College Football Picks: Week 2

Sep 3, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome (3) runs for a gain against the Howard Bisons at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome (3) runs for a gain against the Howard Bisons at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

Let Down Saturday is upon us. Here are our college football picks for Week 2 of the season.

Last week featured four games in which both teams were ranked, as well as several other games in which a ranked team faced a traditional big-time football school. Week Two has no games that feature two ranked opponents and lacks that big time marquee matchup. Tennessee matching up against Virginia Tech in a NASCAR stadium should be an awesome spectacle, but you may need some help getting through the actual game. I recommend half a beer for every Chris Fowler racing pun and a shot of Tennessee whiskey anytime Kirk Herbstreit refers to the sideline as the pit crew.

Naturally, fans could be let down by this week’s matchups, but so could the players. Beware of FCS schools, directional schools and any school that has an insect as their mascot. Spiders are scary, just ask Virginia. Upsets can happen and teams could suffer a letdown after some exciting matchups last week. Let’s avoid those teams and pick some winners.

Note: All winners are marked in bold.

Friday night special:

Maryland (-9.5) at FIU – 7:30 p.m.

Generally, Friday games are sucker’s bets, but we have a longstanding tradition of betting on hometown teams in my hometown. If my father had a dime every time he bet a nickel on Johnny U, then the Colts would have never left Baltimore. Gimme the Terps, you keep the points. I’m sure there are better things to do on a Friday night in Miami than attend a Conference USA football game. I don’t think they’ll have as nice of a turn out as they did last week. Maryland should roll late.

Boston College (-16.5) vs Massachusetts – Noon at Gillette Stadium

UMass played admirably against Florida last week, but may still be figuring it out at quarterback after only completing nine passes. They weren’t able to top 200 yards of total offense against Florida and face an even better defense this week. It’s hard to remember a team with this much speed on defense in the Northeast. They can get away from the vanilla defense they played last week defending the triple option and get back to getting after the quarterback. They will force turnovers in the pass game and will pitch a shutout if they avoid big plays.

Utah State at USC (-16) – 2 p.m.

Utah State is a team that wants to run the ball and play defense. They rushed for 2,000 yards last year and will likely do so again this year. On defense, however, they only return three starters. While I could see them hanging around the top of the Mountain West conference this year, I think they take their lumps this game against an embarrassed USC team. In order to build some confidence going into the Stanford matchup next week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the offense get on track and pile on some points this week. Lay the 16, Trojans by three or four touchdowns.

Washington State at Boise State (Over 73) – 10:15 p.m.

Boise was fifth in the country last year in plays per game while Washington State was ninth. I don’t expect the play clock to come into play. More plays will mean more opportunities to score for these potent offenses. If you can stay up late enough, Luke Falk is worth the wait. He will lead the nation in pass attempts this year and it won’t be close; dude can sling it. The Cougars just gave up 45 points to an FCS team with red turf, so I can’t imagine the blue turf Broncos meeting much resistance. Over could hit early, in which case you can flip to our next game.

California (+7) at San Diego State – 10:30 p.m.

Cal did the smart thing after playing in Australia by sitting last week out (Hawaii…). With a few extra days to prepare, I love the Bears getting a touchdown and the hook if you can get it. Cal won last year’s matchup at home 35-7. I don’t mean to discount San Diego State; they may be able to top last year’s 11 win total. I simply think Cal has too many weapons on offense to lose by multiple possessions. The Aztecs in a close one here and it should be a fun game.

I’m personally going to avoid those ranked teams coming off big wins in those primetime games from last week. Wisconsin was hyped up and played with a lot of emotion last week against a top five team at Lambeau Field. Now they play the Zips.

Next: Maryland vs. Florida International Score Prediction

Play at your own risk on this let down Saturday. And if you’re on top after the day games don’t bet the West Coast games. Buy your friends a round at the bar with your winnings. Quit while you’re ahead because remember you can’t go broke by taking a profit!

These picks are brought to you by Nick Larichiuta. You can find him on Twitter at @cudaball.