College Gameday: Games to Watch
September 7, 2013 in Game Previews
By Guest Writer PJ Moran:
Now that it’s Week Two of the College Football season, we've seen every team in action. But with college football, nothing is for sure, so no conclusion can be made based solely upon Week One performances. Enter Week Two, where anything can happen.
5. No. 15 Texas at BYU
BYU suffered a crushing 19-16 loss at Virginia in Week One, but now they have a chance to get back to 1-1 versus Texas at home. Texas, lead by quarterback David Ash, is a much tougher opponent than Virginia. They put on an offense display against New Mexico State last week, racking up a record 715 yards. But against the stout defense of BYU lead by linebacker Kyle Van Noy, Texas won’t approach that amount of yardage.
The Cougars suffered a painful last minute loss in their season opener, and they will do whatever it takes not to fall to 0-2. While Texas is surely a tough opponent, BYU’s defense will hold strong enough to shut Texas down and earn an upset at home.
4. No. 2 Oregon at Virginia
Virginia is coming into this game off of an impressive win over BYU, but now they face their toughest challenge of the entire season in Oregon. The Ducks are currently ranked second in the nation and have the most dynamic offense in the country. Last week against Nicholls State, the combination of Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas was unstoppable. In addition, Oregon has not lost in a road game in 15 straight contests, the longest streak in the nation. Virginia will come out with a lot of passion, but will it be enough to slow down the Ducks?
Virginia is an improved team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. But Oregon’s offense is way too powerful, and in this game they will show the nation that they are deserving of the number two ranking.
3. No. 12 Florida at Miami
These two teams might not be in the same conference, but this is definitely a huge rivalry in college football. Florida and Miami square off yet again, and this bout is almost sure to be a close game. Both teams are coming off of wins; Florida won rather unimpressively over Toledo, while Miami trumped Florida Atlantic. Although it’s early in the year, Miami running back Duke Johnson leads the nation with 186 yards rushing.
Miami might be the best unranked team in the nation, but after this week they will climb back into the Top 25. Florida is a very good team, but Miami matches up well against them. Florida’s strength is their secondary, but Miami racks up their yards and points on the ground. This will be a closely contested battle, but Miami’s homefield advantage will push them over the top.
2. No. 6 South Carolina at No. 11 Georgia
In the average week, this game would have the spotlight shining bright upon it. While it might not rank number one in “games to watch,” this battle might still be epic. South Carolina enters the game coming off of an impressive win over North Carolina, even though star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not make much of an impact. On the other hand, Georgia is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Clemson in what might already have been the game of the year. This matchup will undoubtedly be hard-hitting and will go down to the wire.
Edge: South Carolina
Sorry Georgia fans, but your Bulldogs are about to fall to 0-2. Even with homefield advantage and Heisman hopeful Aaron Murray, South Carolina will prove to be too much. Connor Shaw will repeat his strong performance of last week, and there is no way Clowney will be shut down two weeks in a row. Star Georgia running back Todd Gurley is also not at full health, and they lost starting receiver Malcolm Mitchell to an ACL injury. In the end, the Gamecocks will get it done.
1. No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan
While neither of these two teams have the star power of South Carolina or Michigan, the importance of this game makes it an easy choice for the game of the week. These two rivals will be playing for the last time for the unforeseeable future, as Notre Dame decided to opt out of its contract with Michigan after this season. Tensions will be high, the lights will be shining, and the biggest stadium in America will be fully capacitated. What more could you ask for?
Brady Hoke has yet to lose a home game in his tenure as Michigan’s head coach, and this will definitely not be his first loss. Devin Gardner will feed off of the electricity of the home crowd, while Tommy Rees might fall susceptible to the immense pressure. In this primetime rivalry game, Michigan will come out on top.