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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 2 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 6-8

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 6

8:00 pm Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-5, 49) - The Bearcats open their season at home in a Big East battle with 0-1 Pitt and, by all appearances, after Pitt was upended, 31-17, by Youngstown State, that the Panthers will be off to an 0-2 start under head coach Butch Jones.

Pitt leads the series, 8-3, but the Bearcats have captured three of the last four. This marks the end of a short rivalry as Pitt will join Syracuse in bolting to the ACC next season.

The key will be how well Cincy QB Munchie Legaux reads the Pitt defense and which of three backs that the Bearcats will rotate will most resemble graduated Isaiah Pead. Cincy returns 14 starters, seven on defense. Their veteran leadership should pave the road to victory.

Prediction: Bearcats 31 Panthers 20


Friday, September 7

8:00 pm Utah (-7 1/2, 52 1/2) at Utah State - The Utes were impressive in the opener, easily handling Northern Colorado, 41-0. The Aggies also are 1-0, after whipping Southern Utah, 34-3, as QB Chuckie Keeton threw for 304 yards and two TDs, so both teams appear ready to rumble in this annual in-state rivalry.

The Utes could be trouble for unsuspecting PAC-12 teams. John White set Utah's single-season rushing record last year and had 119 yards last week. QB Jordan Wynn tossed a pair of touchdown strikes and looked solid after missing the final nine games of the 2011 season due to a left shoulder injury.

The Utes are not only in another league, but a better one and this rivalry may more resemble a backyard brawl that the bigger, better Utes will win.

Prediction: Utes 34 Aggies 17


Saturday, September 8

12:00 pm UCF at Ohio State (-18, 50) - In their first game under head coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes didn't miss a beat, dismantling Miami (OH), 56-10, and learned on Wednesday that even though they and Penn State are banned from playing in the Big Ten title game, both can still capture the Leaders division and earn a trophy for their school.

That should be motivation enough for Ohio State players, despite being on probation for the season and ineligible for bowl games, but they will be tested by Conference USA Central Florida, which opened their 2012 campaign with a 56-14 thrashing of Akron on the road.

The Knights have enough offense to stay on the field, even against the Buckeyes, who returned 11 starters on defense. It may not be the prettiest of games, but UCF may even stun Ohio State.

Prediction: Buckeyes 31 Knights 21


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12:00 Miami at Kansas State (-6 1/2, 56) - The way Miami rallied for a 41-32 win at Boston College last week, the Hurricanes appear to be as good as expected, and maybe even a little better.

The Wildcats will have to find a way to contain Miami's Duke Johnson, who scored twice and ran for 135 yards in Miami's opener.

Kansas State scored 35 points in the fourth quarter, en route to a 51-9 win over Missouri State, after being held to just three field goals in the first half. K-State will find it a bit more difficult to score on the Hurricanes, who seemed to be getting the feel of the game defensively in the latter stages of their win over BC.

A close call, but Miami can get Saturday off to a wild start with a mild upset.

Prediction: Hurricanes 27 Wildcats 24


3:00 pm North Carolina (-10 1/2, 54 1/2) at Wake Forest - Both of these ACC rivals earned victories in the season openers last weekend, but the Demon Deacons were not very impressive, squeaking past Liberty by a 20-17 score.

Even though the game was played under a torrential downpour, the Dekes had no excuses for their narrow escape.

The Tar Heels trounced Elon, 62-0, with both offensive and defensive units performing to near-perfection.

Considering the quality of each team's win, there's little wonder that Vegas installed the visiting team as a heavy favorite. A sleeper in the ACC, North Carolina may have one of their best teams in years.

Prediction: Tar Heels 38 Demon Deacons 13


3:30 pm Florida at Texas A&M (-1, 50 1/2) - Having made the jump from Big 12 to the SEC, the Aggies will see just what SEC play is all about as they host the Gators.

Florida wasn't all that impressive in their 27-14 win over Bowling Green, and they'll have to step it up a notch if they hope to upend A&M, who is returning 16 starters from last year, hoping to make a mark in their new conference.

The Aggies haven't played, so it's tough to predict what to expect from this experienced bunch. Their scheduled game at Louisiana Tech was washed out by Hurricane Isaac. Despite going 6-6 last season, the Agies should avail themselves well in the SEC opener.

Prediction: Aggies 26 Gators 23


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3:30 pm Purdue at Notre Dame (-14, 51 1/2) - This annual rivalry is normally one of the best in the Midwest, abd Purdue appears to be ready to take on the Fighting Irish after their 48-6 rout of Eastern Kentucky.

Notre Dame is also 1-0, having blasted Navy in Dublin, Ireland last Saturday, 50-10. Quarterbacks Tommy Rees of the Irish and Purdue's Caleb TerBush were both suspended from their team's openers but are expected to play.

This is a tough call, though the linesmakers went overboard on the Fighting Irish as usual, installing them as two-TD favorites when the game figures to be much closer as both teams sport similar styles, though the Irish defense is purported to be the better unit.

Prediction: Fighting Irish 24 Boilermakers 21


3:30 pm USC (-26 1/2, 61) vs. Syracuse - Syracuse dropped its home opener to Northwestern, 42-41, and now must face the #1-ranked Trojans who are getting in their frequent flier miles having just topped Hawaii, 49-10, last Saturday.

The Orange will be hard-pressed to stay with the Trojans and QB Matt Barkley on a neutral field. After two years of being ineligible for bowl games, USC figures to be playing with a vengeance and the Syracuse squad, though good, is no match.

Prediction: Trojans 54 Orange 13 All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, 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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