The opening weekend of college football did not disappoint. We witnessed many true freshman and transfer quarterbacks get off to great starts. There were two unlikely upsets in the SEC. And, who could forget the fantastic finish between Auburn and Oregon on Saturday night? All of that with only one game between ranked opponents. This weekend we see four of the top 12 teams in the country facing off against one another. Without any further delay, let’s get you started with our week two college football watch guide.
Note: All game times are in central standard time
Week Two College Football Watch Guide
Both teams were victorious in week one but did not look as impressive as the experts thought they might. Army nearly shocked the world a year ago in taking Oklahoma to overtime in Norman. Meanwhile, Michigan is breaking in a new offense. However, how prepared they will be defensively for the option attack will loom large here.
Ohio State had somewhat of an uneven performance in game one against Florida Atlantic. Behind Justin Fields, the Buckeyes got off to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. But, the last three quarters were just average play. Cincinnati is a 10-win team of a year ago and could give the Buckeyes a challenge in this one.
Syracuse fans should beware of the look ahead. Before the Orange host the defending national champions, they face the Terps. Syracuse had a business-like performance in defeating Liberty 24-0. Comparatively, Maryland enjoyed one of the biggest wins in school history in a 79-0 romp over Howard. This has upset written all over it.
The Neal Brown and Austin Kendall era got off to a successful start. But, the competition goes up considerably as the Mountaineers face Missouri. Wyoming ran for over 300 yards against the Tigers in week one. If the Mountaineers can come close to duplicating that effort, this one could go down to the wire. Kelly Bryant threw for over 400 yards in his Missouri debut.
Clemson took care of Georgia Tech in relatively easy fashion on Thursday night. But, Trevor Lawrence struggled somewhat in the opener in throwing two interceptions. Travis Etienne picked up the slack with his 200-yard performance. Meanwhile, Texas A&M was dominant in its win against Texas State. This could very well be Clemson’s toughest game of the regular season.
Nebraska did not look the part of a conference champion in week one for second-year man Scott Frost. Now, they face an old Big Eight and Big 12 rival in Colorado. This has all the makings of a shootout as you expect Adrian Martinez to bounce back this week. And, Colorado has one of the most exciting players in the country in Laviska Shenault, Jr.
Volunteer fans have had a week they want to forget. After one of the worst defeats in program history, they face visiting BYU. The Cougars had a rough outing as well in losing to Utah in the holy war. This is a must-win for both teams if they have any interest in going bowling. After hosting Chattanooga, Tennessee faces Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Alabama in consecutive weeks.
Josh Heupel’s boys cruised to a 62-0 defeat of Florida A&M in week one. Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush played well in a small sample size in week one. As we mentioned earlier, Florida Atlantic played well after the first quarter against Ohio State last week. UCF has still yet to lose a regular-season game in over three years.
The entire nation will their eyes on Texas as the biggest game of the week is in Austin. College Gameday and a national television audience will watch to see if Texas is indeed back. Both Texas and LSU were very impressive in week one. Although the passing efficiency of Joe Burrow in week one was unlike anything we’ve seen in Baton Rouge in quite some time.
This SEC matchup is a big one for both schools. The Ole Miss offense was anemic in its loss to Memphis in only scoring 10 points. Meanwhile, Arkansas did win in week one but they struggled offensively as well against Portland State. Both teams look like they will be towards the bottom of the SEC so a win here will be critical for bowl aspirations.
Mack Brown and his North Carolina Tar Heels are the darlings of college football after the week one upset victory over South Carolina. Now, they’ll have to back up that performance with everyone patting them on the back against Miami. The Hurricanes have had two weeks to prepare for this one. It will be interesting to see what kind of improvements Manny Diaz and company have made.
Our nightcap here gives us PAC 12 after dark. Washington has been a darkhorse playoff contender early in the preseason. Jacob Eason threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns in his Huskie debut. Cal was a bowl team a year ago but struggled a bit in a 27-13 victory over UC Davis. The Huskies could have revenge on their mind from the 12-10 Cal upset last year.
Times are hard at Southern California right now. Head coach Clay Helton was on the hot seat to begin the season. And, to make matters worse, they lost sophomore quarterback JT Daniels to an ACL injury in week one. This is a pretty important game for the Trojans as they face BYU, Utah, Washington, and Notre Dame in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Stanford enjoyed a solid opening weekend win over Northwestern. This is a big game for not only PAC 12 consideration but the season as well since the Cardinal face UCF and Oregon next.