Week two starts off with two big games. First up Clemson travels north to South Bend to face Notre Dame and the evening wraps up with a rematch of last years playoff semifinals between Ohio State at Auburn. What a great way to start this week off. If you’re not excited about these games then you don’t love football.
Clemson vs. Notre Dame
Clemson is coming off a shoot out win against Oregon in week one. Freshman quarterback Will Slay has shown that there was no drop-off at his position with 432 yards of total offense and three scores. This week will be a true test for him, as he goes up against a better defense in the Irish. Halfback Mike Chadwick will need to show up big to take the pressure off Slay and keep Notre Dame’s defense honest. If that happens the Tigers will move to 2-0 on the season. The defense of Clemson is the biggest question mark for this team. Yes, they had two big pick-six interceptions by linebacker Jack Tyler and corner Harper Allen, but without that, they lose to Oregon by one. They need to find a way to slow down Notre Dame and not give up a lot of points. Look for defensive ends Bill McAllister and Mike Miller to be busy early and try to set the tone.
Notre Dames had the luck of opening the season against Ohio State, something no one wishes for. With that said, they want to avoid starting the season 0-2. Look for quarterback Leo Asiata to bounce back and have a strong showing, slinging the ball to his high flying receivers. The phenom at halfback, Vidar Lund, should have a bounce-back game performance against the Tigers. Although they held Oregon to a limited running attack in week one, Lund looks to be a tougher challenge and he will want to show week one was simply early season jitters. The Irish defense looked solid against Ohio State for most of last week’s game and strong showings by linebacker Aaron Davis and safety Minkah Solo proved that the defensive talent has not dropped off. The rest of the defense should be even more active against the Tigers and slow them down better than Oregon did. Don’t expect Clemson to score as much as they did a week ago.
Clemson 28, Notre Dame 24
Ohio State vs. Auburn
What more needs to be said other than, Ohio State is still mad about that season’s semifinal game. We know what we are going to get out of quarterback Xavier Garcia-Allen and tailback Frost Carlson, but the difference in this team this season is Ohio State has upgraded at wide-receiver and tight end. Marcus “Big” Buford had a big game against Notre Dame and should repeat with this matchup against Auburn. Look for receivers Cosmo Woods, Bill Simons, and Lawrence Lexington to spread out Auburn and show why they will be the difference this time around. Defensively, the Sharks will be looking for blood in the water. Corner Tom Pence is wanting to redeem himself for the out of bounds interception from the last season game, so look for him and fellow corner Juan Cantu to be hunting. Linebacker Martavis Marriott and safety Kevin Brackett will want to get some revenge of their own from the last season also, and the key additions to this defense could make it a long night for the Tigers. The Buckeyes are looking for payback and this team has the talent to do it.
Auburn was the winner of this game last season and will be looking to make it another heartbreaker by going 2-0. Penn State transfer Robert Davis is one of the best tailbacks in the league and he will want to carve up the Sharks on his own. Throw-in veteran quarterback Griffin Jelkic and receiver Cross Ferry III, are both coming off a big game a week ago, and will look to apply pressure to the Buckeye secondary. The key may just be the man that gave Ohio State fits last time, and that is receiver Bubba Davis. This is an offense that knows how to win big games. The Tiger defense is stacked and looking good. Linebacker Mark Calloway and safeties Digger Graves and Ollie P. Peters are as good as anyone in the country at their positions. They’ll make it tough sledding for Ohio State and given the opportunity will force turnovers. The Tigers know their strengths and always put themselves in a position to win. Auburn is built on both sides of the ball to be the team to beat this year, but the question is: Did Ohio State build their team just a little bit better?
Ohio State 35, Auburn 28