Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Spread Offense 9/6/17: College Football Week 2 Preview

By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta


9. Michigan
8. Georgia
7. Oklahoma
6. Clemson
5. Washington
4. Penn State
3. USC
2. Ohio State
1. Alabama

Probably the first question upon reading this is where did Florida State go? I know that a loss to Alabama normally wouldn’t drop the #3 team in the country out of the top 10, but due to the QB position now up in the air, I’m taking a cautious approach to the Seminoles. QB Deondre Francois is out for the year, and freshman James Blackman now takes over as the starting QB, so FSU will have to earn back the trust before they are considered a top 10 team again.

Michigan is the lone newcomer to the top 10. After a sound beating of the Florida Gators, the Wolverines make their debut at #9. All other teams just slid up 1 spot due to Florida State’s exit except for Louisville, who was dropped from #9 to #10. The Cardinals won an unflattering game against Purdue, so they slid just a little bit here but with 2 big contests in a row(at North Carolina, vs Clemson), they can easily make their way up the rankings.


5. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
4. Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State
3. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
2. Sam Darnold, QB, USC
1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

I kept this ranking the same mainly because it was week 1 and some Heisman candidates had an underwhelming performance so I gave them a pass for it. After week 2 we are bound to see some shake-ups though, some big games involving these players are slated for week 2.


Week 1 is in the books and while Saturday was rather lackluster in great games(the 2 biggest games, Michigan-Florida and Alabama-Florida State turned out to be no contests in the 2nd half), the games on Sunday and Monday made up for it. UCLA’s 34 point comeback against Texas A&M in the final 18 minutes of the game, Virginia Tech’s win over West Virginia in a back and forth battle and Tennessee’s thrilling OT victory by stopping Georgia Tech on a 2 point conversion in OT were the highlights of the weekend.

Week 2 is now here and we have some big time games coming up, every college football fan should be ready for what’s in store come Saturday night when we have 4 big games all kicking off within an hour and half of each other.

#13 Auburn Tigers at #3 Clemson Tigers - 7:00 PM

The big action of the night starts in Clemson as the defending national champs welcome the Auburn Tigers to Death Valley. Both teams looked very good last Saturday, although they played more of a tune-up game against 2 lesser opponents but got the practice they desired while coasting to a win. Auburn defeated Georgia Southern 41-7 as QB Jarrett Stidham was impressive for the Tigers while RB Kam Martin added 136 yards on 14 carries. Their defense was even more impressive, holding Georgia Southern to only 78 total yards and they look to bring that kind of tenacity this weekend. Clemson rolled over Kent State, 56-3 and many people are not hesitating to crown new Clemson QB Kelly Bryant as the next Deshaun Watson. That will be tested here big time, we will see if Bryant is picking up right where Watson left off or if he struggles in his first primetime game against a stout defense. Clemson's home crowd will definitely play a factor in this though as they are known to have one of the loudest stadiums in all of college football, could give them the big swing that's needed.

PREDICTION: AUBURN 24-20 - This will be a good, close game but the Tigers get it done on the road.

#15 Georgia Bulldogs at #24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 7:30 PM

The big news coming out of Georgia is that QB Nick Eason will not be playing in this game due to an injury. That means that freshman Jake Fromm will make the start for the Bulldogs as they travel to South Bend. The good news for Jake Fromm is that a lot of his duty as QB should be turning around and handing the ball off the RB Nick Chubb, who went for 96 yards on 18 carries with 2 TD's in UGA's 31-10 win over Appalachian State. Coming off a disastrous 4-8 season, the Fighting Irish started their season on a positive note as they rolled over Temple, 49-16. New ND QB Brandon Wimbush looked impressive and RB Josh Adams looked even better, if those two keep it up then Notre Dame could find themselves victorious in this game. Georgia is more battle tested and looks to have the better team, but the newcomers from Notre Dame and homefield advantage could keep them in the game, possibly even steal this one.

PREDICTION: Georgia 34-17 - Nick Chubb should wear the ND defense down and while the ND's offense looked good last week, this may be too tall of a task for them.

#5 Oklahoma Sooners at #2 Ohio State Buckeyes - 7:30 PM

Last season, Ohio State went to Oklahoma and brought home a 45-24 victory, and the Sooners are now looking to return the favor here. Ohio State's young secondary was tested last week against the passing attack of Indiana, and they will be tested again here against Heisman candidate QB Baker Mayfield. Mayfield brings the experience and talent needed to play against a defense like OSU's, and while they looked good last week against UTEP, the losses of Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook is a lot to make up. They will need to be made up for though if Oklahoma wants to have a shot at this, because Ohio State will be putting up points as they have one of the more electric offenses in the country. The Buckeyes had a rough first half last Thursday against Indiana, but made some adjustments and got it rolling and beat Indiana 49-21. OSU will be led by QB J.T. Barrett and freshman RB J.K. Dobbins as the team hopes to have similar success as they did last season against Oklahoma.

PREDICTION: Ohio State 42-31 - The score may end up closer than the actual game, but Ohio State's ability to get to the QB will stop the Sooners from being able to score with the Buckeyes.

#14 Stanford at #6 USC - 8:30 PM

Pac-12 powerhouses clash in this primetime game here, with USC hosting Stanford. Stanford currently has a 3 game winning streak over the Trojans but USC has national championship hopes, and will need to get over the roadblock here for people really buy into them. USC has playmakers everywhere, Heisman candidate QB Sam Darnold, RB Ronald Jones II and Deontay Burnett gives this team a ton of firepower. Stanford had last weekend off as they played the weekend before, and dominated Rice 62-7. QB Keller Chryst is the Stanford QB once again and looked very good in that first game, and got a lot of help from RB Bryce Love, who had 180 yards on just 13 carries. Stanford's defense will be the difference maker in this, they are typically known for a strong, stringent defense and if they can hold USC in check then this game could be theirs. That is a tough task though, USC is looking to rebound after struggling to beat Western Michigan and should be coming out firing on all cylinders.

PREDICTION: STANFORD 20-17 - This one should come down to the wire, Stanford's defense will rise to the occasion at the end though and halt a USC drive to end the game.

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