson had an efficient day, completing 30-of-32 passes for 319 yards with one TD and no interceptions.
No. 122 South Alabama at No. 109 Tulane
South Alabama lost at home last week 22-21 to Southern Utah. Tulane beat Jackson State 34-7 in the first start for Nick Montana (son of Joe) at quarterback. Montana only completed 6-of-14 passes, but he threw for 144 yards and two scores.
Prairie View A&M at No. 111 Texas State
Texas State continued Southern Miss’ misery (12th straight loss) by beating the Golden Eagles 22-15 on the road last week.
Texas State 34-7
New Hampshire at No. 114 Central Michigan
Central Michigan was dominated on both sides of the ball last week at Michigan. The Chippewas will be tested by a New Hampshire team that won eight games last season.
Central Michigan 31-27
James Madison at No. 116 Akron
Akron returns home after losing badly at UCF last week. The Zips fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter en route to a 38-7 loss. James Madison beat Central Connecticut State 38-14 last Saturday.
James Madison 24-20
Maine at No. 124 UMass
Not a good sign for UMass: The Minutemen are a 3.5-point underdog at home to an FCS school. The 2013 season will not feature many wins for Charley Molnar’s team.
Chattanooga at No. 125 Georgia State
Georgia State hired a very good coach in Trent Miles, but the Panthers are a long way away from being competitive in the FBS ranks. Last week, they lost at home, 31-21, to Samford.
Georgia State 22, Chattanooga 20
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