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2023 College Football Week 2 Sleeper Picks

By Hank Blaine

Week 1 went about as poorly as possible for Baylor as not only were the Bears shocked at home by Texas State but they also lost starting QB Blake Shapen for 2-3 weeks because of an MCL injury suffered in the loss, meaning he will miss this week’s home game vs. No. 14 Utah. Here are three underdog sleeper picks for Week 2. All games on Saturday.

Top 2023 College Football Week 2 Games to Bet

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Miami Hurricanes

  • When: Saturday, September 9th, 2023. 3:30pm EST.
  • Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
  • College Football Odds: Texas A&M (-4) // Miami (+4)

These schools played in College Station last year when Miami was ranked 13th and the Canes lost 17-9. Max Johnson was the A&M QB then and threw for 140 yards and a TD. Tyler Van Dyke had 217 yards passing, but couldn’t get the Hurricanes in the end zone. Van Dyke is still the Miami starter. Texas A&M will face the Hurricanes in Miami for the first time since 2007 and return to Hard Rock Stadium for the first time since knocking off No. 14 North Carolina, 41-27, in the 2020 Orange Bowl.

The Aggies opened this season with an impressive 52-10 win over New Mexico. Sophomore QB Conner Weigman put on a show in matching his career high with four touchdown passes in the first half, a mark he set in his first career start against No. 15 Ole Miss last season. He finished the New Mexico game 18-of-23 with 236 yards and five scoring strikes. Texas A&M’s six touchdown passes against New Mexico were one shy of the school record set against Texas Tech in 2002. The Aggie defense held New Mexico to 91 yards on the ground on 32 carries for a 2.8-yard average.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: Miami

Marshall Thundering Herd vs. East Carolina Pirates

Marshall earned the 600th win in program history on Saturday as the Thundering Herd opened the 2023 season with a 21-17 win over Albany. Marshall junior running back Rasheen Ali finished with 137 yards and two touchdowns – both in the second half – while senior defensive end Owen Porter finished with a career-high 12 tackles and the game-clinching sack of Albany quarterback Reese Poffenbarger as the Thundering Herd held off a tough challenge from the Great Danes. The defense stood tall on Saturday, keeping Albany without a third-down conversion in their final seven tries of the game, continuing success from last season when the Thundering Herd led the nation in opponent third-down conversion percentage. Since moving up to the FBS level in 1997, the Thundering Herd have a 19-8 record in season openers, and has won 24 of its 27 home openers.

East Carolina actually played pretty well in losing at No. 2 Michigan 30-3. Andrew Conrad’s 33-yard field goal on the game’s final play provided the Pirates’ lone points and extended a streak of 313 consecutive games without being blanked while also denying the Wolverines their first season-opening shutout since 1978 (31-0 over Illinois). ECU, which finished with 235 total yards, managed only two other legitimate threats against a stout Michigan defense. Conrad hooked a 51-yard field goal left of the upright just before halftime, then the Pirates came up short on fourth down after reaching the Wolverines’ 14 in the final seven minutes. The Pirates’ defense held Michigan’s vaunted running attack in check, allowing 2 yards or less on 10 of 12 first-half attempts and 122 yards overall.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: East Carolina

UCF Knights vs. Boise State Broncos

Central Florida, now a Big 12 team, opened the year with an easy 56-6 win over Kent State. UCF rushed for 389 yards on 46 carries to set the program record for yards per rush with 8.5, while the Knights completed 25 passes for 334 yards. It marked the second consecutive season the Black and Gold have surpassed 700 total yards in a single game, as the 723 total yards are the most by a team during the 2023 season. Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, it was the first time since Aug. 29, 2019, that UCF held its opponent without a touchdown. The game marked the fewest points allowed by a Gus Malzahn-coached team at UCF.

Boise State got clocked 56-19 at ranked Washington in its opener. The visiting Broncos) struck first and held a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to Ashton Jeanty’s seven-yard run that capped an explosive 10-play, 90-yard drive. The sophomore tailback finished the game with 153 total yards thanks to a career-best 109 receiving yard performance. That was about the extent of the good news. For the first time since 2005, Boise State will open the season in back-to-back weeks against Power 5 schools. Boise has been almost unbeatable at home, winning 90% (130-15) of its games at Albertsons Stadium over the past 22 seasons. It’s the second-best home-winning percentage in the country behind Oklahoma’s 90.8% (128-13). However, six of the Bronco’s 15 losses have come over the past three seasons, but a win on Saturday would mark the 22nd consecutive victory in a home opener.

2023 College Football Week 2 Pick: Boise State

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READ MORE: 2023 College Football Week 2 Odds, Overview & Picks