Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas State senior running back John Hubert against UMass on Sept. 14.
All games played on Saturday, Sept. 21:
North Carolina @ Georgia Tech 12:00 p.m. ET ESPN
This is a critical early-season matchup between two ACC Coastal Division contenders.
North Carolina bounced back against Middle Tennessee State 40-20 after basically getting blown out by South Carolina in Week 1. Bryn Renner is a good quarterback, but the offense may not be able to hang with Georgia Tech on the scoreboard.
The Yellow Jackets come in undefeated and have caused problems for opposing defenses with their triple-option attack. The offense, led by quarterback Vad Lee, is averaging 356.0 yards and 54.0 points per game this season.
It’s going to be tough for the Tar Heel defense to keep up in this one.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 42, North Carolina 28
Purdue @ No. 24 Wisconsin 3:30 p.m. ET ABC/ESPN2
Both teams come in off close losses. Purdue hung with Notre Dame until the fourth quarter, and Wisconsin fell victim to the controversial ending at Arizona State. Rob Henry and Akeem Hunt are making strides for the Boilermaker offense, but Wisconsin is much more talented.
Melvin Gordon and James White lead the fifth-best rushing attack in the country, and Jared Abbrederis is always reliable in the passing game. It could get ugly at Camp Randall on Saturday as an angry Badger team bounces back with a blowout win.
Prediction: Wisconsin 45, Purdue 23
Arkansas @ Rutgers 3:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Rutgers went into Fayetteville last season and upset Arkansas 35-26. Bret Bielema’s defense, led by defensive end Chris Smith, has only given up 12.7 points per game this season, but this will be their first true test. The Razorbacks must be able to contain Scarlet Knight running back Paul James.
Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have been racking up yards on the ground and will be looking to run over a Rutgers’ defense giving up 217.7 rushing yards per game. There is no doubt that this game will be close.
Prediction: Arkansas 27, Rutgers 24
Kansas State @ Texas 8:00 p.m. ET ABC
It was supposed to be the biggest game of the week, but both teams have already had tough losses. Kansas State was upset by FCS opponent North Dakota State, 24-21, on opening weekend, and Texas has been blown out in back-to-back weeks by BYU and Ole Miss.
It’s unknown whether David Ash will start for the Longhorns, but no matter what, they need to win. The defense has to show up if they want to stop a two-quarterback unit led by Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. Running back John Hubert could cause problems for the Texas defense, as well.
Mack Brown’s Longhorns are 0-5 against the Wildcats since 2003, and if that doesn’t change Saturday night, things will have gone from bad to worse.
Prediction: Kansas State 28, Texas 24
Utah @ BYU 10:15 pm ET ESPNU
It was complete chaos last year between these two in-state rivals as Utah won 24-21 on two BYU last-second missed field goals.
Utah lost a heartbreaker last week at home against Pac-12 foe Oregon State, and BYU comes off a bye week after blowing Texas out 40-21 on Sept. 7. Utah’s Travis Wilson and BYU’s Taysom Hill are solid dual-threat quarterbacks that can put points up on the scoreboard.
We should expect a shootout between these hated rivals on Saturday night.
Prediction: BYU 38, Utah 35