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Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
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Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
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CFB 2023: Week 1 Recap and Week 2 Preview
Thursday, 2023 September 7 - 5:37 pm
Michigan, Penn State, and NC State all won their openers.

Michigan 30, East Carolina 3
ECU loaded up against the run, sometimes with nine players in the box, gambling that it would be better to face J.J. McCarthy rather than getting steamrolled all day. That gamble... did not pay off, as McCarthy had a spectacular day, completing 26 of 30 for 280 yards. Blake Corum still managed 73 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown despite ECU's run focus. So, yeah... this game wasn't close.

Michigan played a lot of subs on defense, with some of the first-stringers sitting out due to injuries. It didn't matter much against ECU, but I am slightly concerned that a team with a better offensive line and a better quarterback might be able to find some openings in the Michigan defense, if the nominal starters don't return. ECU's game plan was largely "throw the ball as soon as possible", which might have worked more if the quarterback could throw on target.

As it was, it was a good tune-up game, and a good chance to break in some new players. I thought backup safety Keon Sabb had a particularly good day, and I saw good things out of transfer CB Josh Wallace.

Michigan vs. UNLV, 3:30 PM CBS
This will be another overmatched opponent. UNLV features a weird offense, kind of a spread-option hybrid which they call a "GoGo". It's mostly spread, but what would normally be an H-back lined up in the backfield as a fullback, providing an extra (triple-option) read for the running game. This translates into a heavy reliance on misdirection. There might be a few busts by the Michigan defense if they get fooled, but I'm betting they won't be able to maintain drives when a gamble goes awry and they're suddenly facing 3rd-and-15. That's especially true with QB Doug Brunfeld at the helm, a largely dink-and-dunk passer with accuracy problems throwing deep.

On defense, UNLV is a bit of a muddle, with lots of new starters and transfers up front. They'll likely play the ECU gameplan and go all out to stop the run. While they have a couple of good defensive backs, I don't think they'll be able to keep up with Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson. Expect another banner day for J.J. McCarthy.

Prediction: Michigan 45, UNLV 13.

Penn State 38, West Virginia 15
It was a sparkling debut for Drew Allar, who threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns. West Virginia kept it close in the first half, and tried to stay competitive by going for it on fourth down six times (converting three of those attempts). But ultimately, stellar play by the defense and Allar's strong showing were enough to make this a comfortable win.

Penn State vs. Delaware, 12:00 PM Peacock
Congratulations, it's your turn to be on Peacock.

Delaware is a pretty good team for the FCS, with a quarterback capable of making some big plays. It'll be a good test of the Penn State defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see several sacks and interceptions as Delaware gambles in the passing game.

Delaware's defense is likely to be overwhelmed by the Penn State offense. Even loading up against the run is unlikely to be successful, so we might see a good workout for Nick Singleton before the game gets out of hand.

Prediction: Penn State 55, Delaware 20.

N.C. State 24, UConn 14
Um, I covered this last week. A good win but not exactly confidence-inspiring.

N.C. State vs. Notre Dame, 12:00 PM ABC
This game will be difficult for the Wolfpack, as Notre Dame has hammered its opening two cupcake opponents and looks like a championship contender this year. QB Sam Hartman, who transferred from Wake Forest, looks completely at ease running the Notre Dame offense.

It might not be a blowout (the betting line is only -7.5 for Notre Dame), but it's hard to see how State will be able to keep up. Playing at home helps, sure, but I'm not holding my breath for a great outcome.

Prediction: N.C. State 17, Notre Dame 38.

Last Week's Notable Results
  • #3 Ohio State 23, Indiana 3. OSU's new QB looked shaky.
  • #10 Washington 56, Boise State 19. Michael Penix might have a big year.
  • #15 Oregon 81, Portland State 7. 80 points!
  • Colorado 45, #17 TCU 42. Deion Sanders' coaching debut goes well in this upset.
  • #21 North Carolina 31, South Carolina 17.
  • #8 Florida State 45, #5 LSU 24. FSU's defense clamped down in the second half to seal the important win.
  • Duke 28, #7 Clemson 7. Wow. Duke looks legit; Clemson looks vulnerable. But the game was closer than the score suggests.
Next Week's Big Ten Games
  • Indiana vs. Indiana State, 7:00 PM Friday BTN
  • Illinois at Kansas, 7:30 PM Friday ESPN2
  • #5 Ohio State vs. Youngstown State, 12:00 PM BTN
  • #7 Penn State vs. Delaware, 12:00 PM Peacock
  • Nebraska at #22 Colorado, 12:00 PM Fox
  • Purdue at Virginia Tech, 12:00 PM ESPN2
  • Michigan vs. UNLV, 3:30 PM CBS
  • Michigan State vs. Richmond, 3:30 PM BTN
  • Northwestern vs. UTEP, 3:30 PM BTN
  • #19 Wisconsin at Washington State, 7:30 PM ABC
  • Maryland vs. Charlotte, 7:30 PM NBC
  • Minnesota vs. Eastern Michigan, 7:30 PM BTN
  • Rutgers vs. Temple, 7:30 PM BTN
Game of the Week
  • #11 Texas at #3 Alabama, 7:00 PM ESPN
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