Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina
It’s been a tough two weeks for the Hokies after losses to Boise State and FCS opponent James Madison. Win or lose against ECU, this game has all the makings of a shootout, as the Pirates have allowed at least 27 points in each of their first two games – both surprisingly victories. Taylor should be the chief beneficiary.
Jermaine Thomas, RB, Florida State vs. BYU
Let’s try this again. Thomas was one of the few bright spots in last week’s shellacking at the hands of the Sooners, rushing for 58 yards and a score against Oklahoma. This week, he’ll face a BYU team that was gashed for 408 yards on the ground by the Air Force triple-option last week.
Jamar Nesbitt, QB, North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech
Nesbitt scored three times last week against Kansas, but the Jayhawks are a shell of the team they once were. North Carolina’s defense is its strength, particularly the front seven.
Kyle Parker, QB, Clemson at Auburn
Auburn held Mississippi State to just 129 yards passing last week, and this will be Parker’s first real test of the season after cakewalks against Presbyterian and North Texas.
Jordan Webb, QB, Kansas at Southern Mississippi
Webb tossed three touchdowns against a once-feared defensive unit of Georgia Tech, and will start over Kale Pick again in what should be a shootout with the Golden Eagles.
Aubrey Quarles, WR, Kansas State vs. Iowa State
Though Daniel Thomas remains the focal point of the Wildcat offense, the passing game has looked improved over the first two weeks, albeit against lesser opponents. Still, Quarles should be quarterback Carson Coffman’s No. 1 target against a Cyclone team that was buried last week by Iowa.
Jay Finley, RB, Baylor at TCU
Even without Jerry Hughes, TCU’s defense is still stout. Finley will not find much room against the top-five Horned Frogs.
Austen Arnaud, QB, Iowa State vs. Kansas State
Arnaud can sling it, but has already tossed five INTs on the season before even entering conference play. With Alexander Robinson at his disposal in the backfield, expect the Cyclones to attempt to get the ground game moving and shy away from chances to turn the ball over.
Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville at Oregon State
Powell is getting no pub despite 245 yards and three touchdowns in his first two contests for the Cardinals. Oregon State’s run defense gave up 278 yards on the ground in Week 1 vs. TCU, though it is generally better than that. This will be a great test for Powell.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse vs. Maine
Nassib has an extremely favorable home game against lowly Maine, which lost their first contest 3-0 against “powerhouse” Albany.
Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati at N.C. State
Collaros rebounded last week in the second half against Indiana State, but did not look right in the Bearcats’ opening-game loss to Fresno State. N.C. State forced five turnovers last week against UCF, as Cincy faces its toughest challenge yet.
Zach Frazer, QB, Connecticut at Temple
At its base level, the Huskies are a rushing team. After a laugher against Texas Southern, Connecticut will have to get back to business against an up-and-coming Temple squad. As a result, expect a heavy dose of Jordan Todman and the rest of the Huskies’ backs, limiting Frazer’s opportunities.
Damarlo Belcher, WR, Indiana at Western Kentucky
Though star wideout Tandon Doss is expected to be back for this one, Western Kentucky doesn’t pose much of a threat to the Hoosiers. With Ben Chappell hurling him the ball, Belcher should get a bevy of opportunities after hauling in seven balls for 92 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois vs. Northern Illinois
Jenkins grabbed five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown against Southern Illinois last week, and figures to continue his success as the Illini travel south for another in-state battle. He has scored in each of Illinois’ first two contests.
Michigan State, DST , vs. Notre Dame
The Spartan defense, in particular the pass defense, has been torn up in State’s first two games despite two victories. With Kyle Rudolph and Michael Floyd as superior options in the Irish passing attack, the Michigan State D should probably be avoided this week.
Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa vs. Arizona
Stanzi was inconsistent in 2009 and faces his first true test of the new season against the ranked Wildcats, who have allowed eight points and 124 yards passing in their first two games, albeit against Toledo and The Citadel.
Brian Anderson, QB, Marshall at Bowling Green
Anderson was excellent in Marshall’s OT loss to WVA, completing 20-of-29 balls for 229 yards and three touchdowns against the Mountaineers. Bowling Green has allowed at least 30 points in each of its first two games.
Darius Johnson, WR, SMU vs. Washington State
Though running back Zach Line has been superb for the ‘Stangs thus far, expect SMU to go back to a pass-happy attack against the Cougars, with Johnson and teammate Cole Beasley expected to be chief beneficiaries with teams focused on shutting down Aldrick Robinson.
David Isabelle, QB, UAB vs. Troy
Isabelle was insanely good in Week 1 rushing the ball, but horrifically bad against SMU last week. Troy is the cream of the Sun Belt crop, and UAB does not appear to have much of a squad this season.
Jonathan Williams, RB, ECU vs. Virginia Tech
Quarterback Dominique Davis looks to be the real deal, but Virginia Tech still has superior athleticism on the defensive front despite losing its first two games. James Madison averaged less than three yards per carry against the Hokies, who two fumbles from ballcarriers against Boise State. As such, this may be the week to leave Williams on your bench.
T.J. Jones, WR, Notre Dame vs. Michigan State
Though Kyle Rudolph and Michael Floyd get the fanfare, Jones has snagged TDs in each of Notre Dame’s first two games. With a porous Michigan State defense looming, Jones could be in line for another trip to the promised land.
Vince Murray, RB, Navy vs. Louisiana Tech
The triple-option has not been on track in 2010 for the Midshipmen. Navy was held to 109 yards rushing, its lowest total since 2002, against Georgia Southern last week. With Ricky Dobbs still the No. 1 option on offense, Murray’s production could continue to dip.
Armand Robinson, WR, Miami (OH) vs. Colorado State
Robinson has been a machine over his first two games, grabbing 18 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. This week’s opponent Colorado State gave up 631 total yards last week to Nevada.
Kamar Jorden, WR, Bowling Green vs. Marshall
Freddie Barnes reincarnated? Jordan has 23 catches in his first two games for the Falcons. With Bowling Green expected to be behind in this one as well, expect Jorden to add quite a few more receptions to his total.
Marcus Rivers, WR, Buffalo vs. UCF
Central Florida’s defense has been surprisingly stingy, holding N.C. State to 238 yards of total offense last week. This does not bode well for Rivers, who has 16 receptions in his first two games for the Bison.
Boo Jackson, QB, Ohio at Ohio State
Did you see how much trouble Heisman hopeful Jacory Harris had last week against the Buckeyes? Jackson is best left on your bench.
Matthew Tucker, RB, TCU vs. Baylor
Ed Wesley has more yards, but it’s Tucker who actually has more touches out of the backfield. Tucker saw more carries in the tight game with Oregon State, and reached the end zone twice last week in the romp over Tennessee Tech. Both backs should see plenty of action, but Tucker is the safer bet.
Jereme Brooks, WR, Utah vs. New Mexico
No matter who starts at QB for the Utes, either Jordan Wynn or Terrance Cain, Brooks should see plenty of the pigskin, as he leads the Utes with 164 yards and three touchdowns. New Mexico has allowed 154 points in two games.
Jared Tew, RB, Air Force at Oklahoma
The two-headed monster of Tew and Asher Clark has been difficult to stop out of the triple-option so far this season. However, if any team can bottle up Air Force, it’ll be the Sooners. Furthermore, both Tew (hand) and Clark (ankle) are questionable for this week, so this probably won’t be their best showing.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State vs. Missouri
Hillman scored four times last week and rushed for 150 yards, but that was against New Mexico State. It doesn’t seem reasonable to expect Hillman to come anywhere near that total against a Big 12 foe.
Ronald Johnson, WR, USC at Minnesota
If you needed any more incentive to start Johnson, who leads the Trojans with 12 receptions and three TDs through two games, the Gophers allowed 352 yards passing in a 41-38 loss to South Dakota last week.
Marvin Jones, WR, California at Nevada
Shootout potentials abound in this one, as Cal quarterback Kevin Riley has tossed seven touchdowns in the Bears’ first two games, including two to Keenan Allen and two to Jones.
Chris Polk, RB, Washington vs. Nebraska
Polk ran roughshod over the Syracuse defense last week to the tune of 117 yards and a touchdown. He will find yards hard to come by against the stout Nebraska D.
Steven Threet, QB, Arizona State at Wisconsin
Threet has completed 67.1% of his passes for 630 yards and seven TDs in his first two contests, but all of those stats have come against subpar talent. He will be hard pressed to find that kind of success in this contest against the Badgers.
Onterio McCalebb, RB, Auburn
Clemson’s gameplan will probably focus on stopping impressive junior quarterback Cameron Newton, leaving McCalebb free to roam under the radar. Lowly Presbyterian still rushed for 140 yards against Clemson.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina vs. Furman
Freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore is carrying the offense, but Jeffery should get plenty of targets against Furman. Jeffery had seven grabs for 103 yards against Georgia last week.
Chris Rainey, WR, Florida at Tennessee
There’s no more Lane Kiffin in this rivalry, but the off-field drama hasn’t ceased, as Chris Rainey is currently off the team due to an arrest for an aggravated stalking charge. Get him out of your lineup, and it is unclear whether Rainey will be with the team for the rest of the season.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia vs. Arkansas
Murray didn’t score against South Carolina, and his task won’t get any easier against the even higher-ranked Razorbacks. Though the Bulldogs may be down in this one and forced to throw, Murray hasn’t shown enough polish or big-play ability to be trusted.
Shawn Southward, RB, Troy at UAB
The Blazers allowed 247 yards rushing last week to Southern Methodist, meaning Southward, the leading rusher for the Trojans, should have his way this week, along with fellow backfield mate DuJuan Harris.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky at Indiana
In two losses to Nebraska and Kentucky, Rainey has racked up 339 yards and three touchdowns. In other words, no reason to bench him now against Indiana.
Jeremiah Harden, RB, FIU at Texas A&M
Harden had a stellar first game, rushing for 88 yards on 15 carries while also catching three balls for 26 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield. The output also came against Rutgers, a tough Big East opponent. However, the Aggies will not be as kind, and with the Golden Panthers down big early, they will be forced to abandon the run.
Garrett Andrews, WR, Middle Tennessee at Memphis
Andrews is the leading receiver for the Blue Raiders, but MTSU remains a running team with the trio of Phillip Tanner, Benjamin Cunningham and D.D. Kyles. Add that to two different starting QBs in the first two games, and Andrews should not be starting against C-USA’s Memphis.
Royce Pollard, WR, Hawaii at Colorado
Kealoha Pilares garners the attention through two weeks, but Pollard has been no slouch either with 12 catches for 200 yards and a score in the same time span. Hawaii rarely abandons the pass, making Pollard a nice sleeper play against the Buffaloes.
Virgil Green, TE, Nevada at California
Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua are the focal points of the Wolfpack offense, but Green has scored in each of the first two games for Nevada. He has averaged 17.9 yards per catch, and could be of vital importance should Nevada fall down early against the Golden Bears.
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State against Utah State
Rouse will miss this week’s game with ankle and shoulder injuries, after receiving 20 carries and scoring through the air in Fresno State’s stunning opening win over Cincinnati.
Daniel Hardy, WR, Idaho vs. UNLV
UNLV has faced two ranked opponents thus far, making their trip to Idaho a welcome sight. Hardy is the leading receiver for the Vandals, but the Running Rebs have allowed less than 210 yards passing each of their first two games against Nebraska and Wisconsin.