College football has started. It is now time for loads of football every Saturday. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 2.
1. Can Sam Ehlinger Really Bring Texas Back?
The questions of whether Texas back seems to be around every year when college football starts. Sam Ehlinger declared that the Longhorns were back after beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last season. For Texas to really be back though, they have to be competing for National Championships. Can Ehilinger bring them that far?
Ehlinger will get a chance to really put Texas into the College Football Playoff discussion with an early-season win over LSU. Both teams have some high aspirations for the season. Texas though can put their name near the top of the list when it comes to resumes if they win this game. After this game, they will still have some tough tests, so they may not totally be back, but they’ll be on their way.
For Texas to win the game, Ehlinger is going to have to be at his best. LSU has a tough defense with a lot of NFL Draft prospects. They shut down Georgia Southern, only allowing three points in the opener. Texas should feel confident after beating Louisiana Tech, but playing LSU will be a good barometer of how “back” the Longhorns are.
2. Can Texas A&M Pull off an Upset?
Last season, Jimbo Fisher and his new team almost beat Clemson. They, in fact, were the closest to beating Clemson all of last season. That game was at home and this year’s game is at Clemson, but A&M still has a shot to shake up the landscape of college football with a win. In fact, junior offensive lineman Jared Hocker says there is going to be an upset on Saturday.
The good news for Texas A&M is that they have a solid team and an offense that will be hard to stop with Kellen Mond running the show. They also get to play Clemson a game after Trevor Lawrence showed some vulnerability, as he threw two interceptions. The bad news is that Clemson hasn’t lost in over a year, they have home-field advantage and a lot of talent. Fisher is going to have to bring out some magic for it to happen, but he does have a decent amount of experience against Clemson.
3. Will Nevada Hit on Back to Back Upsets?
This past week, Nevada came back to beat Purdue in a shocker. Former walk-on kicker Brandon Talton hit a 56-yard field goal to give Nevada the win. Now, they face a new test as they go on the road to play Oregon, who is likely angry after losing to Auburn in dramatic fashion.
Oregon will get this game at home which should also help. Nevada may be able to use some things that Auburn did to slow down Oregon’s offense, they just don’t have the same-caliber player as Auburn. It will take a historic effort from the defense and quarterback Carson Strong, who threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns against Purdue.
4. An In-State Game Between Ohio State and Cincinnati
There are a lot of storylines in this game to follow. To start, this game features two teams who had double-digit wins last year. They also are both in Ohio and while the two schools don’t often battle for the same recruits, a lot of the recruits in the state dream of being a Buckeye. Luke Fickell is a former Buckeye himself and was their interim coach right before Urban Meyer came to town. Now he is roaming the Cincinnati sidelines hoping to go into Colombus and steal a win from Ohio State.
Cincinnati has a solid offensive line and decent skill position players on offense. Fickell has also done wonders with their defense, but going up against Ohio State will be much more challenging than any team they have faced in Fickell’s tenure. They’ll have to slow down Justin Fields, who started his Ohio State career with a bang. If they can force some punts and hang with Ohio State, they could keep the game close with a chance late to wreak havoc.
5. The Nebraska-Colorado Rivalry
It is always good to see old rivalries get played in the new era. Both Nebraska and Colorado have reasons to think they can win this game.
Nebraska enters this game after struggling with South Alabama, but they did come away with the win. There is a lot of hype surrounding the Cornhuskers’ chances in the Big Ten West and their quarterback Adrian Martinez. Behind Martinez and Scott Frost’s offense, Nebraska could put up some points against Mel Tucker’s Colorado Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes had lower expectations coming into the season, but they did defeat another one of their rivals, Colorado State, in the opener. They also have reason to be optimistic as they have a quarterback and wide receiver duo who will both eventually play on Sundays in Steven Montez and Laviska Shenault. If Mel Tucker’s defense can slow down Martinez, the rivalry could have another good game on its hands.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.