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College football: Week two preview and predictions

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California
SC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first quarter of the 2017 Rose Bowl game at Rose Bowl. 
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week one of college football gave enough excitement to wet our appetite, but there weren’t many storylines to take away from it.

It’s clear Texas still needs time to develop as a team after getting smacked at home in a loss vs. Maryland. Head coach Tom Herman will need to rally the troops before the lingering loss effects the rest of their season.

No. 11 Michigan belongs in the top-10 after beating No. 17 Florida — who still can’t produce on offense after last season’s woes.

No. 1 Alabama reminded college football that the championship goes through Tuscaloosa, soundly beating No. 3 Florida State 24-7. FSU also lost their young quarterback Deondre Francois to a season-ending knee injury. FSU was a championship contender heading into the game, but it’ll be a daunting task to overcome the loss of their star quarterback.

What are the tastiest matchups in the second week of college football?


(17) Louisville at North Carolina

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 12 p.m.

Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

Two teams who had two miserable week-one performances. North Carolina lost at home to an underdog California team with had a brand new coaching staff. Louisville looked rather unimpressive in a sloppy win against Purdue. Expect UNC to come out with an inspired effort to upset Louisville — possibly leading for most of the game — but star QB Lamar Jackson will prevail by being the best athlete on the field, leading Louisville to a very close win.

NCAA Football: Louisville vs Purdue
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts to a call during the second quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

(23) TCU at Arkansas

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 3:30 p.m.

Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR

What a chaotic, jaw-dropping event this game was last season. Arkansas came back to edge TCU 41-38 in one of the most exciting games all season. Expect a similar shootout this season between quarterbacks Kenny Hill and Austin Allen. This game will be a nightmare for the defensive coordinators of both teams, but it’ll be a dream for the fans. Look for TCU to play with a chip on their shoulder after last season’s heartbreaker and shock Arkansas late on the road.

NCAA Football: Jackson State at Texas Christian
TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Shawn Robinson (12) runs against Jackson State Tigers defensive back Kendrick Paul (24) in the fourth quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Main Course

(13) Auburn at (3) Clemson

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 7 p.m.

Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC

The battle of the Tigers. These teams don’t play each other very often, but history proves they still don’t like each other. The season is very young, but a potential spot in the college football playoffs is on the line. Auburn’s defense looked excellent last week against Georgia Southern, and should be able to pressure Clemson all game. Clemson QB Kelly Bryant looked very impressive in his debut vs. Kent State, hitting 16-of-22 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown with a pick. He also added a 77-yard run for a touchdown. This game has the potential to be one of the best matchups of the season. Expect Clemson to pull away late in the fourth quarter in a tight defensive affair.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Clemson
Clemson Tigers defensive end Austin Bryant (7) celebrates with Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) after the play during the first half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

(5) Oklahoma at (2) Ohio State

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 7:30 p.m.

Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

The Big 12 had a disastrous start to the season after seeing Texas lose to Maryland and Baylor lose to Liberty. Oklahoma got embarrassed at home last year by Ohio State on both sides of the ball. Baker Mayfield made some uncharacteristic throws — albeit under constant pressure — and OU’s defense got stomped on all game. The Buckeyes looked like they belonged in a different league than the Sooners. Oklahoma will have to put the game in Baker Mayfield’s hands to win this game. The only way OU pulls off the upset is in a shootout, which would be very uncharacteristic of OSU’s defense. Expect Mayfield to have a better game than Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett, but OSU is simply too talented.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Indiana
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

(15) Georgia at (24) Notre Dame

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 7:30 p.m.

Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN

Notre Dame entered the season with little expectation in a rebuilding year, but have found themselves ranked in the top-25 after one week. Georgia lost quarterback Jason Eason for this week — and possibly longer — to a knee injury suffered against Appalachian State. Jake Fromm is a big-time talent with skill and poise to handle the Bulldog offense, but asking him to light up Notre Dame’s defense in South Bend seems unrealistic. Georgia will look for the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to lead their rushing attack in hopes of taking pressure off of Fromm. This game should be tight throughout, and we could see a winning field goal in the closing seconds of the game. Notre Dame gets the nod since they have home field advantage.

NCAA Football: Temple at Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Dexter Williams (2) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


(14) Stanford at (6) Southern California

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 8:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

It’s hard to know if this is a preview of the Pac-12 Championship game, but it looks like a safe bet on paper. Both teams looked lethargic in their openers, and USC’s quarterback Sam Darnold had a poor outing against Western Michigan. The star QB is looking to bounce back at home against a very talented Stanford team. Stanford beat USC last season 27-10, but Darnold wasn’t deemed the full-time QB yet, so it’s unknown how he’ll perform against an always impressive Cardinals defense. We saw Josh Rosen have a shining performance in a comeback victory against Texas A&M, but Darnold is equally talented when the lights shine the brightest. Expect a miserable first half for both sides, but Darnold will prove why he should be a top pick in the NFL draft by leading the Trojans to victory.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Southern California
Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Western Michigan Broncos during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports