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Week 2 college football viewers guide: Games to watch, predictions and more

The third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes unleashed their array of outstanding skill players in their season opener. They face No. 12 Oregon, a team that did not impress despite winning its first game.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud passes against Minnesota in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud passes against Minnesota in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis.Read moreBruce Kluckhohn / AP

Two games matching ranked teams highlight the Week 2 schedule in college football.

No. 12 Oregon (+14 ½) at No. 3 Ohio State, noon, Fox29

The Buckeyes (1-0) showed the abundance of talent they have at the skill positions in their season opener, racking up 495 total yards on just 48 plays (10.3 yards per play) in their win over Minnesota. New starting quarterback C.J. Stroud recovered from some early nerves to finish with 295 passing yards and four touchdowns.

The Ducks (1-0) didn’t look all that impressive in a 31-24 home win over Fresno State. Senior Anthony Brown, a Boston College transfer, got off to a shaky start at quarterback, throwing for 172 yards and a touchdown. But Ohio State’s defense had some tense moments against Minnesota, and Oregon may be able to exploit that.

Prediction: Ohio State 41, Oregon 24

» READ MORE: Teammates admire Sean Clifford’s leadership and poise as Penn State’s quarterback

No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State (-4 ½), 4:30 p.m., 6abc

The 68th meeting of the rivalry for the Cy-Hawk Trophy that began in 1884 is the biggest game in the history of Iowa college football. For the first time, both teams are ranked on the day of the game, and ESPN’s College GameDay is showing up to make it official.

It figures to be a defensive struggle. The Cyclones (1-0) will hammer All-America tailback Breece Hall into the teeth of an Iowa defense that allowed Indiana just seven points last week. The Hawkeyes (1-0) will make sure they take care of the football — they haven’t committed a turnover in the last five games of this series, all victories.

Prediction: Iowa 20, Iowa State 17

No. 21 Utah (-7 ½) at Brigham Young, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

As former BYU quarterback Steve Young told ESPN earlier this week about this in-state rivalry between two schools located about 45 miles apart, “Whatever happens it cuts deep. It’s not a flesh wound, it cuts deep every year.”

The Utes (1-0) have won the last nine games in this series and will try to make it 10 in a row with Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer as their quarterback. The Cougars (1-0), now without Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the last NFL draft, have turned to sophomore Jaren Wilson at quarterback.

Prediction: Utah 27, BYU 23

Stanford at No. 14 Southern Cal (-17 ½), 10:30 p.m., Fox29

This is a rare early-season matchup for the longtime Pac-12 rivals. For the Trojans (1-0), it’s their chance to get back the spotlight in their never-ending duel with UCLA to see which of Los Angeles’ two FBS teams owns the city.

USC quarterback Kedon Slovis opened his season 24 of 36 for 256 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-7 win over San Jose State, while junior wide receiver Drake London caught 12 passes for 137 yards. The Cardinal (0-1) will go with sophomore quarterback Tanner McKee, who split time last week with Jack West in their loss to Kansas State.

Prediction: USC 38, Stanford 17

Washington (+6 ½) at Michigan, 8 p.m., 6abc

This was supposed to be a classic matchup between intersectional rivals in prime time, but the Huskies (0-1) didn’t uphold their part of the deal. Starting the season at No. 20, Washington became the first ranked FBS team to lose to an FCS team in five years when it fell,13-7, to Montana.

The Wolverines (1-0) rolled up 551 total yards in a 47-14 win over Western Michigan in their opener, but they lost their best offensive player, wide receiver Ronnie Bell, with a knee injury. He is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

In an unusual twist, wide receiver Giles Jackson, who two years ago became only the second Michigan freshman to score a touchdown on a kick return, a pass reception, and a rush in the same season, now plays for Washington.

Prediction: Michigan 24, Washington 17

» READ MORE: With D’Wan Mathis’ status in doubt, Temple football once again faces a tenuous quarterback situation

Alabama State at No. 25 Auburn (no line), noon, SEC Network

The Tigers (1-0) gained 613 total yards and scored 60 points last week against Akron, and will try to put up the same numbers against the Hornets as they prepare for next week’s “White Out” in Happy Valley.

Prediction: Auburn 66, Alabama State 7