This is Part Two of this week’s Previews & Predictions feature. Also check out Part One.
Maine Black Bears (0-0) at Boston College Eagles (0-1) (0-1): As disappointing as last week’s loss to Miami was, you couldn’t help but notice that spark from BC’s players that’s been missing these past few seasons. New offensive coordinator Doug Martin’s already performed a miracle after Chase Rettig‘s phenomenal passing day, and something tells me we’ll be seeing much more of the same against Maine. If they go five-wide all day I wouldn’t be surprised. The Black Bears are far too rusty to keep up with a team fresh off an exciting, active first game. Prediction: Boston College 48, Maine 20
Austin Peay Governors (0-1) at Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0) (1-0): Austin Peay got absolutely smoked by Western Kentucky last week. So if that’s any indication of the team that will be facing the Hokies, expect this one to be quick. Now, Tech is coming off a short week, having just played on Monday. But a lowly FCS school is exactly what they need to shake off the final cobwebs. The Pistol formation looked like it had a lot of potential, so Logan Thomas would be well-advised to give it some more practice runs against the Governors. Prediction: Virginia Tech 41, Austin Peay 0
North Carolina Tar Heels (1-0) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0): Two North Carolina schools faced FCS opponents last weekend. One came out of it looking like they had one of the country’s best offenses. The other looked as if they’d struggle to win four games. After tallying 62 points on Saturday, there’s no telling what Larry Fedora’s UNC offense will do next. So long as running back Giovani Bernard‘s knee doesn’t become an issue, they’ll give defenses issues all season. Wake has a defense (sometimes) so it appears they’ll be having some issues. Prediction: UNC 45, Wake 24
USC Trojans (1-0) vs. Syracuse Orange (0-1) (in East Rutherford, N.J.): The Orange are currently the best passing team in the country. That title won’t last long once Matt Barkley and the Trojans are done with them. For as well as SU played for parts of their opener against Northwestern, there were plenty of moments where they appeared to be no more than a bumbling, inept squad still grasping at straws just to handle the basics of the game (see Jerome Smith‘s fumble). QB Ryan Nassib will continue his great play, but unfortunately, SC’s offense will just prove too much for the Orange defense to contain. Prediction: USC 56, SU 28
Savannah State Tigers (0-1) at Florida State Seminoles (1-0): As has been well-documented, Savannah State is a glutton for punishment this season, having already been knocked around the yard, 84-0, by Oklahoma State to start the year. So what will FSU do for an encore? After losing defensive leader Brandon Jenkins, they’ll probably be testing out different looks to employ now in his absence. Additionally, QB EJ Manuel will take time to try out his receiving targets. The ‘Noles should relish this easy start, too. There’s no letting up once the league schedule gets going. Prediction: FSU 61, Savannah State 0
Presbyterian Blue Hose (1-0) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-1) (0-1): No amount of rest time could really get a FCS team ready for Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack, so Presbyterian looks like they’re in for a long day. Though the opponent isn’t necessarily up to snuff, Tech QB Tevin Washington should use all the time he has in-game to make proper reads and better decisions. While coach Paul Johnson’s shown commitment to his quarterback, any more big issues from Washington and he may need to make a change. It’s up to the senior to prevent that from happening. Prediction: Georgia Tech 56, Presbyterian 10
Duke Blue Devils (1-0) at Stanford Cardinal (1-0): Stanford allows tons of passing yards to inexperienced quarterbacks — a great sign for Duke, who brings third-year starter Sean Renfree along for the trip. As we’ve noted before, this game appears to reek of upset potential. Upstart program (Duke) on the road against a team replacing a legend (Stanford), plenty of issues still needing to be ironed out for the Cardinal, plus a true desire by these Blue Devils seniors to finally break the 17-year bowl-less streak. If it’s going to happen, this will be the game that shifts the tide in their favor. Prediction: Duke 27, Stanford 24