Denard Robinson, Notre Dame and College Football's Week 2 Storylines
With the start of Week 2 games only a few days away, it's time to start looking ahead to what's on tap for the weekend across the country.
When glancing at the schedule, there doesn't seem to be a marquee game that jumps out.
There are, however, some games that could be very competitive and have major implications in the rankings. Florida vs. Texas A&M and Georgia vs. Missouri stand out as two of the better games of the week, for example.
While there may be a lack of big games, there is no shortage of storylines heading into Week 2.
The first week of the college football season gave us some great performances, both team and individual. Other teams suffered losses that could be difficult to bounce back from.
This list outlines five storylines to pay attention to while flipping through games over the weekend.
With the unpredictability of college football, there is sure to be something during Week 2 that makes us all remember why we are fans.
Storyline 1: Will Notre Dame Dominate Against Tougher Compitition?
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Notre Dame completely dominated Navy in Dublin on Saturday. The Irish knocked off the Midshipmen 50-10. In the victory, Notre Dame could do nothing wrong. It had a good balance of running and passing and totally controlled the game on defense.
Looking at Notre Dame's schedule, the competition only gets tougher moving forward.
The Purdue Boilermakers come into South Bend for a Week 2 battle. The Boilers are led on offense by former University of Miami quarterback Robert Marve, who threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over Eastern Kentucky.
Purdue is a much better team than it has been in previous years. It could prove to be a solid test for the Irish.
Heading into Week 2, fans will be anxious to see if Notre Dame is for real. The Irish can begin to answer that question with a quality win against a BCS opponent on Saturday.
Storyline 2: Can Denard Robinson and Michigan Bounce Back After Blowout Loss?
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Michigan was embarrassed by Alabama on national TV Saturday night. The Wolverines were blown out 41-14 by the Crimson Tide.
Week 2 will be a chance for the Wolverines to bounce back at home against the Air Force Falcons.
The Michigan offense never got on track last Saturday against Alabama. Denard Robinson did throw for 200 yards and a touchdown, but, unfortunately, he also threw two interceptions.
Robinson did not do much with his legs, either, with only 27 yards rushing. However, he did have a rushing touchdown.
Michigan was thinking it could have a magical year in 2012. That dream was deflated early on in the Alabama game. The Wolverines will try to get over the loss and salvage the rest of their season.
Saturday's home game against Air Force should prove to be a solid victory for the Wolverines. Michigan will look to get its offense rolling and get the team back on track.
The Wolverines received a combination of good and bad news on Monday. Running back Fitz Toussaint will be back in the lineup against the Falcons (via MLive.com). That should greatly help a running game that couldn't get anything going in Week 1.
The bad news is that starting cornerback Blake Countess is out for the season with a torn ACL (via MLive.com).
Michigan fans were hurting after the Week 1 loss. Watching Denard Robinson run and throw all over the Air Force defense on Saturday could help.
Storyline 3: Will Taylor Martinez Continue to Grow as a Passer?
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The knock on Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has always been that he is only a running quarterback. Martinez worked over the offseason to improve his throwing skills, and that work paid off in Week 1 when he threw for 354 yards and five touchdowns against Southern Miss.
Martinez gets a chance to prove he can throw again on Saturday night when the Cornhuskers travel to UCLA. The Bruins gave up only 184 yards through the air in their Week 1 game against Rice.
It will be interesting to see what kind of game Martinez has. With starting running back Rex Burkhead possibly missing time with a knee injury (h/t The (Calif.) Daily Sun), Martinez could be asked to do more.
Taylor Martinez has already proven he is a great runner. Now he needs to convince the country that he is just as good at throwing the football.
Storyline 4: Can Penn State Rebound from a Heartbreaking Week 1 Loss?
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Penn State gets another chance at its first win of 2012 when it visits Virginia on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions had an emotional loss at home against the Ohio Bobcats in Week 1.
The negativity and distractions surrounding this Penn State team are undeniable. No team has had to face as much adversity as these current players have.
Bill O'Brien's pro-style passing offense showed flashes of greatness last week. Quarterback Matt McGloin looked comfortable and much improved in the pocket.
The Penn State running game never really got going, though. Starting tailback Bill Belton left in the second half with an injury.
This is an important game for Penn State. Few outside of Pennsylvania are expecting a very successful season. With a loss on Saturday, the Nittany Lions will fall to 0-2 and continue to lose confidence.
Instead, they hope to bounce back and restore some positive energy to the hurting university.
A win at Virginia will build confidence for a Penn State team that needs to hang onto any positive thing that comes its way.
Storyline 5: Should Any Team Be on Upset Alert?
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There are not many big games this weekend, but there is one that could turn out to be the game of the week. The seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs go on the road to face the Missouri Tigers in the latter's first-ever SEC game.
The Georgia Bulldogs won at home in Week 1 against the University of Buffalo. Georgia won the game 45-23 and amassed 485 yards of total offense, and Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray looked good, throwing for three touchdowns.
The concern could be that the defense gave up 347 total yards to the Bulls.
Week 2 brings a trip to a tough environment for Georgia. The Missouri tigers are coming off a game in which they put up 62 points against Southeastern Louisiana. Running back Kendial Lawrence ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
The atmosphere at Faurot Field will be electric, as the Tigers open SEC play with a huge game. The 'Dawgs better be careful, or they could find themselves with a long trip back to Athens on Saturday night.
No. 23 Florida could also be on upset alert as they head to raucous Kyle Field to take on Texas A&M in the Aggies' first SEC game.