Jason Radowitz looks at three popular College Football Games for Week 2 and provides you with his three best bets for Saturday, September 7.
Each week, I’ll be previewing the College Gameday game separately. If you’re looking for the LSU/Texas match-up, along with my preview and best bet, click this link. In this article I’ll be looking at the other three popular games on Saturday.
Let’s get right to it…
USF @ Georgia Tech 2pm EST
Charlie Strong and the USF Bulls (0-1) were destroyed by Wisconsin where they lost 49-0 in an absolute blowout. People expected Wisconsin to win that game but didn’t expect anything close to a blowout. Georgia Tech (0-1) had to face another top tier opponent in Georgia. They lost 52-14 in that one. Both teams are coming off pretty bad losses against really good college football teams. One team will add a win to their record. The other will be 0-2 to start the season.
Last season, in this same match-up USF won a shootout by a score of 49-38. Blake Barnett, quarterback of USF scored four total touchdowns in that game. Strong confirmed that Barnett is still USF’s quarterback moving forward even after the shutout against Wisconsin. Georgia Tech will likely continue the trend from last week and feature two quarterbacks in Tobias Oliver and James Graham. Oliver, last season, against USF, ran for 97 yards on 18 carries. He also had three touchdowns.
Although there wasn’t too much offense out of USF and Georgia Tech in Week 1 against high quality opponents, things will change for both teams in Week 2. I expect this game to be close with both teams looking to get back to .500. Neither of these teams wants to be 0-2 to start the season. I like USF here at +6.5 (-110). They dominated last season and they’re a touchdown underdogs…
USF +6.5 (-110)
Texas A&M (12) @ Clemson (1) 3:30pm EST
Clemson (1-0) played USF last weekend and if you read my little preview of the USF game, you know Clemson demolished them. Clemson edged out Texas A&M last year 28-26 after A&M tallied 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. The game started with Kelly Bryant and finished with Trevor Lawrence for Clemson. This time, the game will start with Trevor Lawrence, the projected Heisman winner and already National Champion. Clemson out-gained Georgia Tech 632-280 in yards while Lawrence didn’t even look his best. Clemson is 53-3 straight up at home in the last eight seasons and they’ve won every single one of their seven home games, but one, by at least 21 points.
Texas A&M (1-0) pass defense looked really good against their Week 1 opponent in Texas State after accumulating four interceptions and cruising to a 41-7 victory. After a 9-4 season last year, A&M and their star quarterback Kellen Mond have higher expectations. This will be a tough challenge against the top team in the nation on the road.
Do you really think A&M has a chance? I’d take Clemson -21 and the spread is only -17.5.
Clemson -17.5 (-110)
Miami @ North Carolina 8pm EST
This one is going to be good. Miami (0-1) is coming off an opening night loss to Florida where they didn’t look particularly ready. North Carolina (1-0) is coming in hot after their upset victory over an SEC opponent in South Carolina. Mack Brown returned to coaching for North Carolina and gave his players something to celebrate while Miami lost a heart-breaker to Florida in which they have PLENTY of chances to win the game. Miami quarterback Jarren Williams looked solid in his first game of the season. He went 19-30 for 214 yards passing with a touchdown and no interceptions. He was sacked ten times by the Florida filthy pass rush.
North Carolina’s quarterback Sam Howell propelled an awesome comeback against South Carolina after being down 11 in the 4th quarter. He looked overwhelmed for most of the game but got the job done in the 4th quarter for the win. He’s now going to face a much tougher task against Miami. The Miami defense did a decent job on Feleipe Franks of Florida two weeks ago. For Howell, quarterbacking against this Miami defense will not be an easy task.
For Williams, he will need to get rid of the ball quicker, but there’s no way North Carolina sacks him 10 times. I’m riding Miami at -5. I would take the spread up to a touchdown and feel safe. I love the Mack Brown story but the spread is just recency bias.
Miami -5 (-110)