The Game Within the Game: Five Matchups Inside Five Week Two Matchups
We have another nice schedule of games for week two of college football. Okay, of course we know any schedule of college football games to me is a nice schedule.
While we look at the matchups, inside of each game there are matchups where the game will be won and lost. Let's take a look at the matchups inside the matchups for week two of college football.
Tennessee Running Game Vs. UCLA Linebackers
In this gem from Rocky Top, we have two teams who would rather forget about what happened last year.
Montario Hardesty and Bryce Brown look like they are going to be a handful for those who are unfortunate enough to draw the Vols on their schedule this year, and UCLA is next in line.
While Jonathan Crompton looked efficient under center, the Vol offense is a run first unit, and why wouldn't they be when they have that kind of talent?
While UCLA had a ton of injuries across the board last year, it did give a lot of the younger players a chance to get valuable playing time and starts. UCLA returns four linebackers who have started more than just a handful of games, and since they play out of a base 4-3, that creates solid depth at this all-important position.
Just seeing the color of these uniforms on a football field in Knoxville, Tennessee on an early fall day is enough to get any football fan's engine revved up, but the inner matchup is a whole game unto itself.
Houston's Case Keenum Vs. the Oklahoma State Secondary
If you haven't heard of Case Keenum, you will by the end of this season, and it's possible that you may be very familiar with him by the end of this game. Last year Keenum threw 44 touchdown passes against only 11 interceptions and averaged 386 yards per game.
Last week Oklahoma State's defense came up big against Georgia. We still just aren't sure whether or not it was the new and missing pieces of Georgia's offense or new defensive coordinator Bill Young's game plan. My guess is a lot of both.
If Oklahoma State has the slightest letdown after last week's performance, they are playing against a team and a QB who will make them pay dearly.
Michigan Running Game Vs. Notre Dame Run Defense
It's difficult to find fault in a defense who pitched a shutout last week, but on a few first half drives the Notre Dame defense looked vulnerable against the run.
Nevada took the opening drive right down the field and missed a chip shot field goal following a loss of yardage. Nevada later fumbled a pitch inside the 10. After this point Nevada was well behind and running was no longer an option.
It took Rich Rodriguez a year to get his offense installed in Ann Arbor, but we saw it take shape last week against Western Michigan.
At West Virginia it wasn't uncommon to see their QB and running backs have similar numbers in rushing, and we saw it again last week in the maize and blue.
It will be a bigger line and deeper team Notre Dame will face this week, and Touchdown Jesus won't be overlooking the contest. This should be another classic battle.
Georgia and South Carolina Offenses Vs. History
This one is pretty simple. We have two teams playing "Between the Hedges" who just have a really hard time scoring against each other. Neither of these teams has scored more than 20 points against the other in five years.
To make this point even further, only once in the last eight meetings has one of these teams scored more than 20, and they meet every year.
Last week Georgia had 10 points total in a loss and South Carolina had seven points in a win, so the outlook isn't too good for a barnburner.
Ohio State Pass Coverage Vs. Matt Barkley
The USC offense can be exciting, but it really is one of the simpler offenses out there. It all revolves around the simple concept of getting their best and fastest players the ball.
Matt Barkley has a better arm than some of the past Trojan QBs, and he has plenty of talent around him. Barkley won't get called on to beat the Buckeyes by himself; he'll just need to make the right choices.
Ohio State returns three of four starters from last year's secondary, but the one they lost was their best, Malcolm Jenkins.
Ohio State will have to cover well, but even more important will be stopping the yards after the catch.
If OSU can slow down the passing attack and force USC into being a one-dimensional running team, they may have a better chance of pulling the upset for the home crowd.
Of course there are even more matchups within matchups that we can mention here.
There is Jimmy Clausen against the Michigan secondary, which is a much tougher unit than he faced a week ago.
There is Terrelle Pryor against the relatively new USC linebackers.
We have the Houston defense against the powerful Oklahoma State offense.
It really does go on and on.
See all of Mitch's Free College Football picks against the spread at The Sports Chat Place, and be sure to sign up for the FREE football picking contest with CASH PRIZES. This week's contest begins on Sept. 12. A new contest starts each week. Visit http://sportschatplace.com for details.