We’ve made it through the first full weekend of the season and experienced two great games with Georgia’s narrow victory over Clemson in a defensive struggle and witnessed Notre Dame hold on to defeat Florida State on Sunday night. Oregon travels to the shoe to face the Buckeyes and the Cy-Hawk Trophy is up for grabs in Ames. Now, let’s get into it as we look at the best matchups in college football with our 2021 week two college football watch guide.
Note: All game times are in central standard time
2021 Week Two College Football Watch Guide
Ohio State and Oregon struggled defensively at times against Minnesota and Fresno State but found a way to win. The Ducks have some key injuries on defense that could be game-time decisions. Conversely, the Buckeyes had a dominant second-half performance on offense behind four touchdown passes from C.J. Stroud.
Tennessee relied on its ground game in week one to the tune of 326 yards on the ground for a 38-6 win. Joe Milton will have to improve from his 11 for 23 performance through the air. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was perhaps slightly more impressive in a 51-7 victory over Massachusetts. Kenny Pickett threw for 272 yards and two scores. This should be an exciting early matchup in Neyland Stadium.
The Aggies received a typical performance from a kid making his first start as Haynes King threw for 292 yards and a couple of scores. But, he also threw three interceptions. His experience will take a test as an old Big 12 matchup is rekindled in Boulder against Colorado. The Buffaloes had a very workmanlike performance in a 35-7 victory against Northern Colorado, but the competition takes a big jump forward.
We always make it a point to list the service academies when they battle for the Commanders In Chief trophy. On paper, it looks like two teams that could be headed in opposite directions. Air Force began the season with a 35-14 victory over Lafayette. Comparatively, Navy started in a similar fashion to 2020 with a 49-7 loss to Marshall.
The premier game in the country in our 2021 week two college football watch guide is for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. The Cyclones came in with a lot of preseason expectations, but it was the Hawkeyes who were the most impressive team this week in their dismantling of Indiana. This has the makings of a defensive struggle in Ames on Saturday.
All of a sudden the Wolfpack looks like the second-best team in the ACC this year after one week of play. They were dominant in their 45-0 shutout of South Florida in week one. However, the stakes get a little higher as they hit the road to face Mississippi State. Conversely, the Bulldogs came back from 20 points down in the fourth to avoid an upset at the hands of Louisiana Tech.
Texas was one of the more impressive teams in the first full weekend of the season in their 38-18 win over Louisiana in what was a popular upset pick. The selection of Hudson Card seemed to be the right choice along with the dynamic play of Bijan Robinson. Much like Mississippi State, Arkansas scored 21 straight in the fourth quarter to win. They will need a more consistent effort on Saturday to be successful.
The Mountaineers looked better than advertised and Miami, FL was not near as competitive as most thought they could be against Alabama. For the Hurricanes, the sense of urgency must be intact for a team that still has aspirations for an ACC title berth. Appalachian State lived in the shadow of Coastal Carolina and Louisiana last year but they are every bit as talented as both of them this season.
Two middle-of-the-pack teams in the SEC showcase the conference’s best matchup in week two. Kentucky was probably the most impressive of the two as they scored a 45-10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe while the Tigers won 34-24 over Central Michigan. This will be an underrated, solid quarterback matchup in this game with Conner Bazelak from Missouri against Will Levis of Kentucky.
A huge upset at the hands of Montana in week one makes this a much more needed win for the Huskies this week in Ann Arbor. The offense was anemic as they only scored seven points in the FCS matchup. Dylan Morris threw three interceptions in the game. Comparatively, the Wolverines were impressive in their 47-14 win over Western Michigan. With Ronnie Bell now out for the season, Michigan will need to see better play out wide.
BYU was outplayed by Arizona on Saturday night but came away from Vegas with a 24-16 win. The Cougars will certainly need to see improvement in the secondary as Arizona nearly threw for 400 yards against them. For Utah, they have been a darkhorse PAC 12 championship pick and the country should learn a whole lot more about this team after this rivalry game.
Our final game of the evening is in the PAC 12 as USC hosts Stanford. Stanford had a rough go of it on Saturday against Kansas State in a 24-7 loss. They especially struggled on the ground with only 39 yards rushing. On the other side, USC was strong in their opening game of the season with a 30-7 win over reigning Mountain West Champion San Jose State.