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Stan Becton | | September 7, 2021

The college football fan's guide to Week 2 games

College football bold predictions with B/R's Adam Kramer

After an exciting opening week, college football is in full swing and Week 2 features exciting cross-conference games and compelling storylines. 

On one hand, teams will look to start the season with back-to-back wins, building momentum before conference play picks up. On the other hand, teams will look to bounce back in Week 2 to avoid a dreaded 0-2 start.

Two matchups feature two ranked teams this week: No. 12 Oregon at No. 3 Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State.

Week 2 preview: Top games to watch 

No. 12 Oregon at No. 3 Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX

Week 2 is highlighted by the matchup of No. 12 Oregon and No. 3 Ohio State. There are stars throughout both rosters, including one of the best defensive players in college football — Oregon's DE Kayvon Thibodeaux. It remains to be seen if the stud DE will play after suffering an injury in Week 1. If healthy, Thibodeaux and crew will look to get the Ducks their first win in school history against a Buckeye team that scored 45 points in Week 1. This game has the potential to be a game of the year candidate.

Players to watch: QB CJ Stroud (OSU), WR Garrett Wilson (OSU), WR Chris Olave (OSU), DT Haskell Garrett (OSU), QB Anthony Brown (ORE), DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (ORE), LB Noah Sewell (ORE)

RANKINGS: All major college football polls

No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State | 4:30 p.m. | ABC

It was a tale of two cities in the state of Iowa during Week 1. In Iowa City, the Hawkeyes routed then-No. 17 Indiana. Two hours away in Ames, the Cyclones barely came away with a victory over an FCS Northern Iowa team. Iowa State will look to put that game behind them with in-state rival Iowa coming into town for a top 10 matchup. Each team faces the challenge of slowing down a dynamic running back as RB Tyler Goodson and RB Breece Hall are two of the best in the sport. As always, this rivalry should be exciting.

Players to watch: RB Tyler Goodson (Iowa), C Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa), DE Zach VanValkenburg (Iowa), QB Brock Purdy (ISU), RB Breece Hall (ISU), DB Will McDonald (ISU)

No. 21 Utah at BYU | 10:15 p.m. | ESPN

The Holy War returns in Week 2 when Utah visits BYU. The in-state rivalry is always intense as 100 games have been played all-time between the two schools. The Utes enter the game with a win under their belt after new transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer threw two touchdowns in his first game wearing crimson and white. The Cougars are coming off a solid win over Arizona in Las Vegas. Despite Utah's recent ranking in the AP Poll, look for the underdog BYU to lean on their home crowd and challenge their rival.

SCHEDULE: Full FBS tv schedule and times

Players to watch: QB Charlie Brewer (Utah), RB Tavion Thomas (Utah), LB Devin Lloyd (Utah), DE Mika Tafua (Utah), RB Tyler Allgeier (BYU), WR Neil Pau'u, C James Empey (BYU), LB Payton Wilgar (BYU)

Big Week 2 questions 

Who will bounce back after an opening week loss?

Eight ranked teams lost their season-opening game in Week 1, with three losses coming to unranked teams. To avoid falling into a 0-2 hole, teams will try to bounce back this week. However, teams like Miami (FL) and Washington face tough opponents in Appalachian State and Michigan; their road to a first victory won't be easy.

Big-name players also struggled in Week 1 and will look to bounce back. Quarterbacks Sam Howell (North Carolina) and DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson) opened the 2021 season as Heisman candidates, but each struggled in their opening losses with QBRs of 41.1 and 36.7, respectively. The two direly need a bounce-back performance in Week 2, not only individually, but also to get their teams going in the right direction.

RECAP: Georgia def. Clemson | Virginia Tech def. North Carolina

What FCS team will land the next upset?

There were six FCS-over-FBS upsets in Week 1, tripling the total from last season. With 37 FCS vs. FBS games on the schedule in Week 2, the opportunity is ripe for another upset. FBS teams should be on alert, especially with seven ranked FCS teams on the weekend slate.

UPSET ALERT: Track the latest FCS-over-FBS upsets here

AP Poll Ranking Coaches Poll
Alabama 1 Alabama
Georgia 2 Georgia
Ohio State 3 Ohio State
Oklahoma 4 Oklahoma
Texas A&M 5 Texas A&M
Clemson 6 Clemson
Cincinnati 7 Notre Dame
Notre Dame 8 Cincinnati
Iowa State 9 Florida
Iowa 10 Iowa State
Penn State 11 Oregon
Oregon 12 Iowa
Florida 13 Penn State
Southern California 14 Southern California
Texas 15 Texas
Coastal Carolina 17 Wisconsin
Wisconsin 18 Utah
Virginia Tech 19 Coastal Carolina
Ole Miss 20 Ole Miss
Utah 21 Virginia Tech
Miami (FL) 22 North Carolina
Arizona State 23 Oklahoma State
North Carolina 24 Miami (FL)
Auburn 25 Arizona State

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