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College Football ’19: Week 2 Top 25 Previews

Each week, The Game Haus will preview every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with those Top 25 games for Week 2 (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 21 Syracuse (1-0) at Maryland (1-0), Noon, Saturday
Top 25
Tommy DeVito / Photo courtesy of syracuse.com

Scouting the Orange: Quarterback Tommy DeVito needs to be better after being picked off twice against Liberty last week. This is a big early test for the sophomore, and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.

Scouting the Terrapins: Coming off a 79-0 thrashing of Howard, Maryland is brimming with confidence and eager to take down a ranked opponent. The Terps last beat a Top 25 team at home in November 2010.

Winner: Maryland

No. 12 Texas A&M (1-0) at No. 1 Clemson (1-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Aggies: Texas A&M players have done plenty of talking about how confident they are for this rematch after falling short a year ago. It’s good to be confident, but the Aggies will need to pretty much be perfect to pull off the upset.

Scouting the Tigers: After racking up 632 yards against Georgia Tech, including a whopping 411 on the ground and 205 from Travie Etienne, the task is tougher for the Tigers. But, really, just how much tougher?

Winner: Clemson

No. 6 LSU (1-0) at No. 9 Texas (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Tigers: They might have the best secondary in the country, and that will be put to the test in Austin. It will also be interesting to see how quarterback Joe Burrow handles a hostile environment in prime time.

Scouting the Longhorns: We don’t know what will become of Texas in 2019, but this might be its biggest moment of the campaign. Even bigger than facing Oklahoma. If Sam Ehlinger is truly capable of leading the Longhorns to greatness, it must begin Saturday night.

Winner: Oklahoma

The Rest

Marshall (1-0) at No. 24 Boise State (1-0), 9 p.m., Friday
Top 25
Hank Bachmeier / Photo courtesy of wvgazettemail.com

The Skinny: One of the biggest stories of Week 1 was the Broncos’ 23-point comeback to stun Florida State. For as much attention as freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier received, Boise’s defense held FSU scoreless in the second half and now faces a Thundering Herd offense that’s pretty potent.

Winner: Boise State

Rutgers (1-0) at No. 20 Iowa (1-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: These Big Ten foes last played in 2016, with the Hawkeyes pulling out a 14-7 road victory. It should be much easier this time considering Rutgers has three all-time Big Ten road wins.

Winner: Iowa

Army (1-0) at No. 7 Michigan (1-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Army did not have an easy time beating lowly Rice in its opener, but the Cadets and their triple-option attack still might not be easy on the Wolverines. In the end, Michigan has too many athletes to be stopped.

Winner: Michigan

Cincinnati (1-0) at No. 5 Ohio State (1-0), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Bearcats coach Luke Fickell returns to Columbus to face a Buckeyes program he was part of for 21 seasons. It might be an emotional return, but not a triumphant one since Ohio State has won 11 straight in the series and 41 in a row against schools from Ohio.

Winner: Ohio State

Northern Illinois (1-0) at No. 13 Utah (1-0), 1 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Utah edged the Huskies in DeKalb last season by holding them to two field goals and 228 total yards for a 17-6 win. The Utes should be even more dominant this time around.

Winner: Utah

No. 25 Nebraska (1-0) at Colorado (1-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: These former Big Eight rivals took part in an entertaining 33-28 Buffaloes’ victory at Lincoln last year. Don’t be surprised if that happens again. Perhaps, the Cornhuskers are unable to handle the hype surrounding a potential resurgence.

Winner: Colorado

Central Michigan (1-0) at No. 17 Wisconsin (1-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Top 25
Jonathan Taylor / Photo courtesy of apnews.com

The Skinny: While Jonathan Taylor (four total touchdowns) shined in the 49-0 rout of South Florida, the bigger story was the Badgers defense. They held the Bulls to 157 total yards, 23 rushing, and forced three turnovers. Good luck to the Chippewas this weekend.

Winner: Wisconsin

New Mexico State (0-1) at No. 2 Alabama (1-0), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: New Mexico State lost 58-7 at Washington State last week. Is it possible this will be an even more lopsided affair in favor of the Crimson Tide? They allowed just 204 total yards against Duke last weekend.

Winner: Alabama

Murray State (1-0) at No. 3 Georgia (1-0), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: D’Andre Swift looked pretty healthy running for 149 yards on 16 carries against Vanderbilt. He might not get that many totes in a game that could feature many contributors up and down the depth chart for the Bulldogs.

Winner: Georgia

Northern Colorado (0-1) at No. 22 Washington State (1-0), 5 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: A new year, a new quarterback for the Cougars. That again seems to be a good thing after Anthony Gordon went 29 of 35 for 420 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions against New Mexico State last week. What can he do for an encore?

Winner: Washington State

No. 18 UCF (1-0) at Florida Atlantic (0-1), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Central Florida gave all three of its quarterbacks some time in the opening rout of Florida A&M, so that remains a storyline to follow. Not sure if it will be the case in this contest, but the Knights dropped 56 on FAU last season.

Winner: UCF

South Dakota (0-1) at No. 4 Oklahoma (1-0), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: If Jalen Hurts keeps playing the way he did in his Sooners debut (408 total yards, six total TDs), maybe a third consecutive Oklahoma Heisman winner will be in the cards. He might not even play in the second half of this one.

Winner: Oklahoma

Tulane (1-0) at No. 10 Auburn (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Following that huge victory over Oregon last weekend, the last thing the Tigers want is a setback. Doesn’t feel like the right time for that as Auburn has won 38 straight home games against unranked, non-conference opponents.

Winner: Auburn

UT Martin (1-0) at No. 11 Florida, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Gators have had two weeks to prepare for an FCS opponent. This does not expect to be a difficult task, but the Gators still have issues, especially on offense. So, this might be an opportunity to fine-tune some things.

Winner: Florida

Western Michigan (1-0) at No. 19 Michigan State (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Top 25
Kenny Willekes / Photo courtesy of lansingstatejournal.com

The Skinny: Michigan State’s offense remains a concern, but if Kenny Willekes and the Spartans defense plays even close to the way it did against Tulsa (minus-73 rushing yards allowed), the rest of the Big Ten better watch out. This week, that includes Western Michigan.

Winner: Michigan State

Nevada (1-0) at No. 16 Oregon (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Though the Ducks are big favorites, this is a huge bounce-back game for a team that was stunned by Auburn in blowing a 21-6 lead. Oregon let down in pretty much all phases of that game, and this is a good opportunity to boost its confidence.

Winner: Oregon

Buffalo (1-0) at No. 15 Penn State (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: We don’t think the Nittany Lions will drop 79 on Buffalo, but they may be better than many thought. The schedule is still daunting with road games at Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State, but at least they’re probably headed to a 2-0 start.

Winner: Penn State

No. 23 Stanford (1-0) at USC (1-0), 10:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The storyline here are the quarterbacks – more like the ones who won’t be on the field. Stanford’s K.J. Costello is questionable with a head injury while USC’s JT  Daniels is done for the season with a knee issue.

Winner: Stanford

California (1-0) at No. 14 Washington (1-0), 10:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Jacob Eason had a grand debut for the Huskies (four touchdown passes) against Eastern Washington. The task should be tougher this week against Cal and standout linebacker Evan Weaver.

Winner: Washington

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