College Football Spoiler Alert Week 2
As we hit Week 2 of the college football season, we're still in the stage where our Top 25 usual suspects are still in what Adam Sandler's Longest Yard character Paul Crewe would call "tune-up game" mode. Auburn, TCU and Baylor are playing FCS teams for example. Top ranked Ohio State is welcoming in hapless Hawaii. Clemson will take on Appalachian State, but don't get too excited because the Mountaineers resemble nothing of the squad that topped Michigan in '07.
Despite all that, we have three matchups of Top 25 teams, ones that could potentially play an impact on the College Football Playoff. Without further ado, let's check out your Saturday Spoilers....
(all rankings reflect AP poll; All times EST)
Army (0-1) @ UConn (0-1)
The Black Knights and Huskies are both coming off disappointing showings against FCS competition last week, though UConn squeaked by with a 20-15 win over Villanova while Army fell 37-35 to in-state foe Fordham. Despite the L, the Black Knights are slowly but surely developing under 2nd year head coach Jeff Monken. There's been a jolt of life into West Point's offense under Monken, under whom the Knights have tallied at least 35 points seven time (including last week). The problem in the Monken era has been defense, but the Huskies bite on D isn't exactly strong. Though QB Bryant Shirreffs threw for 202 yards, the run game only picked up 105 on a whopping 39 carries, under 3 yards per carry. Combine that with the fact Army took a 35-21 contest from UConn last year at Yankee Stadium and you're looking at a minor upset here
Army 30, UConn 19
Oregon State (1-0) @ Michigan (0-1)
I have no doubt Jim Harbaugh is going to help Michigan football in the long run. What Wolverines fans have to realize is that there will be growing pains, like last week's opening night loss to Utah. Michigan is playing with the remains of the Brady Hoke era, and it will take the inexperienced offense some time to learn some of Harbaugh's new tricks. I don't forsee the visit from OSU (no not that one) being one of those growing pains. A tilt with FCS Weber State was a singe digit game for the Beavers until midway through the 4th quarter, and they're going through a new coach themselves in Gary Andersen. The Wolverines' defense was able to hold the talented Utes QB Travis Wilson to 204 and no touchdowns last week. If they can hold the athletic Seth Collins in check, they should be celebrating the first of potentially many wins in th Harbaugh era.
Michigan 20, Oregon State 10
Minnesota (0-1) @ Colorado State (1-0)
3:30 PM, CBSSN
Saturday will mark the first time a team from a Power 5 conference will visit Fort Collins since 2007. During that time, CSU has developed itself into a legitimate mid-major contender, particularly last season's 10 win campaign. In their quiet blowout win over Savannah State, the Rams offense showed they haven't lost a step under new coach Mike Bobo. They'll be ready to take on a Minnesota team that admittedly played #3 TCU pretty well before falling 23-17. The difference here is the offenses. While CSU boasts the talents of WR Rashard Higgins (1,750 yards, 17 TDs a year ago), Minnesota had some trouble moving the ball against TCU, with a stagnant offense putting a monkey wrench in any upset bid. Combine that with playing in the thin air of Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium and the Gophers could be heading back home 0-2. So, you may ask, is this my upset special? You're darn tootin'! (50 bonus points if you got that reference)
UPSET SPECIAL: Colorado State 31, Minnesota 20
Washington State (0-1) @ Rutgers (1-0)
3:30 PM, ESPNU
Here we have a matchup of two teams with big issues, though both are completely different. On one hand, Wazzu faces a crisis on the field as last Saturday saw their team get beat by FCS opponent Portland State. Rutgers's issues lie off the field, with head coach Kyle Flood being investigated for illegal contact with a professor regarding one of his player's academic status, not to mention five players being arrested and subsequently kicked off the team last week. Despite that, the Scarlet Knights took care of business against Norfolk State with a 63-13 victory, and will look to do so again against the Cougars. Winners of last season's opener with WSU, a 41-38 thriller, the Scarlet Knights return several players from that winning squad including RB Paul James (173 yards) and WR Leonte Caroo (78 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage). For the scarlet cherry on top, WSU coach Mike Leach recently stated on a radio show that New Jersey has "good players but bad football". With a roster consisting mostly of New Jersey natives and high school grads, that can't end for the Cougars.
Rutgers 34, Washington State 16
#9 Notre Dame (1-0) @ Virginia (0-1)
3:30 PM, ABC
Notre Dame gets one more tune-up game before embarking on a brutal stretch that sees them take on 3 current ranked teams in 5 weeks. It should be another terrific showcase for that scary Irish defense. After holding Texas's anemic offense to a mere 163 yards in a 38-3 blowout victory, another feast potentially awaits the Irish in Charlottesville, where Virginia featured the 98th ranked offense in the nation last year. The Cavaliers did post 336 yards and kept pace early on with a tough UCLA team last week, but it should be more of the same from both sides. Notre Dame is an angry team, trying to work out the kinks that caused losses in 5 of their final 7 games last season. As long as they're not caught looking ahead to another, more elite, ACC foe in Georgia Tech next week, Notre Dame should get through this one pretty easily.
Notre Dame 35, Virginia 12
Iowa @ Iowa State
4:45 PM, FOX
Kirk Ferentz and Paul Rhoads each entered the season on the hot seat. Those seats both slightly cooled off after they both won their respective season debuts last week, but a loss in the ever important Cy-Hawk rivalry game could leave them both burning once more. Ferentz has had success at Iowa, but his 7-9 mark against ISU (including 1-3 in his last quartet) is an ugly blemish on his resume. With the Big Ten West possibly wide open after favorites Nebraska and Wisconsin both fell last week, it's important for the Hawkeyes to pick up as many wins as possible and gain momentum before conference play begins. Iowa State, meanwhile, is still trying to get back to respectability, and isn't ready to take on this experienced Hawkeye team.
Iowa 24, Iowa State 14
#19 Oklahoma (1-0) @ #23 Tennessee (1-0)
6 PM, ESPN
It's nice and all to see the Volunteers reenter the national discussion, but count me as one of those still not sold that they're for real. Experts tout UT's experience, but it's not like they've accomplished anything huge over the past decade. Josh Dobbs and Jalen Hurd provide a solid QB-RB battery in the backfield, but it still pales in comparison to the one in Norman as Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine have shown they're capable of running wild on opposing defenses. The Vols' defense looked shaky enough against MAC foe Bowling Green, so the outlook can't be too great against the high octane Sooners. They might be a year away from taking games like these but at the very least the Vols should keep it close in front of what's sure to be a raucous orange crowd.
Oklahoma 45, Tennessee 34
#7 Oregon (1-0) @5 Michigan State (1-0)
8 PM, ABC
Yes, they won the game. Yes, they put up 61. Yes, Eastern Washington is pretty solid for an FCS opponent. But something just felt off about the Ducks' opening weekend win. Granted the Ducks have never exactly been defensive juggernauts, but giving up 42 points, 31 1st downs and 549 yards of offense just seems Oregon-like. Let's also not forget the last time they faced a Big Ten team either...anyone remember the College Football National Championship Game last year? Michigan State didn't exactly look like world beaters in their closer than anticipated tilt with Western Michigan last week. However, taking on a wild home crowd in East Lansing will wake up the Spartans, who are also seeking revenge for last season's 46-27 defeat in Eugene. Combine that with Oregon QB Vernon Adams still fighting off last week's head injury on an EWU cheap shot (though the Ducks insist it wasn't a concussion), and the time is ripe for MSU redemption.
Michigan State 41, Oregon 35
#14 LSU (0-0) @ #25 Mississippi State (1-0)
9:15 PM, ESPN
I'm normally not one to whine about SEC bias but...how in God's name does a win over Southern Miss put you in the Top 25?!?! Northwestern beats a then-ranked Stanford team and misses out yet MSU beats a USM team that's won four games over the past three seasons and that puts you in? Please. But you want to prove me wrong Bulldogs? Beat LSU. Beat a Tigers team that's had an extra week to stew over a tough bowl loss to Notre Dame. A Tigers team where freshman sensation Leonard Fournette is a year older and ready to go. A Tigers team that's going to be furious over the upset they suffered last year in Baton Rouge to the Bulldogs. Beat them, and I'll say you belong. But for now, step aside.
LSU 27, Mississippi State 10
#20 Boise State (1-0) @ BYU (1-0)
10:15 PM, ESPN2
Yes, the Broncos won against a Power 5 opponent (Washington) last week, but only by a mere 16-13 score. But in order to impress College Football Playoff voters to put them in a New Year's Six bowl (or even the College Football Playoff itself, though its a longshot) Boise has to beat their quality opponents by as much as they can, saving their best stuff for these games. Considering the fact that BYU may be the best opponent left on their docket (it's a toss up between this and a conference matchup at Colorado State on October 10) and the Cougars' multi-talented QB Taysom Hill went down for the season yet again, it could be a prime opportunity for BSU to score some style points on the road. A so-so BYU defense also gives new Broncs QB Ryan Finley a chance to hone his skills. BYU had a miracle last week and proved me right in my upset special. Unfortunately for them, they used a little too magic on that game.
Boise State 38, BYU 14
Last Week: 7-3
Upset Specials: 1-0
Geoff Magliocchetti called the BYU upset last week, but probably cursed Penn State and Stanford. Call him out if you're a Nittany Lion or Cardinal fan on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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