Big Ten & SEC Week 2 Preview: An SEC East showdown and a Keystone Classic highlight the weekend schedule
In the second week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout Big Ten and SEC country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Here’s a look at some of the most highly-anticipated games on the schedule this week:
No. 3 Georgia (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at No. 23 South Carolina (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 3:30 PM on CBS
South Carolina is ranked (24th in the AP poll released Tuesday) for the first time since 2014, setting up the 10th ranked matchup between the Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.
South Carolina has won 6 of the 9 previous times both teams were ranked. pic.twitter.com/QuBsQE9suY
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 4, 2018
Georgia travels to South Carolina for the first SEC matchup of the year. Both teams are ranked in the Top 25 and will be facing much stiffer competition this week than last. (The Bulldogs are coming off a 45-0 win against Austin Peay, while South Carolina cruised to a 49-15 victory over Coastal Carolina last weekend.)
The defending SEC champs, Georgia clinched the SEC East division title with last year’s 24-10 victory over South Carolina in Athens, as quarterback Jake Fromm tossed two touchdown passes while running back Nick Chubb ran for 102 yards. This time, the ‘Dawgs will head to Columbia, where they’ve lost three of their last four games against the Gamecocks, dating back to 2010.
South Carolina’s last win over Georgia came in 2014, when they upset then sixth-ranked Bulldogs 38-34 in the second game of the season. This is the 71st overall meeting between the schools — only Clemson (115) has faced the Gamecocks more often than Georgia — and the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 50-18-2.
No. 13 Penn State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Pittsburgh (1-0, 0-0 ACC) – 8:00 PM on ABC
Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) September 3, 2018
Saturday night at Heinz Field, Penn State and Pittsburgh will meet for the fourth consecutive season and the 99th time overall in a rivalry that dates back to 1893.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a Week 1 overtime scare against Appalachian State that saw Penn State quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful Trace McSorley engineer a game-tying drive with less than a minute to go to force the extra period. Once there, Miles Sanders put Penn State up 45-38 with a 4-yard touchdown run, and Amani Oruwariye picked off a Zac Thomas pass in the end zone on the ensuing App State possession to seal the Nittany Lions’ win.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, defeated Albany 33-7 last weekend behind sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett’s three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Pickett was 13-of-13 passing for 129 yards in the first half — the Panthers did all their scoring in the first two quarters — and Pitt finished with 238 rushing yards, improving their record to 13-3 under head coach Pat Narduzzi when rushing for at least 200 yards.
Penn State enters this year’s Keystone Classic leading the series 51-43-4.
No. 2 Clemson (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Texas A&M (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:00 PM on ESPN
College Station, WE ARE COMING TO YOUR CITY!@ClemsonFB vs. @AggieFootball … SEE YOU SATURDAY. pic.twitter.com/NCA4SdLrZe
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 2, 2018
College Gameday will be on hand this weekend as Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney travel to College Station to take on a familiar face in Jimbo Fisher and new-look Texas A&M.
The two teams last met in the season opener in 2005, where the Tigers upset the 17th-ranked Aggies 25-24 on a last second field goal. This time around, both teams are coming off lopsided wins against FCS opponents, as the Tigers defeated Furman 48-7 while Aggies beat Northwestern State 58-7 in Week 1.
A&M racked up 758 total yards in Fisher’s debut with the Aggies, thanks in large part to junior running back Trayveon Williams, who ran for 240 yards and three touchdowns on just 20 carries. Fisher’s offense will face a much stiffer defensive front this week as Clemson boasts one of the most experiences front lines in the country.
A CFP favorite going into the season, Clemson scored the first 48 points of the game last weekend against Furman, as several different Tigers players got in on the action. That includes incumbent starting quarterback Kelly Bryant, who threw for 132 yards and a touchdown, while freshman phenom Taylor Lawrence threw for 137 yards and three scores. Swinney told the press on Tuesday that neither quarterback has won the starting job, and he plans to split snaps once again against the Aggies.
Saturday will mark the ninth consecutive year that Swinney and the former Florida State head coach Fisher face off on the gridiron. The two have split the past eight games, but Swinney has defeated Fisher in each of their past three coaching duels.
Other Big Ten and SEC games being played this week:
Eastern Michigan (1-0, 0-0 MAC) at Purdue (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) – 12:00 PM on BTN
Duke (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Northwestern (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) – 12:00 PM on ESPNU
Western Michigan (0-1, 0-0 MAC) at No. 21 Michigan (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten) – 12:00 PM on FS1
New Mexico (1-0, 0-0 Mountain West) at No. 5 Wisconsin (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 12:00 PM on BTN
Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Kansas State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) – 12:00 PM on ESPN
Nevada (1-0, 0-0 Mountain West) at Vanderbilt (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 12:00 PM on SEC
Arkansas State (1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 3:30 PM on ESPN2
Colorado (1-0, 0-0 Pac 12) at Nebraska (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM on ABC
Rutgers (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 4 Ohio State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM on BTN
Iowa State (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Iowa (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 5:00 PM on FOX
Southern Illinois (1-0, 0-0 MVC) at Ole Miss (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 4:00 PM on SEC
ETSU (1-0, 0-0 Southern) at Tennessee (0-1, 0-0 SEC) – 4:00 PM on SEC
Maryland (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Bowling Green (0-1, 0-0 MAC) – 6:00 PM on ESPN +
SE Louisiana (0-1, 0-0 Southland) at No. 11 LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:00 PM on ESPN2
Wyoming (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West) at Missouri (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:00 PM on ESPNU
Alabama State (0-1, 0-0 SWAC) at No. 9 Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:30 PM on SEC
Arkansas (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Colorado State (0-2, 0-1 Mountain West) – 7:30 PM on CBSSN
Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at No. 25 Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:30 PM on SEC
Fresno State (1-0, 0-0 Mountain West) at Minnesota (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM on FS1
Virginia (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Indiana (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM on BTN
Western Illinois (0-0, 0-0 OVC) at Illinois (0-0, 0-0 SEC) – 7:30 PM on BTN
No. 15 Michigan State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Arizona State (1-0, 0-0 Pac 12) – 10:45 PM on ESPN