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College football Week 2 viewing guide, and why to watch Josh Heupel’s Vols

Florida-Kentucky isn’t the only good showdown this weekend.
Florida and Kentucky have played some great games recently, including last year's Wildcats win.
Florida and Kentucky have played some great games recently, including last year's Wildcats win. [ ALEX SLITZ | Lexington Herald-Leader ]
Published Sep. 10

Our weekly college football gameday guide starts with a schedule breakdown of what to watch and when:

Lamest time window: Early, so it’s not a bad weekend for a late brunch.

Noon: No. 1 Alabama at Texas (Fox) has brand recognition. But South Carolina at No. 16 Arkansas (ESPN) will probably be the most entertaining game.

3:30: No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pitt (ABC) was fun last year and should be one of the best this weekend, too.

4: Prediction: There will be more points scored in the first quarter of No. 25 Houston at Texas Tech (FS1) than the entire Iowa-Iowa State game (Big Ten Network).

7: No. 20 Kentucky has beaten No. 12 Florida (ESPN) two of the last four times — and the Gators are lucky the figure isn’t worse.

Related: Are Florida, Florida State, Miami back after Week 1 wins? No, but...

7:30: No. 10 USC crushed lowly Rice in Week 1. Let’s see how the new-look Trojans do on the road against a better opponent, Stanford (ABC).

8: Hawaii at No. 4 Michigan (Big Ten Network) is worth monitoring to see how quarterback J.J. McCarthy fares in his first start.

10:15: After destroying USF, No. 21 BYU hosts a future Big 12 colleague, No. 9 Baylor (ESPN), in an excellent nightcap.

GameDay breakdown

Texas running back Bijan Robinson will try to lead the Longhorns past No. 1 Alabama. Good luck.
Texas running back Bijan Robinson will try to lead the Longhorns past No. 1 Alabama. Good luck. [ MICHAEL THOMAS | AP ]

If Texas has a chance of upsetting No. 1 Alabama, the Longhorns’ offense will have to dominate. Maybe it can with star running back Bijan Robinson and Quinn Ewers, one of the top quarterback prospects of the modern era. Then again, Alabama only allowed seven first downs last week — its lowest total since 2018. It’s hard to see this one being close.

Stat of the week

Punter Tory Taylor was Iowa's MVP last week.
Punter Tory Taylor was Iowa's MVP last week. [ CHARLIE NEIBERGALL | AP ]

From CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli: Iowa totaled 166 yards of offense last week against South Dakota State. The last time a Division I-A team won with fewer than 175 yards was … Iowa in last season’s win over Iowa State (whom the Hawkeyes host this weekend).

Heupel hype

Under Josh Heupel, Tennessee has scored at least 45 points in four consecutive games, tying a school record.
Under Josh Heupel, Tennessee has scored at least 45 points in four consecutive games, tying a school record. [ WADE PAYNE | AP ]

Under former UCF coach Josh Heupel, the Volunteers have scored at least 45 points in four consecutive games, tying a school record set in 1993. If Tennessee can do it this weekend, that will be a huge sign for the program’s growth; no one has scored that many on Pitt since a pair of 2020 playoff teams (Clemson and Notre Dame).

Related: SEC, save the Florida Gators vs. Tennessee football rivalry

By the numbers: Week 2

USF's Jimmy Horn Jr. returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week for the Bulls. That's becoming a trend.
USF's Jimmy Horn Jr. returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week for the Bulls. That's becoming a trend. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

4 — Kickoffs returned for a touchdown in USF’s last eight games

7 — Consecutive games Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke has thrown at least two touchdown passes

50 — Touchdowns accounted for by Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman last season. He missed Week 1 after having surgery to remove a blood clot and has been cleared to return as soon as Saturday against Vanderbilt

6 — Different players who caught a touchdown pass last week for Appalachian State

Related: ‘Failure’s not an option’ for USF Bulls’ on-campus football stadium

0 — Touchdowns allowed last week by the Mountaineers’ next opponent, No. 6 Texas A&M

1,367 — Rushing yards by Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen in his last 10 games heading into Saturday’s game against Washington State

2010 — The last time Virginia Tech started 0-2, which it would do with a home loss to Boston College

10 — Consecutive wins in home openers for No. 8 Notre Dame, tying the school record. It should extend to 11 against Marshall

• • •

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