College Football Picks: Week 2 Predictions for Every Game

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2018

College Football Picks: Week 2 Predictions for Every Game

0 of 10

    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Well that was fun, wasn't it? Week 1 offered a couple of impactful games between ranked teams, and Auburn, Notre Dame and LSU all walked away with important victories.

    Perhaps the return of college football provided too much excitement. If you need a weekend to settle down, you're in luck.

    Marquee games are at a premium in Week 2. Non-power and lower-division opponents dominate the slate. Still, Georgia opens SEC play at South Carolina, Clemson travels to Texas A&M and USC battles Stanford in a Pac-12 showdown at night.

    We've offered a prediction for all 78 games on the docket that involve a Football Bowl Subdivision program.

                  

    Note: AP Top 25 teams are highlighted first within a specific time slot.

Friday Game

1 of 10

    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    No. 16 TCU (1-0) at SMU (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Sure, it was only Southern, but quarterback Shawn Robinson looked excellent in Week 1. He accounted for five touchdowns while TCU put together a 55-7 win. SMU, which surrendered 529 yards of total offense to North Texas, won't contain the dual threat.

    Prediction: TCU 48, SMU 20

Top Saturday Early Games

2 of 10

    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    New Mexico (1-0) at No. 5 Wisconsin (1-0), Noon ET

    Wisconsin will run the ball, and odds are favorable Jonathan Taylor will do so productively. The big question for New Mexico is whether quarterback Tevaka Tuioti can repeat his Week 1 performance of 381 yards (327 passing) and five total touchdowns. That's unlikely.

    Prediction: Wisconsin 45, New Mexico 17

                            

    Western Michigan (0-1) at No. 21 Michigan (0-1), Noon ET

    Shea Patterson's Wolverines debut ended in disappointment, but Michigan should have little issue bouncing back from the loss to Notre Dame against Western Michigan. The Broncos surrendered 55 points in their season opener against Syracuse and won't have the scoring power to compete on the road.

    Prediction: Michigan 38, Western Michigan 14

                            

    No. 18 Mississippi State (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0), Noon ET

    There will be anxiousness in Manhattan. Kansas State needed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat FCS school South Dakota last week. Mississippi State, meanwhile, crushed Stephen F. Austin 63-6. Nick Fitzgerald's return to the lineup after a one-game suspension could initially slow the offense, but the visitors should run away.

    Prediction: Mississippi State 41, Kansas State 21

                        

    Duke (1-0) at Northwestern (1-0), Noon ET

    The rivalry made in SAT heaven is back for a fourth straight year. Northwestern's defense disappeared in the 2017 meeting—a 41-17 Duke win—and that's a real concern following Purdue's 472-yard display against the Wildcats in Week 1. But the Wildcats also have an intriguing bit of offensive potential.

    Prediction: Northwestern 30, Duke 24

                    

    UCLA (0-1) at No. 6 Oklahoma (1-0), 1 p.m. ET

    Chip Kelly's UCLA debut ended with a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati. Oklahoma had 42 points by halftime against Florida Atlantic. Have mercy, Lincoln Riley, because this contest won't be much of one.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 52, UCLA 17

                       

    William & Mary (1-0) at No. 12 Virginia Tech (1-0), 2 p.m. ET

    What a performance by a rebuilt defense. Virginia Tech allowed a positive gain on only 28 of 63 snaps against Florida State, per ESPN Stats & Info. That's an absurd level of dominance, and anything close should lead to a Week 2 blowout.

    Prediction: Virginia Tech 45, William & Mary 7

                      

    Portland State (0-1) at No. 23 Oregon (1-0), 2 p.m. ET

    Week 1 went about as expected for both programs. Portland State took a 72-19 shellacking at the hands of Nevada, and Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert accounted for six touchdowns to help Oregon soar past Bowling Green, 58-24. The story will be similar in Eugene.

    Prediction: Oregon 62, Portland State 7

                     

    Air Force (1-0) at Florida Atlantic (0-1), 2 p.m. ET

    Either sideline would be wise to forget the opener, as Air Force handled an outmatched Stony Brook, and FAU struggled at Oklahoma. That creates a fair bit of uncertainty for this intriguing clash, though we'll lean on running back Devin Singletary and the Owls attack. But if FAU quarterback Chris Robison's inaccuracy is a problem again, Air Force could steal it.

    Prediction: Florida Atlantic 38, Air Force 28

Other Saturday Early Games

3 of 10

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Towson (1-0) at Wake Forest (1-0), Noon ET

    The Demon Deacons needed overtime to hold off Tulane, but the mistakes that plagued them are correctable. As long as freshman quarterback Sam Hartman protects the ball, Wake Forest will finish a few more drives and put away Towson.

    Prediction: Wake Forest 34, Towson 17

              

    Eastern Michigan (1-0) at Purdue (0-1), Noon ET

    Total yardage should rarely be a concern for Purdue. Efficiency, however, is a potentially glaring issue. The Boilermakers will maneuver past Eastern Michigan, but they cannot let the wasted scoring opportunities of Week 1 become a trend.

    Prediction: Purdue 42, Eastern Michigan 20

                         

    Arizona (0-1) at Houston (1-0), Noon ET

    The much-anticipated debut of quarterback Khalil Tate in Kevin Sumlin's system ended without much celebration. He mustered only 211 yards of total offense in a 28-23 loss to BYU. We anticipate a bounce-back performance, but Houston's balanced offense won't allow a blowout.

    Prediction: Arizona 41, Houston 30

                    

    Nevada (1-0) at Vanderbilt (1-0), Noon ET

    Nevada obliterated Portland State, but a far more formidable opponent awaits in Vanderbilt. The Commodores limited a good Middle Tennessee offense to 294 yards. While trusting Vandy's scoring attack is a chore, its defense can lead the way.

    Prediction: Vanderbilt 31, Nevada 24

                   

    Liberty (1-0) at Army (0-1), Noon ET

    During its FBS debut, Liberty laid waste to Old Dominion 52-10. Army didn't play well in a loss to Duke, but that was expected. It's most likely the programs meet in the middle, but Liberty's explosiveness could be a game-shaper.

    Prediction: Liberty 31, Army 27

            

    Georgia Tech (1-0) at South Florida (1-0), Noon ET

    Blake Barnett, whose college journey has traveled through Alabama, Arizona State and now USF, accounted for 336 yards and four touchdowns in his Bulls debut. But his impact won't be enough to match a Georgia Tech offense built to run all over USF.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech 42, USF 28

                       

    Georgia State (1-0) at NC State (1-0), 12:30 p.m. ET

    Kennesaw State is a terrific FCS school, but North Carolina State represents a major increase in competition level. Look for another 300-yard showing from Ryan Finley and an easy Wolfpack win.

    Prediction: NC State 38, Georgia State 14

                        

    Holy Cross (0-1) at Boston College (1-0), 1 p.m. ET

    Last week, Holy Cross fell to Colgate. Have fun trying to stop Boston College! The Eagles wrecked UMass 55-21 and piled up 592 yards of offensethe program's most in a single game since 2003.

    Prediction: Boston College 52, Holy Cross 10

            

    Kansas (0-1) at Central Michigan (0-1), 3 p.m. ET

    In case you had any doubt 2018 would be another forgettable year for Kansas, the Jayhawks lost to Nicholls in the opener. Central Michigan, meanwhile, gave Kentucky a real fight thanks to an opportunistic defense. We're riding with the MAC school.

    Prediction: Central Michigan 24, Kansas 16

Top Saturday Afternoon Games

4 of 10

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Arkansas State (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Justice Hansen tossed six touchdowns in Week 1, and his passing ability should guide Arkansas State to a couple of scores in Tuscaloosa. But let's not get carried away here; the Red Wolves won't be stopping Tua Tagovailoa and Co. very often.

    Prediction: Alabama 48, Arkansas State 14

              

    No. 3 Georgia (1-0) at No. 24 South Carolina (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    South Carolina has an opportunity to flip the SEC East race on its head. The pressure for an upset is largely on quarterback Jake Bentley, who cannot expect the defense to stop Georgia's scoring attack all afternoon. And we're just not sold on the Gamecocks' chances to find the balance necessary to win.

    Prediction: Georgia 35, South Carolina 21

              

    Rutgers (1-0) at No. 4 Ohio State (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Dwayne Haskins excelled in his starting debut, throwing five touchdowns during a 77-31 demolition of Oregon State. Rutgers isn't really a pushover, but the Buckeyes will simply be overwhelming.

    Prediction: Ohio State 56, Rutgers 10

            

    Ball State (1-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Notre Dame moved the ball surprisingly well against Michigan's top-tier defense. Ball State held Central Connecticut to only 291 yards and six points to begin the campaign, but it's unfair to expect a repeat performance on the road against the Irish,

    Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Ball State 13

             

    Colorado (1-0) at Nebraska (0-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Is Thanksgiving over? The once-classic late-November Big 12 matchup returns following an eight-year hiatus, and it's actually Nebraska's opener due to a weather-related cancellation. Scott Frost has earned the benefit of the doubt, but Steven Montez's huge showing for Colorado in Week 1 is cause for prediction concern.

    Prediction: Nebraska 34, Colorado 27

            

    North Dakota (1-0) at No. 9 Washington (0-1), 5 p.m. ET

    A slow start stunted Washington's chances at clipping Auburn, but Chris Petersen's squad should get back on track in Week 2. Expect a heavy dose of Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed early and often for the Huskies, who'll shut down North Dakota.

    Prediction: Washington 47, North Dakota 10

            

    Iowa State (0-0) at Iowa (1-0), 5 p.m. ET

    Iowa State's cancelled Week 1 contest adds intrigue to the Cy-Hawk Series, but Iowa looked fantastic against Northern Illinois. The Hawkeyes allowed only 211 total yards, and that defensive dominance will be the difference opposite an NFL-caliber runner in David Montgomery.

    Prediction: Iowa 24, Iowa State 19

Other Saturday Afternoon Games

5 of 10

    Lance King/Getty Images

    North Carolina (0-1) at East Carolina (0-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    East Carolina dropped its opener to FCS power North Carolina AT&T. That's not a pleasant sign before North Carolina comes to town. Even though the Tar Heels lost at Cal, their defense surrendered just 279 yards and had to deal with four turnovers. Protect the ball, and no upset will happen.

    Prediction: North Carolina 42, East Carolina 10

                 

    Memphis (1-0) at Navy (0-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Was the dreadful performance by Navy's pass defense at Hawaii a product of travel or being just plain bad? Brady White amassed 358 yards and five touchdowns in his Memphis debut, so Navy better have that answered quickly, lest it get ugly again.

    Prediction: Memphis 45, Navy 31

                  

    Buffalo (1-0) at Temple (0-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Villanova quarterback Zach Bednarczyk completed 29 of 40 passes for three touchdowns in the upset win over Temple. The Owls better bounce back efficiently, because Tyree Jackson and a loaded receiving corps are capable of doing the same.

    Prediction: Buffalo 38, Temple 27

                   

    Wagner (1-0) at Syracuse (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Eric Dungey is so much fun. The dual-threat quarterback accumulated 384 offensive yardsrunning for 200in Syracuse's first contest. While the Orange might need to be patient for a breakthrough on Wagner's defense, once it happens, they won't stop.

    Prediction: Syracuse 51, Wagner 20

              

    Howard (0-1) at Kent State (0-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

    Caylin Newton and Howard pushed MAC front-runner Ohio to its limit in Week 1, so Kent State shouldn't overlook this FCS school. Still, Auburn transfer Woody Barrett accounted for 387 yards and three scores in his KSU debut. He'll be the difference and send Howard to another tight loss.

    Prediction: Kent State 33, Howard 27

            

    Morgan State (0-0) at Akron (0-0), 3:30 p.m. ET

    While we cannot be certain what to expect from Akron and its retooled offense, Morgan State didn't offer a promising picture in Week 1. The Bears mustered only 170 yards against Towson.

    Prediction: Akron 31, Morgan State 6

             

    Lamar (1-0) at Texas Tech (0-1), 4 p.m. ET

    So much for that improved defense! Ole Miss hung 30 points on Texas Tech before halftime and ended with 47. The Red Raiders figure to avoid an upset opposite an average FCS team, but Lamar's offense is powerful enough to merit some respect.

    Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Lamar 24

            

    Southern Illinois (1-0) at Ole Miss (1-0), 4 p.m. ET

    As long as Jordan Ta'amu and his impressive group of receivers are healthy, Ole Miss has no business losing to lower-division teams. He should cruise past 300 yards once again and throw three-plus touchdowns against Southern Illinois.

    Prediction: Ole Miss 52, Southern Illinois 13

             

    East Tennessee State (1-0) at Tennessee (0-1), 4 p.m. ET

    Jeremy Pruitt's debut at Tennessee was a burn-the-tape game; Tennessee gave up 547 yards to West Virginia. The Vols will be able to pencil a "1" in the victory column Saturday if they successfully lean on Tim Jordan and the running game.

    Prediction: Tennessee 35, East Tennessee State 17

Top Saturday Evening Games

6 of 10

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Savannah State (0-1) at No. 22 Miami (0-1), 6 p.m. ET

    UAB obliterated Savannah State 52-0 in Week 1. Anyone think Miami won't be motivated following an embarrassing loss to LSU? But we'll be checking in to see whether quarterback N'Kosi Perry gets snaps along with Malik Rosier for the 'Canes.

    Prediction: Miami 62, Savannah State 6

                 

    Youngstown State (0-1) at No. 14 West Virginia (1-0), 6 p.m. ET

    Last season, Youngstown State took Pitt to overtime and nearly pulled the upset. Yeah, don't hold out hope during the trip to Morgantown. Will Grier was in midseason form with 429 yards and five touchdowns in West Virginia's blowout of Tennessee.

    Prediction: West Virginia 48, Youngstown State 17

                  

    South Carolina State (0-1) at No. 19 UCF (1-0), 6 p.m. ET

    Georgia Southern's option attack steamrolled South Carolina State, and the FCS school now must prepare for UCF's nationally respected offense. Perhaps the biggest unknown for this outing is how quickly the Knights will be in full controlnot the result.

    Prediction: UCF 56, South Carolina State 7

              

    No. 2 Clemson (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher can't escape each other. Neither can Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence, as Swinney confirmed will both play at Texas A&M. Clemson is a clear favorite, but the Aggies will be a threat if the quarterback timeshare is a problem or Trayveon Williams finds space against a dominant defensive line. Expectations, however, are not high for A&M's offense.

    Prediction: Clemson 30, Texas A&M 17

                   

    SE Louisiana (0-1) at No. 11 LSU (1-0), 7 p.m. ET

    It'd be wise to slow the Joe Burrow hype train, but LSU won't struggle to dispatch Southeastern Louisiana if his receivers would actually catch the ball. Otherwise, the visiting Lions at least have the offensive firepower to make it interesting.

    Prediction: LSU 41, SE Louisiana 20

                 

    Samford (1-0) at Florida State (0-1), 7:20 p.m. ET

    Labor Day brought a gross debut for Willie Taggart, and his first victory at the school will be hard-earned. Samford has a record-setting quarterback in Delvin Hodges, so it won't be surprising if the Bulldogs stick around into the second half.

    Prediction: Florida State 37, Samford 24

                  

    Alabama State (1-0) at No. 7 Auburn (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    A sluggish start for Auburn is possible because Alabama State is a major drop in competition compared to Washington. But that doesn't mean we expect anything less than a rout.

    Prediction: Auburn 45, Alabama State 7

            

    Kentucky (1-0) at No. 25 Florida (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Not since 1986 has Kentucky defeated its SEC East foe. That 31-year streak is at stake when Florida hosts Saturday's matchup, and we're more inclined to trust the new-look Gators offense over a Kentucky team that committed four turnovers against CMU.

    Prediction: Florida 37, Kentucky 23

             

    Utah (1-0) at Northern Illinois (0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Utah has a relatively similar style to Iowa, which smashed NIU in Week 1. This nonconference clash could be competitive if the Huskies contain Zack Moss, but difficulty moving the ball opposite a stingy Utah defense will prevent an upset.

    Prediction: Utah 31, Northern Illinois 17

Other Saturday Evening Games

7 of 10

    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Wyoming (1-1) at Missouri (1-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Wyoming had a great chance to upend Washington State, but the aerial attack doomed the Cowboys down the stretch. The story of this matchup may have a similar tone, given Drew Lock's sustained trend of wrecking unranked nonconference foes.

    Prediction: Missouri 44, Wyoming 23

                 

    Indiana State (1-0) at Louisville (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    It's really not a stretch to say Louisville's season begins now. While some said otherwise, expectations were nearly nonexistent for the Cards against Alabama. They can reset and topple Indiana State, which hasn't stayed within 24 points of an FBS opponent since 2014.

    Prediction: Louisville 41, Indiana State 10

             

    UL Monroe (1-0) at Southern Miss (1-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Southern Miss played a far better opener than anticipated, and steamrolled Jackson State 55-7. That offensive explosion is an encouraging sign before facing UL Monroe, a talented scoring but troubled defensive team.

    Prediction: Southern Miss 38, UL Monroe 31

              

    UAB (1-0) at Coastal Carolina (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Expected blowouts happened for both teams in Week 1, as UAB unleashed fury on Savannah State and South Carolina demolished Coastal Carolina. This is a more even matchup, though UAB's seasoned offense has an obvious advantage.

    Prediction: UAB 37, Coastal Carolina 24

            

    Baylor (1-0) at UTSA (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    UTSA never had a chance against Arizona State, losing 49-7. The Roadrunners should find more space against Baylor, but the ground attack of the Big 12 visitors will be too much to handle. In the meantime, we'll also be keeping an eye on Baylor's budding quarterback dilemma between Charlie Brewer and Jalan McClendon.

    Prediction: Baylor 47, UTSA 17

             

    Western Illinois (0-1) at Illinois (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    By no means does AJ Bush make Illinois a contender, but he gives the offense a much-needed competent quarterback. The former Virginia Tech quarterback collected 190 passing and 139 rushing yards in his program debut, and he'll shoulder a heavy load once again to propel the Illini past Western Illinois.

    Prediction: Illinois 35, Western Illinois 16

            

    Virginia (1-0) at Indiana (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Home-field advantage is generally worth three points. For a matchup that appears relatively even, that might be the decisive factor. The primary wild card is Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins, who totaled 293 yards in his debut. We're still not certain what to expect from the junior college transfer.

    Prediction: Indiana 27, Virginia 22

             

    Arkansas (1-0) at Colorado State (0-2), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Colorado State is a train wreck defensively, having allowed 1,213 yards and 88 points in two games. That'll be the difference. Arkansas played well enough in Chad Morris' coaching debut, but the offensive line must respond after its poor showingonly 80 rushing yardsin the opener.

    Prediction: Arkansas 34, Colorado State 23

           

    Fresno State (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    What's next, Zack Annexstad? The true freshman walk-on totaled 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-10 rout of New Mexico State. That was an encouraging debut. However, Fresno State will be a much greater test for Minnesota's defense, and the Gophers might need a clutch drive from Annexstad to survive.

    Prediction: Fresno State 27, Minnesota 24

More Saturday Evening Games

8 of 10

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Maryland (1-0) at Bowling Green (0-1), 6 p.m. ET

    For the second straight year, Maryland defied predictions and knocked off Texas. The big story was Jeshaun Jones, who threw, ran for and caught one touchdown apiece. Was that a one-game show, or is the freshman going to be a reliable playmaker? That answer may dictate the margin of Maryland's win.

    Prediction: Maryland 37, Bowling Green 20

                                                        

    UMass (1-1) at Georgia Southern (1-0), 6 p.m. ET

    After a 63-15 beatdown of Duquesne, the UMass Minutemen did a whole lot of not stopping anything at Boston College and allowed 598 yards of total offense. Georgia Southern's defense hasn't been tested, so it's basically a projection for that part of the matchup. We'll lean slightly toward the home team, though not confidently because UMass has considerable firepower on offense.

    Prediction: Georgia Southern 31, UMass 28

                                         

    Appalachian State (0-1) at Charlotte (1-0), 6 p.m. ET

    Will the Mountaineers bring the same intensity they took to Penn State? If that happens, the Charlotte 49ers don't stand a chance. The safe guess is a slight drop is coming but nowhere near enough to create any worry for the Appalachian State.

    Prediction: Appalachian State 42, Charlotte 17

                        

    Eastern Kentucky (1-0) at Marshall (1-0), 6:30 p.m. ET

    Marshall opened its season with a respectable road victory over MAC contender Miami. Tyre Brady, a transfer from ACC school Miami, posted 116 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and he'll power the Thundering Herd for a second straight week.

    Prediction: Marshall 44, Eastern Kentucky 20

                                                             

    UT Martin (0-1) at Middle Tennessee (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Middle Tennessee won't commit a bunch of mistakes with Brent Stockstill under center, but the team's decreasing explosiveness is a problem. While the Blue Raiders can overcome that in Week 2, it could ultimately remove them from Conference USA contention.

    Prediction: Middle Tennessee 28, UT Martin 17

                                            

    Southern U. (0-1) at Louisiana Tech (1-0), 7 p.m. ET

    Louisiana Tech is a few levels below TCU on the competition scale—Southern University's Week 1 opponent—but that's not enough for the Jaguars to close the gap. Their main hopes of an upset rest on Louisiana Tech's offense having a nightmare dayan improbable suggestion for the matchup.

    Prediction: Louisiana Tech 41, Southern 14

                                                

    Florida A&M (1-0) at Troy (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Four turnovers led to a frustrating opener against Boise State for Troy, but a rebound is in sight. Florida A&M is historically noncompetitive with FBS opponents, so a clean offensive game by the Trojans should quickly put the game out of reach.

    Prediction: Troy 45, Florida A&M 7

                                              

    Texas Southern (1-0) at Texas State (0-1), 7 p.m. ET

    Given that 2018 could be a frustrating season for Texas State, any victory will be appreciated. Texas Southern, which has only 10 wins since the beginning of 2015, would need a terrific performance from former Tulane quarterback Glen Cuiellette to earn an upset.

    Prediction: Texas State 24, Texas Southern 17

                                                

    Maine (1-0) at Western Kentucky (0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Western Kentucky's inability to engineer drives on then-No. 4 Wisconsin wasn't a surprise in Week 1. The Hilltoppers never looked especially dangerous, though, and the strength of Maine's team is defense. This has sneaky upset potential if WKU struggles to move the ball.

    Prediction: Western Kentucky 27, Maine 20

                                                             

    Florida International (0-1) at Old Dominion (0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Whereas FIU offered a little bit of promise amid a loss to Indiana, Old Dominion struggled in a massive way. The Monarchs trudged to a 3-of-16 third-down mark during a 52-10 blowout at Liberty. FIU can lean on its running game to earn a victory.

    Prediction: FIU 31, Old Dominion 13

                                            

    Incarnate Word (0-1) at North Texas (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET

    Incarnate Word should score a few times, but North Texas has an overwhelming offense. The Mean Green will ride Mason Fine, who went 40-of-50 for 444 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1's game against the SMU Mustangs.

    Prediction: North Texas 51, Incarnate Word 17

Top Saturday Night Games

9 of 10

    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    No. 13 Penn State (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0), 8 p.m. ET

    Week 1 was too close for comfort in Happy Valley, since Penn State needed overtime to survive Appalachian State. It won't be enough to rattle comfort against Pitt, but if Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett also carves up the Nittany Lions, we'll need to reassess.

    Prediction: Penn State 34, Pitt 21

                       

    Tulsa (1-0) at Texas (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Fairy dust is running in short supply for head coach Tom Herman. Fortunately for him, Texas has a stout run defense. Tulsa will struggle to consistently move the ball if its ground game stalls, and the Longhorns will avoid an 0-2 record prior to meeting USC.

    Prediction: Texas 33, Tulsa 16

                                                     

    South Alabama (0-1) at Oklahoma State (1-0), 8 p.m. ET

    Largely thanks to three interceptions, South Alabama gave Louisiana Tech a four-quarter fight. However, the Jaguars allowed 231 rushing yards. That's not a positive sign entering a matchup with Justice Hill, who scampered for 122 yards against Missouri State.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State 52, South Alabama 21

                                                                                                           

    No. 17 USC (1-0) at No. 10 Stanford (1-0), 8:30 p.m. ET

    Bryce Love totaled 47 yards on 21 touches in the opener. However, K.J. Costello and JJ Arcega-Whiteside picked up the slack, showing off a passing attack not seen at Stanford since Andrew Luck in 2011. If that's sustainable and Love recovers against a USC team that allowed 308 rushing yards to UNLV, the Cardinal will snatch a critical Pac-12 win. The wild card is how freshman quarterback JT Daniels performs in his road debut.

    Prediction: Stanford 31, USC 27

                                                                  

    UConn (0-1) at No. 20 Boise State (1-0), 10:15 p.m. ET

    Brett Rypien quieted some of the concerns about Boise State's offense during a 56-20 beatdown of Troy, throwing for 305 yards and four scores. Wide receiver Sean Modster had 167 of those yards and two touchdowns, and that connection should dismantle the Huskies, as UCF's McKenzie Milton and Tre Nixon did in Week 1.

    Prediction: Boise State 48, UConn 20

                                       

    Cal (1-0) at BYU (1-0), 10:15 p.m. ET

    While it's not Cal's responsibility to apologize for a turnover-happy UNC offense, the Golden Bears didn't play particularly well in Week 1's 24-17 victory. BYU, on the other hand, shut down Khalil Tate and Arizona. Points should be at a relative premium, and the better defense gets the edge.

    Prediction: BYU 27, Cal 20

                                  

    No. 15 Michigan State (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0), 10:45 p.m. ET

    Michigan State returned a healthy majority of a defense that ranked seventh last year, yet Utah State picked apart the secondary in the opener. Sun Devils quarterback Manny Wilkins and wideout N'Keal Harry are undoubtedly capable of doing the same. We believe a resurgent game is coming, but a #Pac12AfterDark upset is well within reason.

    Prediction: Michigan State 38, Arizona State 30

Other Saturday Night Games

10 of 10

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    New Mexico State (0-2) at Utah State (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Utah State held a fourth-quarter lead at then-No. 11 Michigan State before falling late. New Mexico State has 406 yards of total offense through two games. We're not overthinking this one.

    Prediction: Utah State 42, New Mexico State 10

                               

    Nicholls State (1-0) at Tulane (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Can the Colonels make it two FBS victories in row? They clipped the Kansas Jayhawks in Week 1. To beat Tulane, Nicholls must control the running game on both sides of the football. Quarterback Jonathan Banks' dual-threat ability will be the reason the Green Wave edge the feisty visitors.

    Prediction: Tulane 30, Nicholls State 24

                                                          

    Southern Utah (0-1) at Oregon State (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    Oregon State's defense is abysmal, but hey, the running game is fun! Southern Utah surrendered 554 yardsincluding 204 on the groundin Week 1, so the Beavers should be able to ride Artavis Pierce and create enough distance to atone for the D.

    Prediction: Oregon State 42, Southern Utah 27

                                                                                     

    Cincinnati (1-0) at Miami, Ohio (0-1), 8 p.m. ET

    The wreckers of head coach Chip Kelly's debut for UCLA, the Cincinnati Bearcats head to Oxford with a 12-year winning streak over the RedHawks at stake. However, they will likely struggle to match the aerial attack of quarterback Gus Ragland and Miami because of the developing uncertainty under center.

    Prediction: Miami 31, Cincinnati 20

                                                                             

    UTEP (0-1) at UNLV (0-1), 9 p.m. ET

    UNLV never had control opposite USC, but the Rebels also didn't look outmatched. Conversely, the UTEP Miners trailed Northern Arizona for nearly 56 minutes of a 30-10 loss. UNLV should run away on the scoreboard, and it might not take long.

    Prediction: UNLV 41, UTEP 13

                                    

    Sacramento State (1-0) at San Diego State (0-1), 9 p.m. ET

    Although the San Diego State Aztecs couldn't defeat Stanford for a second straight year, Juwan Washington carried on their tradition of 100-yard runners. The talented back scampered for 158 yards and a score, and he'll probably surpass that showing against the Sacramento State Hornets.

    Prediction: San Diego State 41, Sacramento State 13

                                                    

    San Jose State (0-1) at Washington State (1-0), 11 p.m. ET

    UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier tallied 446 yards and three touchdowns in the 44-38 triumph over San Jose State in Week 1. That's not an encouraging fact for the Spartans, who travel to face pass-happy head coach Mike Leach at Washington State.

    Prediction: Washington State 44, San Jose State 17

                                                             

    Rice (1-1) at Hawaii (2-0), midnight ET

    How about this offense? Cole McDonald has accounted for 928 yards and 11 touchdowns through two games, leading the Warriors to 102 total points. Granted, the defense is still a mess, but a shootout win is both enjoyable and likely opposite the Rice Owls.

    Prediction: Hawaii 48, Rice 28