By Stewart Mandel
September 10, 2010
College Football Pickoff: Week 2
Saturday, Sept. 11
3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 12 Miami (1-0) at No. 2 Ohio State (1-0)
Remember when Vince Young went into the Horseshoe and beat the Buckeyes on a last-minute touchdown throw? It's possible to envision Miami junior Jacory Harris delivering his own statement moment on Saturday. But I'm not sure his O-line will be able to handle the pressure from Cameron Heyward and Co., and OSU should be able to run the ball on Miami.
7 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 18 Penn State (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0)
This game is the first in a home-and-home between the two schools that was originally scheduled to take place in 2004 and '05. As Joe Paterno tells it, Alabama, reeling from NCAA sanctions at the time, asked Penn State if it could postpone the series a few years "so we can get our feet back where we think we should be." Wish granted -- perhaps regrettably, from Penn State's perspective.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 17 Florida State (1-0) at No. 10 Oklahoma (1-0)
It was bound to happen eventually: Stoops vs. Stoops. Oklahoma coach Bob meets his brother, 'Noles defensive coordinator Mark, for the first time. FSU fans are looking to this game to find out whether Mark has been able to resuscitate last year's anemic D. It's got to be better -- but not better enough to stop DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles.
Noon ET (ESPN2) No. 22 Georgia (1-0) at No. 24 South Carolina (1-0)
So much for my Georgia-to-the-BCS prediction. Can the Dawgs win a couple of their next three games (all against SEC foes) without suspended receiver A.J. Green? Sure. All of them, though? Doubtful. The Gamecocks showed off a bevy of playmakers against Southern Miss, and they'll continue to score points. New Georgia QB Aaron Murray sure could use a playmaker of his own.
3:30 p.m. ET (NBC) Michigan (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-0)
Whatever the result, a segment of fans and media will inevitably declare the victorious program "back." Back to a bowl game, perhaps, but the only truly eye-opening outcome will be if either side's defense shuts down the other's quarterback. More likely, both Michigan's Denard Robinson and Notre Dame's Dayne Crist will go off, but Crist has more weapons alongside him.
7 p.m. ET (ESPN2) No. 7 Oregon (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0)
Last week, the Ducks (against New Mexico) and Vols (vs. UT-Martin) beat their foes by a combined score of 122-0. One of these teams is going to score on the other this week, and the logical choice seems to be the side that scored 72 last week without 1,546-yard rusher LaMichael James, who reclaims his role in the Oregon backfield alongside Kenjon Barner this week.
12:21 p.m. ET South Florida (1-0) at No. 8 Florida (1-0)
Urban Meyer has promised the Gators will have that whole center-snap thing worked out by Saturday. Just in case, the defense would be well-advised to put the clamps on versatile Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels, who won a game in Tallahassee last year. Florida's offense can't get any worse than it was last week, but don't expect it to come out and roll against a better opponent just one week later.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Iowa State (1-0) at No. 9 Iowa (1-0)
People are sleeping on the Cyclones, but quarterback Austen Arnaud and the boys came out sharp in their opener against Northern Illinois. Of course, the Huskies didn't have Adrian Clayborn. Or Tyler Sash. Or the rest of an Iowa defense that figures to be among the best in the country and may need to be Saturday in what is typically a grind-it-out game.
4 pm. ET (Versus) BYU (1-0) at Air Force (1-0)
BYU's new quarterback tandem of Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps got off to a solid start in last week's win over Washington. Now they get their first road test against a team that boasted the nation's fifth-ranked pass defense a year ago and returns all the key rushers from its prolific option-based offense. The Falcons haven't beaten BYU in six years, but circumstances are finally aligning in their favor.
10 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 25 Stanford (1-0) at UCLA (0-1)
UPSET SPECIAL: Last week's 31-22 loss at K-State made it clear the Bruins still have a ways to go, but there were also signs of hope. Most notably, the Pistol offense seems to have sparked a fire in UCLA's previously dormant running game. Now along comes Stanford, not exactly a defensive juggernaut. With Houston and Texas looming, UCLA badly needs an early W, and this mat be its best hope.
Record Last Week: 8-2               Record Last Season: 83-57

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