THE LOWE DOWN

The Lowe Down on Week Two: Spartans, Vols win

Matt Lowe

September 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm.

Sep 5, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jalen Hurd (1) rushes for a touchdown against the Bowling Green Falcons during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 5, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jalen Hurd (1) rushes for a touchdown against the Bowling Green Falcons during the first half at Nissan Stadium.  Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week Two of The Lowe Down.

College football’s opening weekend didn’t bare a ton of surprises. Nor did it give us a ton of intel.

But it did do one thing: reiterate that Ohio State, right now, is hands down the top team in America. Yes, Alabama looked good. Notre Dame looked good. And so did USC and UCLA. But the Buckeyes second half performance, without four of the team’s best players I might add, was more than enough to solidify my belief that Urban Meyer’s squad will win the College Football Playoff for a second straight season. They just have too much talent not to.

God bless all the families that lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. And God bless all military and law enforcement personnel that help keep our nation safe.

Last week’s record was 14-2. To the games we go…

Follow me on Twitter: @MattLowe777

Saturday, September 12

South Florida (1-0) at Florida State (1-0) 10:30 a.m. CT

Everett Golson may wind up being the biggest offseason transfer for any college team when it’s all said and done. The talented Golson showed why he was a coveted player in the offseason by passing for 302 yards and four touchdowns in a 59-16 win over Texas State. Yeah, he’s been knocked about turnovers, but sometimes turnovers aren’t all on the QB. Regardless, Golson is a good player and his presence at FSU makes the ‘Noles an ACC title contender.

The Lowe Down: Florida State 48, South Florida 17

Oregon State (1-0) at Michigan (0-1) 11:00 a.m. CT

To be honest, I though Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock stunk it up (279 yards passing but three picks) last week at Utah. Granted, he played against a tough defense, but he missed a bunch of throws to wide open receivers. That position will have to get better production if the Wolverines expect to have a winning season.

The Lowe Down: Oregon State 23, Michigan 27

Hawaii (1-0) at No. 1 Ohio State (1-0) 2:30 p.m. CT

For a short period of time, it looked like Ohio State was going to be seriously tested in Blacksburg (man, what an team intro that program has, eh?). But then Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliot and Braxton Miller, and an injury to VT starting QB Michael Brewer, helped the Buckeyes pull away from the scrappy Hokies in the second half. This week, four of Ohio State’s best players (defensive end Joey Bosa, H-back Jalin Marshall, wide receiver Corey Smith and H-back Dontre Wilson are the starters) return to a team that’s ridiculously stacked. And that’s not good for Hawaii.

The Lowe Down: Ohio State 62, Hawaii 14

No. 10 Georgia (1-0) at Vanderbilt (0-1) 2:30 p.m. CT

I honestly feel bad for Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason. The Commodores might lose every game they play this season, which will likely be the demise of Vandy’s lead man. Georgia looks like a team capable of winning the SEC this season and Mark Richt’s bunch will prove that Saturday in Nashville.

The Lowe Down: Georgia 48, Vanderbilt 7

Fresno State (1-0) at No. 17 Ole Miss (1-0) 2:30 p.m. CT

Hugh, 76 on UT Martin? Dude? Call off the dogs bro. But hey, I get it. It was obvious that the Rebels unleashed some frustration considering their final game of the 2014 season was a 39-point beat-down at the hands of TCU. New starting quarterback Chad Kelly looked sharp in his Ole Miss debut. And Laquon Treadwell, one of my favorite college players, was back doing his thing after a heart-breaking injury a season ago. If the Rebels’ O can perform at a high level, they could make some noise in the SEC West … again. They’ve got a tough road schedule though.

The Lowe Down: Ole Miss 37, Fresno State 17

Middle Tennessee (1-0) at No. 2 Alabama (1-0) 3:00 p.m. CT

Alabama’s QB situation may still be in flux, but there’s no doubt about it: Bama will be able to run it on anybody. The duo of Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake is second to none in America, and the Crimson Tide offensive line, I thought, looked good squaring off against a solid Wisconsin front seven. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the Alabama offense evolves as the season progresses. Playing against a decent team at home this week will give Bama’s O a chance to get better before hosting Ole Miss.

The Lowe Down: Alabama 48, Middle Tennessee 10

No. 19 Oklahoma at No. 23 Tennessee 6:00 p.m. ET Weather Forecast: Chance of showers, mild

Much is being made about Tennessee giving up 433 yards passing and 30 points to Bowling Green a week ago, and that it should, be the Vols were without defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and a couple of starters due to injury — so that may have played a role in the air assault. OU, which has gone back to more of a Mike Leach-pass-oriented offense, threw it all over the place against Akron last week so Butch Jones’ team will need to make marked improvement in the secondary if it expects to beat a good team and continue the climb back to relevance. Watch for tailback Jalen Hurd, a sensational talent, to have a big game for the Vols.

The Lowe Down Tennessee 41, Oklahoma 38

No. 7 Oregon at No. 5 Michigan State 8:00 p.m. ET Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy, slight breeze

The Spartans have had this game circled all offseason and you can’t bet your bottom dollar they’ll be ready to put on a show in front of their home fans Saturday night. Oregon, led by dynamic dual-threat Vernon Adams at QB, will score its share of points, but Michigan State’s offense, led by Connor Cook and an outstanding offensive line, will too. That means a defensive play here or there will likely be the turning point in this game. And I’ll roll with the Spartans defense, led by talented end Shalique Calhoun and fiery linebacker Riley Bullough, being right in the middle of those game-changing plays.

The Lowe Down: Michigan State 45, Oregon 35

No. 14 LSU at No. 25 Mississippi State 9:15 p.m. ET Weather Forecast: Clear, mild

Mississippi State won in Baton Rouge a year ago (34-29), and I like the Bulldogs to hang with LSU again this season — and possibly pull the upset — considering they are hosting Les Miles crew. A Bourbon Street palm reader couldn’t have predicted that the Bayou Bengals wouldn’t have even played their season opener last week, and that could be a factor in this huge early SEC West matchup. The play of the Tigers young QB Brandon Harris will also be a major key to the game.

The Lowe Down: LSU 26, Mississippi State 24

No. 20 Boise State (1-0) at BYU (1-0)

Boise State will have their hands full this week traveling to Provo to take on a BYU team that’s flying high after beating Nebraska on a last-second hail mary. The Cougars, a mild underdog, pull the upset.

The Lowe Down: BYU 24, Boise State 17

In other Saturday games:

Jacksonville State 14 at No. 6 Auburn 55

Houston 17 at Louisville 34

Kansas State 27 at Texas San Antonio 23

Miami (Ohio) 13 at Wisconsin 35

Appalachian State 17 at No. 12 Clemson 38

Tulane 13 at No. 15 Georgia Tech 58

Minnesota 27 at Colorado State 30

No.9 Notre Dame 30 at Virginia 17

Toledo 20 at No. 18 Arkansas 48

Iowa 24 at Iowa State 21

Charleston Southern 23, Troy 28

No. 22 Arizona 31, Nevada 28

Ball State 10, No. 16 Texas A&M 52

No. 21 Missouri 38, Arkansas State 23

East Carolina 10, Florida 38

Kentucky 20, South Carolina 30

South Alabama 27, Nebraska 37

Idaho 10, No. 8 USC 55

Rice 23, Texas 28

No. 13 UCLA 56, UNLV 20

 

 

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