Week 1 Analysis: The Film Doesn’t Lie
With several near upsets, numerous weather delays, priceless post game interviews and four ranked teams trounced, the first week of college football didn’t disappoint. Some teams proved to be legit, while others simply got exposed. Whether you were sitting at the sports bar, on your living room couch, tailgating in the parking lot or at the actual games, you were definitely entertained by the performances of the players, dialogue from the coaches and actions by the fans. Although its’ only been one week, we’re left wondering what can week two do for an encore. The beauty of it is that we all fall victim to believing the hype and the predictions, just to be reminded on Saturday that the games are played on the field and not on paper.
Notre Dame: The Irish came out on fire and jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush threw for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception against a great Michigan defense. Notre Dame’s defense forced two turnovers and held Michigan’s offense to just 58 yards on the ground.
The teams went a combined 10-2 in non-conference play with both losses coming to ranked SEC foes LSU and Alabama. The conference clash between Virginia Tech and Florida State was a yawner as the Hokies dominated from the start and spoiled Willie Taggart’s debut.
Boston College: Star sophomore running back AJ Dillon fell two yards short of the century mark in rushing and failed to score, but the Eagles didn’t need him to as they lit up the scoreboard for 55 points, including 48 in the first half over the Minutemen.
Clemson: True freshman signal-caller Trevor Lawrence threw for more yards and touchdowns than starter Kelly Bryant, as the Tigers’ offense compiled 543 total yards and had no turnovers. Clemson led 48-0 before letting Furman get in a garbage 4th quarter touchdown.
Duke: Junior quarterback Daniel Jones completed 76 percent of his passes and finished with nearly 200 yards through the air. Wideout Aarron Young had a game-high four catches for 114 yards and a touchdown as Duke routed Army.
Florida State: The Noles came out flat, rushed for only 94 yards and was held to just a field goal for the second time in their last eight games.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets ran for 439 yards, scored their 41 points during the first three quarters and picked up the teams’ first shutout since 2013.
Louisville: The Cardinals trailed 28-0 at halftime, was held to just 16 rushing yards and gave up 51 points and 519 total yards to the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
Miami: The other ACC team that looked sluggish under the lights. The Hurricanes was held to a mere 83 rush yards, threw two interceptions and never got the chance to bring out the “Turnover Chain.”
North Carolina:The Tar Heels were shutout in the first half, threw four interceptions and lost to the Golden Bears for the second straight year.
NC State: Senior quarterback Ryan Finley threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, but NC State couldn’t run the ball consistently and struggled to put away James Madison until late in the fourth quarter.
Pittsburgh: Pitt controlled the entire game, holding Albany to just 60 yards on the ground and scoreless over the last three quarters.
Syracuse: The Orange were impressive on offense, going up 34-7 in the second quarter, but allowed the Broncos to climb back in the game and pull within a touchdown, before slipping away with a 13-point victory.
Virginia: The Cavaliers had a dominant ground attack, rushing for over 300 yards to go along with two 100-yard backs. The Virginia defense held Richmond to just 34 rush yards.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies had one of the top performances of the week. Sophomore signal-caller Josh Jackson threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns and the defense forced five turnovers, embarrassing the Seminoles on their home field.
Wake Forest: Young receivers Greg Dortch and Sage Surratt combined for 23 catches and 299 receiving yards, but Wake Forests’ offense turned the ball over three times and the team needed overtime to put away Tulane.
The conference went a combined 10-1 against non-conference teams for the opening week. The conference clash between Northwestern and Purdue was a thriller that ended on a sour note. Mother nature ruined Scott Frost’s debut, but the surprise was how the power house teams in the East division struggled with inferior opponents. Utah State took Michigan State all the way down to the wire. Penn State struggled with tackling and needed overtime to get past Appalachian State. Ohio State let Oregon State with a new coach and new -look offense put up 31 points on its’ defense. Michigan looked out of sync on both sides of the ball in the loss to Notre Dame. Luckily Maryland’s victory over Texas gave the East division mouth-to-mouth.
Indiana: Sophomore quarterback Patrick Ramsey threw for three touchdowns and the offense piled up 213 yards on the ground. The Hoosiers’ defense forced three Panther turnovers.
Illinois: The Fighting Illini was down 17-3 at halftime, before outscoring the Golden Flashes 28-7 in the second half. Former Husker and graduate transfer quarterback A.J. Bush can be the reason for that, finishing with 329 total yards, including 139 on the ground to get Illinois the close win.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes offense struggled in the first half, but came alive in the second scoring 23 unanswered points. Iowa’s defense held Northern Illinois’ offense to 211 total yards and scoreless for three quarters to give Head Coach Kirk Ferentz his 144th victory, surpassing Hayden Frye and making him the school’s all-time leader in wins.
Maryland: The Terrapins came out from the start and played inspired football throughout the game. Maryland made plays on both sides of the ball and held Texas scoreless in the fourth quarter to get the emotional victory for the second-straight year over the Longhorns.
Michigan: Junior graduate-transfer quarterback Shea Pattersons’ long-awaited debut wasn’t worth the wait, as he made two costly turnovers, including a last-minute fumble that cost the Wolverines the game. Michigan’s ground game was held to just 58 yards in the gut-wrenching loss to the Irish.
Michigan State: Junior quarterback Brian Lewerke racked up 318 total yards and two touchdowns and Michigan State defense held Utah State to just 25 yards on the ground. This game was a lot closer than expected and Michigan State needed a late touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.
Minnesota: Zach Annexstad threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns. The Gophers pounded the ball, racking up 527 total yards, including 300 on the ground. Senior running back Rodney Smith finished with 156 rush yards and Mohamed Ibrahim added 101 as Minnesota shutout New Mexico State in the second half for a lopsided victory.
Nebraska: The energy in the stadium was at its’ highest level since the late 90s, but the game was postponed after kickoff and later cancelled.
Northwestern: Sophomore Jeremy Larkin rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns and the Wildcats played turnover-free football to get the slim conference win on the road.
Ohio State: New sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns and junior running back Mike Weber added 186 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. The Buckeyes offense was impressive, racking up 723 yards of total offense. However, the Buckeyes’ defense gave up nearly 400 yards to Oregon State and were outscored 17-14 in the third quarter.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions were very lucky and needed overtime to survive a gutsy performance by the Mountaineers. Senior quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 230 yards and the game-tying touchdown with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Purdue: The Boilermakers outgained the Wildcats 472-401 and still lost because of a bone-head penalty and three interceptions thrown by junior signal-caller Elijah Sindelar.
Rutgers: True freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski threw three interceptions. Luckily the Scarlet Knights defense came to play and held the Bobcats to just 169 yards of total offense, including 69 on the ground for the season-opening win.
Wisconsin: Junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for 257 years and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. Heisman hopeful Jonathan Taylor rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns as the Badgers cruised to an easy win.
This was not a good opening week for the Big 12. Some teams looked great in non-conference play while others looked mediocre. The two head-to-head matchups with the SEC turned out great for West Virginia, but the opposite for Texas Tech. Kansas was another black eye to the league, losing to FCS foe Nicholls State. Kansas State nearly lost to South Dakota. Iowa State game was cancelled because of extreme weather issues. Texas got exposed against Maryland and had to take that walk of shame for the second-straight year. Oklahoma showed again why its the team to beat in the league.
Baylor: The Bears went on a scoring frenzy and piled up 606 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback Jalan McClendon threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs JaMycal Hasty and John Lovett each had over 100 yards rushing and combined for five scores. Baylor’s defense still needs to improve up front after giving up 220 yards on the ground.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are in the same position as the Huskers, with both of their games cancelled due to inclement weather. Now both programs will open the season against its traditional rivals in week two.
Kansas: As if things weren’t already rocky, the Jayhawks open the season with a loss to FCS foe Nicholls State, extending the programs’ losing streak to 12 games. As sad as it is to say, Kansas may not win another game this season.
Kansas State: The Wildcats were slow out of the gates and struggled throughout the first half. Kansas State defense regrouped at halftime and held South Dakota scoreless in the second half. The Wildcats still had to rally and score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull out a three-point win.
Oklahoma: The Sooners looked like they didn’t miss a beat after the departure of Baker Mayfield, racking up 650 yards of total offense and scored 63 points. New signal-caller Kyler Murray looked natural at the position, 209 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Rodney Anderson averaged a jaw-dropping 20 yards per carry and finished with 100 yards on the ground and two rushing scores.
Oklahoma State: The Pokes did whatever they wanted to on offense, piling up 732 yards of total offense, including 436 on the ground and scored 58 points. Former walk-on Taylor Cornelius threw for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns. Running backs Justice Hill and L.D. Brown each went over the century mark in rushing, combining for 237 yards and two touchdowns.The Pokes’ defense held Missouri State to 260 total yards and scoreless in the first and fourth quarter.
TCU: Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson threw for three touchdowns and the Horned Frogs rushed for 235 yards. TCU’s defense held Southern to a mere 84 yards rushing, forced three turnovers and shutout the Jaguars in the second half.
Texas: For the second-straight year the Longhorns open the season with a loss to Maryland. This time around stings more on the program, considering the team came into the game nationally ranked. It just shows why preseason polls shouldn’t base rankings on the brand of the team or the coaches potential, but the product it has on the field. It’s sill a long season, but best believe Tom Herman is starting to feel the pressure.
Texas Tech: Texas Tech defense continues to struggle and gave up nearly 550 yards of total offense to Ole Miss. This game was just a glimpse of things to come this fall for the Red Raider; shootout games with no defense. Texas Tech will lose more games than win playing that style of football, especially in the Big 12.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers went to Rocky Top and rocked Tennessee. West Virginia racked up 547 total yards of offense on the road. Senior quarterback Will Grier was incredible, passing for 429 yards and five touchdowns. Senior receivers Gary Jennings and David Stills combined for 13 catches, 253 yards and three scores. West Virginia’s defense wasn’t too shabby either, holding Tennessee to 14 points and scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The conference had games against the ACC, Big 10 and SEC, finishing with a combined record of 8-4 for the first week. Kevin Sumlin, Jonathan Smith and Chip Kelly all started their new journeys on a sour note, while Herm Edwards began better than expected. The conference was banking on Washington to be the face of the league and take down one of the SEC blue-bloods, but the Huskies came up short and now the league is behind the eight ball wondering if this will be the second-straight year the PAC-12 is left out of the College Football Playoff.
Arizona: Game-changing junior quarterback Khalil Tate was held in check for most of the game and was limited to 211 total yards, including 14 on the ground. The Wildcats battled back, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough and Kevin Sumlin home debut was spoiled.
Arizona State: Head Coach Herm Edwards silenced all the haters, at least for the first week as his team dominated UTSA in his debut. Senior signal-caller Manny Wilkins passed for four touchdowns and Eno Benjamin rushed for 131 yards and a score. The Sun Devils’ defense held the Roadrunners scoreless through the first three quarters and an eye-popping three yards on the ground.
California: Give credit to Cal’s defense. Despite the Golden Bears being out-gained on offense, the defense held the Tar Heels to 137 yards through the air and intercepted four passes to garnish the win.
Colorado: The Buffaloes offense was impressive, piling up nearly 600 total yards. Junior signal-caller Seven Montez threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns. Senior running back Travon McMillan rushed for 103 yards and a score. Colorado’s defense held their rival to just 103 rush yards on the ground.
Oregon: Junior signal-caller Justin Herbert threw five touchdowns and two interceptions as the Ducks racked up over 500 yards of total offense. Oregon’s defense forced three turnovers and the final score resembled the glory days when Chip Kelly was on the sidelines.
Oregon State: The Beavers walked into a hornets’ nest when they visited the Horseshoe. Although Oregon State was blown out, there were some bright spots to build on. Conor Blount threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions and junior running back Artavis Pierce rushed for 168 yards and two scores. Junior wideout Trevon Bradford caught six balls for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Stanford: Heisman hopeful senior running back Bryce Love was showed no love held in check for the entire game, finishing with a mere 29 yards on the ground. K.J. Costello threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns. Junior wideout JJ Arcega Whitside had himself a monster game, hauling in six balls for 223 yards and three scores. Stanford’s defense held San Diego State to just three points in the the third quarter and scoreless in the fourth. Stanford got its revenge on a team that it lost to last season.
USC: The Trojans played a tight game with the Rebels in the first half, leading by only five points at halftime. USC played better football in the second half, scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter to escape with a win. Senior running back Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for 100 yards and a score and averaged 10 yards per carry. The Trojans front seven on defense has some serious work to do after giving up 308 yards on the ground to UNLV. Up next is Stanford’s Heisman hopeful running back Bryce Love.
UCLA: After watching the Bruins’ new look offense against the Bearcats it’s evident that Kelly will need time to get his players into the program and plug them in the right spots on the field. Kazmeir Allen rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, averaging over 20 yards per carry.
Utah: The Utes racked up 587 yards of total offense, but was sloppy with the ball, turning it over four times.. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns and Zach Moss rushed for 150 yards and a score. Utah’s defense was stout and held Weber State to just 61 total yards and scoreless through the last three quarters.
Washington: The Huskies played a hard-fought game, but turnovers in the redzone cost them the victory. The Tigers defense was too fast and physical for quarterback Jake Browning to overcome and he was under constant pressure. Luckily for Washington, Auburn will be the best defense it’ll see all year.
Washington State: A few analysts predicted an upset by the Cowboys, but Mike Leach and the Cougars had other plans. Surprisingly it was Washington States’ defense that shut down Wyoming and held the Cowboys to just 67 yards through the air. Senior quarterback Gardner Minshew threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Washington State showed there is life after Luke Faulk for the offense as the Cougars got a much needed non-conference road win.
The conference overall looked the best out of all the Power 5 leagues during the first week. Alabama smashed Louisville, LSU dominated Miami, Auburn shut down Washington and Ole Miss rolled over Texas Tech. The only blemish the SEC suffered in non-conference play over the weekend was Tennessee’s loss to West Virginia. Still, no worries about that because the Vols might be the worst team in the league this season.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide came out and showed the nation why they are the No. 1 team in the country. Alabama racked up 519 yards of total offense and scored 51 points. True sophomore signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa showed moves and throws that resembled former Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel and passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no mistake about who’s the Tides’ top quarterback. Alabama held Louisville to just 27 yards on the ground, picked off two of their quarterbacks passes and held the Cardinals scoreless in the first half.
Arkansas: Junior quarterback Ty Storey threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore wideout Jordan Jones caught five balls for 132 yards and a score. The Hogs struggled running the ball and finished with just 80 yards on the ground. Arkansas defense recovered five fumbles.
Auburn: The Tigers put together one of the best performances of the week, taking down a great Washington team. Junior quarterback Jared Stidham threw for 273 yards and a touchdown and the defense showed it’s one of the best in the nation by putting the clamps down on the Huskies.
Florida: Sophomore signal-caller Feleipe Franks threw for 219 yards and five touchdowns and Florida’s defense held Charleston Southern to just three passing yards and scoreless for the first three quarters. The Gators offense put up 444 yards of total offense and scored 53 points, the most by Florida since the 2015 season-opener.
Georgia: The Bulldogs came out like a team on a mission, dominating on both sides of the ball and compiling 508 yards of total offense, including 284 on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Georgia’s defense dominated and held Austin Peay to 91 yards on the ground, picked off three passes and held the Governors scoreless for the entire game.
Kentucky: The Wildcats struggled with the Chippewas in the first half and led by only one point at halftime. Kentucky played smart football and held Central Michigan scoreless in the second half. The Wildcats’ offense went through some struggles breaking in a new quarterback and turned the ball over four times. Junior running back Benny Snell was a bright spot for the offense and he rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
LSU: The Tigers faced a tough opponent in the Hurricanes, but made Miami look like a cup cake the way LSU dominated the game. Senior running back Nick Brossette rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns. LSU defense controlled the game and held Miami to 83 yards on the ground and intercepted two passes. Head Coach Ed Orgeron silenced a lot of his critics with this win.
Mississippi State: Even with starting senior out while serving a one-game suspension the Bulldogs still racked up 618 total yards and 63 points. Sophomore signal-caller Keytaon Thompson had a career-day throwing for 364 yards and five touchdowns, to go along with 109 yards on the ground and two rushing scores. Wideout Osirus Mitchell caught only two ball, but finished with 114 yards and two scores. Mississippi States’ defense held Stephen F. Austin to just 77 yards on the ground.
Mizzou: The Tigers offense picked up where they left at, piling up 558 yards of total offense and put up 51 points on the board. Senior signal-caller Drew Lock threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Senior Emanuel Hall haled in four balls for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Missouri’s defense held Tennessee-Martin to 94 yards on the ground and scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss: The Rebels displayed their firepower on offense, generating nearly 550 total yards. Senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Scottie Phillips rushed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Ole Miss defense held Texas Tech scoreless in the fourth quarter. This team played like they could care less about the post season ban, they are going to have fun playing these next 11 games loose with nothing to lose.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks racked up 561 yards of total offense and 49 points. Junior quarterback Jake Bentley threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Rico Dowdle rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown and South Carolina’s defense held Coastal Carolina to 112 yards through the air.
Tennessee: The Vols gave the SEC that one black eye by getting blown out by the Mountaineers in Neyland. Tennessee was held scoreless in the first and fourth quarter and have a lot of work to do. One of the bright spots for the offense was sophomore running back Tim Jordan’s 118 yards on the ground and a score. Sophomore signal-caller played an decent game, throwing for 172 yards and a touchdown, but he wasn’t a difference maker, and that’s what the Vols need if they want any type of success this season.
Texas A&M: The Aggies offense came out on fire and scored 35 points in the first half and finished with over 500 yards of total offense. Junior running back Trayveon Williams had himself a field day, rushing for over 240 yards and didn’t even play much in the second half. Sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Junior tight end Jace Sternberger caught two touchdown passes. Texas A&M defense was impressive, holding Northwestern State to 21 yards on the ground and scoreless for three quarters.
Vanderbilt: Senior signal-caller Kyle Shurmur threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns. The Commodores defense forced three turnovers and held Blue Raiders scoreless for the last three quarters and Vanderbilt beat Middle Tennessee State for the third-straight year.
Did you see that?
-The personal foul against the Purdue defender that gave Northwestern the game. Had that not happened, the Boilermakers would’ve had one last shot at winning the game.
-Appalachian State attempting a 53-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth down. The way Penn State was missing tackles all game and how fatigued the defenders were, the chances would’ve been high on converting a first down and getting closer for a reasonable field goal.
-Frost first tunnel walk as the Huskers head coach. The energy was high in the stadium but right after kickoff and before Frost could place his headset on comfortably the game was postponed due to lightning in the area.
-Nick Saban’s outburst at reporter Maria Taylor. I understand his frustration with the constant questioning by the media, but he’s paid millions of dollars a year to handle questions like that and he could’ve showed more class and reworded his response better. Taylor handled herself well in that awkward situation.