The biggest game of the week involves Jacksonville State, which is hosting last year’s FCS runner-up, Eastern Washington.
Hope you already have your tickets for that one at JSU Stadium, because more should attend this one than the average pre-conference game.
Eastern Washington (1-1) at Jacksonville State (1-1): Eastern Washington has a terrific quarterback in Eric Barriere, whom Jacksonville State’s Yul Gowdy compares to Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma. Barriere really does look a bit like Murray, especially when EWU wears all white uniforms, which make the Eagles look kind of like Oklahoma.
JSU has a top quarterback, too, in Zerrick Cooper, who looks even more polished than he did last year. He leads the nation in passing yards. … Jacksonville State 34, Eastern Washington 28.
No. 2 Alabama (2-0) at South Carolina (1-1): These two teams haven’t played since 2010 when South Carolina took down then-No. 1 Alabama, sending the Crimson Tide into what qualifies for a tailspin in the Nick Saban era. Alabama wound up 10-3, which is its worst record in the last 10 years.
One of the neat things about this game is that fans on both sides are being asked to honor South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski’s brother, former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, during the game. Tyler Hilinski died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound last year.
Fans are asked to stand during the first play of the third quarter and hold up No. 3, which was Tyler Hilinski’s number. That’s a nice tribute. … Alabama 38, South Carolina 13.
Kent State (1-1) at No. 8 Auburn (2-0): The legend of Bo Nix should continue, even with star receiver Seth Williams on the sideline with an injury. He has thrown for 384 yards and three touchdowns in two games.
Auburn and Kent State haven’t played before. Kent State has lost 30-7 to Arizona State and beat FCS Kennesaw State 26-23 in overtime. … Auburn 42, Kent State 10.
Kansas State (2-0) at Mississippi State (2-0): Keep an eye on MSU’s Kylin Hill, who has 320 rushing yards through two games. That leads the SEC. … Mississippi State 28, Kansas State 18.
Chattanooga (1-1) at Tennessee (0-2): The Vols are 28-1-2 against Chattanooga. The one loss came in 1958, which is before not only the current players were born but their parents as well. The Vols are a four-touchdown favorite. But, there’s something about this Tennessee team. … Chattanooga 30, Tennessee 27.
No. 9 Florida (2-0) at Kentucky (2-0): Kentucky beat Florida last year for the first time since 1986. It ended the Gators’ 31-game win streak in the series. Florida players say they’re not looking for revenge this week.
Yeah, right. … Florida 33, Kentucky 20.
Stanford (1-1) at No. 17 Central Florida (2-0): Congrats to Central Florida for not only getting a Power Five team to schedule the Knights but play at their place, too. Stanford won a 2015 meeting at home 31-7. Central Florida quarterback Brandon Wimbush, a Notre Dame transfer, should be ready after missing last game with an injury. Quarterback Darrell Mack Jr. should be available, too, after missing the first two games because of a broken ankle suffered in July. … Central Florida 28, Stanford 24.
No. 1 Clemson (2-0) at Syracuse (1-1): For some reason, Syracuse has challenged Clemson hard in recent years. The Orange lost to Clemson only 27-23 last year after winning 27-24 in 2017. Syracuse lost only 37-27 in 2015. Then again, Syracuse is coming off a 63-20 loss to Maryland this time. … Clemson 45, Syracuse 13.
Northwestern State (0-2) at No. 4 LSU (2-0): Northwestern State is LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s alma mater. He was inducted into the N-Club Hall of Fame in 2014. … LSU 48, Northwestern State 7.
No. 5 Oklahoma (2-0) at UCLA (0-2): Jalen Hurts, the passer who couldn’t throw straight for much of his first two years at Alabama, ranks first in the nation in passing efficiency. He’s winning as usual, too. … Oklahoma 44, UCLA 17.
Last week: 6-4. Missed on Colorado over Nebraska, Southern California over Stanford, Purdue over Vanderbilt and, of course, Brigham Young over Tennessee.