Can BYU knock off Texas?
The Week 2 college football slate is relatively light with elite matchups. Florida-Miami, Notre Dame-Michigan and Georgia-South Carolina are the must-see games, but there’s not much else to get excited about. Of course, college football is on television, so at least there’s something to watch.
With a chunk of FBS teams playing opponents from FCS or BCS versus non-BCS conference matchups, the pool for upsets appears to be small this week. BYU hosts Texas in an intriguing non-conference game, and receiver Cody Hoffman is expected to return after missing last week due to a hamstring injury. Hoffman's return is huge for an offense that struggled to move the ball through the air last week.
The favorites can't win every game each week, so it's no surprise one of the most popular discussion points every Saturday is upset picks. Each week on AthlonSports.com, the editors will give an upset pick for the upcoming week of action.
Other Week 2 Previews and Predictions
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College Football Week 2 Upset Predictions
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Wake Forest (+3) over Boston College
I realize this isn’t much of an upset in terms of point spread, but just as I mentioned in Week 1, there’s not much to like with the odds early in the year. Western Kentucky over Tennessee is very tempting, but I’m giving the Volunteers a slight edge in that one. Wake Forest and Boston College both played FCS opponents in Week 1, so this will be a better test of where both teams stack up in the ACC. Both squads have plenty of kinks to work out over the next few weeks. The Demon Deacons have a shaky offensive line, and the Eagles are adjusting to new schemes on both sides of the ball. Boston College also needs to find another receiver or two to pair with potential All-ACC target Alex Amidon. This game is a tossup, but I like Wake Forest to leave Chestnut Hill with a three-point win.
Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Notre Dame (+4.5) over Michigan
These two have split the last two meetings since both Brady Hoke and Brian Kelly entered the series with the home team taking each of the last two meetings. Last season was the lowest scoring meeting between the two since 1909 and the Irish defense will once again take center stage. If Tommy Rees is even half of the player he was in Week 1, he should be able to move the ball effectively against a Michigan defense that is still a recruiting class or two away from being championship caliber. Look for the ND defensive line to pressure Devin Gardner into a few mistakes and that will lead to an upset in one of the most "historic, traditional" rivalry games in college football.
David Fox (@DavidFox615): BYU (+7) over Texas
A home underdog raises eyebrows, for sure. I also wonder if we’ve overcompensated for Week 1. After stalling early, Texas throttled New Mexico State as it should, but BYU had a bizarre game against Virginia, delay for more than two and a half hours by lightning. A Western team going East, a rain delay and two Virginia drives starting in the red zone due to a turnover and a blocked punt leads me to believe we might see the real BYU team this week. I like the Cougars pass rush against David Ash, who threw two first-half picks against New Mexico State.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Arkansas State (+11.5) over 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.
Mark Ross: James Madison (+3) over Akron
As this season has already shown us, FCS teams are more than capable of not only hanging with big brother, but also beating them on occasion. While the mighty Zips of Akron, who got manhandled 38-7 by UCF in their opener, aren't exactly on the same level as Oregon State or Kansas State, they are still an FBS team. Akron struggled in all facets of the game last week, but was particularly bad against the pass, giving up nearly 17 yards per completion to the Knights.
JMU isn't known for throwing the ball all over the field, but what the Dukes do have is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback in Michael Birdsong and the confidence that comes with the success the program has enjoyed under coach Mickey Matthews. JMU also has experience as a giant-killer, as the Dukes defeated in-state powerhouse Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2010. Three years later, lightning strikes again for JMU, but this time in Ohio, as the Dukes produce just enough offense and make a key play on defense late to add another W to the FCS' win total against FBS teams this season.
Stephen Schindler (@SteveSchindler): Washington State (-15.5) over USC
Lane Kiffin is a mess. The USC quarterback situation is a mess. And the Trojans looked spotty in their victory over a very mediocre Hawaii squad last week. Washington State almost stole a game at Auburn with quarterback Connor Halliday throwing for over 300 yards. Mike Leach is still one of the best offensive minds in the game. Expect the Cougars to spread USC out and pass upwards of 60 times. While Marqise Lee is an unquestionable talent, the Trojans still don’t know who will be throwing him the ball. If Washington State can protect Halliday and he can protect the football, Washington State will get its first win in LA since 2000.