Ohio State host Rutgers; South Carolina entertains rival Georgia

Week 2 preview and picks in college football

Tim Grattan
September 08, 2018 - 7:30 am

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Week Two of the 2018 College Football season has arrived.

We don’t have that many high-profile matchups as we did in Week One, but we do have a good amount of rivalry games and good non-conference action between teams from Power Five schools.

Let’s see what’s happening across college football as I look at the marquee games for today.

Rutgers (1-0) at No. 4 Ohio State (1-0), 3:30 p.m., BTN

The Buckeyes welcome the Scarlet Knights into Columbus to open Big Ten Conference play. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for five touchdowns in his starting debut last week again Oregon State. Rutgers’ defense is better than Oregon State’s defense, but I expect Haskins to repeat the same performance he did in Week One.  

Also, Rutgers cornerback Bleesuam Austin will be inactive which will hurt the Scarlet Knights secondary.

Ohio State has too much firepower on both sides of the ball for Rutgers to handle and I expected the second and third team guys to see some action.

Line: Ohio State -35, O/U 63

Prediction: Ohio State 56, Rutgers 10

No. 18 Mississippi State (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0), noon, ESPN

Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald returns from serving his one-game suspension for violating team rules. Fitzgerald had 29 touchdowns in 2017 – 15 passing, 14 rushing.

The Wildcats was in a fight last week against South Dakota, winning 27-24.

Mississippi State is too athletic for Kansas State to handle in the “Little Apple” and the ‘Cats will have a hard time getting the Bulldogs off the field.

Line: Mississippi State -8, O/U 53

Prediction: Mississippi State 34, Kansas State 20

Duke (1-0) at Northwestern (1-0), noon, ESPNU

Northwestern’s defense didn’t show up last year’s meeting as Duke rolled to a 41-17 win. The Wildcats struggled on defense in their season debut by giving up 472 yards to Purdue.

Duke played Army and wasn’t really tested (won 34-14 over the Black Knights).

I like Northwestern at home in this battle of two very well academic schools.  

Line: Northwestern -2.5, O/U 48.5

Prediction: Northwestern 24, Duke 14

UCLA (0-1) at No. 6 Oklahoma (1-0), 1 p.m., Fox (Ch. 8 in Cleveland)

Well, talk about a very disappointing debut for Chip Kelly. The Bruins struggled against Cincinnati and couldn’t get stops late in the fourth quarter -- losing 26-17. 

Meanwhile … Oklahoma scored at will against FAU in its season opener.

If this game was played under Ohio High School Athletic Association rules, there would be a running clock in the second half.  

Line: Oklahoma -30, O/U 64

Prediction: Oklahoma 52, UCLA 14

No. 3 Georgia (1-0) at No. 24 South Carolina (1-0), 3:30 p.m., CBS (Ch. 19 in Cleveland) 

A border rivalry in which the winner could be in the driver seat to reach the SEC Championship Game.

South Carolina will need wide receiver and returner Deebo Samuel to use his playmaking abilities against a young Georgia secondary. Plus, throw in Bryan Edwards, the Gamecocks leading receiver last year, will make Georgia adjust its game plan in the secondary.

Speaking of the Bulldogs … I think they have too much firepower on offense for the Gamecocks defense to handle. Georgia will burn the clock down with tailback D’Andrew Swift and will sneak out of William-Brice Stadium with a close win.

Line: Georgia -10, O/U 56

Prediction: Georgia 31, South Carolina 27

Colorado (1-0) at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m., ABC (Ch. 5 in Cleveland)  

Anytime you get old rivals to face off is a good day in my book. This long-time Big Eight/Big 12 rivalry ended when Colorado joined the Pac-12 and Nebraska went east for the Big Ten.

Nebraska’s season debut under new coach Scott Frost was canceled last week due to weather and the Cornhuskers should be up and ready for this one.

Meanwhile, The Buffs already had a game to get the kinks out and Steven Montez is the better quarterback in this game.

If there’s a game that has a potential for a home team letdown, this is your matchup.

Line: Nebraska -3.5, O/U 64

Prediction: Colorado 35, Nebraska 31

Iowa State at Iowa (1-0), 5 p.m., FOX  

You can throw out the record book out the window when the Cy-Hawk Trophy is on the line.

Well, maybe not for Iowa. In Kirk Ferentz’s weekly press conference, only one from the media asked a question about the rivalry. For Iowa State and Massillon native Matt Campbell, it was the focal point during his session with the media.

I think Iowa’s defense can slow down Iowa State running back David Montgomery, who's an NFL-caliber runner. Plus, I like Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley to control the clock and keep the trophy for the Hawkeyes.

Just like Nebraska, Iowa State was on the wrong side of weather canceling its season opener. 

Line: Iowa -3.5, O/U 46.5

Prediction: Iowa 23, Iowa State 17

No. 2 Clemson (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN  

Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher get to renew their coaching rivalry as the Tigers head into Texas and battle the Aggies.

I’ll keep this one short for the simple reason that Clemson has more firepower than Texas A&M.

Swinney did say that both of his quarterbacks – Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence – will see game action.

If I had to go all-in on a team, it’s Clemson tonight.

Line: Clemson -12, O/U 54.5

Prediction: Clemson 28, Texas A&M 10

No. 13 Penn State (1-0) at Pitt (1-0), 8 p.m., ABC

I’m excited for this Keystone State matchup between the Nittany Lions and Panthers. I always felt that these two programs should play every year against each other.

Penn State almost gave its fans a heart attack last week with App State until Trace McSorley saved the day.

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett should be able to carve up an inexperienced PSU defense.

I like McSorley more than Pickett tonight and Penn State will have more fans at Heinz Field than Pitt fans.   

Line: Penn State -8.5, O/U 55

Prediction: Penn State 41, Pitt 27

No. 17 USC (1-0) at No. 10 Stanford (1-0), 8:30 p.m., FOX

A top-20 matchup in the Pac-12 is one of the main eventers of Week Two in college football.

USC had a hard time stopping the run against UNLV as the Rebels averaged 7.2 yards per carry.

Well, Stanford’s Bryce Love should have a field day with the Trojans not-so-good rush defense.  

Freshman quarterback JT Daniels gets his first taste of playing Division I college football on the road in one of the toughest places to play on the West Coast.

Line: Stanford -6, O/U 55.5

Prediction: Stanford 34, USC 24

No. 15 Michigan State at Arizona State, 10:45 p.m., ESPN

Michigan State was sleeping against Utah State in its season opener last week, while Arizona State had all types of fun against UTSA.

The Sun Devils have a nice one-two punch with quarterback Manny Wilkins and wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

The Spartans might need to bring their “A” game in the desert if they want to fly back to East Lansing, Michigan happy.

Line: Michigan State -6, O/U 53

Prediction: Michigan State 35, Arizona State 27