Tucker’s Pick ‘Em: College football picks and previews for Week 2
Florida Atlantic (0-1, 0-0 C-USA) @ No. 2 Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 12 p.m. SEC NETWORK
Alabama had a closer game against West Virginia than most expected, but Blake Sims really didn’t look that bad at quarterback. Despite throwing an interception, the senior completed 22 of his 33 passes for 250 yards in the Tide’s 33-23 win.
They’ll play a team coming off a big loss Saturday. Florida Atlantic fell 55-7 at Nebraska.
Alabama uses this week and next to rest plenty of starters before SEC play starts against Florida September 20:
Alabama 49, Florida Atlantic 10
Actual Score: Alabama 41, Florida Atlantic 0 (WIN)
Arkansas State (1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt) @ Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 12 p.m. SEC NETWORK
Okay, Tennessee. You got me. You’re back, and that’s exciting for the SEC. We haven’t seen the Vols play with desire like that since Phillip Fulmer left.
In a Sunday night game at Neyland Stadium, Tennessee rolled to a 38-7 win over a very good Utah State team.
The Vols may give up a few more points against the Red Wolves, but if senior quarterback Justin Worley plays like he did against the Aggies (27-38, 273 yards, 3 TDs), Tennessee will run away with it again:
Tennessee 37, Arkansas State 17
Actual Score: Tennessee 34, Arkansas State 19 (WIN)
UAB (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) @ Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 2 p.m. ESPN3
UAB opened its season with a 48-10 win over Troy, which used to mean something, but not so much anymore.
Mississippi State, meanwhile, opened against Southern Miss. The Bulldogs showed the difference in the SEC and C-USA, shutting USM out 49-0.
MSU moves to 2-0:
Mississippi State 38, UAB 7
Actual Score: Mississippi State 47, UAB 34 (WIN)
No. 14 USC (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) @ No. 10 Stanford (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Saturday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. ABC
Two-time defending Pac-12 champ Stanford opens conference play against USC at home, a place the Trojans haven’t won at since 2008.
USC won last year’s meeting in Los Angeles 20-17, breaking a four-game losing streak to Stanford and ending any dream the Cardinal had of playing in the final BCS Championship Game.
Steve Sarkisian won his first game as the Trojans’ head coach, but he’ll lose his first Pac-12 contest:
Stanford 24, USC 13
Actual Score: USC 13, Stanford 10 (LOSS)
Ohio (1-0, 1-0 MAC) @ Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. ESPN3
Kentucky scored more points last week than it has in any season opener since 1998, blasting UT-Martin 59-14.
The Wildcats play Ohio Saturday in Lexington, where all five games of the series have been played. Kentucky leads the all-time series 3-2 but lost the last meeting in 2004, 28-16.
Ohio needed a field goal as time expired last week to beat Kent State, a team that went 4-8 last season:
Kentucky 31, Ohio 17
Actual Score: Kentucky 20, Ohio 3 (WIN)
Georgia Tech (1-0, 0-0 ACC) @ Tulane (0-1, 0-1 AAC)
Saturday, September 6 at 4 p.m. ESPNEWS
Georgia Tech and Tulane have played together in three different conferences (SIAA, Southern Conference, SEC) but will meet for the first time in 32 years in the Wave’s brand new Yulman Stadium. It’s on-campus, which means the team will no longer use the Superdome for its home games.
Georgia Tech opened its season with a 38-19 win over Wofford. Tulane will pose a bigger threat in its fancy new home:
Georgia Tech 24, Tulane 20
Actual Score: Georgia Tech 38, Tulane 21 (WIN)
Eastern Michigan (1-0, 0-0 MAC) @ Florida (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 4 p.m. SEC NETWORK
Florida only got one play in last week against Idaho before bad weather forced the game’s postponement.
The Gators will try it again when they host Eastern Michigan. Even though they didn’t actually sit out a game, suspended defensive tackles Jay-nard Bostwick and Darious Cummings (violation of team rules), and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (a ‘university sanction’) will return to action this week, head coach Will Muschamp said.
Eastern Michigan edged Morgan State 31-28 in Week 1. The Eagles have no chance against a Florida team that’s still waiting to prove it’s better than its 4-8 record from a year ago:
Florida 48, Eastern Michigan 7
Actual Score: Florida 65, Eastern Michigan 0 (WIN)
No. 17 Ole Miss (1-0, 0-0 SEC) @ Vanderbilt (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 4:30 p.m. ESPN *SEC NETWORK’s SEC Nation at 10 a.m.
It took Ole Miss three quarters to get going against Boise State, but when it did, it got ugly. Up in Nashville, Vanderbilt got embarrassed by Temple.
For the 10th time in 12 seasons, the Rebels open SEC play on the road. Expect another slow start, but Ole Miss will move to 2-0 for the third straight season:
Ole Miss 27, Vanderbilt 10
Actual Score: Ole Miss 41, Vanderbilt 3 (WIN)
No. 6 Michigan State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) @ No. 4 Oregon (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Saturday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. FOX *ESPN’s College GameDay at 9 a.m.
Michigan State and Oregon meet in Eugune, with the winner emerging as an early bet to be in the College Football Playoff.
Oregon finished 2013 second in the nation in total yards, while Michigan State relied on its defense, ranking third in the country in points per game and second in total yards.
The Ducks have the edge playing at home, but they’ll score half the points they did last week:
Oregon 31, Michigan State 28
Actual Score: Oregon 46, Michigan State 27 (WIN)
Furman (1-0, 0-0 SoCon) @ Mercer (1-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Saturday, September 6 at 6 p.m. ESPN3
Mercer opened the season with another thriller against the NAIA’s Reinhardt, holding off the Eagles 45-42 to keep their winning streak at home alive. The Bears didn’t lose a game all last season after restarting their football program after more than 70 years.
That streak could end this weekend when the Bears welcome the Paladins to Macon. Furman, Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb’s alma mater and former place of employment, is ranked 17th in the latest Football Subdivision Coaches’ Poll.
If the Bears don’t struggle with the SoCon’s defending champs, the SoCon better watch out:
Furman 35, Mercer 17
Actual Score: Furman 25, Mercer 20 (WIN)
Savannah State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) @ Georgia Southern (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Saturday, September 6 at 6 p.m. ESPN3
Georgia Southern was just one point away from knocking off NC State last week in Raleigh. The Eagles actually led the game 20-10 at one point, but NC State’s touchdown with less than two minutes remaining lifted the Wolfpack to the 1-point win.
Savannah State has won six games in the last five years and didn’t look much better last week when it fell 61-7 to Middle Tennessee State.
The Eagles hung 77 on them last year, in case anyone forgot:
Georgia Southern 59, Savannah State 14
Actual Score: Georgia Southern 83, Savannah State 9 (WIN)
San Jose State (1-0, 0-0 MWC) @ No. 5 Auburn (1-0, 1-0 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ESPN2
Auburn opened the season with a 45-21 win over Arkansas and moved into the Top 5 in this week’s Amway Coaches’ Poll.
Expect senior quarterback Nick Marshall to return to the starting lineup this week, even though sophomore Jeremy Johnson shined in the opener. The Montgomery native completed 12 of his 16 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, adding 47 yards on seven carries.
He’ll play again Saturday after the Tigers jump out to a big lead:
Auburn 56, San Jose State 17
Actual Score: Auburn 59, San Jose State 13 (WIN)
East Carolina (1-0, 0-0 AAC) @ No. 21 South Carolina (0-1, 0-1 SEC)
Saturday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ESPNU
East Carolina would wipe out any chances the Gamecocks have of making the playoff with a win in Columbia Saturday.
The Pirates haven’t beaten their SEC rival to the south since 1999, but it could happen this year if the ‘Cocks don’t improve in a big way:
South Carolina 35, East Carolina 24
Actual Score: South Carolina 33, East Carolina 23 (WIN)
Duke (1-0, 0-0 ACC) @ Troy (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Saturday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ESPN3
We’ve come a long way since the years of my alma mater, Troy, winning five straight Sun Belt Conference titles, and it’s all been downhill.
In the last three seasons, the Trojans have gone 3-9, 5-7 and 6-6. They opened the season with an embarrassing 48-10 loss at in-state rival UAB.
I’d call the upset back in ’08, but not now:
Duke 49, Troy 17
Actual Score: Duke 34, Troy 17 (WIN)
Michigan (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) @ No. 15 Notre Dame (1-0)
Saturday, September 6 at 8 p.m. NBC
Two old rivals meet for the final scheduled time (there are talks of future meetings but nothing has been scheduled) Saturday night in South Bend, both coming off wins in their openers.
Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly has struggled against the Wolverines, posting a 1-3 record since his arrival in 2010. The Irish face a tall order in stopping the Michigan offense, which had two 100+ rushers in a 52-14 win over Appalachian State.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke has accused the Irish of “chickening out” on the series, since it was Notre Dame who opted not to put UM on the schedule in 2015.
I’m picking the road team to get the bragging rights until they meet again:
Michigan 24, Notre Dame 23
Actual Score: Notre Dame 31, Michigan 0 (LOSS)
Week 2 results: 13-2