Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns warms up before the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

What to Watch: College Football's Week 2 Packs a Punch with Historic Rematches & More

Week 0 gave us a Scott Frost onside kick. Week 1 got us off to a brilliant start to the college football season with Wisconsin's 100-yard pick-six, North Carolina and App State coming down to the wire, Florida's upset of No. 7 Utah, and of course the extra point miss by LSU to give Florida State the narrow victory.

Even after ALL of that, Week 2 shall not disappoint, and we have a few games you'll want to pay extra attention to this Saturday. 

Seriously. Why would we lie to you?

No. 1 Alabama vs. Texas: Two Storied Programs Face-Off in Austin

Bryce Young and Quinn Ewers are the two key figures in the Alabama/Texas Week 2 matchup

Left: Andy Lyons/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

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  • Location: Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
  • Kickoff: 12:00pm
  • TV: FOX

Alabama comes to Austin as the No. 1 team in the nation and projects to leave with a victory, but that won't stop the Longhorn faithful from rockin' DKR as they try to disrupt Bryce Young's rhythm.

Steve Sarkisian's Longhorns enter as double-digit underdogs, but there's still a lot to like about this Texas football team. Bijan Robinson is one of the best running backs in the country and Quinn Ewers is as promising a prospect as there is in college football. Texas is trying to get its football program back on track and once again compete for national titles. They still have a ways to go, so with nothing to lose and the home crowd on their side, could they play disruptor to Nick Saban and the Tide? Only time will tell...

Sam Hartman Returns for No. 23 Wake Forest

Sam Hartman gets ready to make a throw for Wake Forest.

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

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  • Location: FirstBank Stadium, Nashville, TN
  • Kickoff: 3:30 ET
  • TV: ABC

It's very good to see Sam Hartman return sooner than most expected following a blood clot issue in camp this summer. After an August 9th surgery, the Demon Deacons signal-caller was cleared to play early this week. It's the absolute best-case scenario for Wake Forest, who were prepared to go well into the season without their star quarterback.

The Demon Deacons are gearing up to defend their ACC Atlantic crown in a surprisingly competitive conference this year. Netflix "QB1: Beyond the Lights" star Hartman was a big part of the success last year, throwing for 4,228 yards and 39 touchdowns. Lucky for him, the future NFL prospect gets what seemingly would be a nice tune-up game against Vanderbilt, who is looking for a 3-0 start, which is... honestly shocking

Wake Forest gets Vandy, Liberty, then Clemson, so there isn't much of a honeymoon period for Hartman to shake off any rust. We hope he returns quickly to his gunslinger form and remains healthy throughout the season. He'll be a quarterback to watch this season for his playmaking abilities, but this week, keep an eye on his first game back from injury.

No. 24 Tennessee vs. No. 17 Pitt in a Rematch from Last Year

Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to pass against Alabama Crimson Tide

Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images

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Pitt capped off their incredible come-from-behind Week 1 win over West Virginia with two late touchdowns within 25 seconds. Now Pitt gets a hungry Tennessee team with another fiery quarterback in Hendon Hooker.

In the Vols' first game of the season, Hooker went 18-for-25 for 221 yards and two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a tuneup game against Ball State last week.

As for this matchup, expect fireworks early and often. Tennessee returns a top-10 offense from last season with Hooker at the helm. Pitt QB Kedon Solvis, coming off a 308-yard passing day against WVU, will have to test a weaker Tennessee secondary. Pitt will have a hard time slowing down a team that has posted 45 points in four straight games. But, Pitt itself has posted 30 or more points in 14 of its last 18 games. 

This game may tilt toward the high-scoring shootout type of college football game, but hey, there are worse things we could be doing with our time. Last year in Week 2, the score was 41-34 in favor of Pitt. Don't sleep on the Vols this time around. Or better yet, don't sleep on this game at all. You'll be glad you tuned in.

Fresh Off a Top-10 Upset, No. 12 Florida Faces No. 20 Kentucky

Anthony Richardson and Will Levis will square off this Saturday in Gainesville.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images (left), Michael Hickey/Getty Images (right)

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  • Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
  • Kickoff: 7:00pm
  • TV: ESPN

Well, Billy Napier and Anthony Richardson surely impressed in Week 1 as the Gators pulled off the upset of the week, knocking off No. 7 Utah. I predicted that we'd see the Gators ranked this week, but I didn't foresee them shooting up as high as No. 12. Can the Gators ride the momentum, or are they in for a let-down game when No. 20-ranked Kentucky visits The Swamp for an SEC showdown?

Saturday is going to give us a nice battle between two potential 2023 first-round quarterbacks in Will Levis and Richardson. Despite both leading their teams to victory, they had very different Week 1 games. Levis went 21-for-32 for 303 yards and three passing touchdowns, while Richardson went 17-for-24 for 168 yards and three rushing touchdowns. While Levis did it through the air, Richardson did it on the ground. 

Utah's highly-touted defense had no answer for Richardson's legs. So how do the Wildcats stop the SEC's hottest quarterback? Kentucky will have to do its best to take away his running lanes and force him to beat them through the air. On the other sideline, Will Levis is more than capable of airing it out against a Florida secondary that gave up big plays downfield to Cam Rising and the Utes last week. The Wildcats will be without running back Chris Rodriguez due to a suspension for an off-field issue, which takes away a big part of their offensive game plan. Levis will have to beat them downfield while hoping his defense can bottle up Richardson better than Utah could. We should be in for a fourth-quarter finish in this one.

A Reason to Stay Up Late: No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 21 BYU

Puka Nacua #12 celebrates with Keanu Hill #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars after scoring in the first quarter against the South Florida Bulls, Blake Shapen #12 of the Baylor Bears carries the ball to the goal line to score a touchdown against the Albany Great Danes

Left: Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images, Right:Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

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  • Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
  • Kickoff: 10:15pm
  • TV: ESPN

I love a good late-night CFB clash, and that is just what we are getting when No. 9 Baylor travels to Provo to take on No. 21 BYU — a rematch from a year ago where the Bears won 38-24.

Baylor has a terrific defense, but they will go up against the best offensive front they will see this season in BYU. That's not to say BYU will have a field day pushing the defensive front of Baylor around, but they do have a few tools to pull off the upset. Quarterback Jaren Hall spread the ball to 12 different targets in the Cougars' Week 1 game against South Florida. Now, he gets a Baylor defense that has forced a turnover in 23 straight games.

With BYU moving to the Big 12 next year, we may be in the early stages of a storied rivalry in years to come. This will mark the second time these two programs have met since the 80s, with many more on the horizon. Don't worry, it's a late start, but this one should hold your attention until the early morning hours. With Carlos Alcaraz's quarterfinal win at the US Open finishing at 3 a.m. Thursday morning, this is a good week for ESPN's late-night time slot.

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