Week one is over and the college football season has officially begun. There were some interesting games this week, but not too many big games. Ohio State showed they have more weapons on offense than they know what to do with and some other ranked teams had close calls. Three ranked teams lost this week and all 3 dropped out of the top 25. Texas A&M started their season with a huge statement, leading to all 7 SEC West teams being ranked in the AP Poll. What a way to start the season.
How I Fared: (6-0)
2TCU 23 Minnesota 17; TCU didn’t play like the second ranked team in the country. After last season’s offensive explosion, I expected the Horned Frogs to score a lot more than 23 points. I know Minnesota is not a team to overlook, but TCU should have won by more, or at least scored more. TCU had the benefit of two Minnesota fumbles in the first half. The first happened on their own 17yard line and lead to a TCU touchdown two plays later. The second was recovered in the end zone by TCU for a touchback. TCU’s Heisman hopeful QB, Trevone Boykin, was 26/42 for 246 yards, a TD to Josh Doctson and an INT, and a rush TD. Kicker Jaden Oberkrom was 3/4 on field goals, including one from 53 yards out. For the Golden Gophers, QB Mitch Leidner was 19/35 for 197 yards and a TD to KJ Maye. Rodney Smith also rushed for a TD. Eric Murray had an interception that lead to a TD drive for Minnesota. TCU should have an easy week next week when they play Stephen F. Austin and Minnesota will head to Fort Collins to play Colorado State.
3Alabama 35 20Wisconsin 17; I thought this game would be a little bit closer, but I also thought that Wisconsin would rush for more than 40 yards. Alabama looked very strong in this game. It took them a little while to get going, but once they did there was no doubt who would win this game. The star of the game, Bama RB Derrick Henry, is one of the players on my Heisman watch list. He ran for 147 yards and 3TDs. The Tide QB, Jake Coker, was 15/21 for 213 yards and a TD to Robert Foster. Kenyan Drake (back from his injury) also rushed for a TD. Kicker Adam Griffith didn’t have a great night, going 0/2 for FGs, missing from 44 and 39 yards. For the Badgers, QB Joel Stave was 26/39 for 228 yards, 2TD and an INT. Alex Erickson and Robert Wheelwright each had a receiving TD. Kicker Rafael Gaglianone was 1/2 on FGs, missing from 34 yards and making one from 43 yards. The Tide outgained Wisconsin 502 yards to 268 yards as well as 238 to 40 on the ground. Alabama might have won by more, but they were flagged 11 times for 120 penalty yards. Bama plays Middle Tennessee next week and Wisconsin will host Miami of Ohio. Alabama doesn’t look like they will have a down year.
6Auburn 31 Louisville 24; This game seemed like it was going to be over early in the 3rd quarter when Auburn went up 24-0, but Louisville wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The Cardinals came back and only lost by a TD. This game came down to who took advantage of the other team’s mistakes. Auburn scored 14 points off two Louisville turnovers while Louisville only scored 7 of Auburn’s 3. Tiger QB Jeremy Johnson was 11/21 for 137 yards, a TD and 3INTs, and a rush TD. Ricardo Louis caught a TD and rushed for one and Peyton Barber rushed for 115 yards. Kicker Daniel Carlson only attempted one FG, a 56 yarder, which he drilled. Tray Matthews picked off Louisville on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 35 yards. Justin Garrett recovered a Louisville fumble and ran it back 82 yards for a TD. For the Cardinals, QB Lamar Jackson was 9/20 for 100 yards and an INT and also rushed for 106 yards and a TD. Brandon Radcliff ran in two scores and kicker John Wallace was 1/3 on FGs. Josh Harvey-Clemons had two INTs and Trumaine Washington pulled in the other one. Louisville outgained Auburn 405-327 yards. Louisville was also a perfect 3-3 on 4th down. The Tigers face Jacksonville State next week and the Cardinals will host Houston.
Texas A&M 38 15Arizona State 17; I was extremely impressed by Texas A&M’s defense in this game. I thought Arizona State would score a few more points, but I’m not all that surprised. The Aggies showed they deserve to be ranked. Texas A&M used two QBs in this game. Kyle Allen was 15/26 for 198 yards, 2TDs and an INT, and a rush TD while Kyler Murray was 4/9 for 49 yards and an INT. Christian Kirk caught a 66-yard TD along with returning a punt 79 yards for a score. Tra Carson caught the other TD pass and rushed for a TD. Taylor Bertolet also added a 19-yard FG. For the Sun Devils, QB Mike Bercovici was 25/41 for 199 yards, a TD to Kody Kohl, and rushed for a TD. Kweishi Brown and Jordan Simone each had INTs. Kicker Zane Gonzalez also hit a 23-yard FG for ASU. A&M’s QBs need to work on tucking the football when they run because that won’t work too well in the SEC. The Aggies host Ball State next week and Arizona State gets Cal Poly.
18Arkansas 48 UTEP 13; The Arkansas offense came out strong in this game. It is clear than new offensive coordinator Dan Enos has made an impact. Arkansas played well and got a big win in the first game of the season. Being a student here in Fayetteville, I tend to be a little hyper-critical of my Hogs. I was unimpressed by both lines. Though the stats might not really reflect it, it seemed like UTEP was having its way. The Hogs looked to be on their heels almost the whole game. Maybe that was just because they weren’t mentally up for the game. I’d like to see a little more dominance by both lines against Toledo. QB Brandon had himself a game. The most experienced QB in the SEC was 14/18 for 308 yards (career best) and 4TDs (ties career best) on his birthday. Keon Hatcher had 106 receiving yards and 2TDs with Jared Cornelius and Drew Morgan also catching TDs. Alex Collins rushed for 127 yards and a TD and Kody Walker also ran one in. Kicker Cole Hedlund was 2/2 on FGs from 19 and 27 yards out. Henre’ Toliver had a key INT on the first play of the second half that started sparked 2TDs in a little over 2 minutes for the Razorbacks. For UTEP, QB Mack Leftwich was 9/14 for 120 yards and an INT. Autrey Golden rushed for a TD and Jay Mattox kicked 2 FGs. The Hogs go to Little Rock to play Toledo next and UTEP will be on the road again, this time in Lubbock to play Texas Tech.
Northwestern 16 21Stanford 6; Well, maybe picking Stanford to win the Pac-12 North wasn’t the greatest idea I’ve ever had. Stanford could not move the ball in this game. The Cardinal had to punt the ball 7 times. Stanford was able to hold Northwestern to just 16 points, but if you can’t get the ball into the end zone, it is hard to win. Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson was 12/24 for 105 yards and a rush TD. Kicker Jack Mitchell was 3/4 on FGs including one from 49 yards out. Kyle Queiro picked off Kevin Hogan on the goal line to end Stanford’s chance at a comeback. Stanford QB Kevin Hogan 20/35 for 155 yards and an INT with kicker Conrad Ukropina making two FGs. Stanford was only 3-15 on third down while Northwestern was 12-22. The Wildcats outrushed Stanford 225-85. Stanford will play host to UCF next week and Northwestern will stay in Evanston and face Eastern Illinois.
23Boise State 16 Washington 13; I fell asleep before this game ended so I thought Boise State was going to win comfortably. When I woke up and saw that not only was the margin of victory just 3 points, but the Broncos hadn’t scored after I fell asleep. BSU went into halftime with a 16-0 lead. Washington came very close to upsetting Boise State. BSU QB Ryan Finley was 16/26 for 129 yards and an INT. Jeremy McNichols rushed for 2TDs and Tyler Rausa kicked a FG and had one of his PATs blocked. Darian Thompson had an INT for the Broncos. Husky QB Jake Browning was 20/34 for 150 yards and an INT. Dante Pettis ran back a punt 76 yards for a TD and kicker Cameron Van Winkle was 2/3 on FGs, missing a 46 yarder that would have tied the game late in the 4th quarter. Boise State outrushed Washington 185-29 yards in this game. The Broncos will go to BYU for their next game and Washington will host Sacramento State.
BYU 33 Nebraska 28; What a way to kick off the college football season! BYU went into Lincoln and got a huge win over a Power 5 team, but in the process they lost QB Taysom Hill for the season (again). Hill suffered a Lisfrank injury in the first half (but he didn’t leave the game until the 4th quarter). Tanner Mangum came in and threw the game winning Hail Mary to Mitch Mathews with no time left to win the game. The Cougars went into the half with a 10-point lead, but Nebraska scored 2TDs in the 3rd quarter. A BYU FG halfway through the 4th put them within 1 point. Before leaving the game, Taysom Hill threw a TD and rushed for 2 more. This was Nebraska’s first opening game loss since 1985. BYU will host Boise State next and Nebraska will welcome South Alabama.
South Carolina 17 North Carolina 13; This game kicked off the college football season. This game might have been the beginning of another tough season for South Carolina. If it wasn’t for 3 interceptions in the red zone (two in the end zone by Skai Moore), South Carolina wouldn’t have been in this game at all. The two teams traded scores through the first half with North Carolina taking a 13-10 lead into halftime. Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter and the only points in the second half came on Shon Carson’s 48-yard TD to give South Carolina the lead. Both of these teams need some work if they are going to compete in their conferences. South Carolina opens conference play with Kentucky and North Carolina will host North Carolina A&T.
FIU 15 UCF 14; UCF got off to a good start, but it didn’t last very long. The Knights scored two TDs in the first half but were unable to put any points on the board in the second half. FIU was the opposite. The Panthers ended their first drive with a FG, but couldn’t get any more momentum in the first 30 minutes of play. They were able to score TDs in the 3rd and 4th quarters and then blocked UCF’s potential game winning FG with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game. The Panthers outrushed the Knights 131 yards to 46. What a way to start the season for both teams. Florida International goes to Indiana and UCF will head out to Palo Alto to face Stanford.
WKU 14 Vanderbilt 12; If you look at the stats, Vanderbilt should’ve won the game. The Commodores outgained WKU 385-246 in total yards and 168-37 in rush yards. But Vandy QB Johnny McCrary threw two INTs in the end zone. Honestly, I didn’t think this would be a close game at all. I was sure WKU would win by at least two TDs. Vandy showed some good things, but they can’t seem to finish. Even when they scored the TD at the end, they were unable to make the 2-point conversion to send it to OT. I don’t think Vanderbilt will compete in the SEC East this year, but they seem to be a little better than they were last season. WKU might be trending the other way. They had that huge game at the end of last season where they beat a previously undefeated Marshall team 67-66 in OT. Only scoring 14 points on Vanderbilt should be a concern for the Hilltoppers. WKU will host Louisiana Tech in their next game and Vanderbilt will host 10th ranked Georgia.
Charlotte 23 Georgia State 20; This was Charlotte’s first game as an FBS team. This was a good way to start. Well, the outcome was a good way to start. These two teams combined for 7 turnovers. Terrance Winchester was the player of the game for the 49ers with a 43-yard fumble return for a TD and an INT that lead to a FG. The Charlotte kicker, Blake Brewer, was also 3/3 on FGs where the Georgia State kicker was 2/3. The Panthers did mount a comeback in the 4th quarter. They scored 14 points in the final 10 minutes. They were unable to recover an onside kick after their final TD, giving Charlotte the chance to take a knee and end the game. Charlotte will host Presbyterian College in their next game and Georgia State will open Sun Belt play on the road at New Mexico State.
Utah 24 Michigan 17; Utah ruined Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan coaching debut. While the stats were relatively close, Wolverine QB Jake Rudock’s 3INTs (including a pick 6 by Utah’s Justin Thomas) were the difference in this game. One interesting stat of this game was that Utah kicker Andy Phillips was 1/3 on FGs. He is usually a very reliable kicker. The Utes outrushed Michigan 129-76. Utah looked pretty strong in this game but they do have some things to work on. If Rudock can cut down on his INTs, Michigan will have a chance to compete in the Big 10. Jim Harbaugh is a great coach and I don’t expect it to take very long for him to turn this Wolverine team around. Newly ranked Utah will host Utah State this week and Michigan will welcome the Oregon State Beavers into the Big House.
Hawaii 28 Colorado 20; This is a big win for Hawaii. They have not been the greatest team over the last couple of years, but getting a win over a Pac-12 school is always a good way to start the season. Former USC QB Max Wittek had a nice debut for the Rainbow Warriors, throwing 3TDs. The kickers for both teams went 2/3 on FGs. Colorado outrushed Hawaii 215-100 yards, but it was not enough to overcome their 3 turnovers. Colorado was able to make it all the way to the Hawaii 8 yards line on their final drive, but they couldn’t get a play off before time ran out. Both of these teams will play 13 games this season without a bye week, so they need to focus on staying healthy and well rested. Hawaii goes all the way to Columbus, OH to play the top ranked Buckeyes next and Colorado will host Massachusetts.
Northern Illinois 38 UNLV 30; I am so proud of my Rebels! I kept getting updates that said UNLV was ahead or tied. They scored a TD on their first drive of the season. Going into the 4th quarter UNLV was only down one point. The Rebels got a new coach in the offseason. Tony Sanchez was the head coach at Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas and did a pretty good job there. I didn’t think he would have this immediate of an impact on the team. I know that one game is not an indication of the entire season, and maybe NIU was a little overrated in the spread, but UNLV barely competed with teams last season, so to see them do well against an opponent who has been very good in the last few years is nice to see. It was also good to see them keep fighting even after giving up 14 consecutive points in the 4th quarter. The Rebels scored the last 10 points of the game. They were not able to recover an onside kick and NIU sealed the win. It will be interesting to see how UNLV looks when they host 13th ranked UCLA next. Northern Illinois will host Murray State.
Kentucky 40 Louisiana Lafayette 33; Kentucky had a 33-10 lead late in the 3rd quarter and almost lost the game. Louisiana scored 23 unanswered points before Kentucky retook the lead with just under a minute remaining. The game was sealed with an interception as time ran out. The Ragin’ Cajuns committed 4 turnovers in this game and were still able to come very close to upsetting an SEC team. Kentucky will need to be able to finish games if they want to compete in the SEC. The Wildcats started last season 5-1 but were unable to become bowl eligible. If they allow 33 points regularly, they will not do well in the SEC. The Kentucky offense is clearly up to the task of competing, but to survive the tough SEC schedule, their defense needs to work on its endurance. They also need to make sure they do not underestimate their opponents. Kentucky has to go to South Carolina next and Louisiana Lafayette will host Northwestern State.
Marshall 41 Purdue 31; This was a very exciting game. The first play from scrimmage was a pick 6 by Tiquan Lang, giving Marshall a quick 7-0 lead over Purdue. The two traded scores and Purdue took a 21-17 lead into the half. The two stayed close until Marshall pulled away with a TD late and another Tiquan Lang pick 6 to seal the victory. Purdue QB Austin Appleby threw 4INTs in this game. Marshall QB Michael Birdsong was 23/36 for 234 yards, 2TDs and an INT in his debut game for the Thundering Herd. Both of these teams played well in this game but need to work on minimizing their turnovers. Marshall probably won’t have the same level of success they had last season, but I think they will have another good year. Purdue will host Indiana State next and Marshall will travel to Ohio to play the Bobcats.
1Ohio State 42 Virginia Tech 24
4Baylor 56 SMU 21
5Michigan State 37 Western Michigan 24
7Oregon 61 Eastern Washington 42
8USC 55 Arkansas State 6
9Georgia 51 ULM 14
10Florida State 59 Texas State 16
11Notre Dame 38 Texas 3
12Clemson 49 Wofford 10
13UCLA 34 Virginia 16
14LSU vs McNeese State CANCELED
16Georgia Tech 69 Alcorn State 6
17Ole Miss 76 UT Martin 3
19Oklahoma 41 Akron 3
22Arizona 42 UTSA 32
24Missouri 34 Southeast Missouri State 3
25Tennessee 59 Bowling Green 30
Fordham 37 Army 35
Temple 27 Penn State 16
Connecticut 20 Villinova 15
Indiana 48 Southern Illinois 47
Utah State 12 Southern Utah 9
South Dakota State 41 Kansas 38
Pittsburgh 45 Youngstown State 37
Portland State 24 Washington State 17
Texas Tech 59 Sam Houston State 45
Old Dominion 38 Eastern Michigan 34
Tulsa 47 Florida Atlantic 44 OT
North Dakota 24 Wyoming 13
East Carolina 28 Towson 20
Stats and Scores from ESPN.com