Pitt at Tennessee
The Pitt Panthers travel to Knoxville after a 51-7 win over Umass. Tennessee defeated Bowling Green 38-6, but Joe Milton struggled in the passing game as he went 11/23 with a touchdown. The Volunteers controlled the game on the ground rushing for over 300 yards. Pitt replaces their entire defensive line, and their stud safeties, Paris Ford and Damar Hamlin. The Panthers do have a great linebacker room that should help a defense that will look for a statement against a Power 5 opponent.
Verdict- (Pitt -3) Tennessee will have to eventually try and throw the ball. It doesn’t matter how many defensive players Pitt has to replace, if Tennessee can’t throw the ball against Bowling Green then they are going to struggle against the Panthers. Joe Milton has a lot to prove than he can make the consistent throws.
Pitt 27- Tennesse 21
Oregon at Ohio State
Both Oregon and Ohio State played quality opponents last week. Ohio State went into Minnesota and pulled away from the Gophers by two touchdowns in the second half. Oregon won a tight against Fresno State, a team that is looking to be the top Group of 5 teams this season in College Football. Ohio States’ defense showed some weakness against Minnesota’s veteran offensive line, but their offense showed to still be explosive with new Quarterback CJ Stroud.
Verdict: (Ohio State -14) Even with CJ Stroud showing signs of weakness against Minnesota, there is too much firepower on the Buckeyes offense for Oregon to contend. Oregon will score but they won’t be able to hang with Ohio State in the “Horseshoe”.
Ohio State 42- Oregon 24
South Carolina at East Carolina
The East Carolina Pirates are hosting SEC program South Carolina as a 1 point underdog. South Carolina coasted against Eastern Illinois while ECU lost to App State. Look for quarterback Zeb Noland along with runningback Zaquandre White to lead this offense. East Carolina couldn’t get much done in the air against App State but Keaton Mitchell still had a great day rushing and receiving. Look for him to make some plays to keep the Pirates in the game.
Verdict: (ECU+1)- This spread doesn’t make sense to me. You would think South Carolina would be favored by more. For that reason take the Pirates. “When a spread looks too good to be true it is”.
ECU 24- South Carolina 21
Iowa at Iowa State
The Cy-Hawk Trophy will be on the line. Iowa has won its last 5 meetings giving them a series lead of 45-22. Both teams are coming off wins but looked completely different. The Hawkeyes demolished Indiana who is supposed to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten. Iowa State struggled with Northern Iowa, a solid FCS program. The most disappointed about the Cyclones was their offense. Fans expected more from Brock Purdy and Breece Hall.
Verdict: (Iowa State -4) I have stated before in these previews that I am a big believer in Iowa. I think they can contend for the Big Ten championship. So I was a little surprised by this line. With how well Iowa played against a quality opponent and how Iowa State looked on offense against an FCS school (good or not) you would think Iowa would be getting fewer points. I am going with the Cyclones. This entire spread stinks to me. The casuals are going to put big money on Iowa and lose. Iowa State’s offense is going to look different and will bring the Cy-Hawk trophy back to Ames for the first time in 6 years.
Iowa State 27- Iowa 21
NC State at Mississippi
The Wolfpack travel to Starkville, Mississippi to take on Mike Leach and the Bulldogs. N.C. State blew out South Florida and Mississippi State had to come from behind to defeat Louisiana Tech. NC State is returning most of its production on offense especially on the offensive line and at quarterback with Devin Leary. The defense looks fast and tough against USF (but it is USF). Mississippi State should be able to get it done on defense. They have fantastic linebackers led by Erron Thompson and a ton of experience coming back in the secondary. The big question? Can Mike Leach get the offense looking like it did against LSU last year?
Verdict: (NC State -2) This is a big matchup and can be a major boost for both programs. Mississippi State has too many questions on the offensive side of the ball. I understand they probably played a better opponent last week, but NC State looks like the better overall team. The defense looked hard-hitting and sharp, while the offense looked like they were in mid-season form. The Bulldogs need to figure some things out on offense still, but the defense keeps them in it.
NC State 33 – Mississippi State 27
Washington at Michigan
In week 1 Washington loses to Montana as they fail to score more than a touchdown. Michigan demolishes Western Michigan. The Wolverines looked solid all over the field but they will be without their star receiver Ronnie Bell. Washington’s offensive coordinator may be coaching for his job this weekend. Washington’s defense will show up to play in the “Big House”, and will be lead by Zion Tupuola-Fetui.
Verdict: (Washington +7) The Huskies are going to be playing for their head coach Jimmy Lake. They absolutely hate that their head coach is taking the heat for losing to Montana. They will be fighting like hell to prove that last week was a fluke. John Donovan’s offense will also play with a chip on its shoulder to prove that last week was nothing more than a fluke. Michigan may have a false sense of security because these Huskies are going to be playing inspired football. With that being said, Michigan pulls off the win in Ann Arbor.
Michigan 27- Washington 24
BYU at Utah
“The Holy War” is one of the most underrated rivalries in College Football, and this year marks the 101st meeting between Utah and BYU. In week one Utah blew out Weber State, while BYU beat Arizona, who although is a power 5 opponent is picked to finish dead last in the Pac-12. The key matchup is BYU’s offensive line against the Utes pass rush. If they can hold them off we may have a game.
Verdict: (Utah -6.5) The Utah Utes win their tenth straight in “The Holy War” thanks to their pass rush getting after the Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall. Look for Devin Lloyd to be a force on defense for the Utes, and running back Tavion Thomas to be used to run out the clock to seal the game.
Utah 24 – BYU- 17