Week Two of the 2012 college football season is upon us, and while we’re not yet to the point where we get wall-to-wall Top-25 match-ups from noon to midnight, there are some pretty decent games on tap for today. We’re here to run you through the entire day’s worth of action in preparation for your day-long hibernation in the man cave.
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THE MAIN EVENT
UCF Knights (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) @ #14 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0, 0-0 B1G)
Noon EST | ESPN2 | Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH | Favorite: Ohio State -18.5
Just a week removed from the Urban Meyer Era kicking off in style with a 56-10 blowout of the in-state Miami (OH) RedHawks, the Bucks look to improve to 2-0 this afternoon when they host the Central Florida Knights at Ohio Stadium. With Jordan Hall still on the shelf recovering from foot surgery, Carlos Hyde looks to take advantage of playing the leading roll in the backfield after posting a 17 carry, 84 yard performance last Saturday.
Braxton Miller will certainly play a key role, as always, in the success or failure of the Buckeyes this afternoon but we’re in good hands with Brax under center. All he did last week was rack up 200+ yards in the air while posting 164 yards on the ground, including a 65-yard touchdown run to open the second half and break open the game for good against the RedHawks.
Urban Meyer has praised the UCF program all week, going so far as to say his Bucks would be treating today’s match-up as a conference game. Unfortunately the Knights’ head coach George O’Leary hasn’t shown the same respect for the atmosphere of today’s game:
I tell you what, it’s like Michigan. It’s not a loud stadium. I mean, they sit on their hands in that stadium. I’ve been there before, and you take Wisconsin, you take Iowa, you take UCF is much louder than that stadium. It really is as far as the noise is concerned, because it is so far away from the field. But a lot of stadiums are a lot louder than that place. I didn’t even bring in music this week, or any type of noise (in practice) because I think we should be able to execute without it.
Coach O’Leary, who is no stranger to drama after being fired five days into his Notre Dame head coaching career for lying on his resume, may be biting off more than he can chew with the Buckeye Faithful. But there’s more to dislike about UCF than just the mouth under the headset.
Regardless, the atmosphere, as always, will be electric in the ‘Shoe this afternoon.
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WELCOME TO THE SEC
Part I: #24 Florida Gators (1-0, 0-0 SEC) @ Texas A&M Aggies (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
3:30pm EST | ESPN | Kyle Field, College Station, TX | Favorite: Pick ‘Em
The Aggies will host their first Southeastern Conference opponent as a member of the SEC and Kyle Field in College Station should be an amazing afternoon atmosphere for college football. It’s already the “Home of the 12th Man” and the home crowd will be primed to host a conference foe for the first time, especially the crew from Gainesville. Are the Aggies ready to step up from Big-XII competition and compete with the big boys right away? This afternoon should be a great test for A&M, but don’t forget – the 2012 Gators aren’t exactly the Alabama Crimson Tide or even Les Miles‘ LSU Tigers.
Part II: #7 Georgia Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) @ Missouri Tigers (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:45pm EST | ESPN2 | Faurot Field, Columbia, MO | Favorite: Georgia -1.5
As if Columbia isn’t a tough enough place to play, the Bulldogs will be suiting up tonight minus four defensive starters. Suspensions were handed out this week to safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree for violation of UGA’s substance-abuse policy, while cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser who are each serving two-game suspensions for off-season arrests.
Georgia is out to start their march towards a second straight SEC East title while Missouri looks to prove their worth in a new conference that obviously brought them into the mix for their geographic properties more so than any recent history of national success within the program.
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NOTRE DAME IS ON UPSET WATCH
Purdue Boilermakers (1-0, 0-0 B1G) @ #22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0)
3:30pm EST | NBC | Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN | Favorite: Notre Dame -14.0
Half of America, and every last fan within Buckeye Nation, become honorary Boilermakers today as Purdue looks to knock off the jet-lagged Fighting Irish who return from Dublin, Ireland to face their first Big Ten opponent of the season.
Last week the Irish put a 50-10 stomping on a Navy Midshipmen team that has given them fits in recent years, and flew the service academy all the way to Ireland to do it. After the long flight home and a tiresome travel week, will the Irish be up for a Purdue team who’s out to prove to the country, and to their conference mates watching from afar, that they’re legit player in the B1G?
Both teams have quarterbacks making their 2012 debut after each served a one-game suspension last week (Purdue’s Caleb TerBush, Notre Dame’s Tommy Reese) so the first quarter may not serve as a highlight reel, but the contest should be an entertaining one, especially if the Boilermakers can hang in there and make it a one-possession game late.
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WOLVERINES WANT TO BE A .500 TEAM
Air Force Falcons (1-0, 0-0 MWC) @ #19 That School Up North (0-1, 0-0 B1G)
3:30pm EST | ABC/ESPN2 | Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI | Favorite: TSUN -21.0
Fitz Toussaint makes his return, but nobody cares what in the hell is going on in Ann Arbor.
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BIG TEN HITS PRIME TIME
Part I: #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0, 0-0 B1G) @ UCLA Bruins (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
7:30pm EST | FOX | Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA | Favorite: Nebraska -5.0
Part II: Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1, 0-1 SEC) @ Northwestern Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 B1G)
8:00pm EST | BTN | Ryan Field, Evanston, IL | Favorite: Vanderbilt -3.0
Part III: Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0, 0-0 B1G) @ Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
10:00pm EST | ESPN | Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ | Favorite: Arizona State -4.0
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BEST OF THE REST
Auburn Tigers (0-1, 0-0 SEC) @ Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
12:00pm EST | ESPN | Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS | Favorite: Mississippi St. -3.0
Miami (FL) Hurricanes (1-0, 1-0 ACC) @ Kansas State Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 BIG-12)
12:00pm EST | FX | Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, KS | Favorite: Kansas State -6.5
#13 Wisconsin Badgers (1-0, 0-0 B1G) @ Oregon State Beavers (0-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
4:00pm EST | FX | Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR | Favorite: Wisconsin -7.0
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