Week 2 of the 2021 college football regular season isn’t as loaded as Week 1 was, which featured five Top 25 matchups, but there are still some excellent games. Here’s a look at three of them Saturday with NCAAF odds. Rankings may change when the new polls are out.
Overview College football games week 2
No. 11 Oregon at No. 4 Ohio State (-14)
A noon ET kickoff on Fox. Ohio State is on a few days extra rest after rallying to win 45-31 at Minnesota last Thursday. The Buckeye offense totaled 495 total yards, including 294 through the air. Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud threw four touchdown passes in his first collegiate start for 294 yards. Senior wide receiver Chris Olave sprinted through the Minnesota defense with four receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He might be the best receiver in the country.
Oregon avoided an upset against Fresno State, winning 31-24. Trailing 24-21 early in the fourth quarter, Oregon got a turnover forced by linebacker Justin Flowe that set up a game-tying field goal by Camden Lewis. After the defense got off the field quickly again, with a three-and-out, quarterback Anthony Brown capped his first career UO start with a 30-yard touchdown run that put the Ducks ahead for good.
The bad news for Oregon, though, was that superstar defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, injured his ankle in the first half and didn’t return. Thibodeaux, an All-American last season, had a sack and a forced fumble. He’s obviously in question vs. OSU.
Ohio State is 9-0 all-time vs. Oregon. The schools haven’t met since the Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff national title game in January 2015. Pick: Oregon
No. 18 Iowa at No. 7 Iowa State (-4)
It’s a 4:30 PM ET kickoff on ABC. This might be the biggest Cy-Hawk game ever and ESPN College GameDay will be there. Iowa State is one of five on-campus sites that have hosted the program twice since 2019, joining Georgia, Clemson, Penn State and Minnesota.
Iowa opened the year with an impressive 34-6 home rout of No. 16 Indiana. Senior Riley Moss had two of the three Hawkeye turnovers, taking both of his interceptions for pick sixes in the first half. Moss became just the third player in school history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game. Iowa’s defense limited the Hoosiers to 233 yards, including just 77 on the ground. Indiana averaged 28.9 points and 359.5 yards of total offense during the 2020 season. Moss was named the Walter Camp FBS national Defensive Player of the Week.
Iowa State didn’t look great in Week 1, edging FCS school Northern Iowa 16-10. Iowa State won its 13th game as a ranked team since 2017. It won only 13 games as a ranked team from 1892-2016. ISU is 17-4 at Jack Trice Stadium since 2018. ISU has won six straight at home, tying for the fourth-best streak in school history. In its last six games, ISU’s defense is allowing 13.3 points per game. In its last six games, ISU’s defense has given up just 16 points in the second half. Breece Hall rushed for a score and has a rushing touchdown in 13-straight games, a school-record and the second-best streak in Big 12 history. Pick: Iowa State.
No. 21 Texas at Arkansas (+6)
Texas opened with a 38-18 win over No. 23 Louisiana. QB Hudson Card made the first start of his collegiate career and completed 14-of-21 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. He ended his first career start with more passing yards than Colt McCoy (178) and Sam Ehlinger (222) in their first starts as Longhorns. Bijan Robinson carried the ball 20 times for 103 yards (5.2 avg) and scored one touchdown. Also caught four passes for 73 yards and one touchdown. It was Steve Sarkisian’s debut as Texas coach.
Arkansas beat Rice 38-17 in Week 1. QB KJ Jefferson finished 12-of-21 passing for 128 yards and 1 TD and rushed for a career-high 89 yards with 2 TDs. He was the first Arkansas QB to rush for two TDs in a game since Tyler Wilson against Ole Miss on Oct. 22, 2011. Jefferson was the first Arkansas player to run for at least 2 TDs and throw for a TD since RB Rawleigh Williams ran for 4 TDs and threw a TD pass on Nov. 18, 2016 against Mississippi State. Pick: Texas.
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