Games to watch in Week 2 of college football season

Ross Fisher, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the September 10 Double Coverage flipbook.

No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 9 Iowa State — Sept. 11, 3:30 p.m. CT, ABC

While these two programs might not play in the same conference, make no mistake, this intrastate rivalry is a perennial must-see. The Hawkeyes will arrive in Ames with a quiet confidence, having knocked off No. 17 Indiana 34-6 last week with a strong defensive showing. Not only did the Iowa defense hold Indiana to field goals and zero touchdowns, but the Hawkeyes also made three interceptions, including two pick-sixes from senior defensive back Riley Moss. On the contrary, Iowa State did not impress in week one. The Cyclones grinded out a 16-10 win over Northern Iowa at home last Saturday, and the intensity will without a doubt be turned up a few notches as Iowa State welcomes its most bitter rivals inside its house. The last time these two Iowa football programs met in 2019, then-ranked No. 19 Iowa went to Ames and broke Cyclone hearts with an 18-17 victory. Expect another gritty showing from these two strong defensive units as the Cyclone faithful welcome their biggest rivals back to town and their first win over Iowa since 2014.

No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 3 Ohio State — Sept. 11, 11 a.m. CT, FOX

Last year’s national champion runner-up welcomes Oregon to town for a cross-conference matchup. These two college football powerhouses last met at the 2014 National Championship Game, when the Buckeyes dominated the Ducks 42-20. This season, Ohio State has its sights set on another playoff appearance, following last season’s national championship defeat to Alabama. The Buckeyes knocked off Minnesota with a 45-31 victory last weekend, off the back of four passing touchdowns from redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud. In week one, Stroud proved he is a sufficient replacement for NFL quarterback and former Buckeye Justin Fields. Oregon failed to impress in its 2021 season debut, narrowly winning 31-24 at home to Fresno State. A massive upset would take place if the Ducks escape Columbus with a win, but it should be a thrilling contest either way.

No. 21 Utah vs. BYU — Sept. 11, 9:15 p.m. CT, ESPN

The Utes head to LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, to take on BYU in the Holy War rivalry game. The favored Utes cruised through week one, beating Weber State 40-17 at home. Junior wide receiver Dalton Kincaid caught a pair of touchdowns in his season debut, while sophomore running back Tavion Thomas found the endzone twice on the ground. BYU held its own, beating Arizona 24-16 in Las Vegas, while sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall threw a few touchdowns. Hall looks to do the impossible task of filling last year’s now-NFL quarterback Zach Wilson’s shoes in Provo. Utah won the last  Holy War in 2019, and BYU has not defeated Utah since 2009. The Cougars will look to change things this weekend at home.

No. 5 Texas A&M vs. Colorado — Sept. 11, 2:30 p.m. CT, FOX 

The Aggies head to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes at the Denver Broncos’ Empower Field. Texas A&M is overwhelmingly favored over Colorado with an 88% win percentage prediction by ESPN’s Football Power Index. The Aggies took care of business in week one, beating Kent State 41-10 in their home opener, but redshirt freshman quarterback Haynes King threw three interceptions. Colorado also heads into week two 1–0 after beating Northern Colorado. While Colorado was one of the best teams in the Pac-12 last season, the Buffs will certainly have their hands full against head coach Jimbo Fisher’s No. 5 ranked A&M program.

Stanford vs. No. 14 USC — Sept. 11, 9:30 p.m. CT, FOX

The Trojans are slated to play their second consecutive home game after beating San José State 30-7 in week one. Stanford lost out in its season opener matchup against Kansas State, losing 7-24. USC is heavily favored to beat the Cardinals on Saturday, as the two face off for the first time since 2019, when USC dominated then-ranked No. 23 Stanford 45-20.