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College football Week 2 gameday guide: Florida-USF and the ACC’s big day

Keep an eye on a St. Petersburg native in the GameDay game and a seventh-year senior from Tampa.
Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen is seeking his 100th career victory Saturday at USF.
Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen is seeking his 100th career victory Saturday at USF. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]
Published Sep. 10

Viewing guide

Lamest time window: Mid-afternoon. Take the dog for a long walk after the first games end, as long as you’re back before Iowa-Iowa State heats up.

Noon: No. 3 Ohio State hosts No. 12 Oregon in a rematch of the first College Football Playoff national championship (2014 season).

1: Even if the game is a rout, I’m still curious how No. 13 Florida and USF manage their quarterbacks.

Related: Why state games like Florida-USF are in danger of disappearing

3:30: Former Big 12 colleagues No. 5 Texas A&M and Colorado meet at the Broncos’ Empower Field at Mile High.

4:30: The first ranked matchup in the 68 meetings between No. 10 Iowa and No. 9 Iowa State. Games like this are what make college football so fun.

7: No. 22 Miami is on upset watch against Appalachian State.

8: Washington-Michigan sounded much better before the Huskies (coached by former Bucs assistant Jimmy Lake) lost to Montana in Week 1.

10:15: No. 21 Utah is seeking a 10th consecutive win over Holy War rival BYU.

‘Bama beatdowns

Miami couldn't hang with Alabama last week. Now the Hurricanes have to keep one loss from becoming two (or more).
Miami couldn't hang with Alabama last week. Now the Hurricanes have to keep one loss from becoming two (or more). [ JOHN BAZEMORE | AP ]

No. 22 Miami needs to reset quickly after last week’s 44-13 loss to Alabama. The last three teams to lose big to the Tide in neutral-site season openers crumbled:

2019: Duke is 7-16 since a 38-point drubbing in Atlanta, which has created serious questions about coach David Cutcliffe’s future.

2018: Louisville’s 51-14 loss in Orlando kicked off a 2-10 season and helped spark Bobby Petrino’s mid-November firing.

2017: Florida State arguably still hasn’t recovered from the 24-7 defeat in Atlanta. The Seminoles finished 7-6 in Jimbo Fisher’s final season.

Related: Who’s No. 1 on Matt Baker’s latest AP top 25 ballot?

Local of the week

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier (19) throws a pass as Colorado State defensive lineman Scott Patchan (1) rushes during a 2020 game in Boise, Idaho.
Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier (19) throws a pass as Colorado State defensive lineman Scott Patchan (1) rushes during a 2020 game in Boise, Idaho. [ STEVE CONNER | AP ]

Colorado State defensive end Scott Patchan (Freedom High/IMG Academy)

The Miami transfer is a seventh-year senior, Rams captain and NFL prospect. He’ll have a chance at a big day against Vanderbilt, as Colorado State looks for its second-ever home win against an SEC team.

GameDay breakdown

Don’t get too excited by Iowa’s 34-point explosion against Indiana. This has the makings of a defensive barnburner. The Hawkeyes’ defense is usually stout, and Iowa State has only given up 16 second-half points in its last six games. Expect this heated rivalry to be decided by a defensive stand or big special teams play.

Eye on the NFL draft

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux looks like a future NFL star.
Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux looks like a future NFL star.

In addition to being the most talented player in the game, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is arguably the draft’s top prospect. He’s also day-to-day with an ankle injury. Assuming he plays, keep an eye on how he fares against the Buckeyes and tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (Berkeley Prep), another future pro.

ACC rebound?

The ACC had a rough Week 1 with losses by Clemson (to Georgia), Duke (to Charlotte), Louisville (to Mississippi) and Georgia Tech (to Northern Illinois). The conference has a chance to save face this weekend. Pitt has a winnable game against the Volunteers, Virginia should beat Illinois, North Carolina State can pick up an SEC victory at Mississippi State, and No. 22 Miami has a respectable but beatable opponent in Appalachian State.

3 things to watch with FSU-Jacksonville State

Jacksonville State hung with the Seminoles in last year's meeting. Can Florida State put the Gamecocks away earlier this time?
Jacksonville State hung with the Seminoles in last year's meeting. Can Florida State put the Gamecocks away earlier this time? [ DON JUAN MOORE | Don Juan Moore ]

1. The Seminoles rushed for 264 yards last week against Notre Dame and should come close to that (or top it) this time. FSU hasn’t rushed for 250 yards in back-to-back games since the first two weeks of 2015.

2. Jacksonville State led FSU in the third quarter last year before FSU pulled away for a 41-24 win. If the ‘Noles have grown, they’ll pull away sooner.

3. FSU’s defensive front showed progress with nine tackles for a loss against the Irish. Can the ‘Noles be even more disruptive against a lower-level foe?

Audible

“If you sit there and stare at them, they’re going to win the beauty contest, for sure ...,” — USF coach Jeff Scott on the Gators.

Related: How does USF compare to future Big 12 teams UCF, BYU, Cincinnati and Houston?

Johnny Majors Classic

Pitt and Tennessee are both honoring their former coach with Saturday’s meeting in Knoxville. Majors coached Pitt from 1973-76 before returning to his alma mater, Tennessee, where he coached from 1977-92. The move was unconventional, because he had just led the Panthers to a national title. Since then, only one head coach has won a national title and left that program for another college job: Jimbo Fisher, who went from FSU to Texas A&M.

Why Notre Dame-Toledo matters

Even if the Rockets don’t upset the No. 8 Fighting Irish, the 2:30 matchup could have a big impact on the sport. Why? Because it’s being shown on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, not on NBC itself. Streaming companies like Netflix have not yet jumped into college sports, which makes this broadcast an interesting test run — especially as contracts for the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 expire in the next few years.

Related: How the coronavirus pandemic has changed sports broadcasts

By the numbers: Week 2

Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen is seeking his 100th career victory Saturday.
Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen is seeking his 100th career victory Saturday. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]

99 — Career victories for Florida coach Dan Mullen (who has 55 losses)

2017 — The last time Arkansas had a sellout crowd before this weekend against No. 15 Texas, a former Southwest Conference rival

13-0 — Miami’s record in home openers at Hard Rock Stadium

29 — Consecutive starts for Iowa State cornerback Anthony Johnson (St. Petersburg High)

2 — 100-yard rushers Appalachian State had last week (Nate Noel and Camerun Peoples)

5 — Consecutive 2-0 starts for UCF, if the Knights can top Bethune-Cookman

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