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College Football: Non Conference Matchups Headline Week 2

A pair of rematches of non-conference thrillers from last year headline the week two slate in college football. While there are a handful of other interesting and intriguing matchups across the board in the season’s second week, it’s the pair of regionally and nationally significant rematches that dominate the slate.


For the third time in the last five years, the App State Mountaineers will battle the Tar Heels of North Carolina in what has become one of the best in-state rivalries in recent memory. 

Last year’s game from Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone was one of the games of the year in all of college football. Both teams combined for 129 points and nearly 1,500 total yards in UNC’s 65-64 victory. 

This week’s matchup at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill culminates a three-game contract signed by both schools back in 2017. The first of those three matchups came back in 2019, when App State picked up its second ever win over a power conference school with a 34-32 win. While many App State fans may expect this game to be “just like last time” in Chapel Hill, these are two very different teams from that original meeting. 

Carolina will be riding high after their victory over the Gamecocks a week ago, so both fan bases must temper their expectations of what is to come when 5:15 rolls around on September 9th. UNC opens as a surprisingly large 19 point favorite.


Much like App State and North Carolina, Alabama and the Longhorns look very different from the last time they met. The back end of a home-and-home deal between the two schools will take place in Tuscaloosa after last year’s thriller in Austin. Texas will have the edge in terms of experience at quarterback with Quinn Ewers returning to the helm of Steve Sarkesian’s offense, and has a much improved roster overall. This will be the first true test for Nick Saban’s new look Crimson Tide after mopping the floor with Middle Tennessee in week 1. Bama opens as a touchdown favorite in what will surely be a tight game between the third and 11th ranked teams in the nation.


Wake Forest hosts its earliest ever home game kickoff: an 11 am start against the Commodores of Vanderbilt. Vandy is off to a 2-0 start after a week zero triumph over Hawaii and a dismantling of FCS Alabama A&M. Wake dispatched of its own week 1 FCS opponent in Elon, so this will be the first true test for the Deacs in the post-Sam Hartman era against an SEC opponent. Dave Clawson’s bunch enter the late-morning matchup as 10 point favorites.

Sam Hartman, who’s already thrown for 445 yards and 6 touchdowns in his first two games for the Fighting Irish, leads 10th ranked Notre Dame into Raleigh to face Dave Doern’s NC State Wolfpack. It’ll be a noon kickoff from Carter-Finley Stadium, as State’s defense will look to stymie Notre Dame’s potent offense. Hartman and company open as just a touchdown favorite.

Coach Prime and 22nd ranked Colorado host ex-Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It’ll be another “Big Noon Kickoff” on FOX for the Buffs. Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and other standouts from the week 1 win over TCU will be making their debuts at venerable Folsom Field in Boulder. The Buffs are only favored by a field goal.

Cincinnati travels to Acrisure Stadium to face Pittsburgh in a noteworthy non-conference showdown that will also be the first ever iteration of ACC football on The CW television. The conference reached a deal with the network in July to cover the games originally slated to be broadcast by Bally Sports South, who due to bankruptcy missed their rights fees payments. The Pitt Panthers enter the game, set for a 6:30 kickoff, as 7.5 point favorites over the Bearcats.

The nightcap on FOX pits Heisman candidate Bo Nix and 13th ranked Oregon against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. Oregon is coming off an 81 point output on FCS Portland State in week 1, while Texas Tech looks to bounce back from its double overtime loss at Wyoming. Don’t be surprised if the Red Raiders use Oregon’s travel lag and motivation from their loss a week ago as ammunition for an upset. The Ducks are only favored by a touchdown entering the game.

Rounding out the slate of games to keep an eye on, Coastal Carolina holds its home opener in Myrtle Beach against Jacksonville State at 7:00. The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State are 2-0 in their first two games as an FBS program, taking down UTEP in a week zero Conference USA game and dispatching FCS East Tennessee State a week ago. This will be a true test for Rich Rodriguez and his program. It will be their first true FBS road game, and it comes against comparable competition. The Chanticleers may have lost to UCLA a week ago, but with experienced quarterback Grayson McCall still holding the reins of one of the most successful group of five teams the last three seasons, they’re still a formidable threat. CCU enters the contest as 14.5 point favorites.

Brett Wiseman is the host of “The Score with Brett Wiseman” Saturday mornings at 9am on WWBG 1470am and online at





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