Now that Week 2 of college football has ended, let’s look at the performance of USC’s future opponents and key players that could be a factor in those games.
Player to Watch: Nick Chubb, Running Back
If I didn’t know better, I’d say Georgia created Nick Chubb in a lab for the specific reason of getting revenge on South Carolina for years of Marcus Lattimore abusing their front seven. Everybody knows about Todd Gurley, but in the little action we saw of Chubb against Clemson, this kid was scary. They don’t build freshman with the kind of body Chubb has, and if he’s given the ball in relief of Gurley at any point, do not expect USC’s defense to get any kind of break. He can break off a big run with the best of ‘em.
Next game: Saturday, at South Carolina, Saturday @ 7 pm ET
Vanderbilt 3, #15 Ole Miss 41
Hoo boy. Another stinker for Vanderbilt, who look like they might be spiraling. Clearly defense is an issue, and if the Gamecocks play smart enough on offense, this could result in a decimation. As always, though, expect Vanderbilt to make USC sweat in the first half. I don’t know how, but they’ll find a way.
Player to Watch: Ralph Webb, Running Back
This is as close of a bright spot as Vanderbilt is going to get. The young man is averaging over five yards per carry on 32 total carries, but still hasn’t sniffed the end zone. He first turned a lot of heads in Vandy’s spring game earlier this year, but he’s only a redshirt freshman. It’s understandable that, if it’s clear it’s going to be a lost season, head coach Derek Mason will want to save the health of the young man.
Next game: Saturday, vs. UMass, Saturday @ Noon ET
Missouri 49, Toledo 24
After a close first quarter, things quickly turned into an assault, with Mizzou scoring four unanswered touchdowns at one point. Missouri’s defense was unspectacular, but managed to keep Toledo out of the endzone until things were well in hand for the Tigers.
Player to Watch: Maty Mauk, Quarterback
Hey, you don’t throw five touchdowns without getting some dap. The word “promise” has surrounded Mauk for some time, and now it seems like he’s prepared to make good. He still threw two interceptions, however, and after having watched a good portion of this game, I can tell you his decision making still isn’t at a high level. If there’s a quarterback out there whom the Gamecock defense can force errors out of, it’s Mauk.
Next game: Saturday, vs Central Florida, Noon ET
Kentucky 20, Ohio 3
With starting running back Braylon Heard out with a sprained ankle, quarterback Patrick Towles picked up the slack, rushing for 59 yards and passing for 170. Kentucky’s defense held an opponent scoreless in the first half for the first time since 1988. However, they managed to only three points in the second half themselves.
Player to Watch: A.J. Stamps, Safety
The junior out of JUCO has really turned a lot of heads on the field, and has quickly become Kentucky’s leader on defense, racking up 14 tackles, three of them for loss, and an insane one-handed interception on Dylan Favre, nephew of Brett and quarterback for Tennessee-Martin. Expect to see him lined up plenty of times against Damiere Byrd and try to limit his hookups with Dylan Thompson.
Next game: Saturday, @ Florida, 7:30 pm ET
Furman 25, Mercer 20
I still don’t know what a Paladin is. Some kind of warrior? A knight, if you will? I could just Google it, I guess. I just don’t care that much.
Player to Watch: Jordan Snellings, Wide Receiver
Snellings had a big game against Mercer, and is clearly the favorite target of quarterback Dillon Woodruff. He had five catches for 111 yards, and his longest reception was only 35 yards, so he’s used to breaking away from his cover man and nabbing big catches to move the chains.
Next game: Saturday, @ Presbyterian, 7 pm ET
Auburn 59, San Jose State 13
SJSU struck first, but it was all over after that. The 2-0 Tigers have developed one of the most feared running attacks, with four different players scoring a rushing touchdown in this game.
Player to Watch: Nick Marshall, Quarterback
He doesn’t always get it done with big yards, but he still gets it done, usually in the end zone. Marshall passed for just 101 yards on 10-for-19 passing, but with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. These are reminiscent of Connor Shaw’s numbers in his junior year, and Marshall certainly exhibits the same kind of leadership as well, this being his senior season and all.
Next game: Thursday, @ Kansas State, 7:30 pm ET
Tennessee 34, Arkansas State 19
Tennessee jumped out in front early and never looked back. Still though, not quite the total performance Vols fans were probably looking for. A lot of questions remain about Tennessee’s actual talent level, but eh, a win’s a win.
Player to Watch: Justin Worley, Quarterback
Worley is having the better season he needed to have after last year, but his performance dipped in the Arkansas State game, as he looked much more like the Worley of old. Still, he’s completing 64.5% of his passes and has five touchdowns to just one interception. USC’s pass rush will be expected to force Worley to turn back the clock and become the pick magnet he once was.
Next game: Saturday, @ Oklahoma, 8 pm ET
Florida 65, Eastern Michigan 0
Oh hey, Florida actually got to play a game! Good for them.
Player to Watch: TBD
Look, this was a massacre against Eastern Michigan, and it’s hard to tell who really stood out from this because at a certain point, Florida went with their second stringers just to ease the bleeding. Even still though, they committed ten penalties for 100 yards, and Jeff Driskell still had 14 incompletions against an awful EMU. Is Florida a better team? Uh, maybe?
Next game: Saturday, vs Kentucky, 7:30 pm ET
South Alabama 23, Kent State 13
It’s not the biggest victory in the world, considering how awful Kent State is, but South Alabama needs wins like this to get on the map in the FBS.
Player to Watch: Davin Hawkins, Linebacker
Hawkins actually got the first points of the game, sacking Kent State’s QB for a safety. He had nine total tackles on the day, and looks to be the leader of USA’s offense. Look for USC’s offensive line to do what they can to neutralize him as a threat.
Next game: Saturday, @ Mississippi State, 4 pm ET
Clemson 73, South Carolina State 7
What, does li’l Dabo want a parade? The only number that matters here is five. Remember that.
Player to Watch: Stupid Sexy Flanders!
Next game: Feels like they're playing nothin' at all, nothin' at all, NOTHIN' AT ALLLLLLLLL