Week 2 of the 2023 college football season is here. No. 10 Texas at No. 3 Alabama (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) is the marquee matchup of the weekend, with other US LBM Coaches Poll top 10 teams in action throughout the day, too. Looking for Week 2 picks? We got you covered here. Looking for Week 2 predictions? Look no further than right here. And a complete college football TV schedule? Yep, that’s right here.
USA TODAY Sports will bring you the latest updates, scores, highlights, wild plays, analysis and more throughout the day. Follow along.
College football schedule, Top 25
- Ball State at No. 1 Georgia, SEC Network, noon
- Delaware at No. 7 Penn State, Peacock, noon
- Nebraska at No. 25 Colorado, Fox, noon
- No. 11 Notre Dame at North Carolina State, ABC, noon
- Troy at No. 15 Kansas State, FS1, noon
- Youngstown State at No. 4 Ohio State, Big Ten, noon
- No. 12 Utah at Baylor, ESPN, noon
- Charleston Southern at No. 21 Clemson, ACC Network, 2:15 p.m.
- No. 20 Ole Miss at No. 22 Tulane, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
- No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami (Fla.), ABC, 3:30 p.m.
- UNLV at No. 2 Michigan, CBS, 3:30 p.m.
- Tulsa at No. 8 Washington, Pac-12, 5 p.m.
- Austin Peay at No. 9 Tennessee, ESPN+, 5 p.m.
- Appalachian State at No. 16 North Carolina, SEC, 5:15 p.m.
- SMU at No. 17 Oklahoma, ESPN+, 6 p.m.
- Lafayette at No. 24 Duke, ESPN+, 6 p.m.
- No. 13 Oregon at Texas Tech, Fox, 7 p.m.
- No. 10 Texas at No. 3 Alabama, ESPN, 7 p.m.
- Grambling State at No. 14 LSU, ESPN+, 7:30 p.m.
- No. 19 Wisconsin at Washington State, ABC, 7:30 p.m.
- Southern Mississippi at No. 5 Florida State, ACC, 8:30 p.m.
- UC Davis at No. 18 Oregon State, Pac-12, 9 p.m.
- Stanford at No. 6 USC, Fox, 10:30 p.m.
Jeff Sims’ big run gets Nebraska on the board
It was a nightmare first half for Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims, but things may be turning around thanks to a big run.
On Nebraska’s opening drive of the third quarter, Sims took a quarterback draw 57 yards down the sideline, untouched and into the endzone to give the Cornhuskers their first points of the day and second touchdown of the season. The touchdown cut the Colorado lead to 13-7. — Jordan Mendoza
Virginia’s Mike Hollins scores TD 10 months after shooting
There might not be a more important touchdown scored during Week 2 than the one by Virginia senior running back Mike Hollins.
Hollins was one of two students hospitalized after a Nov. 13 campus shooting, when a former Virginia football player opened fire on a bus returning from a field trip. Three teammates – Devin Chandley, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry – were killed.
Hollins took a second-quarter handoff against James Madison for a 4-yard touchdown, his first trip to the end zone in nearly a year – Sept. 17, 2022 against Old Dominion.
Virginia leads JMU 28-17 in the third quarter. — Casey Moore
Alabama vs. Texas odds
The top college football betting apps favor No. 3 Alabama in its primetime matchup with 10th-ranked Texas. The Crimson Tide are 7.5-point favorites over the visiting Longhorns, according to the BetMGM college football odds. One of the best mobile sports betting apps, BetMGM is among those offering the top NCAA football betting promos in 2023. — Richard Morin
“I wanted to wake up and see the stadium,” Deion Sanders said. “I wanted to wake up and feel it. I wanted to see it empty and then see the transformation. It’s pretty much what we’re doing.” — Gabriela Carroll, USA TODAY NETWORK
Ohio State score today: Buckeyes up big at half
Quarterback Kyle McCord’s inconsistencies during Ohio State’s opener have been washed away, even if only for a week.
McCord completed 13-of-18 passes during the first half for 253 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Marvin Harrison Jr., as the Buckeyes go into halftime with a 28-7 lead against Youngstown State.
The Buckeyes have rolled up 339 total yards during the first half. Ohio State registered 380 total yards last week against Indiana. — Casey Moore
NC State football scoreboard struck by lightning
Donors at North Carolina State can’t be happy with this one.
The program’s brand new scoreboard was struck by lightning and shorted out during the Wolfpack’s game against Notre Dame.
Fans were cleared at Carter-Finley Stadium with N.C. State trailing the Fighting Irish 3-0 early in the second quarter. — Casey Moore
Colorado shuts out Nebraska in first half
Colorado’s offense hasn’t been as explosive as it was last week, but its defense is creating all sorts of issues for Nebraska. The Buffaloes have a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Ten of the 13 Buffalo points were off turnovers, and they scored all of their points in the final 4:20 of the half. Shedeur Sanders is 14-of-21 with 134 yards and one touchdown, and head coach Deion Sanders said it’s the defense keeping the Buffaloes up, forcing three turnovers in the first 30 minutes.
“We wasn’t clicking on all cylinders,” Sanders told Fox Sports at halftime. “The defense has been holding up strong and I’m proud of that.”
Once a fierce Big 12 rivalry, Sanders has made it known the importance of this game, and he reminded fans before heading back into the locker room.
“This game is personal,” he said. “This game is 13-0, we should be up a lot more.” — Jordan Mendoza
No. 12 Utah, playing its second straight week without injured starting quarterback Cameron Rising, is struggling against unranked Baylor, and trails 10-3 at halftime.
The Bears lost last week against Texas State and are also playing without their top quarterback, Blake Shapen, who injured his knee in that game.
It was 95 degrees in Waco for the 11 a.m. kickoff with an expected high of 101 by the time the game ends.
Utah’s first half drives ended in three punts, an interception and a Cole Becker 31-yard field goal.
Baylor took a 10-3 lead on a short Sawyer Robertson touchdown run. Robertson threw for 126 yards in the first half, while Dominic Richardson paced the ground game with 67 yards. — Scooby Axson
Georgia gets insane interception as Bulldogs jump to big lead
Everything is going right for Georgia in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs have built up a 31-0 lead at the half and got an interception you had to see to believe.
Down 14-0, Ball State quarterback Kadin Semonza attempted a pass, but it deflected off a Cardinal player’s back foot, and went right into the hands of Chaz Chambliss for the pick. The Bulldogs put up all 31 first-half points in the second quarter. — Jordan Mendoza
Another Nebraska turnover, more Colorado points.
Colorado is making it a nightmare for Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims. After a fumble gave the Buffaloes a 3-0 lead, Sims threw an interception, putting Colorado in another great field position. The Buffaloes wasted no time, as Shedeur Sanders found Tar’Varish Dawson on the very next play for a 30-yard touchdown. — Jordan Mendoza
Colorado is on the board, thanks to another Nebraska fumble.
The Cornhuskers gave Colorado promising field position after Jeff Sims couldn’t hang onto the ball, the third fumble of the first half and second Nebraska has lost. Colorado got the ball at the 19-yard line and went three-and-out, but the field position helped as Jace Feely nailed a 31-yard field goal to give Colorado a 3-0 lead with a little more than four minutes before halftime. — Jordan Mendoza
The bad luck continues for the Cornhuskers.
After a scoreless 20 minutes, Nebraska went from its 9-yard line to Colorado territory. But things took a turn on a third down, as a man in motion got in the way of the snap and Nebraska was able to fall on it to keep the ball on fourth down. The quick turn of events continued with Tristan Alvano’s 45-yard field goal attempt hitting the right upright, keeping Nebraska and Colorado scoreless with under seven minutes left in the first half. — Jordan Mendoza
Some high-profile former athletes made their way to Boulder, Colorado, to watch Deion Sanders coach in his home debut against Nebraska.
A packed house was at Folsom Field for the 10 a.m. local kickoff. Spotted at the game were Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Owens, Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp.
Chauncey Billups, the Portland Trail Blazers head coach and a Colorado alum, was in attendance along with former Buffaloes quarterback Kordell Stewart. — Scooby Axson
The biggest disruptor on Saturday afternoon? Weather.
Three games in the early window Saturday are in a weather delay, all still in the first half:
- Vanderbilt 0, Wake Forest 0
- Notre Dame 3, NC State 0
- Purdue 7, Virginia Tech 0
— Jordan Mendoza
Colorado score today: Offense slow in Boulder
After last week’s shootout, Colorado is in a defensive battle with Nebraska in Coach Prime’s debut at Folsom Field.
Nebraska got into Colorado territory to start the game, but the drive was killed by a fumble. Colorado responded by getting into Nebraska territory, but penalties hurt the Buffaloes and they punted from the Nebraska 35-yard line. Both teams went 3-and-out on their next drives, and Nebraska will begin the second quarter with a punt.
Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders, son of Deion Sanders, is 6-for-9 with 40 yards and three carries for 18 yards in the opening frame. — Jordan Mendoza
Ohio State score today: Buckeyes break tie with another Marvin Harrison Jr. TD
Marvin Harrison Jr. had just two catches for 18 yards against Indiana in Ohio State’s 23-3 win last week.
In the first quarter against Youngstown State, the junior wideout has four receptions for 122 yards and his first two touchdowns of the 2023 campaign.
After Harrison’s first TD put Ohio State ahead 7-0, Youngstown State put together a 75-yard scoring drive — highlighted by a 36-yard pass play on third-and-3 – that tied things up 7-7 at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State followed with a three-and-out, but on its next possession Kyle McCord found Harrison in the end zone for a 39-yard TD.
The Buckeyes lead 14-7 after one quarter. — Casey Moore
Georgia gets on the board with punt return touchdown
After a slow start on offense, it’s the Georgia special teams getting the Bulldogs on the board.
Mekhi Mews took a Ball State punt and returned it 69 yards to the house, the first punt return for a touchdown for the Bulldogs in 14 years. — Jordan Mendoza
One quarter down and Ball State is giving the defending champions all it can, preventing Georgia from getting on the scoreboard in a 0-0 tie.
After a solid kick return to open the game, the Bulldogs offense got it to the Ball State 10-yard line, but Peyton Woodring hooked a 28-yard field goal left. The Cardinals got into Georgia territory on their opening drive, but were forced to punt. Their defense stood tall on the next drive and the Bulldogs had to punt, ending the first quarter. — Jordan Mendoza
Virginia honored three football players who were killed in November with a moment of silence before their home opener against James Madison at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry have their numbers painted in the end zone. Virginia will also wear helmet decals of the players’ numbers (1, 15 and 41) and sport legacy patches. James Madison will also wear helmet decals in honor of the players
“It’s difficult for me. Some days are harder than others, right, and same for those players and the staff,” Virginia head coach Tony Elliott said this week, via the Daily Progress. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for their families dealing with it. We have an opportunity as a community, as a football program, fan base to pay respect to the three young men, their families, and then also the other 125 guys that have chosen to stay the course, do what’s difficult, and show up every single day.” — Scooby Axson
Ohio State score today: Marvin Harrison Jr. catches 71-yard TD for 7-0 lead
The No. 4 Buckeyes struggled to get anything going on offense during their opener against Big Ten rival Indiana last week. But Ohio State quickly found a successful formula against Youngstown State.
Throw the deep ball to star wideout Marvin Harrison Jr.
On the third play from scrimmage, quarterback Kyle McCord connected with Harrison along the left sideline for a 71-yard touchdown pass and an early 7-0 lead for the Buckeyes in their home opener at “The Shoe” this season. — Casey Moore
BOULDER, Colorado – Just minutes before kickoff between Colorado and Nebraska, the sold-out crowd at Folsom Field witnessed arguably the most anticipated entrance in school history.
First came Ralphie, Colorado’s live bison mascot, who dashed from her gate onto the field as the crowd roared.
Then came Deion Sanders about a minute later, slowed by his troubled left leg but waving his arms to the crowd as he made his home debut as the Buffaloes new coach.
The Colorado fans roared. It’s been one week since their Buffs upset TCU in Texas 45-42. And now they face Nebraska, their old rival in a game that issued more than 800 media credentials, the most ever at CU and highest since 2001. It was also the most expensive ticket in CU football history, according to TickPick, an online ticket marketplace that listed prices at $385 and up Friday night.
The big reason for it is Sanders, whose win last week and flamboyant overhaul of the team have been the talk of the sports world recently after the Buffs finished last year 1-11 under a different coaching staff. — Brent Schrotenboer
College football picks Week 2
The names of elite schools in college football don’t get much bigger than Alabama and Texas. The pair represents the upper-crust of programs have shaped a significant history of the sports. So when the Crimson Tide and Longhorns clash Saturday in Tuscaloosa, it’s not surprising that most of the country will be on that game. Alabama needs a victory to help silence some of the doubters about the direction of the program. Texas needs a big win to establish credibility after almost 15 years out of the national title picture.
Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders gets timely motivation from Tom Brady ahead of Nebraska game
Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders received a text message from a trusted mentor of his shortly after leading his team to a stunning 45-42 win Saturday at TCU.
The mentor was Tom Brady, the legendary former NFL quarterback.
His message was simple: “Don’t be satisfied.”
Why is Deion Sanders on TV so much?
TV companies lined up to show Deion Sanders’ games for their intrigue and entertainment value with Sanders as a new head coach at the highest level of college football.
Then advertisers lined up to buy ads during these games, betting it will get them a big audience for their brands at a cost of around $130,000 for 30 seconds if they bought the air time recently for his next game Saturday against Nebraska.
Before and after kickoff, the broadcasters themselves then focus on Sanders throughout the game, knowing he’s the big reason viewers are tuning in.
No. 11 Notre Dame at North Carolina State predictions, picks, how to watch
Time/TV: Saturday, noon ET, ABC
Why watch: Though the Fighting Irish had to go a long way for one of their two relatively easy wins, this true road game could serve as their first real test of the campaign. The Wolfpack handled a road opener against an improved Connecticut program and now looks to make an even bigger splash. The setting will be familiar for new Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman, who went 2-2 against the Wolfpack at Wake Forest but with neither win coming in Raleigh. N.C. State QB Brennan Armstrong has no history with the Fighting Irish, as he missed Virginia’s 28-3 loss to Notre Dame due to an injury in 2021.
Why it could disappoint: It probably won’t be a shootout. The Wolfpack defense, anchored by LB Payton Wilson, is stronger than any the new-look Irish offense has seen to date. But Notre Dame isn’t likely to surrender many big gainers either, so the intensity level should still be high in the fourth quarter. — Eddie Timanus
- Dan Wolken: Notre Dame
- Eddie Timanus: Notre Dame
- Erick Smith: Notre Dame
- Jace Evans: Notre Dame
- Paul Myerberg: Notre Dame
- Scooby Axson: Notre Dame
Nebraska at No. 25 Colorado predictions, picks, how to watch
Time/TV: Saturday, noon ET, Fox
Why watch: Colorado games have suddenly become appointment viewing after the Buffaloes made the biggest splash of opening weekend. They’ll now look to follow their takedown of TCU in their first home game of the Deion Sanders era against old Big Eight rival Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are also under new management with Matt Rhule back in the college game. But his debut outing at Minnesota produced another late collapse to which NU fans have grown all too accustomed. The promising development for the Cornhuskers was the overall performance of the defense, but Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders and his array of fast targets will bring a bit more fire power. Nebraska QB Jeff Sims is well aware he must take better care of the ball.
Why it could disappoint: Colorado’s overall team speed would make the Buffaloes a much stronger comeback candidate should they somehow fall behind. An early Cornhuskers’ deficit would seem more difficult to overcome given Nebraska’s unproven ability to put up fast points.
- Dan Wolken: Nebraska
- Eddie Timanus: Colorado
- Erick Smith: Colorado
- Jace Evans: Colorado
- Paul Myerberg: Nebraska
- Scooby Axson: Colorado
Texas vs. Alabama predictions
- Dan Wolken: Alabama
- Eddie Timanus: Alabama
- Erick Smith: Alabama
- Jace Evans: Alabama
- Paul Myerberg: Alabama
- Scooby Axson: Texas
Disappointments and better-than-expected performances are anticipated each weekend in the wild world of college football. It’s especially true early in the season as teams haven’t gotten into the swing of the schedules and are more prone to mistakes.
There is the potential for surprises Saturday with a slate of games that could produce unlikely results that we’ve come to look forward to each weekend.
Big college football games this weekend
Week 2 of the college football season is upon us. The menu this week features the second top-10 clash of the young season (No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 10 Texas), a perhaps under-the-radar Top 25 showdown with huge entertainment potential, and a number of other power-conference encounters that could have long-term implications.
So, here are the six blockbuster games to watch, with the standard advice that you should keep an eye on the scoreboard and a hand on the remote in case unexpected developments and/or frantic finishes unfold as they inevitably do. — Eddie Timanus
College football Week 2 odds
No. 11 Notre Dame is also favored by more than a touchdown (-7.5) over NC State.
In the late-night slate, two California schools will face each other for the last time as Pac-12 members. Stanford is a 29.5-point underdog against No. 6 USC. Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams boasts some of the best betting odds to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy and repeat as winner.
Whether you’re still learning how to bet on sports or a seasoned sharp, USA TODAY readers can claim exclusive promos and bonus codes with the best online sportsbooks and sports betting sites. Our college football betting guide can help you get started. — Richard Morin
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising is expected to be out for the second straight week as the Utes travel to play Baylor, according to an ESPN report.
Rising is still rehabbing an ACL tear suffered in the Rose Bowl loss to Penn State.
Bryson Barnes will start with Nate Johnson backing him up as they did in their season-opening win against Florida.
Utah plays Weber State next week before ending the month and opening up conference play against UCLA and Oregon State.
Baylor is also playing without its starting quarterback as Blake Shapen is out for at least two weeks after injuring his MCL in last week’s loss to Texas State. Mississippi State transfer Sawyer Robertson will get the nod for Baylor on Saturday. — Scooby Axson
College football conferences 2023
Confused by all the conference changes coming in major college sports within the next year? It’s been difficult to follow all the moving pieces during past weeks and months.
We knew last summer that more lucrative TV deals would soon lure UCLA and Southern California to the Big Ten for the 2024 season. Likewise, Texas and Oklahoma announced plans to move to the SEC. But little did we know how many other programs also would soon be moving.
What’s transpired in the Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten in the recent weeks has grabbed most of the college realignment headlines, but big changes are coming to both the Power Five and the Group of Five by this time next year. This season, the Big 12 will welcome three teams from the American Athletic Conference: Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston.
In the past four decades, teams moved, conferences grew and a few collapsed. That doesn’t sound much different than today’s situation – other than the rapid pace at which these changes are unfolding. Here’s everything you need to know. — Jim Sergent
Where is ‘College GameDay’ in Week 2?
ESPN’s “College GameDay” crew is in Tuscaloosa for a battle between football superpowers No. 3 Alabama and No. 10 Texas on Saturday. The second of a home-and-home series between future conference foes, the “GameDay” crew of Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Pat McAfee and others will be on campus for the Crimson Tide and Longhorns’ Week 2 game. — Austin Curtright, USA TODAY NETWORK
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