After going 0-4, I was shocked that I didn’t get the “Crying Jordan” face on Twitter. Week 1 blues is nothing to jump out of the window over as we have the rest of the season to make it a distant memory.
Without further ado, here are my Week 2 picks.
Oregon -24.5 UVA
Both UVA and Oregon played what many thought were ‘guaranteed win’ games yet only one of them won. Oregon punished UC-Davis 53-28 while UVA lost to FCS opponent, Richmond, 37-20.
Last week, the Ducks gave up an early score but then starting rolling like they always do, scoring 33 unanswered points. RB Royce Freeman gained 87 yards on only 11 carries with 2 TDs. Expect an even bigger day against a UVA defense that gave up 114 yards rushing to Richmond’s Gordon Collins. Freeman wasn’t the only one impressive in last week’s win. Oregon QB Dakota Prukop threw for 271 yards and 3 TDs. He’ll be licking his chops against the Cavaliers defense.
The offensive fireworks overshadows FR LB Troy Dye’s Pac 12 Player of the Week performance. Dye ended the day with 11 tackles (4.5 TFL), a sack and a blocked field goal.
Penn St. +6 Pitt
It’s great to see Penn St. and Pittsburgh renew a rivalry that a lot of us grew up with. The two haven’t met since 2000. This is an important season for James Franklin to confirm that he’s indeed the man for the job. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 33-13 win over Kent State.
The key on Saturday will be how well Penn St. QB Trace McSorley (Sophomore) plays against a Pitt defense that will dare him to win the game. McSorley was 16-31 for 209 yards and 2 TD’s against Kent State. The Panthers defense will do everything possible not to let RB Saquon Barkley get started.
In Pitt’s win over Villanova, all eyes were on RB James Connor. Conner missed most of last year with a knee injury and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Connor had a rather pedestrian 53 yards on 17 carries but he scored twice (one rushing, one receiving). Pitt added to their 14-0 halftime lead when Quadree Henderson took second half opening kickoff back 96 yards for a TD. All in all, Pitt’s 28-7 win over Villanova was solid but far from being spectacular.
Penn St. +6
Louisville -14.5 Syracuse
Bobby Petrino and Louisville head to Syracuse after dropping 70 on Charlotte. There’s not much you can get from playing an opponent that was that overwhelmed but limiting a team to just 208 yards total offense is impressive. On offense Lamar Jackson accounted for 8 TD’s (6 passing, 2 rushing). Jackson had over 100 yards rushing (his 6th 100 yard rushing game in 13 games) and almost 300 yards passing (286). Sixteen different Cardinals caught passes.
Syracuse rolled up over 400 yards passing (355 of it came from starting QB Eric Dungey) in a 33-7 win over Colgate. Cuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo had 12 receptions for 210 yards. The Orange will need a similar performance on offense if they want to match Louisville’s fire power.
Purdue +6 Cincinnati
Purdue’s home game vs. Cincinnati will be a huge one for Coach Darrell Hazell. In his first three seasons in West Lafayette, Hazell has a total of six games. That’s not going to allow you to keep your job for long. The Boilermakers are coming off an opening day win over Eastern Kentucky (45-24). Markell Jones rushed for 145 yards while David Blough threw for 245 yards. Last season, Jones set the record for most rushing yards by a freshman (845). Jones and the Purdue offense will have to do much of the same if they want to stay on the field with Cincinnati.
Cincinnati fell behind UT-Martin in the first quarter but responded by not allowing the Skyhawks score the rest of the game. The Bearcats 28-7 victory was highlighted by QB Hayden Moore’s 260 yards passing, 2 TD performance. Tion Green chipped in with 97 yards rushing while the Bearcats forced three turnovers.
Call it a gut feel but…
Photo Credit: Eric Evans Photography