College Football Picks: Week 2

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College Football Picks: Week 2

Thomas Smith and Ryan McCrary

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USF Bulls (0-1)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-1)

Smith: Georgia Tech

Even though Georgia Tech got completely obliterated by the reigning national champs last week, there were some good things to be seen. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. Tech cornerback Tre Swilling is a baller. He shut down phenomenal Clemson receiver Justyn Ross all night, and made a very good read to intercept a pass by Trevor Lawrence. Offensively, there were many problems. Tech just couldn’t move the ball. Even when given the ball inside the 5-yard line, they couldn’t punch it in for a score. USF looked absolutely terrible against Wisconsin last week. Their offense looked even worse than Tech’s. I expect this to be a sloppy, low scoring game, but Tech should win on the shoulders of their defense.

Georgia Tech 17 USF 6

McCrary: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech struggled verses Clemson as they ran the triple-option offense out of shotgun for the very first time. There were some good moments for the Jackets defensively, usually involving cornerback Tre Swilling. I’d love to see Tech’s offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude transition to a pro-style offense, because I think the Yellow Jackets would be more successful and could benefit from a pass-heavy offense. Even with their struggles in week one, I believe Georgia Tech can have success with their option offense against a USF team that just gave up 234 rushing yards to Wisconsin last week.

Georgia Tech 24 USF 7

 

Murray State Racers (1-0)

#3 Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)

Smith: Georgia

In this game, it’s not a question of “Will Georgia win?”, it’s a question of “By how much will Georgia decimate Murray State”. Georgia is a juggernaut, and unfortunately for Murray State, they’re nowhere near the level of the Bulldogs. I expect this to be a really good game for Kirby Smart to give his bench some experience. 

Georgia 49 Murray State 6

McCrary: Georgia

If this was basketball I’d pick Murray State. Unfortunately, this is a football game and Georgia will win by a landslide. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Racers. 

Georgia 56 Murray State 3

 

West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)

Missouri Tigers (0-1)

Smith: Missouri

Both teams struggled last week against lesser opponents. Missouri struggled defensively against Wyoming, losing the game 37-31, and West Virginia struggled offensively against D-II powerhouse James Madison, but managed to win 20-13. Former Clemson starting QB Kelly Bryant played fairly well for his first action in a new system. I expect to see him improve upon his week one performance and beat the Mountaineers. This one won’t be as close as some expect.

Missouri 35 West Virginia 21

McCrary: Missouri 

West Virginia forced three turnovers against James Madison and only won 20-13. That is extremely concerning. The Mountaineers also only rushed for 34 yards, averaging 1.4 yards per rush. West Virginia must have a more effective rushing attack to beat Missouri. Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant had a solid game last week against Wyoming, throwing for 423 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, Bryant did throw a pick and lost a fumble. Missouri needs to clean up their turnovers and improve their run defense to win in week two. 

Missouri 30 West Virginia 17 

 

Miami Hurricanes (0-1)

North Carolina Tar Heels (1-0)

Smith: Miami

Miami narrowly lost to Florida in their season opener, losing the game 24-20. The Hurricane defense looked good with four turnovers in the game. Their offense wasn’t as impressive, but running back DeeJay Dallas looks like he could be a very special player. North Carolina had a very impressive season opener, with a 24-20 win over South Carolina. True freshman quarterback Sam Howell did everything Mack Brown asked him to do, but the Tar Heels relied heavily on their run-game. Miami is just a more talented team than North Carolina. Even if their offense doesn’t show up, their defense will. I’ll take the Hurricanes.

Miami 23 North Carolina 17

McCrary: Miami

Miami looked good in week one against Florida, the eighth ranked team in the nation. The Hurricanes would’ve won, but sloppy play and a horrendous performance from their offensive line prevented that from happening. North Carolina was impressive in Mack Brown’s debut as the Tar Heels’ head coach. True freshman quarterback Sam Howell threw for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Tar Heels upset the South Carolina Gamecocks. I like what Miami was able to do against Florida with quarterback Jarren Williams, who had only attempted one pass prior to making his first start. If the Hurricanes improve their tackling and open up their playbook a little bit, then I think they will beat North Carolina.

Miami 21 North Carolina 17

 

#25 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0)

Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

Smith: Colorado

While Nebraska and Colorado both got wins in week one, they looked completely different. Nebraska struggled against South Alabama, only scoring two offensive touchdowns in the 35-21 win. Colorado, on the other hand, looked very stout in their 52-31 win over Colorado State. Quarterback Steven Montez was efficient, but it was the run-game that propelled the Buffaloes to the win. While Nebraska didn’t look terrible defensively, I don’t think their offense will move the ball efficiently enough to win the game.

Colorado 24 Nebraska 17

McCrary: Nebraska 

Even though they won, Nebraska was awful in week one against South Alabama. Nebraska’s Heisman hopeful quarterback, Adrian Martinez, threw for under 200 yards and had an interception. Both teams were very sloppy, combining for EIGHT turnovers. That is insane. Even though Colorado looked very good against Colorado State, I believe that Nebraska will clean up their sloppy play and take care of business in week two. Adrian Martinez and the Cornhuskers are way too talented to play like they did in week one, two games in a row.

Nebraska 24 Colorado 17

 

#21 Syracuse Orange (1-0)

Maryland Terrapins (1-0)

Smith: Maryland

I understand it was against Howard, but Maryland looked phenomenal in their season opener. The Terrapins put up 623 yards of total offense and scored 11 total touchdowns in a 79-0 route of Howard. Syracuse looked terrible offensively. They beat Liberty 24-0, but quarterback Tommy DeVito only threw for 176 yards, had two interceptions, and had a completion percentage of under fifty percent. Maryland’s offense looks better and I trust their defense to get it done.

Maryland 28 Syracuse 17

McCrary: Maryland 

Syracuse quarterback Tommy Devito struggled in his first game as a starter. Devito threw for only 176 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions against LIBERTY! If he played like this against Liberty, what can we expect when he goes up against Maryland? I don’t have enough faith in Devito to pick Syracuse to win. 

Maryland 20 Syracuse 13

 

#12 Texas A&M Aggies (1-0)

#1 Clemson Tigers (1-0)

Smith: Clemson

Last year’s game was very close, with Clemson defeating the Aggies 28-26, but this year’s game won’t be the same. While Clemson’s defense isn’t as good, their offense is strides better than they were at this time last season. Texas A&M is better than last season as well, but they’re not as good as the Tigers. I expect to see a competitive game in the first half, but as Clemson catches fire, they will pull away with it.

Clemson 38 Texas A&M 27

McCrary: Clemson

Clemson doesn’t have as strong of a defense this year as they did last year, but I love their team. They have so much firepower on offense, that they won’t have to rely on defense in this game. They have the best quarterback in the country, the best running back, and two top fifteen receivers. It’s really unfair. Trevor Lawrence didn’t look good against Georgia Tech, but I expect him to bounce back from a two interception outing and ball out against the Aggies. Travis Etienne was absolutely fantastic and he should continue that success as well. I really think Kellen Mond is ready to take a step towards being a top-tier quarterback this season for Texas A&M. He needs to be unbelievably good for the Aggies to be able to pull off the upset. 

Clemson 31 Texas A&M 21

 

#6 LSU Tigers (1-0)

#9 Texas Longhorns (1-0)

Smith: LSU

LSU looked phenomenal against Georgia Southern last week. They held Georgia Southern to 98 yards of total offense and quarterback Joe Burrow scored five touchdowns in a 55-3 win. Texas didn’t look as good, but still had a good first week. Sam Ehlinger had four touchdowns, but their defense gave up over 400 yards of total offense in the 45-14 win over Louisiana Tech. I don’t trust Texas’s defense to make enough stops against LSU, but I do trust the LSU defense to stop Texas.

LSU 28 Texas 24

McCrary: LSU 

LSU has implemented a new offense that now includes RPO’s (run-pass option). This change could make their offense deadly. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow looked very confident as he threw for five touchdowns in their week one victory over Georgia Southern. If he plays with this same confidence all season, then LSU can make a run for the playoffs. 

LSU 31 Texas 23