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Fearless Rick's 2011-12 College Football Week 2 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 8-10, 2011

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 8

8:00 pm Arizona at Oklahoma State (-14, 65) - Beating Louisiana-Lafayette 61-34 wasn't exactly what the Cowboys had in mind in their season opener. Quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 388 yards, but was picked off three times, two of them going for touchdowns. While the OKST offense clicked for 666 yards of offense, the Ragin' Cajuns had 19 first downs against the Cowboy defense, a cause for concern heading into a game against a PAC-12 foe loaded with offensive weaponry.

For Arizona, this is an opportunity to get on the national contender map. Nick Foles, senior QB for the Wildcats, tossed five TD passes and was the top passer in the FBS, with 412 yards on 34-42 passing in their win over Northern Arizona.

The Wlldcats on the road will test the Oklahoma St. secondary and potentially pull off the upset in a heated Thursday night special.

Prediction: Wildcats 38 Cowboys 35

Friday, September 9

7:00 pm Florida International at Louisville (-4, 50) - Normally, this match-up wouldn't attract much attention, but being on a Friday night without much else going on, the Golden Panthers and Cardinals will be more than happy to accept the spotlight.

Florida Atlantic is looking for an outright Sun Belt title and playing against the Big East's Louisville might be just what the doctor ordered. The Golden Panthers opened their 2011 campaign with a 41-16 romp over North Texas last week as T.Y. Hilton gained 283 all-purpose yards in the win, catching passes, running with the ball an returning kicks. Louisville will have to be on guard against one of the most dangerous offensive players in the country.

Louisville downed Murray St., 21-9, in their opener, and while the defense looked solid, the offense did a good deal of stumbling around, picking up penalties and generally going nowhere fast in the second half. These two teams are pretty evenly matched, but Hilton and the ineptitude of the Cardinal offense might spell trouble for the home favorites.

Prediction: Golden Panthers 31 Cardinals 20

10:30 pm Missouri at Arizona State (-7 1/2, 53) - Missouri was ranked preseason, but didn't look like much in their opening weekend, 17-6, win over Mid-American champions Miami of Ohio. James Franklin, Missouri's QB, is untested and passed for just 129 yards on 17-26 passing in the win.

Besides not looking very good offensively, the Tigers came out of the game with a rash of injuries, including starting tailback Kendial Lawrence, who suffered a broken fibula. Two wide receivers, the starting center and tight end are also expected to miss the game against the Sun Devils who are coming off a 48-14 win over UC Davis. Arizona state has it's own share of injuries, though it didn't seem to slow them down as they have the depth to deal with them.

Missouri was ranked 19th in the USA Today poll released on Tuesday, with Arizona State filling the #23 spot. Look for those positions to be reversed after a big Sun Devil win.

Prediction: Sun Devils 34 Tigers 19

Saturday, September 10

12:00 pm Toledo at Ohio State (-19, 50 1/2) - After shutting out Akron, 42-0, the Ohio State Buckeyes are wondering just how good their defense can be. They'll find out a little more when they face up against the Toledo Rockets, who pounded New Hampshire, 58-22, on September 1.

Ohio State held the Zips to just five first downs and 90 total yards, but Toledo is gunning for them with an offense that has a balanced attack with QB Austin Dantin (3 TDs against New Hampshire) and Adonis Thomas at running back. The Rockets also have a habit of forcing the issue against big conference teams, but they look seriously overmatched against the Buckeyes who will also get back four players suspended from the opener, including tailback Jordan Hall and cornerbacks Travis Howard and Corey Brown.

Prediction: Buckeyes 48 Rockets 17

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12:00 pm Oregon State at Wisconsin (-22, 57) - The Beavers are going to have to chew a lot of wood after losing their home opener in overtime to Sacramento State, 29-28. They could have won the game in regulation, but freshman kicker clunked a chip shot field goal off the right upright sending the game into OT.

The Beavers started eight true freshman, and youth may be part of their problem, but freshman Malcolm Agnew rushed for 223 yards and will be on Wisconsin's hit list.

The Badgers beat up on UNLV, 51-17, are ranked #8 by the Ap and #9 by USA Today and have the luxury of staying at home for a second straight week. Wisconsin was 11-1 in the regular season last year, have one of the nations's top defenses and are expected to vie for the Big Ten conference title. That's too much for the nubian Beavers to deal with here.

Prediction: Badgers 44 Beavers 10

12:20 pm Mississippi State (-7, 55 1/2) at Auburn - For a defending national champion, the Auburn Tigers sure looked like they missed Cam Newton a lot in their 42-38 win over Utah State in their home opener. The defense was ragged and the offense sluggish and unprepared, though they overcame a late 38-28 deficit thanks to an onside kick and some late heroics. But the Tigers allowed 27 first downs and 447 yards of offense to the Aggies, which won't cut it against an experienced, powerful Bulldog squad who hammered Memphis, 59-14, last week.

In their 2010 meeting the Tigers won at Mississippi State, 17-14, but the Bulldogs returned a good number of starters and are seeking revenge. QB Chris Relf hit 13 of 21 passes for 202 yards and RB Vic Ballard had 166 yards and three TDs on just 10 carries against Memphis.

Being an underdog at home in the SEC is not a good sign for Auburn, especially after Utah State gashed their defense on the ground. Look for Balard to run wild and deliver a big win for the Bulldogs.

Prediction: Bulldogs 34 Tigers 19

3:30 pm Stanford (-21 1/2, 59) at Duke - The line on this game should be a lot higher, especially after Stanford breezed past San Jose State, 57-3 last week and Duke dropped their home opener to the Richmond Spiders, 23-21.

Stanford is ranked #6 in both polls, but they surely could be higher. After this lopsided non-contest, they may be, as the Blue Devils were just 3-9 last season including a 62-13 home loss to Alabama and a 44-7 defeat on the road against Virginia Tech. This game looks a lot like those routs as Andrew Luck and his teammates have their eyes set on a national championship.

Prediction: Cardinal 48 Blue Devils 16

3:30 pm Virginia Tech (-20, 64) at East Carolina - East Carolina, the pest from Conference USA, led South Carolina, 17-0, at the end of the first quarter last week, but then were outscored 56-20 to suffer a 56-37 defeat in their opener. It doesn't get any easier for the Pirates, who go on the road again to face the Hokies of Virginia Tech, 66-13 winners over Appalachian State in their home opener.

Junior tailback David Wilson rushed for 162 yards on 16 carries, scoring three times, and the starting defense for the Hokies held Appalachian State scoreless until it was 52-0 in the third quarter.

East Carolina will likely show some offense, but their defense is sorely lacking and they appear to be overmatched against the perennial powerhouse of the ACC.

Prediction: Hokies 52 Pirates 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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