Week 2 Preview

Welcome back college football fans! We are back after an amazing and exciting Week 1 to bring you another jampacked weekend of games. This week’s slate is anchored by two massive showdowns, but there is plenty of intrigue around the national scope as well. Let’s get into some predictions!

Games of Note:

#12 Oregon @ #4 Ohio State

Scott- In the game of the week, two conference favorites square off in the Shoe. While the Pac-12 still faces an uphill battle in terms of the reputation it faces in regards to the other Power 5 conferences, the Ducks could help negate some of that with an upset win. OSU’s offense looked as sharp as ever after putting up 64 against the Golden Gophers last Thursday. This team should be a playoff contender yet again. Mario Cristobal’s bunch believes they’re ready to make the next step towards the Ducks’ first playoff since 2014, where they ironically lost to these Buckeyes in the Natty. Despite an impressive showing against a solid Fresno State team, I think this game could turn south for the Ducks quickly. Look for OSU to make it 10-0 all time against Oregon. Ohio State 38, Oregon 13

Gavin– Both teams posted solid wins in week one, but still have questions that will need to be answered before the end of the season if they hope to push for a playoff spot. This game is a big chance for both teams to do just that. Ohio State put up big points last week, but also gave up 35 points to Minnesota. Oregon’s offense could prove a challenge for the Buckeyes. Can the ducks stop the Buckeyes on the other end though? I don’t think so. Ohio State 45, Oregon 21

#15 Iowa @ #7 Iowa State

Scott- In one of the better rivalries in the country, the Cy-Hawk game in 2021 will be like no other. With both teams ranked for the first time ever at the time of playing, this one has all the makings of a nail-biter. I have never seen so much hype around this matchup and I’m sure Gavin can say the same. I like both defenses a lot, particularly the Hawkeyes, and their offense looked much better than expected against the Hoosiers last week. The Cyclones have star talent all over the field on offense however, and we’ll see if the Hawks can contain Breece Hall and Brock Purdy in the run game. They feel confident they can keep the downfield passing game in check. The X-factors to me are if ISU tight end Charlie Kolar can get his over the middle, and if Spencer Petras can avoid mistakes. I think this is a field goal game, and ultimately I’ll take the home team to break the streak and continue their playoff push. Iowa State 24, Iowa 21

Gavin– This is it. The biggest Cy-Hawk game in history. Gameday is back in LAmes. Both teams have legitimate conference championship hopes, and perhaps even more. Both teams are coming off impressive, one-sided wins. And both teams have solid defenses and strong offensive identities. It seems like it is always a close game, and this year should absolutely be no different. But Iowa has won 5 in a row for a reason. Matt Campbell’s side has continued to make mistakes against the Hawks, and with this edition of the Iowa defense, any mistake will be punished severely. Oh and Scott, when was the last time Iowa allowed more than 22 points? I’ll take my Hawks over Iowa State’s best team ever. Iowa 28, Iowa State 21

#16 Texas @ Arkansas

Scott- For the 79th time, the Horns and Hogs will face off Saturday night. An old SWC conference rivalry and a future SEC conference rivalry makes for an interesting twist to this showdown. Arkansas thinks they are on their way up after a very respectable Year 1 under Sam Pittman. On the other side, the Sark era got off to an amazing start last week with a controlling home win over a ranked Louisiana team, vaulting them up to 16th in the polls. A lot of people have labeled this a trap game for UT. This will be a challenging road test for freshman QB Hudson Card in a hostile environment. What remains to be seen is if Arkansas can contain Bijon Robinson. I think Arkansas gets off to a fast start, but Texas catches them and runs away with it late to get to 2-0 under Sarkisian. Texas 35, Arkansas 17

Gavin– Texas put together an impressive performance last week against a solid Louisiana squad. Arkansas looked good, at least defensively in week one. I think this has the potential to be a close game, but things are going to have to bounce the Hogs’ way consistently for that to happen. Whether the Horns are back is yet to be seen, but they should take care of business in this one. Texas 31, Arkansas 14

NC State @ Mississippi State

Scott- In a fascinating matchup, these two programs will face off in Starkville to see who can get to 2-0, with the winner could very well make their way into the Top 25. NC State pounded South Florida last weekend, while MSU took care of business against LA Tech. If the Wolfpack have any chance of giving Clemson a game, this will be the measuring stick game. Mike Leach’s offense will be challenging to slow down, with Will Rogers at the helm. But Dave Doeren’s had some solid defenses in Raleigh, and they already have one shutout this year. Typically in a matchup like this, I would take the home team, but I think Devin Leary makes a play late to give the ACC a quality non-conference win. NC State 31, Mississippi State 29

Gavin– As Scott said, this is a great chance for the ACC to grab a quality non-con win. But this Mississippi State team is not South Florida. I like the Bulldogs in this one to hold their ground at home. Mississippi State 28, NC State 21

Appalachian State @ #22 Miami

Scott- The Hurricanes are in need of a bounce-back game badly, but this is hardly the opponent you would want to face when needing a victory. App State is back again with former Clemson and Duke QB Chase Brice, so he has experience against ACC foes. Miami may be facing not only the Mountaineers, but the Bama hangover as well. After getting pounded last week, we’ll see if the Canes’ bodies have recovered in time. While I think App State will be a great Sun Belt team, and we know they have upset potential, I believe in D’Eriq King, and I think he is too much for the App State defense to contain in Coral Gables. Give me the U to rebound to 1-1. Miami 44, Appalachian State 28

GavinMiami 35, Appalachian State 24

Missouri @ Kentucky

Scott- It’s the conference opener in the SEC, and it features two teams from the East that seem to have some upside. The question for both: Just how much upside? Both these teams are trying to break into that upper echelon in their division, and UK switched up their offensive personnel this offseason to try to do so. They looked decent against ULM, and we know Mark Stoops almost always has a good defense to boot. Will Connor Bazelak and head coach Eli Drinkwitz be able to challenge the Kentucky secondary? This game seems like a toss-up, but I’m personally higher on the Tigers this year, and I think they return to Columbia 2-0. Missouri 27, Kentucky 21

GavinKentucky 28, Missouri 24

#19 Washington @ Michigan

Scott- This B1G-PAC matchup does not have quite the luster of the one at the top of this post, but this one ain’t too shabby either. Both the Huskies and Wolverines looked sluggish last week, and I’m not sure either of them has the offensive production that can make them true conference contenders. I do have more confidence in UW to figure it out, as Michigan is also working in a brand-new defensive coordinator in Mike MacDonald. I think Washington makes just enough plays, and escapes the Big House with a signature win for the Pac-12. Washington 24, Michigan 16

GavinMichigan 24, Washington 21

#23 Utah @ BYU

Scott- In another one of the best rivalries in sports, the Holy War returns after a one-year absence, and BYU missed a great chance to finally knock off their bitter rival after the Cougars’ success in 2020. Utah has won nine straight in the series, and is looking to contend for the conference this year under transfer QB Charlie Brewer. BYU lost a lot last year, but beat a Pac-12 team last week in Arizona. Granted that is Arizona, and this is a ranked Utah team, but almost all of the games between these two are close. Jaren Hall has taken over for Zach Wilson, but he’ll face a stout Utah defense. I honestly think Utah is on another level than BYU, but the home crowd will keep this one relatively close. Kyle Whittingham makes it 10 in a row against his alma mater. Utah 31, BYU 16

GavinUtah 42, BYU 28

Upset Picks:

Scott- Liberty @ Troy

Personally, I am much higher than Troy than many other pundits. I like the Trojans to knock off one of the big dogs in the Sun Belt like App State or Coastal. But, I do not think they should be a home favorite against an offense as electric as Liberty’s. Coming off of an amazing 2020 campaign, I’ll take Malik Willis and Hugh Freeze’s superb play-calling in this road spot. Liberty 43, Troy 33

GavinNorthern Illinois vs Wyoming

A home underdog always has to be considered a decent chance for an upset, and that is the main reason why I like the Huskies here. Wyoming barely survived Montana State last week, and while NIU was anything but impressive against Georgia Tech, I think they are primed to bounce back in a big way. Northern Illinois 26, Wyoming 21

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