The Houston Cougars did not give themselves an easy start to the 2022 college football season.
Dana Holgorsen had his team open the season with two tough in-state road trips, the second of which occurs in Week 2.
Houston got a break going into its clash with Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders will be without their starting quarterback for the clash with their future Big 12 foe.
Quarterback play is a common theme across most of my Week 2 picks, including the other money line underdog that I love on Saturday's slate.
A majority of the picks made for Week 2 are based off the games I either bet on or watched a good amount of in Week 1 and a wider net will be cast as the season goes on.
Week 2 CFB Picks
Overall Record: 5-9
Louisville at UCF (-6) (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Louisville made its way to the top of the "Dead to Me" list with its lifeless performance on the road at Syracuse in Week 1.
The Cardinals do not get to rebound from that game with a cupcake in Week 2. They have to go to the Bounce House to face a UCF team that enters with confidence following a 56-10 win over South Carolina State.
Scott Satterfield is 4-11 straight up in true road games since he became the Louisville head coach in 2019. That does not seem promising for a team trying to avoid an 0-2 start.
Friday night will be the first real test for UCF with John Rhys Plumlee at quarterback, but the Knights may not have many issues moving the ball against a defense that allowed 449 total yards to Syracuse last week.
Plumlee can hurt the Cardinals in both aspects of the offense. The Knights should try to pressure Malik Cunningham to force more turnovers out of the Louisville quarterback, who threw two picks and fumbled twice in Week 1.
Louisville needs to prove it can be competent on offense before I bet on it again and I don't think a reversal from Week 1 will happen with one less day of rest and on the road in a dangerous environment.
Ohio at Penn State (Noon ET, ABC)
Penn State's offense impressed me in spurts of its Week 1 clash with Purdue.
Sean Clifford looked like a competent quarterback on most drives and he should build up his confidence with Ohio coming to Beaver Stadium on Saturday.
Penn State needs a clean and crisp win to have the result wrapped up before the fourth quarter so it can prepare for Auburn next week.
Ohio gave up 38 points and 464 total yards to FIU last week. That should be a promising sign for the Penn State offense to explode.
The Bobcats have an experienced quarterback in Kurtis Rourke that should lead them to 10-17 points that helps aid the over.
All we need here is eight touchdowns with a majority of them scored by the Penn State offense that found the end zone five times last week against a Big Ten foe.
UTSA (-3) at Army (Noon ET, CBSSN)
I know UTSA's trip to West Point has let down spot written all over it, but last week's performances suggest the Roadrunners will be just fine against Army.
Army conceded 437 total yards to Coastal Carolina last week and it gave up 263 of those yards on the ground. UTSA quarterback Frank Harris could hurt the Black Knights with both his arm and legs to take advantage of all the deficiencies in the Army defense.
UTSA can strike faster on offense and it only allowed 140 rushing yards to Houston. The Roadrunners can slow down the Army triple option offense and can break away with Harris leading the charge.
Southern Miss at Miami (Noon ET, ACC Network)
Miami might hit the over on its own.
The Hurricanes produced 70 points and 586 total yards in their opener against Bethune-Cookman.
Yes, the strength of the opponent gets tougher, but Miami still has better athletes than a Southern Miss team that lost in four overtimes to Liberty.
I'm relying on Tyler Van Dyke and Co. for most of the points in this game and maybe 7-14 from the visitors, but this has the makings of another Miami blowout.
Washington State at Wisconsin (-17.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)
Washington State barely survived an upset bid from Idaho on its home turf last week.
The Cougars could be in for another tough game on Saturday, as they travel to Madison to take on one of the most physical teams in the FBS.
Wisconsin did its trademark Wisconsin thing in Week 1 by winning 38-0 with more rushing yards than passing yards.
We somehow forgot about Braelon Allen when talking about the best players in the FBS in preseason. Allen ran for 148 yards and two scores against Illinois State and he could do even more damage against the Wazzu defense.
Wazzu's offense could be fine in the coming weeks, but it feels like the physicality of Wisconsin's defense will be too much for it to handle and the Cougars may come away with fewer than 10 points while the Badgers run their defense into oblivion.
Memphis (-5) at Navy (3:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
This is a fade of Navy more than anything.
Navy struggled to do anything right in its 14-7 loss to FCS side Delaware in Week 1 and now it has to face a ticked off Memphis team.
Memphis showed signs of life on offense in the second half of its loss to Mississippi State and that should carry over into the matchup in Annapolis.
Memphis beat Navy in three consecutive meetings and two of those wins were by double digits with the Tigers scoring over 30 points.
Houston (+145) at Texas Tech (4 p.m. ET, FS1)
Houston should be in a much more comfortable position on Saturday than it was last week.
The Cougars outlasted UTSA in overtime last week and now have to face Texas Tech without its starting quarterback Tyler Shough, who was hurt in the opener against Murray State.
Houston has the edge in the passing game with its Clayton Tune-Nathaniel Dell combination and it has a bit of a point to prove after being shutout in the second half by Texas Tech last season.
I think Houston has the better team right now and the Cougars can draw on their close-game experience on the road from last week to close out the win in Lubbock against their future Big 12 conference mate.
Virginia (+160) at Illinois (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
I trust Brennan Armstrong way more than I believe in Tommy DeVito.
Armstrong is the better quarterback in the Virginia-Illinois showdown and the offense he leads could provide a bit of a shock to the Illinois defense that faced Wyoming and Indiana in the first two weeks.
Illinois destroyed Wyoming and stuck with Indiana until the end, but Virginia is in a different class of football team and I don't know if DeVito can lead his team down the field to compete in a game in the 30s with an ACC opponent.
DeVito has two 300-yard passing games in his five-year career and both of those performances came back in 2019. Armstrong finished 2021 with six straight 300-yard passing games.
Virginia owns the clear edge at quarterback and that should show over four quarters.
Arizona State at Oklahoma State (-11.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Oklahoma State impressed in the first half of its win over Central Michigan before the Chippewas ignited a comeback attempt in the second half.
The Cowboys held Central Michigan to 15 points at half and 22 points through three quarters. Spencer Sanders led the Cowboys offense to 28 points alone in the second quarter.
Oklahoma State proved that Sanders can still lead an explosive offense and that its defense will be fine despite departures on both sides of the ball.
Arizona State scored 40 points against Northern Arizona, but it only had 152 passing yards. That is an issue going up against a defense that limited Central Michigan to 122 rushing yards.
Oklahoma State had 13 tackles for loss and two sacks in Week 1. The Cowboys will pressure Emory Jones from the start and limit ASU's rushing attack and that could lead to a lopsided affair without a let off in the fourth quarter from the home side.
Mississippi State at Arizona (11 p.m. ET, FS1)
Mississippi State and Arizona combined to score 87 points in Week 1.
We know what to expect out of Mike Leach's Bulldogs. Will Rogers is going to air the ball out and he has a slew of wide receivers that he can target.
Arizona surprised everyone with its 38-point outburst on the road at San Diego State, led by quarterback Jayden de Laura and wide receiver Jacob Cowing.
Mississippi State eclipsed the 30-point mark in five of its seven wins last season and it has reached that mark in each of its last five victories.
If we assume the Bulldogs are the better team, they will account for more than half of the points. The Bulldogs have let up at least 17 points to 11 of their last 14 opponents.
Arizona's new-look offense proved it could score against a tough defense on the road last week and that should give it confidence to do the same at home against a SEC foe.