What the FCS?
That is the question that 7 FBS teams are asking.
Week 1 of the 2013-14 college football season was very interesting, and it is still going on. The big news of the week has been upsets. And not just regular upsets. Upsets by the FCS. Here are the scores of those games:
Southern Utah 22 South Alabama 21
Eastern Illinois 40 San Diego State 19
Towson 33 Connecticut 18
McNeese State 53 USF 21
Northern Iowa 28 Iowa State 20
North Dakota State 24 Kansas State 21
Eastern Washington 49 25Oregon State 46
The first couple are not that hard to fathom, but the last 3 are mind blowing. 2 Big 12 teams and a ranked Pac 12 team. North Dakota State isn’t anything to laugh at. This team is the two-time defending FCS National Champion and has now beaten an FBS team in four straight years. Eastern Washington has been close to beating a Pac 12 team in the last couple years, and are ranked in the top 4 in the FCS. They scored a TD to go up with 18 seconds left. The Beavers FG attempt was wide right as time expired. Southern Utah won their game with a last second FG.
Along with these upsets, there were some great games this weekend
8Clemson 38 5Georgia 35; What a game to help kickoff the season! This top 10 matchup pitted 8Clemson against 5Georgia. The teams seemed to be pretty evenly matched, but Clemson had the home field advantage. Neither defense played extremely well and both offenses were explosive and exciting. The difference in the game was a fumbled snap on FG attempt in the 3rd quarter by Georgia. Clemson showed they are in it to win it this season by taking down a team that might have beat last years National Champions given a few more seconds. Tajh Boyd won the QB battle going 18/30 for 270 yards and 3TD as well 2 rushing TD. On the other side Aaron Murray was 20/29 for 323 yards and an INT along with a rush TD. Georgia star WR Todd Gurley tore his ACL while celebrating a touchdown and is out for the season. Sammy Watkins also put on a show for Clemson with 127 yards receiving and a TD. It was exciting to see a game with end of the season caliber in week 1 and just got me more excited for this season of college football.
7Texas A&M 52 Rice 31; No matter what, when you talk about Texas A&M, you end up talking about Johnny Manziel. This is because he provides a lot to talk about both on and off the field. Manziel was suspended for the first half of this game by the NCAA. The QB then received an unsportsmanlike penalty after a TD in the 4th quarter that led to HC Kevin Sumlin benching him for the rest of the game. Johnny Manziel played for about 20 minutes. So his numbers must have gone down, right? His yardage did. But he still threw 3TD (in 6 completions). It is amazing what this guy can do on the football field. He was not the only thing that happened in the game, though. Rice played well and was in contention in the game for the first half. Their QB Taylor McHorgue was 18/29 for 189 yards, 2TD and 2INT, as well as rushing for 78 yards. RB Charles Ross ran for 107 yards and 2TD and caught a TD. It will be interesting to see if Johnny Manziel will be able to maintain this level of play when he has a whole 60 minutes rather than just 20.
18Nebraska 37 Wyoming 34; I don’t think anyone really expected this to be an exciting game when they looked at the schedule for week 1. Nebraska is a Big 10 team, an AQ conference, while Wyoming is in the Mountain West Conference, which is not AQ and is generally not noted for football talent. But, isn’t this why we love college football? There is always a chance for an upset, it doesn’t matter how big or powerful you are or should be. The stats for this game are very interesting. Wyoming outgained Nebraska 605 yards to 530 yards. The Cowboy’s QB Brett Smith was 29/43 for 383 yards, 4TD and an INT. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez was 17/22 for 155 yards, 3TD, INT and 80 rush yards. The Huskers had 2 players who rushed for 100+ yards: Ameer Abdullah with 114 yards and Imani Cross with 105 yards and 2TDs. Wyoming RB Shaun Wick had 101 rush yards and a TD and WR Dominic Rufan had 120 receiving yards. Perhaps the most interesting stat was that Wyoming was 1-8 on 3rd down. One for eight. But they had 35 first downs compared to Nebraska’s 27. Wyoming scored 13 points in the last 6 minutes of the game, coming within 3 with 1:32 left in the 4th quarter. They got the ball back but were unable to score as time expired.
Ole Miss 39 Vanderbilt 35; I am so glad I decided not to fall asleep after the 3rd quarter of this game. The result of this game should be a warning to every team in the country. And that warning is: DO NOT CELEBRATE UNTIL THE CLOCK REACHES ZERO! While the crowd will go crazy with every touchdown or score, especially one that could cause an upset, players need to stay focused. The moment you go crazy thinking you’ve won the game when there is still time left on the clock, in Vanderbilt’s case 1:30, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. You are no longer trying to win the game and now the other team is angry and will do everything in their power to wipe that smile off your face. And that is exactly what Ole Miss was able to do. Jeff Scott ran for a 75 yard TD just 23 seconds later to go up by 4. Vandy is now stunned an no one can believe it. All the energy they had left was used to celebrate what they thought was a victory. What an exciting SEC game. Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace was 31/47 for 283 yards along with 2 rush TD. RB Jeff Scott rushed for 138 yards and the winning TD and Barry Brunetti had 4 rush yards… for 2 TDs. Vanderbilt QB Austyn Carta-Samuels was 21/36 for 300 yards, 2TD and 2INT, and WR Jordan Matthews had 198 receiving yards and go ahead TD with 1:30 left.
Fresno State 52 Rutgers 51 OT; We had a game go to OT in the first night of the season. This game also showed that some teams have to travel way too far. Despite the distance, Rutgers was extremely competitive and gave Fresno State a run. Rutgers is a member of the AAC, or The American, this year(next year they move to the Big 10), and Fresno State is a member of the MWC. After watching Boise State play Washington, Fresno State is the team to beat in the MWC. The total yardage of the two teams was very close, but when broken down, Rutgers was much more balanced while Fresno State threw for 456 yards and ran for 81 yards. The two teams went into the half with Fresno State leading 21-20. Each team scored 31 points in the second half and OT. Rutgers decided to go for the win rather than a second OT and failed to make the 2-point conversion. Rutgers QB Gary Nova was 26/41 for 348 yards, 5TD, and an INT. RB Paul James rushed for 182 yards, WR Leonte Carroo had 135 receiving yards and 3TD, and Brandon Coleman had 94 receiving yards and 2TD. Janarion Grant ran a kickoff back 100 yards for a TD for Rutgers tying the game before the Scarlet Knight offense ever got the ball. Fresno State QB Derek Carr was 52/73 for 456 yards, 5TD, and an INT. WR Davonte Adams had 148 yards and 2TD, Isaiah Burse had 118 yards receiving, and Josh Harper had 94 yards and caught 2TD.
Arkansas 34 ULL 14; This was the first game I attended as a college student, and what a game it was! It was worth the almost 2 hours in line and the 92° temp and the humidity. The attendance was almost 70,000. The Hogs were able to kick off the Bret Bielema Era with a definitive win. The Razorbacks hit the turf running, literally. The first 7 plays were rushes. The first drive of the season ended in a 6 yard TD pass by Brandon Allen to WR Javontee Herndon(the two would connect for another TD later in the game as well). ULL was able to drive the field but was stalled at the Ark 10 and missed a FG. The Rajin’ Cajuns scored a TD on their next possession after a 3 and out by Arkansas. The rest of the game was dominated by the Razorbacks. Perhaps the most immediate change from last year’s team was the rushing. They had more rushing yards in this game(292) than they have had in a single game since playing UTEP in 2010(326). It was also the first time since playing SCAR in 2007 that the hogs had 2 100+ yard rushers in a game. Those two, of course, being Darren McFadden(321) and Felix Jones(166). Saturday’s pair was Jonathan Williams(151,TD) and Alex Collins(131,true freshman). Collins is also the first Hog to run for 100+ in his debut since Felix Jones in 2005. Arkansas QB Brandon Allen had a good outing as well going 15-22 for 230yds with 3TD. The Arkansas defense still needs a lot of work but they were able to generate 4 sacks(Trey Flowers had 2). ULL was outplayed by Arkansas. Once the Hogs settled in, they didn’t look back. Though they are much better coached than last year’s team, I still don’t expect them to compete for the SEC West title this season. That said, they have the potential to pull an upset in the right situation. Arkansas needs to stay focused on the present, and today, that is beating Samford in Little Rock on Saturday. *Used ArkansasRazorbacks.com to check stats and records for Felix Jones and Darren McFadden.
1Alabama 35 Virginia Tech 10
2Ohio State 40 Buffalo 20
3Oregon 66 Nicholls State 3
6South Carolina 27 North Carolina 10
9Louisville 49 Ohio 7
10Florida 24 Toledo 6
11Florida State 41 Pittsburgh 13
12LSU 37 20TCU 27
13Oklahoma State 21 Mississippi State 3
14Notre Dame 28 Temple 6
15Texas 56 New Mexico State 7
16Oklahoma 34 ULM 0
17Michigan 59 Central Michigan 9
Washington 38 19Boise State 6
21UCLA 58 Nevada 20
22Northwestern 44 Cal 30
23Wisconsin 45 Massachusetts 0
24USC 30 Hawaii 13
Eastern Washington 49 25Oregon State 46
Georgia Tech 70 Elon 0
Indiana 73 Indiana State 35
Troy 34 UAB 31 OT
Michigan State 26 Western Michigan 13
West Virginia 24 William & Mary 17
Penn State 23 Syracuse 17
Northern Illinois 30 Iowa 27
Virginia 19 BYU 16
Auburn 31 Washington State 24
Western Kentucky 35 Kentucky 26
*Stats and scores from ESPN.com