College Football Week 2: 5 bold predictions

Even though Week 2 of college football is not quite as enticing as last week, college football is never dull.  Here are 5 bold predictions covering this week’s action.

What an absolutely wild and crazy first weekend of college football. From Thursday to Monday, college football junkies were hooked, and they couldn’t do anything but sit in front of the TV and enjoy. Every single day, the match-ups lived up to their expectations, creating a frenzy of close games and upsets. Among the upsets last weekend were Notre Dame, LSU, and Oklahoma. While these teams lost heartbreakers, the fans can take solace in the fact that they played stiff competition. No one can fault a team for stepping up to play good teams. If a few fall because of it, well that’s just football. On any given day, any team can win.

Week 2 does not feature as many potentially close games, but good football is still on deck for this weekend. With no games featuring two ranked teams facing off, the TV stations will be fighting for airtime and hoping a significant number of fans tune in to their broadcasts. Because there are no truly massive match-ups this week, two unlikely programs have been forced into primetime Saturday night.

If you haven’t heard, the Tennessee Volunteers will take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in a border battle inside Bristol Motor Speedway. In the works for years, this game is finally here, and it will be the largest football game ever. Regardless of who your team is, this is a can’t-miss historical achievement. Plus, it might be the best game of the weekend.

Sep 1, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass against the Charlotte 49ers during the first quarter at Papa John

5. Louisville beats Syracuse by 40, on the arm of Lamar Jackson.

This Friday night, the Louisville Cardinals take on the Syracuse Orange in an ACC Atlantic battle. While this game doesn’t quite live up to the standards of a ‘good game’, there will be excitement throughout. Last week, Louisville blew by Charlotte, effectively embarrassing them. Will Syracuse suffer the same fate?

Lamar Jackson, sophomore quarterback for the Cardinals, had his coming out party against Charlotte. Jackson amassed 8 (yes eight!) total touchdowns (6 passing) in ONE HALF OF PLAY against Charlotte. Although Charlotte isn’t anywhere near the program Louisville is, anytime a player scores that many touchdowns, he’s going to get noticed. It didn’t take long either, as Jackson was declared the Walter Camp offensive player of the week for his performance. Lamar Jackson ended up sitting for the second half, and letting his backups reap some of the rewards as well, as the Cardinals finished with 70 points. If last week was any indicator of the future, this quarterback will be a monster. Syracuse is no push over though. No, the Orange will be ready to go on Friday.

There is no doubt that Jackson and this Cardinals will have a greater test Friday, but they will come out on top again. This time, however, the win bargain should stay below 50. Louisville and Jackson will show up again, eventually taking the win by 40 or more points.

Sep 3, 2016; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Corey Dauphine (21) stiff arms Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks defensive back Spencer Choka (54) in the fourth quarter at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

4. Texas Tech and Arizona State will combine for over 80 points this weekend.

Saturday night on FS1, Texas Tech takes on Arizona State in the late night game. Even before the season started, most fans who keep up with college football would tell you this game is one to watch. Texas Tech and Arizona State both sport fast, up-tempo, spread offenses aimed at scoring. Defense will go by the way side in this game. In fact, if these two teams don’t spend their entire night in the end zones, something is wrong. These two teams just have to much talent and depth not to score. Add that to the already offense minded coaches, and this one is shaping up to be a barnburner.

Even though this game won’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of college football, this one will be worth the watch. From the first kickoff, expect the offenses to be firing on all cylinders. By the end of the game, these two teams will have blasted through the over/under, which is 80. If productive offense and little defense catches your attention, check out this game to see if the bold predictions come through.

Sep 3, 2016; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Brandon Holloway (10) runs the ball during the second quarter of the game against the South Alabama Jaguars at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mississippi State will bounce back against South Carolina and get their first conference win.

Mississippi State suffered an awful loss at the hands of South Alabama last weekend. Going down to the wire, the Bulldogs failed to make a 25-yard field goal that would have won the game. Instead, South Alabama rushed the field and their players celebrated this epic road win for their program.

The Bulldogs are not happy about their performance last week, and Dan Mullen will make sure they are ready to go this week in practice. With question marks covering most of the lineup, can the Bulldogs get back on track by beating South Carolina? The simple answer to that is yes.

Will Muschamp and the South Carolina Gamecocks are coming off a solid SEC victory against Vanderbilt. The game was a slow one throughout, just as expected. But Muschamp held on to the end, only to have his kicker make field goal with 40 seconds left. Stunning the Vanderbilt crowd and team, South Carolina escaped with their lives, while starting off the season undefeated.

When these two teams meet on Saturday in Mississippi, the Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them. The Gamecocks will be traveling to play an SEC game of the second week in a row. The distance and importance of this game might prove to be too much for the young South Carolina team.

In the end, Mississippi State will correct their mistakes from last week and come out victorious, starting off their SEC season with a win. South Carolina might suffer from a let down this week, especially after wining their first SEC game. As much as Muschamp will try to combat the let down, the Gamecocks will come back home empty handed.

Sep 1, 2016; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. (24) (right) and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (21) talk after their win against Appalachian State Mountaineers. Kelly was ejected in the first half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Tennessee Volunteers will beat Virginia Tech by three scores, proving that they deserve to be a top team.

The Tennessee Volunteers had a close call against a solid Appalachian State team. Even though they won, it took overtime to do it, effectively losing all the hype they had from the preseason. App State took advantage of a weird Thursday night kickoff and almost stunned Vol Nation. On the backs of Cam Sutton and Jalen Hurd, the Volunteers were able to squeak out the win. Can Butch Jones get his players in gear for this week’s historical match-up?

Tennessee plays Virginia Tech inside Bristol Motor Speedway in primetime Saturday night on ABC. The Vols have a lot to prove, but getting a win by any margin will be enough to bring the Vols back home happy. With all the hype surrounding this single football game, it could turn this game into a close one. At least, Virginia Tech hopes that is the case come Saturday.

Tennessee will show up to play in Bristol Saturday, and control the game from the start. I expect the Vols to come out slow, but by the end of the first quarter, they should be leading. Of course, the Hokies will be doing everything they can to stop the Vols from leaving Bristol happy.

Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara will have much better games than last week, and hopefully the coaches will insert some variety in the play calling. If they do, watch out for the Vols, this one could get ugly fast.

Sep 3, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks celebrate after the game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Louisiana Tech 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

1. Arkansas will upset #15 TCU in Fort Worth

Perhaps this one is the most likely to come true out of all the bold predictions for this week. There is something about TCU. This year, they will have trouble early, and this is where it all starts. The Razorbacks are coming off a decent season where they made strides as a team. TCU had a stellar season last year, grabbing wins against top competition like Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. While their ranking is deserved, it doesn’t line up with expectations for this year.

TCU will have an extremely tough opponent in Arkansas. Arkansas loves to run the ball. They love their offensive line. Expect this game to go slow once Arkansas gets the ball, as they will want to counter the Horned Frogs quick attack. If the Hogs can show up early and score, their defense should be stout throughout. Of course, this is easier said than done. TCU will score, but they won’t score enough to come out with the win. Arkansas wins on their final drives, which ends up taking most of the fourth quarter away from TCU.

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