New Hampshire at Minnesota – Admittedly I don’t know much about New Hampshire. I know they beat Holy Cross last week by 21, but I don’t think they can go to Minneapolis and beat the Gophers. Just a hunch, but I’m not siding with teams that aren’t Divison-1A. MarQuies “I’m-finally-starting-to-spell
Minnesota 31, New Hampshire 9
UCF at #14 Ohio State – UCF really beat the crap out of Akron last week. The MAC is a pretty good conference, but this is a new test. On the road in Columbus UCF will have to playmistake-free football to keep it close. With every game Urban Meyer will continue to coach up the offense, and Braxton Miller will develop as a complete quarterback. After rushing for ateam-high 161 yards last week, Miller will be the absolute focal point of a fast UCF defense. Watch out for receivers and Jack Stoneburner to emerge in week 2.
#14 Ohio State 44, UCF 18
Penn State at Virginia – Virginia got off to a good start last weekend behind junior quarterback Mike Rocco, beating Richmond 43-19. Rocco threw for over 300 yards but didn’t jock one wide receiver, he spread the ball around and took what the defense gave to him. If that sounds familiar to Penn State fans it’s because they just witnessed Ohio beat them at home doing basically the exact same thing. Penn State needs to establish a running attack against Virginia or they’ll be slipping quickly, even before the Big Ten schedule starts.
Virginia 28, Penn State 21
Indiana at Massachusetts – Victor Cruz doesn’t play for UMass anymore, and the current team doesn’t have any feel-good stories. UMass just got dusted off by UConn 31-0, and although they get a home game against the Hoosiers I expect the Big Ten team to come away with a road victory. Tre Roberson really progressed as a passer in the off season but hasn’t lost his nimble feet. Indiana struggled with Indiana State in the opener so I don’t have supreme confidence picking a win here, but I’m going with conference dominance.
Indiana 23, Massachusetts 12
Air Force at #19 Michigan – Not the best time to be playing Michigan. After the ass whoopin’ Alabama put on them Michigan will be hungry to earn their mojo back. It’s unpatriotic that it’s got to come against a service academy, but a bad attitude Denard Robinson and company shouldn’t have trouble marching against Air Force. Fitzgerald Touissaint should be back this week, completing the backfield duo that powered the Wolverines’ offense in the second half of last season. Air Force beat Idaho State pretty good last week, so they probably showed Brady Hoke a decent amount on film.
#19 Michigan 49, Air Force 21
#11 Michigan State at Central Michigan – Believe it or not, this is a very dangerous game for Michigan State. I don’t know who tricked their AD into allowing their football team to travel to little brother, but little brother has this game highlighted as the Super Bowl of their season. Central Michigan is 1-0 and will pack the place full of believers. Last week against Boise State, Michigan State proved they have a stingy defense and a freak of a running back, but if Central Michigan can bust a few big plays and get a special teams score this could be a thriller.
#11 Michigan State 30, Central Michigan 19
Iowa State at Iowa – The Cyhawk trophy is the most famed trophy in all of Iowa, and it’s up for grabs this weekend! I believe Iowa wins a completely unwatchable game in typical Hawkeye style. You sit there for four quarters thinking Iowa isn’t that good this year, then at the end of the game they stand 2-0. Iowa State has improved since last season and is capable of a bigperformance, but playing at Iowa limits those chances.
Iowa 23, Iowa State 18
#13 Wisconsin at Oregon State – I thought Wisconsin was going to pound Northern Iowa last weekend but they needed a fourth-quarter hold just to get a win. It appears the Badgers have more holes than originally imagined. Oregon State’s original opener was postponed so this will be the season opener in Corvalles, which is worth noting. If you asked me a week ago I’d assume this would be a laugher, but with new information this could be a close contest. Danny O’Brien needs to trust his offensive line and wait a tad longer for things to develop. With bookend tackles he could serve himself better stepping up into the pocket.
#13 Wisconsin 30, Oregon State 21
#16 Nebraska at UCLA – The last time I saw UCLA it was rolled up in fetal position as an Illinois team rode a six-game losing streak right over them. Against Rice in their 2012 opener they actually looked energized and pretty good under first-year head coach Jim Mora. Nebraska will be a much stiffer test than Rice, but it was encouraging to say the least from the west coast squad. My prediction depends on the health of Nebraska tailback Rex Burkhead. I think Nebraska will win regardless, but the point differential changes with their workhorse back. Taylor Martinez aims to prove his week 1 passing display wasn’t a fluke.
#16 Nebraska 38, UCLA 24
Vanderbilt at Northwestern – Vandy should have beaten South Carolina, they just didn’t capitalize on their chances early on. In comparison, these teams are eerily similar. Both are fantastic academic institutions that are put behind the 8-ball because of enrollment rigors, but are exciting to watch because of young and energetic coaches. I like James Franklin and Pat Fitzgerald a lot, and this will be a great game to watch if you have Big Ten Network. Aaron Rodgers’ little brother looked pretty good against a talented South Carolina defense, and Northwestern quarterback Kane Colter has a good shot to play receiver in the NFL.
Vanderbilt 36, Northwestern 35
Illinois at Arizona State – As much as Tim Beckman wants to hide it, Nate Scheelhaase will start at quarterback this week for Illinois. If he was moving well at practice Wednesday, the Illini offense will be fine. Well, health-wise the Illini offense is not fine because the offensive line can’t move anybody off the ball or pass block long enough to allow receivers to get downfield. Arizona State on the other hand has moved to a “Run-n’-Gun” offense under new coach Todd Graham. Bad week for the run offense, because Illinois allowed -6 yards last week to Western Michigan.
Illinois 28, Arizona State 21
Upset of the Week
Purdue at #22 Notre Dame – I’ll stick to my guns, no reason to change now. Notre Dame looked good against Navy, but – apologies to our armed services – Navy looked awful. Purdue played an equally bad Eastern Kentucky team but looked equally as good without their starting quarterback. I’m under the impression that traveling to and from Ireland and then jumping right back into practice isn’t favorable for the Irish, and Purdue is one of the most physical teams on their schedule. The Boilermakers will get TerBush back this weekend, and redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson didn’t do much for me, locking in on receivers and waiting two beats too long to let the ball fly.
Purdue 26, #22 Notre Dame 24
Game of the Week
#8 Georgia at Missouri – First SEC game for Mizzou and they are jumping right in against one of the best. Georgia started this year in the Top 10 mainly because of their future franchise quarterback Aaron Murray and star linebacker Jarvis Jones; I promise you, both are sick. But Georgia will need to bring more on the road at Mizzou. Missouri and co. are amped to prove they didn’t bite off more than they can chew in their first season, and likewise, Georgia is excited to teach them how things are done down south. If Missouri watched any of last week’s Michigan v. Alabama game then their extra chatter this week is simply reinforcing their ego and trying to stay confident. Missouri quarterback James Franklin is super mobile, and good for himbecause Georgia is going to be coming all day long.
#8 Georgia 35, Missouri 28