Written by: John Stocco
If you thought last week was a heavy hitter, think again. Week 2 of the college football season is underway, and it’s setting up to be a classic. Heck, this weekend is full of such great games that I told my boss I couldn’t come into work this weekend. The Blitzalytics spotlight games heading into Week Two will be Army taking on Michigan in Ann Arbor, 12th-ranked Texas A&M having their rematch with the defending champs Clemson Tigers, and game of the year candidate LSU vs. Texas.
Is this the game Michigan’s offense takes off?
Michigan beat Middle Tennessee in Week One, but it wasn’t a convincing win like Penn State beating Idaho or Maryland beating Howard by 79 points. No football team should win by 79 points, but when you see Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee on paper, you’d expect a bigger win than the Wolverines winning by 19. It’s been talked about for days, especially in my articles, but I feel like this could be the best Michigan team we see in the Jim Harbaugh era because of new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. The play calling, the spread look, the type of athletes that Michigan has, it’s all set up for a season filled with big players, and more points. The spread opens at -23 in Michigan’s favor and the Wolverines should cover that with relative ease. Don’t worry, I respect the troops. This is a game where I’m expecting the Wolverines to show off their skillset and break out of their shell. I’m looking to see Michigan attack Army with an up-tempo, fire-sale type of offense; Shea Patterson, Tarik Black, and Donovan Peoples-Jones is a trio that should score at a rapid pace.
Will Texas A&M upset Clemson?
Last year Texas A&M shockingly was Clemson’s toughest test all season. In Jimbo Fisher’s first season, people were expecting more of a rebuild for the Aggies. Instead, they competed and put up a tough fight against some of the elite teams in college football. Meanwhile, the SEC took a beating in Week One. You might read this and think I’m crazy when you see Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Georgia. Then you look down the line and see a Missouri and Ole Miss taking losses and Tennessee getting humiliated in their stadium. The SEC has two classes: one that’s very rich and one that’s very poor. Texas A&M is in that rich class, and while a loss to Clemson isn’t devastating, it’s more ammunition for the “SEC is overrated” crowd. Jimbo Fisher is one of the best coaches in college football, Kellen Mond is a quarterback that many people are sleeping on, and their defense is strong with a great play-caller behind them. In short, the Aggies are walking in with a chip on their shoulder. A lot of people did not expect much from them, with many feeling like Clemson’s offense is just going to steamroll them. “There will be an upset,'' said Aggies offensive linemen Jared Hocker. Expect a lot of emotion, expect chippy football, and overall, expect a great game. I’m putting my money on Clemson, but this by no means is going to be a cakewalk for the Tigers.
Will Texas vs. LSU live up to the hype?
This is the only time in my life where I actually wished I lived in Texas. The most anticipated regular-season college football game in quite some time takes place this weekend, and I would do anything to be in Austin to watch this game live. It’s already Week Two, and this contest could have College Football Playoff implications. Texas is right up there with Oklahoma when it comes to talent, and a loss to LSU will leave them little to no room for the rest of the season. On the other hand, LSU has a complete team to compete with Alabama and Georgia this year. Sam Ehlinger has something special happening down in Austin; it’s kinda like the Tebow effect. He has this energy, confidence, and spirit about him that makes his teammates want to run through a brick wall for him. He rallies the team, the university, and the fan base every time he steps on the field in Austin. The problem is Ehlinger has never played a defense as good as this defense that LSU has. From top to bottom, the depth chart LSU is loaded, and their offense is equally as good. Joe Burrow struggled last season, but this year he’s got new confidence and is comfortable with the play calling and the new RPO scheme the Tigers adopted over the offseason. Burrow fits the scheme better, and it’s made everyone on their offense dangerous because of it. This is a game that’s going to live up to the hype. Texas is trying to dethrone Oklahoma, while LSU is trying to beat Alabama. Both teams have similar paths to the right destination, but they’re on two different roads to take. A clash of two college football titans is going down Saturday night.