Local schools seeking 2-0 starts
Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @jojocornrow
We were treated with some great football during opening weekend. Baylor and SMU scored four total touchdowns in the opening three minutes of game time. Washington and Boise State was decided by a missed field goal in the final seconds. Northwestern upset Stanford, and BYU won with a last-second Hail Mary. I hope you wrote your favorite team thanking them for getting your money’s worth of your monthly cable bill.
Even when big schools go to the cupcake portion of their schedule, there are still games you won’t want to miss. Friday night brings another chapter of the Utah State versus Utah rivalry. Saturday’s lineup includes a top-25 matchup with Oklahoma facing off with Tennessee, a top-10 clash between Oregon and Michigan State, and a nightcap with Boise State visiting BYU. Here is a rundown of the games to watch in week two.
Utah State Aggies at Utah Utes
The Aggies will meet up with the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium in what has become a heated rivalry in recent years. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton is the center of the Aggies’ offense and the team rises and falls with his play. Keeton looks to continue his success against Utah.
Utah opened with a dominant win against a motivated Michigan team. Utah’s defense will be a tough match for the Aggies with the strong secondary and front-four. After moving the ball well against Michigan, quarterback Travis Wilson and running back Devontae Booker look to continue their success against Utah State.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Virginia Cavaliers
The Fighting Irish will travel to ACC country to take on the Cavaliers and look to keep their momentum after rolling over Texas. Notre Dame moved the ball at will in their opener and looks to do the same against Virginia.
Things won’t get much easier for Virginia, who couldn’t do much to slow down the UCLA Bruins in Pasadena, CA. Quarterback Matt Johns is a bright spot that may provide a spark for the Cavaliers against a very tough opponent.
Oklahoma Sooners at Tennessee Volunteers
In a Big 12 versus SEC matchup, the Sooners will take on the Volunteers in Knoxville, TN. Oklahoma is looking for redemption after finishing 8-5 just one year ago. Quarterback Baker Mayfield will try to lead the Sooners to victory with a strong passing attack.
Tennessee comes into the contest with a strong run game that put up 399 yards against Bowling Green State the opening weekend. The Volunteers look to continue their solid start and get some payback from last seasons 34-10 whipping they took against the Sooners in what promises to be an exciting game start to finish.
Oregon Ducks at Michigan State Spartans
The Oregon Ducks will travel to East Lansing, MI to face the Michigan State Wolverines in a Saturday night game of top-10 power houses. The Ducks ran for 485 yards opening weekend and look to move the ball with the same tenacity against the Spartans. Quarterback Vernon Adams is attempting to lead Oregon to back-to-back Pac-12 titles.
Michigan State’s defense will be put to the test against a fast Oregon team. Senior quarterback Connor Cook will look to throw deep against Oregon’s struggling secondary. Michigan State came into the season as favorites to contend with Ohio State for Big Ten supremacy. This is a key game for both teams on their quest for the College Football Playoff.
LSU Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Saturday the Tigers and Bulldogs will meet for a night game in Starkville, MS. LSU will be playing their first game of the season after lightning led to the cancellation of their opener. Les Miles always puts a tough defense on the field, but there are questions surrounding quarterback play.
Mississippi State had a strong start to last season, but couldn’t finish through conference play. Quarterback Dak Prescott is returning and should provide the Bulldogs with the experience needed to compete with the Tigers.
Boise State Broncos at BYU Cougars
Mountain West power Boise State visits BYU in what has become a competitive rivalry. Boise State showed a good ground game against Washington with running back Jeremy McNichols posting 89 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos are 4-1 against the Cougars all-time.
BYU will now rely on freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum the remainder of the season after senior Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending injury against Nebraska Saturday. Mangum quickly proved worthy by leading BYU to victory by heaving a Hail Mary with one tick remaining on the clock. The Cougars are looking for some redemption against the Broncos after Boise put up 55 on them last season. The Cougars match up well with the Broncos and should provide for a thriller under the Saturday night lights.
I’m sure this weekend will deliver as much excitement as we saw to open the season.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.