It’s another slow week for the SEC with no top-25 matchups for any of the teams. There are still a few games from out of the conference that have caught our writer’s attention, along with Ole Miss’ home opener this weekend.
Washington at Michigan: Owen Pustell
Final Score Prediction: Michigan 35, Washington 24
After entering the season ranked 20th, the Huskies fumbled their walk-through week 1 game against Montana by a score of 13-7. Quarterback Dylan Morris threw 3 interceptions as the Washington offense could not get out of its own way, failing to gain 300 total yards. On the other sideline, the Wolverines come in full of energy and with high momentum. On Saturday, the winged helmets took off, averaging 9.2 yards per play and dropping 47 points despite taking out their starters with 25 minutes remaining in the game. The one blemish on an otherwise perfect opening weekend was the season ending injury to star receiver Ronnie Bell. Look for Washington to take advantage of their speedy playmakers and stretch the field both horizontally and vertically in an attempt to spread out the defense and get in space. For Michigan, the goal is to establish the run game to keep the defense in the box before opening up the playbook with deep shots and jet sweeps. The stakes on this game are high, not only is it a primetime matchup between Power Five schools, but there will be a number of Washington-based prospects making the trip up north for the game The biggest name on the list in five star 2022 offensive tackle Josh Connerly. The 6-5 monster has nearly 30 offers from coast-to-coast but has narrowed his list down to include his home school of Washington, and the Wolverines, among others. A strong showing by either side will go a long way in securing a commitment from Connerly, who would be a key addition to any recruiting class.
Austin Peay at #20 Ole Miss: Ruby Draayer
Final Score Prediction: 57-21
Ole Miss will waste no time in their home opener this weekend. While there are no preseason games in college football, there typically are a few easy wins before conference play starts. Austin-Peay will be one of them. We saw on Monday that there is a legitimate defense that can limit possessions, while still having one of the most dominant offenses in the country. Head coach Lane Kiffin will be back to coach against the Governors, and there is a very small chance that this game will be a close matchup.
#12 Oregon at #3 Ohio State: Aidan Gallardo
Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 42, Oregon 21
After winning a close one against Fresno State in Week 1, Oregon looks to head into Columbus, Ohio with a win against a difficult Ohio State team. But, Ohio State’s victory last week against Minnesota wasn’t particularly smooth sailing. Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud seemed incredibly uncomfortable in the first half against a Minnesota defense that didn’t even manage to get a sack. If it wasn’t for an incredible second half performance by Stroud, the Buckeyes could’ve easily started off their season 0-1. Oregon’s star pass-rusher, Kayvon Thibodeaux suffered an ankle injury and it isn’t clear on whether or not he’ll play. If Thibodeaux can play, he can get Stroud out of the comfort zone he found in the second half against Minnesota. If Oregon is without Thibodeaux, they’ll have a tough chance of winning this game.
#10 Iowa at #9 Iowa State: Catherine Jeffers
Final Score Prediction: Iowa 27, Iowa State 20
Coming off of a tight margin of victory against Northern Iowa, Iowa State will be looking to their in-state rivalry matchup to quiet questions about their abilities. For the first time in this rivalry, both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25, both finishing out the top ten. However, the Cyclones will not have enough to overcome Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes. Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras had a great showing in a 34-6 win over Indiana, along with running back Tyler Goodson. Goodson had one rushing touchdown and ran for 109 yards. For Iowa State, they underperformed against Northern Iowa, but still hung on to a top ten ranking. They were only able to put up 16 points on Northern Iowa, made up of one touchdown and three field goals. Because of this, look out for a low scoring game with the Hawkeyes able to edge out the Cyclones in this Week 2 rivalry matchup.