In Depth Analysis On The Top College Football Week 2 Upset Picks
Texas Tech at Arizona State, Saturday, September 10, 10:00 PM ETWeek 2 NCAAF Upset Pick: Texas Tech (+3)
The Texas Tech Red Raiders were in a class of their own in Week 1, thrashing Stephen F. Austin to the tune of 69-17, with Heisman Trophy darkhorse Patrick Mahomes picking up from where he left off last season, completing 30-of-43 passes for 483 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 57 rushing yards and two additional touchdowns on the ground. But most notable about the game against Stephen F. Austin was that Texas Tech’s defense—which was wildly porous in 2015—showed massive improvements. For example, SFA had -5 yards of rushing at halftime. That was of course against an FCS team, but tons of positives can be taken from that show. Pac-12’s Arizona State will certainly be a different animal, but with Mahomes doing his thing and the Red Raiders defense taking care of the Sun Devil’s iffy offense, it won’t be surprising if TTU walks out of Tempe with a win.
South Carolina at Mississippi State, Saturday, September 10, 7:00 PM ETWeek 2 NCAAF Upset Pick: South Carolina (+6.5)
The effects of Dak Prescott’s absence from Mississippi State’s offense didn’t take long to show, as the Bulldogs choked up big-time in Week 1, falling 21-20 to South Alabama as 28.5-point favorites last Saturday. South Carolina, meanwhile, kick-started the Will Muschamp era with 13-10 upset win over Vandy as 5.5 underdogs. Expectedly, South Carolina struggled offensively, but the defense held its own quite well. Ahead of this anticipated Week 2 SEC showdown, the Bulldogs opened as 9.5-point favorites, but the number has sharply dropped to as low as 6.5. Two reasons account for this drop. First, Mississippi’s State’s offense struggled against a shaky South Alabama team, and that trend looks most likely to continue against a more proven South Carolina defense, no wonder the smarts are loading up on the Gamecocks and forcing the line to go down. Second, the Gamecocks have dominated this series, going 4-2 SU in its last six trips to Mississippi State, and also going 5-0 SU in the last five overall vs. the Bulldogs, along with a stellar 6-1 ATS mark in last 7 overall vs. Mississippi State. Now, whereas it would be a big leap to take South Carolina for the straight up win (as the Gamecocks aren’t that good offensively), I’d expect the visitors to use their defense to keep things tight and at least cover the spread. Heck, if SC’s offense can figure out positively, an outright upset could be in the offing.
BYU at Utah, Saturday, September 10, 7:30 PM ETWeek 2 NCAAF Upset Pick: BYU (+3)
Yes, BYU has lost five straight to Utah and the Utes have a smothering defense that laid waste to Southern Utah’s offense in a 24-0 shutout last week. With that, beating Utah won’t be easy for the visiting Cougars. That being said, Utah’s offense was less than convincing in the win over Southern Utah, blowing up several scoring opportunities, as is depicted by the game’s final score. BYU, meanwhile, showed balance on both sides of the ball in the hard-earned 18-16 victory a very good Arizona team. Jamaal Williams was the star of BYU’s offense, carrying the ball 29 times for 162 yards, with QB Taysom Hill (202 yards on 21-of-29 passing, one TD) also playing serviceably. On the other side, coach Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki transitioning to a 4-3 defense ensured efficiency in the defense, as the Cougars collected two turnovers, forced a fumble, intercepted a two-point conversion attempt and sacked Arizona’s veteran quarterback Anu Solomon four times while finishing the game with eight tackles for a loss. Against Utah’s freshman quarterback Troy Williams, who was barely tested in Week 1 and a struggling running game to support him; it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect an upset win from the resolute Cougars.