Top 25 Overview - Week 2
Originally Published: September 5, 2013ESPN.com
No. 21 Wisconsin vs. Tennessee TechAfter cruising to a 45-0 win against UMass in their first game under new coach Gary Andersen, the Badgers take on a Football Championship Subdivision squad in Week 2. Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement all ran for more than 100 yards in last week's win, and Wisconsin should once again have a huge advantage in the trenches. This figures to be little more than a tuneup for Wisconsin before it goes to Arizona State next week.
No. 12 Florida at Miami (Fla.)An old rivalry is renewed on South Beach as these two teams look to take one step closer to winning the Florida state championship. We saw a lot of rushing from both teams in their respective openers, but the pressure will be on both passing games Saturday. Florida has the luxury of getting key starters Loucheiz Purifoy and Matt Jones back.
No. 24 TCU vs. Southeastern LouisianaThe Horned Frogs hung with LSU but couldn't pull the upset. Gary Patterson pulled Casey Pachall for Trevone Boykin and his rushing talents but says Pachall will get the start Saturday. Playing Southeastern Louisiana should be the antidote to whatever problems TCU wants to fix on both sides of the ball. Expect more opportunities for B.J. Catalon, as he's out to prove his big night against LSU was no fluke after producing 233 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
No. 13 Oklahoma State at UTSAFresh off a season-opening win over Mississippi State, the Cowboys travel to San Antonio as overwhelming favorites. But Week 1 showed what can happen to favorites if they don't take care of business. Mike Gundy has turned to J.W. Walsh to lead OSU's offense, and the Cowboys' defense is coming off one of its best performances in recent years. Will there be a letdown for the Big 12 favorite?
No. 8 Louisville vs. Eastern KentuckyLouisville coach Charlie Strong believes a short week of preparation will help his No. 8 Cardinals maintain their focus with another winnable game looming. The Cardinals will host Eastern Kentucky on Saturday after their season-opening 49-7 win against Ohio on Sunday. EKU routed Robert Morris 38-6 last week behind junior quarterback Jared McClain, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for two.
No. 4 Clemson vs. South Carolina StateAny questions surrounding Clemson's legitimacy as a national title contender were answered in spades with a 38-35 opening-week win over Georgia. Now Tajh Boyd & Co. get what should be a breather with FCS foe South Carolina State. Boyd might be padding his stats a bit, but coordinator Chad Morris said he would like to see the offense work on upping its tempo before ACC play begins next week.
No. 2 Oregon at VirginiaIt was business as usual for Oregon as it rolled through Nicholls State. Three players broke 100 yards rushing for the first time in Oregon history. Virginia's offense did not have nearly as strong as a week, being held to 223 total yards and averaging 2.6 per rushing attempt. However, the Cavaliers pulled out a come-from-behind win to top BYU 19-16 and should provide a stiffer challenge to the Ducks.
No. 3 Ohio State vs. San Diego StateOSU welcomes back starting cornerback Bradley Roby, who served a one-game suspension and missed the opener against Buffalo. The Buckeyes will look for more consistency on both sides of the ball after scuffling for the final three quarters of last week's 40-20 win. San Diego State is coming off an embarrassing 40-19 loss to FCS team Eastern Illinois, so OSU won't do much to improve its strength of schedule with a victory.
No. 23 Baylor vs. BuffaloThe Bears had the Big 12's most impressive performance in a 69-3 season-opening win over Wofford. Baylor hopes it's just getting started as Buffalo comes to Waco on Saturday. Running back Lache Seastrunk extended his streak of 100 rushing yard performances to five games with 111 yards to open the year. The Bears' defense, which didn't allow a touchdown for only the sixth time since 2006, will want to show its stellar outing was not a fluke.
No. 6 South Carolina at No. 11 GeorgiaGeorgia nemesis Marcus Lattimore is no longer at South Carolina, but star Gamecocks pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney is still around. The Bulldogs must do a much better job against Clowney and his teammates if they are to end a three-game losing streak in one of the SEC East's biggest rivalries.
No. 22 Nebraska vs. Southern MissDefense will once again be the focus for the Huskers, who surrendered 602 yards and 35 first downs last week while barely outlasting Wyoming. Yet coach Bo Pelini said he was encouraged by the defensive effort after watching the game film. Southern Miss is looking for any reason for optimism after dropping its opener at home to Texas State for its 13th straight defeat -- the longest current losing streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
No. 19 Northwestern vs. SyracuseThe health of QB Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark is a big question for the Wildcats going into this one. Colter suffered a concussion on the second play of last week's win, and Mark was limited by an undisclosed injury. Syracuse is playing its second straight Big Ten team; the Orange fell 23-17 to Penn State last week. They played strong defense in the opener but didn't show much offensive cohesion.
No. 15 Texas at Brigham YoungMack Brown and Major Applewhite will put their offense's progress to the test against a BYU defense that was one of the nation's best in 2012. BYU is reeling after a 19-16 loss at Virginia in which its offense gave away the game on a late turnover. The defense, though, should pose a serious challenge to the Longhorns, who didn't score their first touchdown of a 56-7 win over New Mexico State until the end of the first half.
No. 9 LSU vs. UABLes Miles debuted his new-look Tigers in a season-opening win over No. 20 TCU on Saturday. The offense was efficient, Zach Mettenberger threw the football well, and the defense played tough when it counted. Overall, it was a good start for a team with a new offensive coordinator and SEC championship aspirations. This week, LSU gets a chance to regroup against UAB, which lost to Troy 34-31 in its debut.
No. 16 Oklahoma vs. West VirginiaNobody in the Sooners' program will forget their last game against the Mountaineers anytime soon. WVU embarrassed the Sooners' defense while amassing 778 yards in a 50-49 loss in 2012. After an impressive shutout to open the season, OU's defense enters the game looking for redemption, but Dana Holgorsen will have other ideas. WVU's offense looked vanilla in its 24-17 win over William & Mary, so it will be interesting to see what new wrinkles Holgorsen has in store for the Sooners.
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. Sam Houston StateThe Aggies played 16 true freshmen and 21 newcomers total in a 52-31 win over Rice last week in the midst of eight suspensions for part or all of the game. Backup quarterback Matt Joeckel was solid, and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was extremely efficient with three touchdown passes on eight attempts. Coach Kevin Sumlin is quick to point to FCS wins over FBS schools in Week 1 to prevent his squad from overlooking the Bearkats, who have appeared in the past two FCS title games.
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 MichiganLet's do this again. The Irish return to the Big House for the final scheduled time and for just the second night game in the stadium's long history. Three touchdowns in the final 72 seconds highlighted a wild 2011 contest, played before the biggest crowd in NCAA history. This year's winner will have an early inside track toward a BCS bowl berth.
No. 25 USC vs. Washington StateThis is the first conference game of the 2013 Pac-12 season. The Trojans are still looking for a starting quarterback after Cody Kessler and Max Wittek underwhelmed in a 17-point win at Hawaii. If Silas Redd makes his season debut and Marqise Lee can clean up a few mistakes, it might be easier for Southern California to survive another game until a clear No. 1 quarterback emerges. Washington State played well enough to win last week at Auburn, but turnovers were the difference.
No. 5 Stanford vs. San Jose StateThe Spartans pushed Stanford in last year's season opener, which Stanford won 20-17. QB David Fales was the FBS' most accurate quarterback last season. Stanford opens the year with considerable hype, aspirations for a Pac-12 championship run and a defense that is expected to be one of the best in the country.