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2023 College Football Week 2 Odds, Overview & Picks

By Hank Blaine

So much for Clemson returning to the College Football Playoff this year. The formerly No. 9 Tigers were shocked in their opener at unranked Duke and now would need to run the table at a minimum to get back to the CFP. Clemson was the biggest upset loser in Week 1. Here are three intriguing Week 2 matchups, all played Saturday, with picks.

Top 2023 College Football Week 2 Games to Bet

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. NC State Wolfpack

The Irish are pseudo-ACC members in football as they play at least five ACC opponents each season, with NC State the first this year. Notre Dame hasn’t been tested in two games so far this year, while NC State opened with a comeback win over UConn.

The Wolfpack are 2-1 all-time vs. Notre Dame. This will mark the first time since 2005 that the Wolfpack faces a ranked opponent in its home opener. NC State dropped that contest, 20-16, to No. 8 Virginia Tech. Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong has never faced Notre Dame. When his former team, Virginia, played the Irish in 2021, he was sitting out with broken ribs.

NC State has faced Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman three times at his previous school: Wake Forest. Hartman was 1-2 vs. the Pack, losing both games in Carter-Finley. He put up big numbers, though – throwing for 823 yards on 72-131 passing. Although he threw six touchdowns in those three games, he also threw six interceptions and was sacked 13 times.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: NC State

SMU Mustangs vs. Oklahoma Sooners

  • When: Saturday, September 9th, 2023. 6:00pm EST.
  • Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
  • College Football Odds: SMU (+19) // Oklahoma (-19))

Both these schools will be headed elsewhere next season, with SMU off to the ACC and Oklahoma to the SEC. Oklahoma trounced Arkansas State 73-0 in the opener. Dillon Gabriel completed 19 of 22 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half. It was Oklahoma’s largest victory margin in a season opener since 1917. It was Oklahoma’s first shutout under second-year coach Brent Venables. The Sooners held the Red Wolves to 208 total yards and 10 first downs. Oklahoma’s offense was equally impressive, gaining 642 yards without committing a turnover. Its .909 completion percentage set a school record for games with at least 15 pass attempts.

SMU opened with a 38-14 win over Louisiana Tech. Mustangs QB Preston Stone, a redshirt sophomore with one previous start and two touchdown passes in his SMU career, was 23 of 37 for 248 yards for three TDs and wasn’t intercepted. LJ Johnson Jr. rushed for 128 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. SMU outgained the Bulldogs 457-269, held Louisiana Tech to 28 rushing yards and sacked Hank Bachmeier six times, two of them by Alex Kilgore. OU is 5-1 against the Mustangs all-time but the teams haven’t played since 1995.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: Oklahoma

Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans

  • When: Sunday, September 3rd, 2023. 5:30pm EST.
  • Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
  • College Football Odds: Stanford (+30) // USC (-30)

Stanford and USC begin their final Pac-12 seasons with the Cardinal off to the ACC and the Trojans to the Big Ten. The Cardinal made Coach Troy Taylor a winner in his Stanford debut with a 37-24 win at Hawaii. Ashton Daniels passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Benjamin Yurosek was Daniels’ favorite target. The senior tight end hauled in nine passes for a career-high 138 yards and a TD. Stanford finished with 407 total yards and got field goals of 25, 25 and 46 yards from Josh Karty, who has converted his last 21 field goals dating to last year.

USC QB Caleb Williams remains the favorite to repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner, with the Trojans off to an easy 2-0 start. In Saturday’s 66-14 win over Nevada, Williams threw for 319 yards and hit Tahj Washington with two of his five touchdown passes. Williams passed for 258 yards and four TDs on just 15 completions while USC built a 35-7 halftime lead. He finished 18 of 24 while also rushing for 42 yards. USC’s 668 yards were its most under Riley, and its 66 points matched the highest-scoring game of his tenure. Last year, USC beat Stanford 41-28. Williams threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns, with two of those going to Jordan Addison, now in the NFL. The teams have split the past 10 meetings overall. The last time these programs played each other at LA Memorial Coliseum, Stanford won as an 18-point underdog with a 42-28 victory on Sept. 11, 2021.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: USC

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READ MORE: 2023 College Football Week 2 Sleeper Picks