College Football Week 2 – Preview

College Football Week 2 – Preview
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New guest writer Andy Normile previews some of week 2’s biggest college football games. With so many games to choose from here are some of the most exciting matchups this weekend.

You can check out the full College Football TV UK Guide here.

Alabama @ Texas

Image Credit: USAToday

One of the most exciting outcomes behind Texas’ forthcoming move to the SEC is that we will see more major matchups between two of the sports’ all-time heavyweights. Well, we actually get to see it at least two years early this weekend. This is truly a clash of college football giants, who can claim a total of 24 National Championships between them.

Alabama started the season in true Alabama style, dominating Utah State 55 – 0

This is a game that will also serve as a Heisman fest, and a chance to lay down some markers for QB Bryce Young and LB Will Anderson jr. But, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the ‘Bama offence will be to watch their three new talented freshman WRs. Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, and Kendrick Law, at least one of these is set to follow in the footsteps of Jameson Williams, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Amari Cooper etc. and become the next big college WR. 

And if they didn’t already have enough talent, transfer portal RB Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech looks like a stud. 

The Longhorns

Image Credit: USAToday

Texas could be described as being in a rebuilding phase (but then we seem to say that most years about the Longhorns) 

Quinn Ewers’s 1st college start went well last week against UL Monroe. Remember, he was the highest-rated QB coming out of high school two years ago. The Longhorns can also count on ever-dependable RB Bijan Robinson, who himself might have an outside Heisman chance, as one of the best at his position in the country. But their biggest test and likely undoing will be on the somewhat unreliable O line against a very strong Alabama D.

Texas Head Coach Steve Sarkisian was the Alabama Offensive Coordinator in the 2020 Championship team, and we all know Saban’s record against his former assistants ( well if you didn’t it’s 25-2)

 Alabama by 21

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh

Image Credit: Pittsburgh Panthers

This will be an exceptionally entertaining and enlightening match-up. Featuring a top team and current champions from the ACC v a middle-ranking team from the SEC. Both teams will have high expectations for a win to springboard up the rankings.

Tennessee is one of many good teams in the SEC looking to break out of the pack (last year’s 7-6 didn’t reflect their talent) and will be looking at a possible SEC East title in the unlikely event Georgia slips up.

They have a talented offence. Last year scoring 24 points v Alabama and 17 v Georgia (only Alabama scored more against the ‘Dawgs). QB Hendon Hooker has blossomed under coach Heupel’s guidance and has found a system that suits him. 

Pittsburgh may still be getting over the excitement of the fantastic Backyard brawl victory, leaving them with a possible hangover. They also have to replace last year’s awesome duo QB Kenny Pickett and WR Jordan Addison. USC transfer QB Kedon Slovis is no slouch, but, replacing Biletnikoff award winner Addison may be more difficult, and there are question marks over their defence. 

 Last Year Pitt won the corresponding fixture 41-34 – led by Pickett and an excellent goal-line stand, but since then Tennessee has progressed, while the Panthers have at best stood still, and their defence may not be strong enough 2nd time round. Never bet against the SEC.

 Tennessee by 14

USC @ Stanford

Image Credit: USAToday

For both teams, this is their second most important rivalry match-up (after UCLA and California respectively) 

USC, has had one of the biggest and best transfer portal summers and has reloaded with coach Lincoln Riley, QB Caleb Williams, and WR Jordan Addison (the Biletnikoff award winner), their first outing in the Colosseum was a success, Williams throwing 2 TDs to Addison. They have all the talent to win the Pac-12 and possibly more, it really depends if they are ready to put it all together now or maybe next year. 

Stanford has always been a stubborn obstacle, previously beating more highly fancied and talented USC teams  

Probably not best to read too much into the Cardinals opening day victory 41-10 over Colgate, which featured 4 turnovers and less than stellar special teams. But, David Shaw always has a well-disciplined and well-coached team, and those problems will be overcome. Look out for RB E J Smith, son of legend Emmitt Smith, who last time out had 118 rushing yards, 5 catches and 2 TD’s 

 Stanford will play tough, but USC have too much talent 

USC by 10

Thanks to Andy for producing the College Football Week 2 preview. You can see more of his work here in the Future!

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