Week 2 College Football Upset Alert

Last week Texas State submitted a massive upset over in-state opponent Baylor, covering a 27.5-point spread and winning outright. I did not include them in my upset alert article last week, but I still made readers some money. Four out of five underdogs featured covered the spread, with two (Fresno State and Duke) winning outright. This week I am back with the Week 2 Upset Alert to make your weekend watching more exhilarating.

1. Eastern Michigan at Minnesota (-20.5)

Minnesota makes a rare back-to-back appearance in the Upset Alert series, again as the favorite. Last week, Nebraska covered a seven-point spread against the Gophers and nearly won outright if it wasn’t for a classic Husker fourth quarter.

This week, Minnesota is favored by three touchdowns at home against a MAC opponent not many know of. In case you didn’t get it from last week’s Toledo game, the MAC has consistently come ready to ready to put Power 5 opponents on upset alert, most notably the Big Ten teams. Two years ago, Miami (OH) suffered a five-point defeat in Minneapolis and two weeks later, Bowling Green beat the Gophers, 14-10.

Going back to 2018, Minnesota is 7-1 against Group of 5 opponents, however, the average margin of victory is just 14. Two of those wins were 38-point blowouts against New Mexico State, other than that, the largest single margin of victory was 23 against Miami (OH) in 2018.

Eastern Michigan is good in the trenches and will play keep-away, attempting to win time of possession. This plan will keep points off of the scoreboard, which is good with a 20-point spread. Minnesota’s offense sputtered throughout the season-opener on Thursday with Athan Kaliakmanis completing just 54.5 percent of passes.

2. SMU at Oklahoma (-15.5)

It seemed in Week 1, that the announcement of Cal, SMU and Stanford heading to the ACC brought a sense of urgency to these programs. Each of them started 1-0 and in Week 2, each has a challenge waiting for them. SMU, a team built by the transfer portal, gets a revived Oklahoma program in Norman. The Sooners gathered 73 points against Arkansas State last Saturday, but SMU should hold their own.

SMU has a strong rushing attack. LJ Johnson and Jaylan Knighton shared carries last week with Johnson having the better day yards wise. The Mustangs operate fast offensively and they are downhill runners. Will Bent Venables defensive-minded Sooners be able to stop the Ponies?

They might, but SMUʻs defense is here to back things up. It seems, the portal has created a better run defense for the Mustangs. After giving up 200 yards per game on the ground in 2022, SMU held Louisiana Tech to just 28. They also sacked the quarterback seven times. If SMU can put the pressure on Dillon Gabriel, who saw none in Week 1, Oklahoma might be on Week 2 upset alert.

3. Auburn (-6.5) at California

Similarly to SMU, the recent promotion to the ACC has kicked Cal into gear. The Bears eclipsed the 50 point mark for the first time since 2016. The new offense under Jake Spavital had a good rhythm against North Texas last week. The Bears went for 669 total yards, the most in a single game since 2015, when Jared Goff threw for 542 yards. This time around, Cal is moving with the running game. Sophomore sensation Jadyn Ott went for 188 and two scores while option number two, Isaiah Ifanse, found the endzone on three occasions.

Cal needs to keep the rushing attack strong as they face an Auburn defense that was 97th nationally against the run in 2022 and allowed 140 rushing yards to UMass in Week 1.

If Cal can move the football and find the endzone like they did against North Texas, this should become a monumental win for the program.

Even Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze voiced a number of concerns putting the Tigers on Week 2 Upset Alert.

4. UTEP (-1.5) at Northwestern

What has college football come to that a Big Ten team is the underdog at home against a Conference-USA opponent. Well Northwestern is just that. After a poor performance against Rutgers, the Wildcats find themselves a 1.5-point dog against a 1-1 UTEP squad.

Nothing UTEP has done this year makes me believe they will score many points. Frankly, nothing Northwestern has done makes me believe they will do anything either. So, in this case, I look at the kickers. UTEP brings in freshman Buzz Flabiano who is six-for-six on extra points but is 0-for-1 when it comes to field goals. As for Northwestern, senior Jack Olsen is three-for-three in his career on extra points, hitting one through on Sunday against Rutgers, but also missed his only career field goal attempt.

With that being said, this game could probably end up 0-0, but with no ties in college football, somebody has to win the game. To cut the nonsense; it still puzzles me how Northwestern could be so poorly respected n their home-opener against a team like UTEP. The Wildcats should use a heavy dose of Cam Porter to put away an extremely low-scoring game.

5. UAB at Georgia Southern (-7.5)

Although nobody saw it, UAB played impressively well against NC A&T in Trent Dilfer’s coaching debut. Jacob Zeno went a near-perfect 38/41 with 291 yards and three touchdowns. UAB will have to lean on its defense though to stop Clay Helton’s Georgia Southern Eagles.

Tulsa transfer Davis Brin is no stranger to accumulating large amounts of passing yards, however, he is also no stranger to throwing interceptions. Brin has 25 career interceptions, including one last week against The Citadel. INTs are a stat that killed Georgia Southern in 2022. The Eagles were tied for the eighth-most interceptions thrown in the FBS with 16. In an air raid offense like the Eagles run, interceptions hurt incredibly much.

If UAB can get to Brin like they did to NC A&T (6 sacks), that might cause some bad throws and opportunities to cash in on takeaways.

Also Worth Mentioning

Four more teams on watch for the Week 2 Upset Alert.

UConn at Georgia State (-3)

Troy at Kansas State (-16.5)

Idaho at Nevada

Texas State at UTSA (-13)

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