(CBS Local)- Week 1 of the college football slate always includes some surprise results and this year was no different. Georgia and Clemson scored a total of 13 points and the only touchdown came on the defensive side of the ball. Washington, Colorado State and Vanderbilt all lost to FCS schools.
Army rolled up 43 points, with a pair of passing touchdowns in routing Georgia State 43-10. And, we already have a coaching change, with UConn’s Randy Edsall stepping down from his position following an 0-2 start.
In Week 2, we begin to learn whether or not the surprise results from Week 1 were portents of things to come or just a blip on the radar with the start of a new season. Once again, a full slate of games is set to be played on CBS and CBS Sports Network, let’s take a spin through the schedule.
Friday, September 10
North Dakota @ Utah State, 9:00 p.m. ET
Utah State was part of Week 1’s surprising results, knocking off Pac-12 foe Washington State 26-23 after trailing 23-11 entering the fourth quarter. The running game was the biggest factor for the Aggies as they racked up 222 yards on 46 carries (4.8 avg) from six different players.
North Dakota is an FCS opponent, but underestimate the Hawks at your own peril. ND won their opener 35-14 over Idaho State allowing just 72 rushing yards on 30 carries and they’re currently ranked 9th in the FCS Top 25. The Fighting Hawks picked off three passes and turned that into 17 points in the opener so taking care of the football will be key for the Aggies.
Saturday, September 11
Western Kentucky @ Army, 11:30 a.m. ET
Army’s shellacking of Georgia State was unexpected. The Black Knights were entering this season with some new starters on the offensive line and oddsmakers had them listed as two point underdogs against the Panthers. They rolled up 43 points with an, as expected, dominant rushing attack 67 carries, 258 yards and four touchdowns and a dominant defense that swarmed Georgia State allowing just 177 total yards.
They’ll face a Western Kentucky group that was one of the more intriguing teams entering the season because of their offseason. The Hilltoppers brought in the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Zach Kittley), quarterback (Bailey Zappe) and top receivers (Jerreth Sterns and Josh Sterns) from FCS Houston Baptist. Zappe and Sterns immediately made an impact in Week 1 as WKU rolled up a 59-21 win over UT Martin. Zappe tossed seven touchdowns with Sterns hauling in two of them in the win.
How the Hilltoppers handle Andre Carter II, who racked up three sacks in Week 1, will be something to watch.
Purdue @ UConn, 3:00 p.m. ET
The start of the season has not been kind to UConn as the Huskies were blown out in Week 1, 45-0 by Fresno State before losing 38-28 to FCS Holy Cross last week. The 0-2 start led to head coach Randy Edsall announcing his retirement to be replaced by defensive coordinator Lou Spanos who will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.
The road doesn’t get any easier for UConn as they now have to face a Purdue team that rolled up 313 passing yards in a 30-21 win over Oregon State last week. Receivers David Bell and Payne Durham pose a big test for the Huskies defense that, through two games, is allowing 259 yards through the air (84th FBS) and 8.8 yards per attempt while giving up six passing touchdowns.
Air Force @ Navy, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
A tale of two different starts to the season for these two schools. For Air Force, it was an easy 35-14 win over Lafayette in which they led 28-7 at the halftime break and were never really troubled.
For Navy, the season opener saw the Mids ripped apart by Marshall 49-7, scoring their only touchdown in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
The teams have alternated wins for the last eight years with the Falcons winning last season’s matchup 40-7 in Colorado. Saturday’s matchup will be played in Annapolis at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The first leg of the competition for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will kick off at 3:30 Eastern.
Houston @ Rice, 6:30 p.m. ET
Each of these teams dropped their opening game by double digits. For Houston, the opening week loss was a tough pill to swallow as the Cougars led 21-7 at the halftime break before being shut out by Texas Tech in the second half as the Red Raiders rolled up 31 straight unanswered points.
Rice had a somewhat similar experience, leading Arkansas 10-7 at the half in Fayetteville before the Razorbacks erupted for 31 points in the second half while the Owls mustered just 7.
The Owls will have to be better defending the run in this game, they gave up 245 yards on 5.6 yards per carry in the loss to Arkansas though Houston didn’t have much success on the ground in their opener (35 carries, 77 yards, 2.2 avg).
Vanderbilt @ Colorado State, 10:30 p.m. ET
It’s hard to say who had the worse opening week among these two teams though based on the spreads entering the games, it would have to be the Commodores.
Clark Lea’s group was installed as 21.5 point favorites against East Tennessee State and lost 23-3. That’s a 41.5 point underperformance against the spread. The Rams were only 2.5 point favorites against a good South Dakota State team and they ended up losing by 19, 42-23.
The Rams at least showed some offensive firepower in Week 1 with transfer quarterback Todd Centeio throwing for 304 yards and a score. Vanderbilt’s offense turned the ball over three times and mustered just 321 total yards.
One of these teams will come away with a win and right now, the oddsmakers have the Rams listed as touchdown favorites.