Not counting Notre Dame’s 49-16 win over Temple, the Irish opponents went 7-3 over the weekend with Stanford taking a bye after its return from Down Under. This coming week, two pairs of those foes face each other, highlighted by Stanford heading to USC for a primetime matchup Saturday night.
Temple: The Owls will have a good chance to return to winning when they host Football Championship Series-level Villanova at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Given it is a game against an FCS opponent, any line will not come until later in the week, if at all. Presumably, this should be Temple coach Geoff Collins’ first win.
Georgia: The Bulldogs opened with a 31-10 win over Appalachian State, though it was a pyrrhic victory with the loss of sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason for at least a few weeks. In his place, freshman Jake Fromm (No. 11, above) will lead Georgia into Notre Dame Stadium as a 6.5-point underdog in a game with an over/under total of 54.4. Quick math points to a projected final score of 31-24. Reminder: Kickoff will be shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Boston College: The Eagles squeezed by Northern Illinois 23-20 behind freshman quarterback Anthony Brown, who went 26-of-42 for 191 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Despite it being his first start, Brown showed enough calm to lead Boston College to the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter.
This week he will get to make his home debut, hosting Wake Forest at 1 p.m. ET on the ACC Network. The Eagles are favored by two with an over/under total of 43, implying a final score of 23-20 again. Frankly, all aspects of that previous sentence feel about right.
Michigan State: It took a bit for the Spartans to get going, but once they did, they cruised to a 35-10 victory over Bowling Green. Mark up the sluggish start simply to it being the season’s first weekend. If it was more than that, then suddenly this may be the wrong weekend to host Western Michigan. (3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network.) The Broncos may be underdogs by a touchdown, but after their showing against USC, that margin seems generous. The over/under total of 52 implies a final score of 30-23.
Miami (OH): The RedHawks regular season winning streak ended at six games after a 31-26 loss at Marshall. They have a great chance at getting back to winning this week, hosting FCS-level Austin Peay at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels were favored by 11 points this past weekend, instead falling 35-30 to Cal. This week will be no easier. In fact, it will be harder. Louisville visits for a noon ET kickoff on ESPN. The line opened favoring the Cardinals by eight points, but it quickly moved up to 10.5. Using that latter figure and an over/under total of 63.5, math lands with a projected final score of 37-26.
After giving up 35 points to the Bears, including three scores of 20 yards or more, it is hard to foresee North Carolina slowing Heisman-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, not that Louisville’s defense is known to be stellar, either. It did just give up 28 points to Purdue. Is this hinting at a high-scoring affair? It would seem that way.
USC: It took a while, but the Trojans eventually distanced themselves from Western Michigan, prevailing 49-31. That could be a positive reflection of the Broncos more than it is a concern for USC. This weekend will certainly provide a better Trojans litmus test with Stanford visiting for an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff on Fox. Favored by 6.5, USC will likely struggle to reach its high total of this past weekend. The over/under of 55.5 projects a 31-24 final.
North Carolina State: The preseason’s trendy title contender fell flat in week one, losing to South Carolina 35-28. The Wolfpack could not have started the day and the season off worse, allowing the Gamecocks to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
The loss could derail the entire North Carolina St. season, or it could intensify the focus on a suddenly wide-open ACC. Hosting Marshall will offer a chance to develop that tunnel vision. The Wolfpack will enter favored by 24 with an over/under of 55.5, making for a theoretical final score of 40-16. (6 p.m. ET, ACC Network.)
Wake Forest: Coming off a 51-7 win over FCS-level Presbyterian, the Demon Deacons head to Boston College looking to start conference competition on the right side of the scoreboard.
Miami (FL): The Hurricanes also faced an FCS-level opener, topping Bethune-Cookman 41-13. This week, Miami heads to Jonesboro, Ark., to visit Arkansas State as the back-half of a home-and-home series agreed upon five years ago. It is odd, to say the least. The Hurricanes are favored by 14.5 with an over/under total of 55.5, leading to a logical 35-21 conclusion. (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU.)
Navy: Contrary to public perception, the Midshipmen just reload. Junior quarterback Zach Abey threw for 110 yards and rushed for 235 more to lead Navy past Florida Atlantic to the tune of 42-19, despite three lightning delays. Abey became the first Midshipmen in history to achieve that particular 100-200 combo.
This week, Abey will have a chance to bevy those stats further in an AAC-contest against Tulane. Navy is favored by 13.5 with an over/under of 48.5. A 31-17 final would be a strong start for the Midshipmen as they chase the American Athletic Conference title.
Stanford: As mentioned twice earlier, the Cardinal head to USC this weekend in one of multiple marquee matchups Saturday night. If you have two TVs, this probably deserves the priority on your non-NBC screen.