BY MICHAEL LEESE
No.12 FLORIDA 1-0 AT MIAMI (FLA.) 1-0 The Gators opened the season with a 24-6 win over Toledo, playing without five expected starters who were suspended. They return this week, along with running back Matt Jones who missed last week with a viral infection. This is the first meeting between these two teams since 2008, a game that saw Florida roll to a 26-3 win. The Hurricanes opened last week with a 34-6 win over Florida Atlantic. Miami has 18 starters back from last season, including 10 on offense, but Quarterback Stephen Morris has yet to beat a Top-25 team as a starter. I predict Al Golden gets his biggest win yet, as the Hurricanes pull the upset 23-20.
No.6 SOUTH CAROLINA 1-0 AT No.11 GEORGIA 0-1 The Gamecocks were very impressive in dismantling a good North Carolina team last weekend. They have won three straight in this series including a 35-7 blowout last season, and Steve Spurrier has what could be his best club yet. Georgia faces a must win situation, as a loss here puts the Bulldogs at 0-2. The Gamecocks will need to rely on their strong defense to win this game. Georgia QB Aaron Murray will need to be at his best, and I think he will be! I think Georgia wins at home, 33-28.
No.14 NOTRE DAME 1-0 AT No. 17 MICHIGAN 1-0 Notre Dame cruised last week with a 28-6 win over Temple, led by QB Tommy Rees who threw for a career-high 348 yards. The Irish defense was again stout, and they have one of the best front walls in the country. Michigan blasted Central Michigan 59-9 last week, improving Brady Hoke’s record at home to 15-0! This weekend promises to be a huge test, as the Wolverines had to replace three starters on the offensive line and face one of the best defensive lines in the country. The last four games in this series have been decided by seven points or less, with some memorable finishes. Something tells me that Michigan wins late on a Brendan Gibbons field goal 24-23.
WASHINGTON STATE 0-1 AT No. 25 USC The Cougars make their way into the Coliseum after nearly winning at Auburn last week. The Cougars played very well, as nearly holding a 28-16 over the Tigers in first downs and a big edge in total yardage. The Cougars also featured a much improved rushing attack over last season. Meanwhile, USC seemed lethargic at Hawaii. . Head coach Lane Kiffin has said the team will need to be much more “efficient” in week two. The Trojans have won 15 straight home openers and eight in a row against the Cougars. Head Coach Lane Kiffin played both Max Wittek and Cody Kessler at quarterback, and I’m really eager to see how both teams play this week. If the Cougars and Trojans play like they did last week, this could get interesting. I like the Cougars to keep it close, but USC gets the “W”, Trojans 31-Cougars 24
NAVY 0-0 AT INDIANA 1-0 If you like offense, this will be the game for you, as Navy opens the season in Bloomington! Last year, Navy defeated Indiana last year 31-30. The Midshipmen averaged a robust 5.2 yards per carry last season and will be going against an Indiana defense that allowed 5.0 per carry last year! They feature 13 returning starters, including six on offense. Indiana enters this game 1-0 after blasting Indiana State 73-35. The Hoosiers have 19 total starters back from last season, and I expect big things from this team this season. This is a big game for the Hoosiers as they have Bowling Green and Missouri on deck. Look for an offensive explosion in this battle, Indiana 49-Navy 42