Hope found in a slow week of football

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Photo courtesy BYU

The college football season got off to a big start last weekend with fantastic scheduling and upsets up and down the board. Three top-25 teams were beaten by unranked teams and No. 15 Houston downed No. 3 Oklahoma. Perhaps the biggest upset of the weekend came on Sunday night as the Texas Longhorns, which has been reeling for several years now, knocked off Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime. Are the Longhorns back? Or was it simply an opening-weekend fluke? Only time will tell as Charlie Strong’s squad looks to carry the target of a No. 11 ranking into Week 2.

After the opening weekend delivered a shot of adrenaline to our football-deprived bodies, Week 2 brings an anemic slate of games to the schedule. No teams in the top 25 polls will be meeting anywhere in the nation as perennial powers that were taken to the mat Week 1 look to bounce back against group 5 and Football Championship Subdivision opponents. The schedulers have insulted us with matchups like Clemson-Troy, Florida State-Charleston Southern and Georgia-Nicholls.

Despite the snooze-fest this weekend brings in college football, there’s still a slim chance of an upset. There’s a small chance of an Appalachian State-over-Michigan-caliber upset. While you keep one eye on the scoreboard, be sure to catch these games this weekend.

BYU Cougars (1-0) at Utah Utes (1-0)

The Cougars and Utes will meet for the 91st time in the history of the programs. BYU is coming off a last-second 18-16 win over Arizona Week 1. The Cougar offense sputtered at times against the Wildcats and will need to be humming from the opening kick to be affective against a strong Ute defense.

Utah’s defense punished the BYU offense in their last meeting in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl by forcing five turnovers in the first quarter, including two pick-sixes. Junior quarterback Troy Williams will face his first true test against BYU’s stout defense.

Utah State Aggies (1-0) at USC Trojans (0-1)

The Aggies travel to the Memorial Coliseum to take on the USC Trojans. The last time these teams met, USC edged USU 17-14 at home in 2013. In five meetings, USU is winless against USC. The Aggies look to continue to pound the ball on the ground with running back Devantae Mays, who ran for 208 yards in Week 1 against Weber State.

The Trojans are seeking a bounce-back win after a 52-6 beating at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. USC was held to 194 yards and punted 10 times in the loss.

Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0) vs. #17 Tennessee Volunteers (1-0)

The Hokies face off against the Volunteers at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. In the last meeting of these teams, Virginia Tech downed Tennessee with a 37-14 win in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Hokies struggled with fumbles in Week 1 as it coughed up the ball four times.

Tennessee narrowly snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat in Week 1 after a 20-13 scare in overtime Week 1. If the Volunteers are to have success against the Hokies, they’ll need more success in the turnover column after losing the battle 2-1 to the Mountaineers.

Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) at No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)

The Razorbacks are looking to upset the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas. Despite getting outplayed by Louisiana Tech, Arkansas escaped Week 1 with a fourth-quarter touchdown for a 21-20 win. The Razorbacks will rely heavily on sophomore running back Rawleigh Williams III.

Despite missing 2015’s stars in quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson, the Horned Frogs remain a high-powered offense. Junior quarterback Kenny Hill is back in the starting spot and is leading the power-house offense as he threw for two TDs and ran for three more in Week 1.