The second weekend of college football should give all of those fans still nursing third degree sunburns a chance to let the Aloe Vera work.
No. 19 Auburn (0-1) at Georgia Tech (0-1) – 3:30 p.m., ABC: It’s a good thing this game is on ABC and not ESPN, or we could’ve seen some transmission problems as ESPN tries to save face. Following Auburn’s cover appearance on ESPN The Magazine, in which they were heralded to be No. 1, the Tigers came out and fell on their face against No. 8 Southern Cal.
This week, Georgia Tech will meet Auburn for the first time since 1987. Don’t expect any semblance of home-field advantage as the series is tied at 34 (with four ties) in games where Tech dons the home jersey.
The matchup will be an important one for Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell, who needs to show more polish than he did last week. He should be able to take advantage of the Yellow Jackets’ weak secondary and get back on track.
Georgia Tech’s offense doesn’t stand much of a chance against Auburn. The Yellow Jackets committed four turnovers last week; it was the difference between a win and a loss to Brigham Young. Auburn is simply too talented on both sides of the ball to cough up another loss to a weaker team.
The Tigers will redeem themselves and ESPN, and you might even be able to catch the highlights on Sportscenter.
Auburn 23, Georgia Tech 3
No. 18 Florida (1-0) at No. 3 Miami (1-0) – 8:00 p.m., ABC: Last season, Miami came into “The Swamp” and dominated the Gators thanks to a 196-yard rushing day from Willis McGahee.
With McGahee gone, the Miami offense will rely on Florida transfer quarterback Brock Berlin for the offense. Berlin will be the focus of Florida’s reloaded defense, which features a better secondary than he faced last week. Berlin needs to turn in a better performance or a lot of his passes will wind up in Florida’s hands.
Florida will keep the ball on the ground more this weekend to avoid the Miami secondary. Using new quarterback Ingle Martin’s speed along with Ran Carthon out of the backfield, the ground game could spell the difference in this brewing rivalry.
If Carthon can put together a big game, look for Miami to be upset by Florida. If Florida can pull off the upset, it will mark the Hurricane’s first home loss since 1999 when they lost to Penn State, 27-23.
Florida 27, Miami 23
Maryland (0-1) at No. 10 Florida State (1-0) – 7:15 p.m., ESPN2: This game could be an extremely exciting game or an easily forgotten massacre once the Miami-Florida game starts 45 minutes later. Maryland looks to rebound after it saw its national title hopes disappear faster than you can say P.J. Fleck. The tough 20-13 overtime loss to Northern Illinois bounced the Terps out of the top 25.
Quarterback Chris Rix was very impressive last week, and should Maryland decide not to roll over after last week’s loss, it will be up to Rix to be the difference maker. The Seminoles’ offense needs to come out flying and put Maryland down early.
If they can score first, the Seminoles will dominate the contest and you can get a quick game of NCAA Football 2004 in before the eight o’clock game. If Maryland can put the first marker on the board, it will be entertaining enough to watch until eight, when everyone should flip to ESPN. Either way, Rix will lead Florida State to victory.
Florida State 34, Maryland 10
Washington State (1-0) at No. 16 Notre Dame (0-0) – 2:30p.m.: Notre Dame will look to shake whatever caused it to go 2-3 down the stretch last year, and return to the form that earned the Irish an 8-0 start.
Notre Dame quarterback Carlyle Holiday will continue to show marked improvement in his second season under coach Ty Willingham.
The offensive line in front of Holiday could be the dime breaker, however. With only one returning lineman, the Irish will look to Jim Molinaro and Mark LeVoir to step it up and protect Holiday in the pocket when he stays there.
Washington State first-year coach Bill Doba will face his first formidable opponent this weekend. Last weekend, Washington State showed that its seven returning defensive starters can still get the job done effectively.
The offense didn’t manage to put up much in the air, considering Idaho’s weak defense, but the stellar running game more than made up for it. Senior quarterback Matt Kegel will need a much bigger game if he wants his team to have a shot at beating Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish, who are 7-1 in their last eight openers, will tack up another one in the win column.
Notre Dame 24, Washington State 10