College football Week 2: Picks and preview

It was an interesting first full week of the college football season with no major surprises within The Associated Press Top 25. Will that change in Week 2?

Perhaps, so let’s get ready for it. Here’s a preview of this week’s games featuring Top 25 teams and a few other intriguing matchups throughout the country to keep an eye on.

All times Eastern. 1 of 25

Marshall (1-0) at No. 24 Boise State (1-0), Friday, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Remember the name Hank Bachmeier, the freshman quarterback who overcame a rough start at Florida State last weekend to throw for 407 yards and help Boise State score 23 unanswered points to stun the Seminoles with a 36-31 victory. Bachmeier and the Broncos are back on the blue turf to face a solid Marshall team but one that is 0-16 against Top 25 teams since winning at then-No. 6 Kansas State in September 2003.

Prediction: Boise State 35, Marshall 21  2 of 25

Rutgers (1-0) at No. 20 Iowa (1-0), Saturday, Noon, FS1

The Hawkeyes took some time to get going against Miami (Ohio) last weekend, but 28 second-half points made up for that. It can be argued that Iowa could have an easier time in its Big Ten opener. Rutgers has dropped 12 consecutive Big Ten games since beating Maryland on Nov. 4, 2017. That was also the last season the Scarlet Knights won their most recent road contest within the league.

Prediction: Iowa 33, Rutgers 9   3 of 25

No. 21 Syracuse (1-0) at Maryland (1-0), Saturday, Noon, ESPN

This has the potential to be a fun one. Syracuse is the ranked team and allowed 234 yards while pitching a shutout at Liberty. However, the Terrapins are an entirely different animal. The hosts, who have become the betting favorite in this contest, pummeled Howard, 79-0. While the Orange pose a greater challenge, they should be on high alert.

Prediction: Maryland 31, Syracuse 17  4 of 25

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

This figured to be one of the more intriguing early matchups of the 2019 season, but Army needed a rather late fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Rice, 14-7, at home last week. Michigan, meanwhile, could have ailing key contributors left tackle Jon Runyan Jr. and receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones back for this matchup. After spotting Middle Tennessee a 7-0 lead in the opener, the Wolverines woke up and took care of business. Things might follow the same path in this one.

Prediction: Michigan 30, Army 13

5 of 25

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

Justin Fields made quite the impression in his Ohio State debut, at least early on. The versatile Fields and his Buckeyes should face a stiffer test from Luke Fickell’s Bearcats in his return to Columbus. On paper, this should be an Ohio State win in the schools’ first meeting since a 50-28 2014 rout courtesy of the guys in scarlet and gray, but emotion can be a funny thing, and this might be closer than one would think.

Prediction: Ohio State 30, Cincinnati 20 

While the Utes offense still needs some fine-tuning, their defense seems poised to be one of the best in the country after holding BYU to 300 yards. A year ago, Utah went into DeKalb and limited Northern Illinois to 228 yards. The Huskies are the reigning Mid-American Conference champs with a solid defense, but their offense still looks suspect even under new coach Thomas Hammock.

Prediction: Utah 33, Northern Illinois 9  7 of 25

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

This game was close a year ago in College Station, won 28-26 by Clemson. The Aggies are a better team than they were last year, but going to Death Valley trying to pull off this grand of an upset might be too much to ask. Texas A&M has been pretty brash about actually getting the job done this weekend, but we have to go back to November 2012 for the last time the Tigers lost a non-conference game at home.

Prediction: Clemson 27, Texas A&M 17  8 of 25

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

This was a wild affair a year ago, won 33-28 by Colorado at Lincoln. It was a coming-out party of sorts for Buffaloes receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (10 receptions, 177 yards) too. The Cornhuskers didn’t exactly cruise against South Alabama at home (amassing just 276 total yards in the 35-21 win) last weekend, and they might not be fully capable of dealing with the hype bestowed upon them this season.

Prediction: Colorado 35, Nebraska 31

By: Jeff Mezydlo

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