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CFB 2023: Week 2 Recap and Week 3 Preview
Friday, 2023 September 15 - 4:42 pm
Michigan and Penn State win; N.C. State falls to Notre Dame.

Michigan 35, UNLV 7
It was another spectacular day for J.J. McCarthy, who completed a ridiculous 22/25 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns. WRs Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson are serious downfield threats; Wilson in particular seems to have a knack for using his speed to get open, especially against single coverage.

The rushing game was... okay? There seemed to be a few biffs by the offensive line this time, particularly the tackles. I don't know if Michigan's experimenting with lineups and play calls here, but hopefully there's time to figure it out before having to play against a real defense.

The defense continues to shine, particularly the defensive line. We knew the tackles were going to be good; now Braiden McGregor and Jaylen Harrell look like they're getting the knack for playing the edge too. Cornerback and linebacker are a bit of a concern; again, hopefully Michigan has time to iron that out.

Michigan vs. Bowling Green, 7:30 PM BTN
Michigan is favored by 40 points in this game. Yikes. Bowling Green is 1-1 with a win against FCS team Eastern Illinois and a loss to Liberty. Despite getting Connor Bazelak from the Indiana via the transfer portal, this is not a team loaded with talent. BGSU's lines will get mauled by Michigan's lines, and if it's not 28-0 at halftime, I'll be surprised.

Prediction: Michigan 48, UNLV 3.

Penn State 63, Delaware 7
Drew Allar had another good day with 22 of 26 completions, but the rushing game was the real story as Penn State cranked out 315 yards on 60 carries. Overmatched opponent notwithstanding, there's not much that went wrong in this game.

Penn State at Illinois, 12:00 PM Fox
The conference schedule starts this week for Penn State. Illinois isn't quite as formidable as they were last season, but they're no pushovers. They have a legitimate downfield threat in Isaiah Williams; the question will be whether the talented but inexperienced QB Luke Altmyer can deliver him the ball. The Illinois offense has featured a lot of short passes... and a lot of sacks. Penn State's defensive line might be able to tee off on him, especially considering he's also the team's leading rusher.

The defense is shaky, certainly a step down from last year. They gave up 416 yards and 28 points to Toledo, in a game Illinois was lucky to win. I'd expect a big day from Allar again, and I think Penn State will be in the driver's seat by halftime.

Prediction: Penn State 38, Illinois 13.

N.C. State 24, Notre Dame 45
I watched a good portion of this game. For a while, N.C. State's defense kept them alive. Late in the second quarter, the game was just 10-7; but with less than a minute to go in the half, Sam Hartman completed a 65-yard pass to the NCSU 13, and Notre Dame scored a touchdown on the next play.

State managed to get back to just a 24-17 deficit going into the fourth quarter, but then QB Brennan Armstrong threw a bad interception, leading to another Notre Dame touchdown. At that point, Armstrong seemed to fall apart a bit, and the State defense started to look tired. After another interception and touchdown to make it 38-17, the game was basically over.

The offense needs a lot of work. State had just 84 yards rushing on 30 attempts. Notre Dame is a good team to be sure, and perhaps there are some moral victories to be had in this game, but it's clear State isn't quite ready for prime time.

N.C. State vs. VMI, 2:00 PM CW Network
Things will get easier against a pretty bad VMI team (the "Keydets", which is as bad a mascot name as I've ever heard), an FCS team who is coming off a loss to Bucknell. Expect VMI to be physically overmatched in this game and NCSU to come away with a comfortable win.

Prediction: N.C. State 41, VMI 6.

Last Week's Notable Results
  • #11 Texas 34, #3 Alabama 24. Always good to see Bama lose.
  • #13 Oregon 38, Texas Tech 30. A big step down from the 81 points Oregon scored last week.
  • #17 UNC 40, Appalachian State 34 (2OT). App State almost came away with the upset again. But UNC has found a running back in Omarion Hampton.
  • Washington State 31, #19 Wisconsin 22. Wazzu might actually be good this year? And Wisconsin seems to be struggling with the coaching transition.
  • #22 Colorado 36, Nebraska 14. I still don't buy that Colorado is actually a good team. Their offensive philosophy seems to be "wing it".
  • Iowa 20, Iowa State 13. Iowa is still not what you'd call an offensive juggernaut; as you might expect, the defense accounted for one of Iowa's touchdowns.
  • Brenda Tracy 49, Mel Tucker 0. How are you dumb enough to sexually harass an advocate for sexual assault prevention?
Next Week's Big Ten Games
  • Virginia at Maryland, 7:00 PM Friday FS1
  • #7 Penn State at Illinois, 12:00 PM Fox
  • Louisville at Indiana, 12:00 PM BTN
  • Georgia Southern at Wisconsin, 12:00 PM BTN
  • Minnesota at #20 UNC, 3:30 PM ESPN
  • Northwestern at #21 Duke, 3:30 PM ACCN
  • Western Michigan at Iowa, 3:30 PM BTN
  • Virginia Tech at Rutgers, 3:30 PM BTN
  • Western Kentucky at #6 Ohio State, 4:00 PM Fox
  • #8 Washington at Michigan State, 5:00 PM Peacock
  • Northern Illinois at Nebraska, 7:00 PM FS1
  • Bowling Green at #2 Michigan, 7:30 PM BTN
  • Syracuse at Purdue, 7:30 PM NBC
Game of the Week
  • #11 Tennessee at Florida, 7:00 PM ESPN
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