Ann Arbor, Mich. is the location for the ESPN College Gameday telecast as the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines host the No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in one of the biggest games of the week.
The week's biggest game will take place in Georgia, where the No. 11-ranked Bulldogs will try to bounce back from their season-opening loss to Clemson against Jadeveon Clowney and the No. 6-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.
Since the College Gameday crew was in South Carolina for the Clemson-Georgia game in Week 1, it seems Ann Arbor won out by default. No matter, the show should still be loads of fun as the Midwest gets some love.
Here's how you can watch the show and a look at the week's marquee matchups.
Notre Dame at Michigan
What Happened Last Week
The Fighting Irish began the season strong at home. They easily defeated the Temple Owls 28-6 behind 346 yards passing and three touchdowns from Tommy Rees. Though the defense only allowed six points and limited Owls quarterback Connor Reilly to a 54.7 QB rating, Temple did have some success on the ground.
The Owls managed 134 rushing yards against Notre Dame in Week 1, which is considerably higher than the 105.7 yards per game the team allowed on the ground in 2012.
Michigan's rushing attack will present another test for the Irish defense.
Kansas City Chiefs rookie and Central Michigan alum Eric Fisher had to hide his eyes on Saturday. The Wolverines blasted his alma mater 59-9 to start the season off with a bang.
Wolverines' quarterback Devin Gardner was a little shaky with two interceptions, but the running game was dominant with 242 yards and a video game-like six touchdowns.
The defense didn't allow the Chippewas to reach the end zone and limited them to just 210 total yards.
In 2012, the Irish eked out a win over Denard Robinson and the Wolverines 13-6 in South Bend. The Irish harassed Robinson into four interceptions and overcame two picks from Everett Golson to win an ugly game.
Fans of both teams are hoping for a sharper performance from their sides this time around.
Stars to Watch
Michigan: Devin Gardner
If the Wolverines are going to have a successful season in 2013, they will need Gardner to be better than he was against Central Michigan. This will be a major test for him and could speak volumes about what Wolverines fans can expect all season.
Notre Dame: Louis Nix III
With Manti Te'o in the NFL, the Irish defense needs a leader and standout performer. Nix is a load on the defensive line, but the Irish defense wasn't quite as good as it should have been against the Owls.
Nix will need to make an impact on the line of scrimmage to slow the Wolverines' formidable run game.
There will be no undefeated regular season for Notre Dame this year. The Wolverines' rushing attack and stingy defense will control the clock and this game.
Michigan will win at home 20-13.
South Carolina at Georgia
What Happened Last Week
In a great game, Georgia fell short against an uber-talented Clemson squad with legitimate national championship hopes. There is no shame in losing 38-35 to the Tigers, especially on the road. Quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 323 yards, but he didn't find the end zone and he threw one interception.
Running back Todd Gurley ran for 154 yards and two scores despite being limited to 12 carries because of a quad injury, per Gentry Estes of 247 Sports.
Even in defeat Gurley earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors, per the Bulldogs official Twitter account.
As Estes mentioned, Gurley should be good to go against the Gamecocks, but unfortunately wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell will not. The Bulldogs wide receiver tore his ACL celebrating the team's first touchdown and is out for the season, per David Ching of ESPN. Ouch.
The Gamecocks were also victorious in their season opener. They handed the North Carolina Tar Heels a 27-10 defeat in Columbia, S.C. Sophomore running back Mike Davis had 115 yards rushing and a touchdown to lead the way.
Clowney had three solo tackles, but didn't generate any big plays; that's not to say his presence on the field didn't impact the game. He got some criticism for his conditioning as he appeared to be winded throughout the game. Vance Meek of EDraft.com tweeted:
The criticism could very well be overblown, but such is the life of the most heralded player in the nation.
In a game Bulldogs Nation would probably like to forget, the Gamecocks destroyed Georgia 35-7 in Columbia in Week 6 of the 2012 season.
Murray completed only 11-of-31 passes and threw a pick, while Gamecocks' since-departed running back Marcus Lattimore ran for 109 yards and a score. Needless to say, the Bulldogs are happy to have the game in Athens this year.
Stars to Watch
Georgia: Todd Gurley
The status of Gurley's quad is of major concern for the Bulldogs. They need him healthy to rebound from the tough season-opening loss. If he is productive, it will also help to slow down Clowney and the Gamecocks' pass rush.
South Carolina: Jadeveon Clowney
As the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Clowney better get used to being under a microscope every Saturday. Last week he did not make the highlight plays people have become accustomed to seeing and the critics were out in force—even with his team winning by 17 points.
The Gamecocks will need him to be special against the Bulldogs' talented offense if they are to remain unbeaten.
Get ready for another thrilling Bulldogs game. Last week ended in a heartbreaking 38-35 loss, but this week the Bulldogs will win a tight one at home.
With the crowd behind them and less-than-stellar quarterback play from Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw, Georgia will win another nip-and-tuck affair 28-24.
Here is the complete Week 2 schedule with predictions.
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