NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Ranked Teams That Must Be Careful in Week 2

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NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Ranked Teams That Must Be Careful in Week 2
Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

The opening weeks of the college football season serve as tune-ups. No matter how dominant a squad is supposed to be, they don't work out any real kinks until they take the field for those opening regular season contests.

Week 1 was a harsh reminder for some teams and close call for others.

Top 25 teams like Stanford and Wisconsin barely escaped against much lesser opponents, and a handful of teams will face the same challenge in Week 2.

No one is safe. Unranked programs have one goal in mind: ruin the BCS dreams of one unfortunate school.

Let's take a look at which Top 25 teams must take a cautious approach to their game this week.

 

No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs

Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE

Georgia was without four defensive starters in Week 1, but that's not an excuse to allow 23 points and 347 total yards to Buffalo.

The Missouri Tigers will present a stiffer challenge, and another subpar defensive effort could spell doom for the seventh-ranked Bulldogs.

Saturday's contest will be the first SEC game for the Tigers. They defeated Southeastern Louisiana in their season opener, but that obviously does not prove that they can hang with the big boys of the Southeastern Conference.

Missouri will be hungry and they can score. James Franklin is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback and Kendial Lawrence had 121 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in their first tilt.

This game is going to be closer than most Bulldog fans would like to think. The Tigers won eight games in the Big 12 last season, but they want to prove that moving south was the right move.

If Georgia isn't vigilant on both sides of the ball, Missouri will surprise them in Columbia. Don't miss this one, even if only to catch a glimpse of freshman Dorial Green-Beckham's progress and play for the Tigers.

 

No. 16 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

Nebraska won't handle UCLA like they did Southern Miss in Week 1. UCLA is coming off a stellar performance of their own, and fans should expect a shootout in this one.

Both teams will focus on their ground game. Taylor Martinez is coming off an outstanding 354-yard, five-touchdown outing, but UCLA's secondary will present a tougher test.

Expect Martinez and Ameer Abdullah (depending on the availability of Rex Burkhead) to attack the Bruins' front seven consistently, but their Pac-12 foe will push back.

UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin may be the best player that no one is talking about so far. He ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries against Rice.

The efficient play of quarterback Brett Hundley added to the potency of the Bruins attack.

Points will be scored, and the Cornhuskers will drop to 1-1 if they don't bring their best.

 

No. 21 Kansas State Wildcats

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

I think Duke Johnson is still running. The Miami Hurricanes' freshman running back ripped off runs of 54 and 56 yards en route to a 135-yard, two-touchdown performance, and he only carried the ball seven times in Miami's Week 1 win over Boston College.

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Kansas State only allowed 95 yards on the ground against Missouri State last week, but the Hurricanes' speed will present a completely different challenge altogether. Not only do you have to worry about Johnson in the backfield, but backup Mike James is more than capable as well.

The Wildcats rely on quarterback Collin Klein and RB John Hubert to amass yards on the ground. Hubert ran for 152 yards to open the season, but Miami allowed just 96 rushing yards to a solid Boston College squad last week.

Kansas State's biggest offensive strength plays right into the Miami defense's hands. If Stephen Morris can take care of the ball behind center for Al Golden's side, this one has upset written all over it.

The Hurricanes will walk into Bill Snyder Family Stadium with victory in mind. It's up to the Wildcats to shut the door and hang onto their Top 25 ranking.

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